New School News

Former New School for Jazz student Cecile McLorin Salvant was awarded top honors for Jazz Album, Female Vocalist, and Rising Start Jazz Artist and Female Vocalist in this year's Downbeat Magazine annual critics poll.
Former New School for Jazz student Cecile McLorin Salvant was awarded top honors for Jazz Album, Female Vocalist, and Rising Start Jazz Artist and Female Vocalist in this year's Downbeat Magazine annual critics poll.

New School for Jazz Still a Hit with Downbeat

No jazz aficionado’s summer would be complete without an eager anticipation for Downbeat Magazine’s annual critics poll. The 62nd edition of the survey, which examines every facet of the genre’s current landscape, hit magazine stands earlier this month. Once again, New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music (NSJCM) talent echoed throughout. Between the established artists and the rising stars, New School musicians collected thirteen top votes and appeared in 42 of the poll’s 63 categories.

Three of the jazz program’s original founding faculty members, the late Jim Hall and Chico Hamilton, as well as Jimmy Heath, surfaced on the Hall of Fame list. Hall, who Downbeat refers to as a “Poet of the Guitar,” received the top position. Both he and Hamilton passed away last year.

Former student Cécile McLorin Salvant earned the top votes in Jazz Album and Female Vocalist, and topped the Rising Star – Jazz Artist and Rising Star – Female Vocalist lists as well. Faculty members Jane Ira Bloom, Matt Wilson, Michele Rosewoman, and Billy Harper joined Salvant in the Jazz Album category. Bloom also topped the Soprano Saxophone list.

Either as a soloist or with his eponymous ensemble, the versatile Robert Glasper made seven appearances in established artist categories from Jazz Artist, to Composer, and received top votes in the Beyond Artist or Group and Keyboard lists. The Robert Glasper Trio also garnered attention in the Rising Star – Jazz Group category.

When scanning this year’s poll for New School individuals, Jazz’s executive director, Martin Mueller was quick to show his enthusiasm. “It’s even bigger than last year’s!”

NSJCM musicians received 84 recognitions in total. View the complete list below.

(A) = Alumnus/a; Former Student

(OF) = Original Founding Faculty Member

(F) = Faculty

Hall of Fame

  • Jim Hall (OF) – Top Vote
  • Chico Hamilton (OF)
  • Jimmy Heath (OF)

Jazz Artist

  • Robert Glasper (A)
  • Matt Wilson (F)


Jazz Album

  • Cécile McLorin Salvant, WomanChild (MACK AVENUE) (A) – Top Vote
  • Jane Ira Bloom, Sixteen Sunsets (OUTLINE) (F)
  • Matt Wilson Quartet + John Medeski, Gathering Call (PALMETTO) (F)
  • Michele Rosewoman’s New Yor-Uba, 30 Years! A Musical Celebration of Cuba In America (ADVANCE DANCE DISQUES) (F)
  • Randy Weston/Billy Harper, The Roots Of The Blues (SUNNYSIDE)


Jazz Group

  • Robert Glasper Experiment (A)


Big Band

  • Roy Hargrove Big Band (A)



  • Roy Hargrove (A)


Soprano Saxophone

  • Jane Ira Bloom (F) – Top Vote
  • Chris Potter (A)
  • Walter Blanding Jr. (A)


Tenor Saxophone

  • Chris Potter (A)


Baritone Saxophone

  • Jason Marshall (A)



  • George Cables (F)
  • Brad Mehldau (A)
  • Robert Glasper (A)



  • Robert Glasper (A) – Top Vote
  • Larry Goldings (A)



  • Larry Goldings (A)
  • Sam Yahel (A)



  • Mary Halvorson (A)
  • Peter Bernstein (A)



  • Ben Allison (F)
  • Avishai Cohen (A)
  • Reggie Workman (F)


Electric Bass

  • Avishai Cohen (A)



  • Matt Wilson (F)
  • Andrew Cyrille (F)
  • Allison Miller (F)



  • Bobby Sanabria (F)
  • Susie Ibarra (A)


Male Vocalist

  • Jose James (A)


Female Vocalist

  • Cécile McLorin-Salvant – (A) Top Vote



  • Ben Allison (F)
  • Robert Glasper (A)


Beyond Artist or Group

  • Robert Glasper Experiment (A) – Top Vote
  • Antibalas (Jordon McClean, Aaron Johnson) (A)


Beyond Album

  • Robert Glasper Experiment, Black Radio 2 (A) – Top Vote


Rising Star Jazz Artist

  • Cécile McLorin Salvant – (A) – Top Vote
  • Mary Halvorson (A)
  • Ben Allison (F)
  • Jose James (A)


Rising Star Jazz Group

  • Mary Halvorson Trio (A)
  • The Cookers (Billy Harper, George Cables) (F)
  • Robert Glasper Trio (A)
  • Thumbscrew (Mary Halvorson, Tomas Fujiwara) (A)


Rising Star Trumpet

  • Jonathan Finlayson (A) – Top Vote
  • Michael Rodriguez (A)
  • Ian Carey (A)
  • Takuya Kuroda (A)


Rising Star Trombone

  • Corey King (A)
  • Nils Wogram (A)


Rising Star Soprano Saxophone

  • Steven Lugerner (A)


Rising Star Alto Saxophone

  • Casey Benjamin (A)
  • Sharel Cassity (A)
  • Logan Richardson (A)


Rising Star Tenor Saxophone

  • Marcus Strickland (A)
  • Kenneth Whalum III (A)
  • John Ellis (A)


Rising Star Baritone Saxophone

  • Jason Marshall (A)


Rising Star Piano

  • Aaron Goldberg (A)


Rising Star Keyboard

  • Sam Yahel (A)


Rising Star Organ

  • Greg Lewis (A)


Rising Star Guitar

  • Peter Bernstein (A) – Top Vote
  • Gilad Hekselman (A)
  • Mike Moreno (A)


Rising Star Bass

  • Avishai Cohen (A) – Top Vote


Rising Star Electric Bass

  • Avishai Cohen (A)


Rising Star Drums

  • Allison Miller (F)
  • Jamire Williams (A)


Rising Star Miscellaneous Instrument

  • Omer Avital (OUD) (A)
  • Casey Benjamin (VOCODER) (A)


Rising Star Female Vocalist

  • Cécile  McLorin Salvant (A) – Top Vote
  • Becca Stevens (A)


Rising Star Composer

  • Ben Allison (F) – Top Vote
  • Mary Halvorson (A)


Rising Star Arranger

  • Ben Allison (F)


Rising Star Producer

  • Spike Wilner (A)
  • Ben Allison (F)


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