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Jazz breaks through in 2022 Grammy nominations

The Best Latin Jazz Album category includes an all-star line-up of nominees

December 6, 2021 5:26pm

Updated: December 7, 2021 9:11pm

The 2022 Grammy Award nominations showed that jazz has worked its way into the award shows’ most prestigious categories, and that Latino jazz artists are prominent in most of the categories. 

The Best Latin Jazz Album category includes an all-star line-up of nominees:

  • Eliane Elias with Chick Corea and Chucho Valdés – Mirror Mirror
  • Carlos Henriquez – The South Bronx Story
  • Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra – Virtual Birdland
  • Dafnis Prieto Sextet – Transparency
  • Miguel Zenón & Luis Perdomo – El Arte Del Bolero

Jazz Pianist Jon Batiste earned the most nominations overall this year with 11 across R&B, American roots, and jazz. Eight were for his album “We Are,” which was nominated for album of the year, as well as his track “Freedom,” for record of the year and best music video. The last three were for his work on the score of Soul, a Pixar movie about jazz music.

Sports and pop culture website The Ringer called Batiste’s nominations for the two biggest categories “weird,” saying he “snuck in” ahead of much bigger and more interesting artists from the past year like Megan Thee Stallion, Kacey Musgraves, and Ariana Grande.

Batiste told The New York Times he was “over the moon.” He is also the bandleader of Stay Human, which plays nightly on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show, and Creative Director of the National Jazz Museum.

Joining him in nominations for album and record of the year is Tony Bennett. The venerable big band and jazz singer was nominated for “Love for Sale” and “I Get a Kick Out of You,” respectively, produced in collaboration with Lady Gaga.

The nomination makes the 95-year-old Bennett the oldest artist to be nominated for a Grammy in a “general field” category, and second oldest in any category.

But the Recording Academy’s nominations for 2022 awards feature jazz artists across the board, in a wider variety of categories than usual.

Jazz found recognition in the film categories too, even outside Batiste’s work on Soul with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. The United States vs. Billie Holiday was nominated for best compilation soundtrack for visual media, and Summer of Soul, directed by The Roots frontman Questlove, is up for best music film.

The 64th annual Grammy Awards will be airing on Jan. 31, 2022 on CBS. See all the other jazz categories’ nominees below:

Best Improvised Jazz Solo

  • Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah – Sackodougou
  • Kenny Barron – Kick Those Feet
  • Jon Batiste – Bigger Than Us
  • Terence Blanchard – Absence
  • Chick Corea – Humpty Dumpty (Set 2)

Best Jazz Vocal Album

  • The Baylor Project – Generations
  • Kurt Elling & Charlie Hunter – SuperBlue
  • Nnenna Freelon – Time Traveler
  • Gretchen Parlato – Flor
  • Esperanza Spalding – Songwrights Apothecary Lab

 Best Jazz Instrumental Album

  • Jon Batiste – Jazz Selections: Music From and Inspired By Soul
  • Terence Blanchard featuring the E Collective and the Turtle Island Quartet – Absence
  • Ron Carter, Jack DeJohnette & Gonzalo Rubalcaba – Skyline
  • Chick Corea, John Patitucci & Dave Weckl – Akoustic Band LIVE
  • Pat Metheny – Side-Eye NYC (V1.IV)

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album

  • The Count Basie Orchestra directed by Scotty Barnhart – Live at Birdland!
  • Jazzmeia Horn and Her Noble Force – Dear Love
  • Christian McBride Big Band – For Jimmy, Wes and Oliver
  • Sun Ra Arkestra – Swirling
  • Yellowjackets + WDR Big Band – Jackets XL

 Best Contemporary Instrumental Album

  • Randy Brecker & Eric Marienthal – Double Dealin’
  • Rachel Eckroth – The Garden
  • Taylor Eigsti – Tree Falls
  • Steve Gadd Band – At Blue Note Tokyo
  • Mark Lettieri – Deep: The Baritone Sessions, Vol. 2

Best Instrumental Composition

  • Brandee Younger – Beautiful is Black
  • Tom Nazziola – Cat and Mouse
  • Vince Mendoza – Concerto for Orchestra: Finale
  • Arturo O’Farrill – Dreaming in Lions: Dreaming in Lions
  • Lyle Mays – Eberhard

Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella

  • Bill O’Connell – Chopsticks
  • Robin Smith – For the Love of a Princess (From “Braveheart”)
  • Emile Mosseri – Infinite Love
  • Charlie Rosen & Jake Silverman – Meta Knight’s Revenge (From “Kirby Superstar”)
  • Gabriela Quintero & Rodrigo Sanchez – The Struggle Within

Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals

  • Ólafur Arnalds – The Bottom Line
  • Tehillah Alphonso – A Change is Gonna Come
  • Jacob Collier – The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)
  • Cody Fry – Eleanor Rigby
  • Vince Mendoza – To the Edge of Longing (Edit Version)