This year’s ECHO Jazz winners have been announced. The ECHO is the biggest German music prize awarded by the cultural institute of the German Association of the music-industry (BVMI).
The award was given in 28 categories, nomination criteria included released material between 1st November 2010 and 31st October 2011 and two excellent reviews.
12 jury members choose the winners out of 230 nominations. Among national and international laureates were also artists that Bosnia and Herzegovinian audience had the chance to listen to on stages of the Jazz Fest.
Kurt Elling was chosen for vocalist of the year with his latest album “The Gate” and French double bass player Renaud García-Fons got the award for instrumentalist of the year for his album “Méditerranées”. Elling performed at the Jazz Fest in 2009 when he opened the 13th festival edition. García-Fons visited Sarajevo several times for the Jazz Fest and Xenophonia as a member of different bands of which the latest was the Kudsi Erguner Trio at last year’s festival.
Best international instrumentalist in the category drums/percussions is Magnus Öström with the album “Thread of Life”. He was a member of the former Esbjörn Svensson Trio with which he performed in Sarajevo at the 7th Jazz Fest in 2003.
The album “Out of the Desert” of pianist Joachim Kühn, recorded at the Jazzfest in Berlin, got the award for Best last year’s big band album. This German artist performed with his trio in Sarajevo as well, at the 8th Jazz Fest in 2004.
Cassandra Wilson was honored as best female vocalist with her album “Silver Pony” and the Lifetime Achievement Award was given to 81 year old Claus Ogermann who has worked with Frank Sinatra, Antonio Carlos and Diana Krall.
Best sold album is “Play the Blues, Live from Jazz at Lincoln Center” by Wynton Marsalis i Eric Clapton and Newcomer of the year is the Lisbeth Quartett with the album “Constant Travellers”.
The awarding ceremony will be held next month.