The Latin Jazz Corner Best Of The Year Awards is an annual event fueled by the will of our readers – the winners are selected through a voting process open to LJC readers, Latin Jazz artists, Latin Jazz fans, and the general public. The voting for our fifth annual awards ran from December 8, 2011 – December 23, 2011 and drew over 20,000 participants from around the world. It was an exciting process that engaged numerous artists, fans, and music business professionals from all areas of the Latin Jazz world. You can learn more about the LJC Best Of The Year Awards by checking out this post – What Are The LJC Best Of The Year Awards?; on that page you’ll find links to frequently asked questions that should give you the complete scoop on the awards.

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In the remaining days of the year, we’ll be taking a look at the winners in each of the Best Of 2011 Award categories, revealing a small number with each passing day. In our first post, we revealed the 2011 Latin Jazz Composition Of The Year, 2011 Latin Jazz Arrangement Of The Year, 2011 Latin Jazz Record Label Of The Year, and 2011 Latin Jazz Album Art Of The Year. The second post looked at the winners for the 2011 Outer Edges Album Of The Year, the 2011 Latin Jazz Flautist Of The Year, the 2011 Latin Jazz Vibraphonist Of The Year, the 2011 Latin Jazz Guitarist Of The Year, and the the 2011 Latin Jazz Vocalist Of The Year. Today, we’ll be digging into the winners for the 2011 Boundary Breaking Album Of The Year, the 2011 Latin Jazz Saxophonist Of The Year, the 2011 Latin Jazz Trumpet Player Of The Year, and the the 2011 Latin Jazz Trombonist Of The Year.

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2011 Boundary Breaking Album Of The Year

Córdoba
Pedro Giraudo Jazz Orchestra

The Boundary Breaking Album Of The Year is a new category in the Best Of The Year Awards, meant to recognize musicians that try to stretch the limits of the Latin Jazz tradition. These musicians don’t simply follow the lead of the style’s major mentors, they integrate those lessons and take them a step further. Their music doesn’t make change just for the sake of it, they create music that demands change. Pedro Giraudo is a composer that paints expansive aural portraits full of life, energy, and poignant thoughts. This is music that respects tradition but can’t be held into the confines of the past – it charges cleverly into the future. Córdoba is overflowing with vital music that calls upon tradition with elements of Argentinean styles, big band conventions, and jazz improvisation; it also comes at the music from a different angle with edgy rhythmic tensions, multi-movement compositions, and modern concepts of harmony. The music on Córdoba demands that we think about Latin Jazz from a different perspective, definitely breaking any boundaries that we created around the music.

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2011 Latin Jazz Saxophonist Of The Year

Melecio Magdaluyo
Filosofía Caribeña, Vol. 1
The John Santos Sextet

Some musicians contribute extensively to a musical community, garnering immense local respect, but unfortunately, national recognition sometimes escapes them. While their impact still remains powerful, exerting a strong influence upon the artistic community around them, the larger scope of the Latin Jazz world sometimes misses the depth of their musicianship. Saxophonist Melecio Magdaluyo has been a vital voice on the Bay Area Latin Jazz scene for decades, contributing to albums and performances from Pete Escovedo’s Latin Jazz Ensemble, John Santos and The Machete Ensemble, Wayne Wallace’s Latin Jazz Ensemble, and many more. While the national Latin Jazz audience certainly appreciated those performances, Magdaluyo was best known in the Bay Area, a fact rapidly changing. His performance on The John Santos Sextet’s Filosofía Caribeña, Vol. 1 exploded from the speakers, showing his great command of clave and creativity with jazz improvisation. Magdaluyo is a saxophonist well worth hearing, and if you’re looking for an outstanding example of Latin Jazz saxophone playing, Filosofía Caribeña, Vol. 1 is a great place to start.

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2011 Latin Jazz Trumpet Player Of The Year

Claudio Roditi
Bons Amigos
Claudio Roditi

A long career builds a number of important connections for a musician, helping them become a more mature artist. They get a stronger handle on the music, improving their overall performance, and they also find a deeper insight into stylistic possibilities, expanding their creative vistas. The connections go beyond musical abilities though, bonding them to music lovers around the world who develop a special place for that musician in their lives. Emerging as a leader in the early 1980s, trumpet player Claudio Roditi has built these types of connections in major ways. As a trumpet player, his skills have just gotten stronger over the decades, making him one of the most vital figures in Brazilian Jazz and an important practitioner of the trumpet. Fans around the world respect his deep musicianship, his lyrical approach to improvisation, his nimble navigation of Brazilian rhythms, and his commanding overall artistic presence. This mature and intriguing artistry is on full display throughout Bons Amigos, giving people around the world another strong reason to connect with this amazing trumpet player.

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2011 Latin Jazz Trombonist Of The Year

Wayne Wallace
To Hear From There
Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet

Some musicians display a wide array of artistic skills during the course of their careers, but the core of their musicianship sits squarely upon their abilities as instrumentalists. They may grow into outstanding composers, arrangers, producers, educators, or bandleaders, but they almost always build their foundations upon a killer set of instrumental chops. Trombonist Wayne Wallace has built a strong reputation in many facets of the music world, from his role as composer, arranger, producer and label owner at Patois Records to his greatly admired position as an educator. The bottom line is perfectly clear on any recording or gig where he’s got his instrument in hand though – he is an absolutely amazing trombonist. His skills as both an improvisor and melodic player are all over his current recording To Hear From There, providing an outstanding example of Latin Jazz trombone playing at its best.

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