Initial Selection Of Nominees
The nominees come from a long process that involves starts with my selection of potential nominees. I spend the year researching new Latin Jazz releases, listening to the majority of those releases, separating the cream of the crop, and reviewing them on LJC. Throughout the year, I make note of potential nominees in each category, extending my list as the year progresses. When December approaches, I review my list and take another listen to the year’s best Latin Jazz releases. At that point, I narrow down my list to a specific number of nominees in each category – I choose 10 nominees for the Album Of The Year and Next Generation Artist categories and I choose 5 nominees in each of the other categories. Without a doubt, this is the hardest part of the process; there’s so much great music throughout the year that I have to make some truly difficult choices. I do my best to nominate the finest work across a wide spectrum of considerations that includes a diversity of Latin Jazz approaches, established artists, and upcoming musicians. After some deep thought and hard considerations, I present the list of nominees when the Voting Polls open.
Getting Reader Selected Nominees Onto The Ballot
Once the voting begins, I open the possibility of reader selected nominees. Although I do strive to familiarize myself with most Latin Jazz releases during the course of any one year, I realize that I could miss something and my choices reflect my own musical biases. In order to address this fact, I allow readers to nominate an artist or album of their choice in any category. I screen each nominee to ensure that they meet the qualification set by the Best Of The Year guidelines (which you can check out HERE.). If they don’t meet the guidelines, I respond to the reader to let them know why their choice doesn’t meet the qualifications for the award. If they do meet the guidelines, I add the artist or album to the voting page as a potential nominee. In order for a potential nominee to move onto the main ballot, they need to receive nominations from five different readers. Once they receive those five different nominations, they move onto the main ballot for voting. At that point, the reader selected nominee runs the same chance of winning the award as the original nominee.
Future Directions For The Nomination Process
In the future, the nomination process will most likely evolve to include more perspectives in the selection process. I’m considering gathering a panel of Latin Jazz experts to assist in the selection of nominees. This panel would most likely include critics, radio hosts, musicians, and more. My goal would be to get a collection of nominees that would reflect a broader set of tastes, priorities, and biases. I could also open a round of nominee voting in late November that would allow readers to get their ideas into the mix early. The implementation of these ideas is yet to be determined – they may occur in 2011 or later. I would like to refine this process though, and I’m working to make it happen.
If you’ve got ideas about the nomination process, feel free to contact me with your thoughts. Otherwise, you might want to check out LJC on a regular basis to keep up to date on the great Latin Jazz that we hear throughout the year – Click here to have these posts delivered via email. Or, click here to subscribe to the full text RSS feed and never miss another post!