Terri Lyne Carrington Earns History-Making DownBeat Critics Poll Win
Terri Lyne Carrington, founder and artistic director of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice, made history this month as the first woman instrumentalist to win best jazz artist in the DownBeat Critics Poll. Carrington's band Social Science, which features alumni vocalist Debo Ray ’13 and guitarist Matthew Stevens B.M. ’04, was voted best jazz group, and their 2019 release, Waiting Game, was named the year's top album.
Berklee alumni were recognized across numerous categories for their artistic output from the past year, including Anat Cohen B.M. ’98 (clarinet), Rudresh Mahanthappa B.M. ’92 (alto saxophone), and Bill Frisell ’77, who won Beyond Album of the Year for 2019's Harmony. The Maria Schneider Orchestra, which currently features alumni Keith O’Quinn ’73 on trumpet and Richard Margitza ’81 on tenor saxophone, was voted best big band. Two alumni took home Rising Star awards: Yuval Cohen B.M. ‘96 (soprano saxophone) and Lage Lund B.M. ‘00 (guitar).
Kris Davis, associate program director for the Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice, tied for top pianist with Kenny Barron, who received an honorary doctorate from the college in 2010. Other Berklee honorary doctorate recipients who won in the DownBeat poll include Zakir Hussain ’19H (percussion), Charles Lloyd ’15H (tenor saxophone), Herbie Hancock ’86H (keyboard), and Frisell ’17H.
Professor Ralph Peterson and his Gen-Next Big Band won in the Rising Star–Big Band category. Peterson's ensemble consists entirely of current Berklee students and recent graduates, including lead vocalist Chloe Brisson M.M. ’18; trombonists Kuumba Frank Lacy, Brandon Lin, Stephan Tenney B.M. ’20, Dean Scarlett, and Ethan Santos B.M. ’19; trumpeters Robert Vega-Dowda ’17, Yuta Yamagichi B.M. ’19, Milena Casado Faquet B.M. ’19, Will Mallard B.M. ’20, and John Michael Bradford; saxophonists Eric Nakanishi B.M. ’19, Craig Jackson, Solomon Alber, Tim Murphy, Gabe Nekrutman, Morga Faw, and Joe Melnicove B.M. ’18; drummers Christian Napoleon and Samuel Bolduc; bassists Youngchae Jeong B.M. ’18 and Nikos Chatzitsakos B.M. ’20; pianist Ido Hammovich B.M. ’18; and percussionist Manfredi Caputo B.M. ’20.
Read the full list of Berklee-affiliated 2020 DownBeat Critics Poll winners:
Terri Lyne Carrington, Founder and Artistic Director, Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice
Terri Lyne Carrington and Social Science, Waiting Game (Debo Ray ’13, Matthew Stevens B.M. ’04)
Terri Lyne Carrington and Social Science (Debo Ray ’13, Matthew Stevens B.M. ’04)
Maria Schneider Orchestra (Keith O’Quinn ’73, Richard Margitza ’81)
Rudresh Mahanthappa B.M. ‘92
Charles Lloyd ‘15H
Anat Cohen B.M. ‘98
Tie: Kenny Barron ‘10H and Kris Davis, Associate Program Director of Creative Development, Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice
Herbie Hancock ‘86H
Zakir Hussain ‘19H
Beyond Album of the Year
Bill Frisell ’77 ’17H, Harmony
Rising Star–Big Band
Ralph Peterson’s Gen-Next Big Band (Ralph Peterson, Professor, Percussion Department; Various Students and Alumni)
Rising Star–Soprano Saxophone
Yuval Cohen B.M. ‘96
Lage Lund B.M. ‘00