Grammy Awards 2020: A recap of the jazz winners

Chick Corea, Esperanza Spalding and Brad Mehldau were some of the jazz scene’s big winners at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards.

Bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding took home her fourth Grammy as her seventh record 12 Little Spells was named best jazz vocal album. The other nominees included Catherine Russell and Jazzmeia Horn.

After 10 nominations, pianist and composer Brad Mehldau finally landed his first Grammy for the album Finding Gabriel. Other contenders for best jazz instrumental album included recent works by Branford Marsalis and Christian McBride.

Trumpeter Randy Brecker nabbed his seventh Grammy, winning the title of best improvised jazz solo thanks to his work on the tune Sozinho from his latest album Rocks, recorded with the NDR Bigband from Germany. Christian McBride and Branford Marsalis were also nominated alongside Brecker in that category.

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The heavily decorated Chick Corea earned his 23rd award out of a whopping 65 nominations to date. He and his Spanish Heart Band won best Latin jazz album for Antidote.

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In the final category, the Brian Lynch Big Band’s The Omni-American Book Club was named this year’s best large jazz ensemble album

Meanwhile, British youngster Jacob Collier nabbed two more Grammy Awards for his arrangements of Moon River and All Night Long. He has now won all four of the Grammys for which he’s been nominated.

Here are all the nominees in the five jazz categories (winners in bold).


Best Improvised Jazz Solo
  • Melissa Aldana – Elsewhere
  • Randy Brecker – Sozinho
  • Julian Lage – Tomorrow is the Question
  • Branford Marsalis – The Windup
  • Christian McBride – Sightseeing


Best Jazz Vocal Album
  • Sara Gazarek – Thirsty Ghost
  • Jazzmeia Horn – Love & Liberation
  • Catherine Russell – Alone Together
  • Esperanza Spalding – 12 Little Spells
  • The Tierney Sutton Band – Screenplay


Best Jazz Instrumental Album
  • Joey DeFrancesco – In the Key of the Universe
  • Branford Marsalis Quartet – The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul
  • Christian McBride – Christian McBride’s New Jawn
  • Brad Mehldau – Finding Gabriel
  • Joshua Redman Quartet – Come What May


Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
  • Anat Cohen Tentet – Triple Helix
  • Miho Hazama – Dancer in Nowhere
  • Mike Holober & The Gotham Jazz Orchestra – Hiding Out
  • Brian Lynch Big Band – The Omni-American Book Club
  • Terraza Big Band – One Day Wonder


Best Latin Jazz Album
  • Chick Corea & The Spanish Heart Band – Antidote
  • Thalma de Freitas With Vitor Gonçalves, John Patitucci, Chico Pinheiro, Rogerio Boccato & Duduka Da Fonseca – Sorte!: Music by John Finbury
  • Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis – Una Noche Con Rubén Blades
  • David Sánchez – Carib
  • Miguel Zenón – Sonero: The Music of Ismael Rivera