Grammys 2016: Cécile McLorin Salvant and Maria Schneider are among the jazz winners

 Cécile McLorin Salvant

Jazz vocal album winner Cécile McLorin Salvant backstage at Staples Center at the Grammys.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

The Grammy Awards like nothing more than to be seen as getting younger, but that idea did not extend to 12-year-old piano phenom Joey Alexander in this year’s jazz category.

Seen as something of a favorite in the wake of earning multiple nominations for music on his debut album “My Favorite Things” as well as a performance slot at the Grammys pre-show and broadcast, Alexander was shut out by Grammy voters, who instead opted for more familiar faces.

Alexander can take a measure of comfort in this year’s win by 26-year-old jazz vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant, who lost out in the jazz vocal category in her first nomination in 2014 but came back to earn honors this year for her lauded album “For One to Love.” Salvant beat out albums by Lorraine Feather, Karrin Allyson, Denise Donatelli and Jamison Ross.

Veteran guitarist John Scofield won the Grammy for jazz instrumental album with his release “Past Present,” beating out recordings by previous Grammy winner Robert Glasper as well as Alexander, Terence Blanchard and Jimmy Greene.


Bassist Christian McBride won the Grammy Award for best improvised solo for his work on “Cherokee” from his trio album “Live at the Village Vanguard,” which bested work from Alexander as well as Joshua Redman, John Scofield and saxophonist Donny McCaslin, who can also be heard backing David Bowie on his final album, “Blackstar.”

Bandleader Maria Schneider won the Grammy in the large ensemble category for her lush orchestral recording “The Thompson Fields,” and Eliane Elias’ “Made in Brazil” took home honors in the latin jazz album category.

Elsewhere, jazz drummer Antonio Sanchez also earned a measure of vindication at the Grammys with his win in the soundtrack category for his propulsive “Birdman” soundtrack, which was ineligible for honors at last year’s Oscars. And in the wake of their 2014 Grammy win in the R&B category, the dynamic jazz-funk ensemble Snarky Puppy won this year’s Grammy for contemporary instrumental album.


Read more from me on Twitter: @chrisbarton.

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