Before the stars of pop music lined the red carpet at the Arena, the bulk of Grammy awards were handed out across the street at the Peacock Theater. For jazz fans, “the biggest afternoon in music” took precedence. Speeches were shorter and uber-sincere as hosts plowed rapid-fire through 80-plus genres and sub-genres of music and spoken word categories.

The Grammys for major jazz categories went to:

Best Jazz Performance: Tight – Samara Joy

Best Jazz Vocal Album: How Love Begins – Nicole Zuraitis

Best Jazz Instrumental Album: The Winds Of Change – Billy Childs

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album: Basie Swings The Blues – The Count Basie Orchestra Directed By Scotty Barnhart

Best Latin Jazz Album: El Arte Del Bolero Vol. 2 – Miguel Zenón & Luis Perdomo

Best Alternative Jazz Album (NEW category):  The Omnichord Real Book – Meshell Ndegeocello

The Premiere Ceremony usually runs longer than the nighttime event (nearly four hours).  The final performance of the afternoon was an all-star jazz jam with Adam Blackstone, Robert Glasper, Bob James, Terrace Martin, and Harvey Mason, Sr. (the “luminary” drummer who happens to be the father of Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason, Jr.), performing Bob James’ oft-sampled “Nautilus.”

One of the afternoon’s presenters already possesses a handful of nominations and a win, vocalist Patti Austin, who reminded the attendees, “I just have one request, a little less competition, and a lot more cooperation.”

One box set (7 CDs) deserves special note for winning Best Album Note” and Best Historical Album, “Written In Their Soul: The Stax Songwriter Demos.”

Also, Terence Blanchard’s opera about welterweight boxer Emile Griffith “Champion” won Best Opera Recording.

The full list of nominees and winners is posted at

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Photos: Samara Joy/Tim Bracken 2023; Billy Childs/Amy Sussman-Getty Images

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