Jason Moran, Brad Mehldau Trio, Bobby McFerrin, Herbie Hancock Win ECHO 2011 Jazz Awards
Jason Moran, Brad Mehldau Trio, Bobby McFerrin, Herbie Hancock Win ECHO 2011 Jazz Awards

BERLIN - Nine US-jazz acts will receive the German ECHO 2011 Jazz Award. Among the winners are Jason Moran, the Brad Mehldau Trio, Bobby McFerrin, Lee Ritenour and Herbie Hancock. The award ceremony in 27 categories will be held on June 17, 2011 at the Volkswagen Transparent Factory in Dresden.

The awards are presented by the German Phonographic Academy, the culture arm of the German recording industry. This year's big winners include Bobby McFerrin who won International Male Vocalist of the Year for his album "Vocabularies" and Youn Sun Nah (Korea) who won International Female Vocalist of the Year honors for her recording "Same Girl. A platoon of Americans each won International Instrumentalists of the Year honors that include pianist Jason Moran for his album "Ten,", saxophonist David Sanborn for "Only Everything," bassist Charlie Haden for "Sophisticated Ladies", trombonist Ray Anderson for his recording of "Hear You Say" and guitarist Lee Ritenour for "6 String Theory".

In addition, Pat Metheny (USA) was named "International Instrumentalist of the Year Special Instruments" for "Orchestrion" A special award also wenth to jazz legend

Hancock for his album "The Imagine Project".

This year's "Retailer of the Year" is Dussmann das KulturKaufhaus in Berlin. Label owner Manfred Eicher (ECM) in Munich will be receiving the ECHO Jazz award for his efforts to promote an appreciation of jazz. ECM Records was founded by producer Manfred Eicher in 1969 and has artists such as Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea and Pat Metheny.

"In view of the musical development of jazz, the German Federal Music Association decided in 2010 to organize separate awards for jazz. Jazz music is already a fundamental part of pop music," said Prof. Dieter Gorny, Chairman of the German Federal Music Association (BVMI) to Billboard.

The proportion of jazz in total sales in the German music market has in the last year around 1.4% of total records sales in Germany of 1.7 Billion Euro (2010), according to the German Federal Music Association in Berlin.

Says Siggi Loch, owner and managing director of ACT Music + Vision (e.s.t. Esbjörn Svensson Trio, Nils Landgren ) in Munich, to Billboard: "Jazz is and remains an art form which is not immediately accessible to everyone. Sustained success is still possible with passion and humility. ACT is a good example because we were able to buck the trend and continued to grow last year.

Christian Kellersmann, managing director of Universal Music Classics & Jazz, Berlin, told Billboard: "I see great potential for the German jazz market. In this connection, I am particularly encouraged by the ECHO Jazz awards, which were introduced last year and which I believe will generate new impetus for the entire sector."

The ECHO Jazz prizes is awarded by a jury who make their choices based on both artistic quality and commercial success. "ECHO Jazz thus reflects not only critics' opinion but also music buyers' preferences," Gorny explained. "The ECHO award winners are selected by a jury comprising eminent personalities from culture and media as well as the jazz working committee of the German Federal Music Association"

2011 Echo Jazz Awards Winners:

National ensemble of the year:
Michael Wollny, Eva Kruse, Eric Schaefer, "(em) live at jazzbaltica" (Germany)
ACT Music + Vision

International ensemble of the year:
Brad Mehldau Trio, "Highway Rider" (USA)
Nonesuch Records/Warner Music Group

Male singer of the year national:
Thomas Quasthoff, "Tell It Like It Is" (Germany)
Deutsche Grammophon / Universal Music Entertainment

Male singer of the year international:
Bobby McFerrin, "Vocabularies" (USA)
Emarcy Records / Universal Music Entertainment

Female singer of the year national:
Lyambiko, "Something like Reality" (Germany)
Sony Classical / Sony Music Entertainment

Female singer of the year international:
Youn Sun Nah, "Same Girl" (Korea)
ACT Music + Vision

Instrumentalist of the year national (piano/keyboards):
Stefan Rusconi, "It's A Sonic Life" (Switzerland)
Sony Classical / Sony Music Entertainment

Instrumentalist of the year international (piano/keyboards):
Jason Moran, "Ten" (USA)
Blue Note Records / EMI Music Germany

Instrumentalist of the year national (saxophone/woodwinds):
Heinz Sauer, "If (Blue) Then (Blue)" (Germany)
ACT Music + Vision

Instrumentalist of the year international (saxophone/woodwinds):
David Sanborn, "Only Everything" (USA)
Decca Label Group / Universal Music Entertainment

Instrumentalist of the year national (drums/percussion):
Eric Schaefer, "(em) live at jazzbaltica" (Germany)
ACT Music + Vision

Instrumentalist of the year national (bass/bass guitar):
Dieter Ilg, "Otello" (Germany)
Fullfat Records

Instrumentalist of the year international (bass/bass guitar):
Charlie Haden, "Sophisticated Ladies" (USA)
Emarcy Records / Universal Music Entertainment

Instrumentalist of the year national (brass):
Nils Wogram, "Listen To Your Woman" (Germany)
Nwog Records

Instrumentalist of the year international (brass):
Ray Anderson, "Hear You Say" (USA)
Intuition / Deutsche Media Productions

Instrumentalist of the year national (guitar):
Heiko Fischer, "Lucid" (Germany)
C.A.R.E. Music Group

Instrumentalist of the year international (guitar):
Lee Ritenour, "6 String Theory" (USA)
Concord Music Group / Universal Music Entertainment

Instrumentalist of the year international (specific instruments):
Pat Metheny, "Orchestrion" (USA)
Nonesuch Records / Warner Music Group

Newcomer of the year national:
Tim Allhoff, "Prelude" (Germany)
Double Moon Records / Deutsche Media Productions

Life-time achievement award for an artist:
Joachim Kühn & Rolf Kühn (Germany)

Bestseller of the year:
Till Brönner, "At The End Of The Day" (Germany)
Bam Bam Music / Universal Music Entertainment

Big band album of the year:
Omar Sosa & NDR Bigband, "Ceremony" (Germany)
Skip Records

Promotor of the acceptance of jazz:
Manfred Eicher (ECM), Munich

Jazz label of the year:
Determined in June 17. 2011

Retailer of the year:
Dussmann das KulturKaufhaus, Berlin

Live act of the year:
Determined via online voting in June 17. 2011

Special award:
Herbie Hancock, "The Imagine Project" (USA)
Sony Classical / Sony Music Entertainment