Jazz Juno recap

I did pretty well with predictions

Caity Gyorgy (Juno Awards 2022)
Caity Gyorgy wins the Juno Award for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year in 2022.

Junos results vs. predictions

I went two for three; here were my predicted winners in the three jazz categories:

  • Vocal jazz: Earth Voices – Amanda Tosoff Now Pronouncing - Caity Gyorgy
  • Solo album: Change of Plans - Will Bonness (the artist's website is down, oddly enough, at the time of writing within hours of his win)
  • Group album: Worldview - Avataar

My thoughts:

Looking backwards through those three, the group album category was the weakest in the jazz field this year. Being from Toronto and putting out a solid collective-minded project was, indeed, enough for Worldview to win.

I think I got the logic right behind Change of Plans winning, too. The Jon Gordon album – on which Will Bonness (and his band!) also played – was best-in-class but didn't have the glow of hundreds of thousands of streams. Instead, it was tucked away on ArtistShare for the true fans, oblivious to the red carpet.

Which brings us to Caity Gyorgy.

There's a way to look at Now Pronouncing and come away cynical; after all, the project was engineered to within ten seconds of the minimum Juno-eligible runtime.

But jazz music-makers should be happy about Caity's win. The fact that you could make a 20-minute EP and win the Juno is awesome – way better than feeling like you need to make a huge Canada Council-funded masterpiece, right?

It's a victory for small(er) bets and building publicity the right way. And it still feels like a low-key project even though it features a large ensemble behind the vocalist.

Most of all, it's a ringing endorsement of Caity, who I think is the youngest winning artist in the history of the current jazz Juno categories.

Nothing gets the industry behind you like momentum, the feeling that you're the rising tide who will lift all boats; the red carpet is full of little boats who want a lift.


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