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The eligibility period for the inaugural 2022 Jazz Music Awards: Celebrating the Spirit of Jazz (“JMA” or “JMAs”) started on April 1, 2021, and ends on March 31, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. ET. Submissions for JMAs are open to new audio recordings that are commercially released and made available for general distribution on any date that falls within the eligibility period. New recordings must also be available to the public as stand-alone, audio-only purchases or streams beginning on any date that falls within the eligibility period. Recordings of mainstream jazz subgenres may or may not be commercially released. For purposes of these guidelines, any reference to “recordings” shall apply solely to “new audio recordings.”


New recordings that are limited edition, do not meet the “general distribution” requirement for eligibility. General distribution eligibility is based on an artist’s typical shipment policies. The JMA voting committee may inquire with the manufacturer as to the number of recordings normally shipped, and if the shipment varies or is substantially less than normal for a particular artist. The JMA voting committee reserves the right to determine whether the release is eligible.


To be nominated for JMA performance categories all submissions must be of a quality comparable to at least 16-bit 44.1 kHz and 44 kHz/16-bit audio. A copy of label credits (i.e., producers, mixers, songwriters, etc.) must be included in the required metadata file. Any requested documentation (including a list of retailers/streaming services) must be provided if requested by the JMA voting committee to verify crediting or release date.


Recordings must be non-infringing, original works of authorship. To the extent, a recording embodies in whole or in part the copyrighted work of a third party, appropriate authorization to use and incorporate such copyrighted work must have been obtained. If allegations are made that a recording is unauthorized and does not meet these criteria, the JMA voting committee will consider the allegations and determine, in its sole discretion, the eligibility of such recording.


A single is a song or instrumental recording that is released separately from an album, while a track is an individual song or instrumental recording released as part of an album. A single will often appear as a track on a subsequent album release and a track from a released album can be issued as a single. A track from an album released in the current eligibility year is eligible provided the track was not entered as a singe the previous year. A single or track is eligible in one specialized genre field or category. However, a track or single maybe screened into one genre field, while the album on which the track appears may be screened into adifferent genre field.


An album is a collection of audio recordings issued for sale, download, or streaming as a unit. To qualify as an album, a release must contain at least five tracks (i.e., different songs, not different mixes) and have a total playing time of at least 15 minutes or it may have any number of tracks if the total playing time is at least 30 minutes. An album must contain greater than 50% playing time of newly recorded music previously unreleased recordings, and at least 51% playing time of the genre specified by the field. A recording may not be in more than one specialized category field. However, an album may be in one genre field, while one or more tracks from the album may be in a different category field.


To be recognized as a JMA nominee, a featured artist must be credited as a featured artist and make a significant and artistic contribution beyond accompaniment. Featured artists are JMA-eligible in the performance category of “Album of the Year” if they perform on more than 33% of the playing time of an album; are eligible in the genre album categories if they perform on more than 51% of playing time; and are eligible in performance categories if they are credited as a featured artist on the track/single. If an album is credited to one artist but has many tracks featuring guest artists, it may (but is not required to be) considered for the performance category of “Various Artists.” That determination will be made on a case-by-case basis by the JMA voting committee.


Only one version/mix of a recording is eligible in the JMA nomination process in any year. In cases where different versions of a recording (with featured artists, for example) are released in the same eligibility year, the decision as to which mix of a recording to enter will be made by the label releasing the original artist’s version, provided that the chosen mix is otherwise eligible to be entered in the JMA nomination process.


A sample is defined as an element of a previously released recording incorporated into a new recording. Samples can be entire parts of earlier recordings or isolated sections of earlier recordings including, but not limited to tracks with vocals removed, hooks, riffs, bass lines, or background vocals. Recordings that feature samples and/or any interpolations of previously released material are eligible in all performance categories only if the performance up for JMA consideration is newly recorded per the JMA eligibility criteria.

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