55th Annual Downbeat Critics Poll Features 33 Yamaha Artists

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 23, 2007) – When DownBeat Magazine announced it's 55th Annual Critics Poll nominees and winners, 33 Yamaha artists were recognized for their talents, including Jamie Cullum, Stefon Harris, Dr. John, Michael Bublé, Tony Bennett and Phil Woods, among others. Seven Yamaha artists received the winning title for their categories.

"We congratulate all of our artists who made the DownBeat Critics Poll," comments Chris Gero, Vice President of Yamaha Corporate Artist Affairs, Inc. "We are proud to work with and supply instruments to these amazingly talented artists who have helped define and enrich the world of jazz."

Contemporary jazz sensation Jamie Cullum, who plays the Yamaha C7 piano, was pronounced Rising Star Male Vocalist of the year. Cullum's album Twentysomething became the No.1 selling studio album by a jazz artist in the United Kingdom, and Cullum himself is regarded as the biggest selling UK jazz artist ever. Grammy-nominated, Canadian crooner Michael Bublé, who plays a Yamaha MPC6, was also in the running for the Rising Star Male Vocalist honor.

Dynamic young jazz enthusiast and Yamaha artist Stefon Harris picked up five nominations and one win for Rising Star Vibraphonist of the Year. He was also a contender for Rising Star Jazz Artist, Vibes, Rising Star Composer and Rising Star Arranger. Harris plays various Yamaha percussion gear.

The Rising Star Trumpet category was a crowded field, with four Yamaha artists up for the title. They included Jeremy Pelt, Sean Jones, Cuong Vu and Brian Lynch. Pelt was declared the Rising Star Trumpeter of the Year.

Jazz innovator, trombonist and seashellist Steve Turre won Trombone Soloist of the Year and earned a Miscellaneous Instrument nomination for his use of conch shells. A Yamaha artist since 1997, Turre performs on the Yamaha YSL-681.

One of Jazz's legendary drummers and a proud Yamaha artist since 1995, Roy Haynes won the most points in the Drums category. And best known for her work as a jazz drummer, American Percussionist and Yamaha artist Susie Ibarra received the honor of Rising Star Percussionist of the Year.

B.B. King, whose horn section plays Yamaha instruments, took home the title for Blues Artist/Group of the Year.

Many Yamaha artists were nominated in categories all across the board. Other Yamaha nominations included: Tony Bennett – Male Vocalist; Dr. John – Beyond Artist Group; Robin Eubanks – Trombone; Eddie Palmieri – Beyond Album, Jazz Album; Chick Corea – Electric Keyboard/Synthesizer; Hiromi – Rising Star Electric Keyboard/Synthesizer; Buddy DeFranco – Clarinet; Mark Sherman – Rising Star Vibes; John Patitucci – Bass Acoustic and Electric; Sean Jones – Rising Star Jazz Artist, Rising Star Trumpet; Christian Howes – Rising Star Violin; Phil Woods – Jazz Artist, Alto Saxophone; Lionel Loueke – Rising Star Guitar, Rising Star Jazz Artist; Terry Gibbs – Vibes; Eric Harland – Rising Star Drums; Brian Lynch – Jazz Album, Trumpet, Rising Star Trumpet and Beyond Album; Allison Miller – Rising Star Drums; Mike Manieri – Vibes; Jeff Ballard – Rising Star Drums; Didier Lockwood – Guitar, Rising Star Violin; Kurt Rosenwinkel – Rising Star Guitar; Dafnis Prieto – Rising Star Drums; Bobby Watson – Alto Saxophone; and Taylor Eigsti – Rising Star Alto Saxophone.

The DownBeat Critics Poll began in 1961, and this year it consisted of 111 critics. The complete list of results can be found in the August 2007 edition.

55th Annual Downbeat Critics Poll Features 33 Yamaha Artists
— Jamie Cullum Pronounced Rising Star Male Vocalist —