Chick Enters DownBeat Hall of Fame; Named Artist of the Year

Chick earned a spot among many of his jazz heroes this month, as the 2010 DownBeat Readers’ Poll elected him to the magazine’s Hall of Fame, and named him Artist of the Year and Electric Keyboardist of the Year.

The Hall of Fame spot is rarely given to living jazz artists.

2010 has been an extraordinary year, starting with twin honors in January: his 16th Grammy Award, for Five Peace Band Live, recorded with John McLaughlin; and his Lifetime Achievement Award from Chamber Music America, marking his contribution to small-ensemble music.

Those awards were like a starting gun for Chick—since then, he’s mounted 2 acclaimed world tours, a sold-out 2-week run at the Blue Note in New York, a big-band tour of Sweden and Norway, and string of solo and duet shows that continue to redefine the boundaries of jazz.

This is Chick’s third year in a row atop the Electric Keyboardist category. He’s been a fixture on these lists since the 1970s, and hosted the 1975 awards ceremony with Quincy Jones.