Jazz Player of the Year

Robben FordRobben Ford
Awarded in 2016
During a standing-room-only guitar clinic a few years ago, Robben Ford was asked, “How do you come up with guitar licks?” “I don’t play licks,” he responded. “I make music.” Occasionally terse but always compelling, Ford has built a career following a compass of artistic integrity. A five-time Grammy nominee who fashioned his melody-rich corner of the universe mining the sweet spot between sophisticated jazz harmony and traditional blues. Find all the details in the 2016 VG Readers’ Choice Awards.
Al Di MeolaAl Di Meola
Awarded in 2015
Asked about his predilection for fast soloing, Al Di Meola replies frankly, “It’s a bunch of bulls**t every time a guitarist says, ‘One note says so much more than 100.’ I always laugh at idiots who make that claim. Tell that to a flamenco player or a classical player. It’s almost a defensive reaction – they take something they lack, attack it, and claim they never wanted it in the first place.” Find all the details in the 2015 VG Readers’ Choice Awards.