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Wadada Leo Smith finished second in the NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll, separated by only 12 points from surprise winner Steve Lehman. Scott Groller/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Scott Groller/Courtesy of the artist

"There was a lot of tears. There was a lot of anguish," Jimmy Greene says of writing Beautiful Life. Jimmy & Dena Katz/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Jimmy & Dena Katz/Courtesy of the artist

Herbie Hancock and Pharrell Williams performed Williams' hit "Happy" at the 2014 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Trumpet Competition. Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz hide caption

itoggle caption Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz

Steve Coleman practices in his backyard in Allentown, Penn. Jeff Fusco/Courtesy of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation hide caption

itoggle caption Jeff Fusco/Courtesy of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation