National Endowment for the Arts Announces the 2011 NEA Jazz Masters
NEA presents group award for first time in program's history
Embargoed until 8:00 pm
Washington, DC - The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) today announced the recipients of the 2011 NEA Jazz Masters Award -- the nation's highest honor in this distinctly American music. For the first time in the program's 29-year history, in addition to four individual awards, the NEA will present a group award to the Marsalis family, New Orleans' venerable first family of jazz. All of the 2011 recipients will be publicly honored at the annual awards ceremony and concert on January 11, 2011 at Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, and receive a $25,000 fellowship award.
The 2011 NEA Jazz Masters are:
Orrin Keepnews, a jazz producer and author from El Cerrito, California, will receive the 2011 A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Award for Jazz Advocacy.
Chairman Landesman said, "On behalf of the NEA, I extend my heartfelt congratulations to this group of stellar artists and thank them for all they have accomplished and shared with us in the course of their careers. Their works of art have delighted and challenged us, illuminated our sense of the world, and refreshed our understanding of what is possible."
“The contributions the 2011 NEA Jazz Masters have made to jazz are innumerable and as diverse as the art form itself,” said Wayne S. Brown, NEA director of Music and Opera. “But in addition to the impact of their music, these masters also have played invaluable roles as educators and founders of jazz education programs.”
For the January awards ceremony and concert, the Arts Endowment will continue to partner with Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City to produce the event. The awards ceremony and concert will feature the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in a program dedicated to the honorees' lives and works. Past collaborations between the NEA and Jazz at Lincoln Center include the Verizon Foundation-supported NEA Jazz in the Schools multi-media jazz education curriculum—available free of charge to high school teachers nationwide and used by nearly 8.4 million students since its inception in 2006.
Each member of the 2011 NEA Jazz Masters class is a distinguished artist whose significant lifetime contributions have helped to enrich jazz and further the growth of the art form:
Full profiles of the 2011 NEA Jazz Masters can be found on the NEA's Web site.
High resolution photos are available: please call 202-682-5570.
Each year since 1982, the Arts Endowment has conferred the NEA Jazz Masters Award to living legends who have made major contributions to jazz. With this new class, 119 awards have been given to great figures of jazz in America, including Count Basie, George Benson, Art Blakey, Dave Brubeck, Betty Carter, Ornette Coleman, Miles Davis, Roy Eldridge, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Herbie Hancock, Elvin Jones, John Levy, Abbey Lincoln, Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, Cecil Taylor, Sarah Vaughan, Nancy Wilson, and Teddy Wilson.
About NEA Jazz Masters: NEA Jazz Masters are selected from nominations submitted by the public and receive a one-time fellowship award of $25,000, are honored at a public awards ceremony, and may participate in NEA-sponsored promotional, performance, and educational activities. Only living musicians or jazz advocates may be nominated for the NEA Jazz Masters honor.
The National Endowment for the Arts has supported jazz artists and organizations since 1969, providing millions of dollars in grants and awards. In 2004, the NEA significantly expanded its NEA Jazz Masters program and in 2005 created the NEA Jazz Masters Initiative, a comprehensive program of jazz support that includes the NEA Jazz Masters Award; NEA Jazz Masters Live, a series of multiple performance and educational engagements in selected communities, featuring NEA Jazz Masters; radio programming featuring NEA Jazz Masters; educational resources through the NEA Jazz in the Schools program produced by the Arts Endowment in partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center; and publications and reports. For more information on NEA Jazz Masters, the public is invited to visit the website, at www.neajazzmasters.org.
Jazz at Lincoln Center is dedicated to inspiring and growing audiences for jazz. With the world-renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and a comprehensive array of guest artists, Jazz at Lincoln Center advances a unique vision for the continued development of the art of jazz by producing a year-round schedule of performance, education and broadcast events for audiences of all ages. These productions include concerts, national and international tours, residencies, yearly hall of fame inductions, weekly national radio and television programs, recordings, publications, an annual high school jazz band competition and festival, a band director academy, jazz appreciation curriculum for students, music publishing, children's concerts, lectures, adult education courses, student and educator workshops and interactive websites. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis, Chairman Lisa Schiff and Executive Director, Adrian Ellis, Jazz at Lincoln Center produces thousands of events each season in its home in New York City, Frederick P. Rose Hall, and around the world. For more information visit the Jazz at Lincoln Center website.
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