The Arts Endowment will honor musicians who represent a range of styles and instruments. In addition, one fellowship -- the A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship for Jazz Advocacy -- will be given to an individual who has made major contributions to the appreciation, knowledge, and advancement of the American jazz art form. In 2006, this award was designated in honor of A. B. Spellman, a jazz writer, accomplished poet, innovative arts administrator, and former NEA Deputy Chairman, who has dedicated much of his life to bringing the joy and artistry of jazz to all Americans.
The NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship category is not open to application. Fellowships are awarded to living individuals on the basis of nominations from the public including the music community. Nominees must demonstrate a significant contribution to the art form through their publicly recognized and accessible body of work in the field of jazz. The recipients must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States. Posthumous nominations or awards will not be considered. Individuals who have previously received a NEA lifetime honor award (National Heritage Fellowship, Jazz Masters Fellowship, or an Opera Honor) are not eligible.
Awards will be up to $25,000 and may be received once in a lifetime. No payment will be made to the estate or heirs of a deceased recipient.
How to Submit a Nomination
Nominations must be submitted online using the online nomination form. Please see the description of a complete nomination package below.
Submitting Electronic Nomination Material
We encourage you to attach and submit your documents as PDF and Word files electronically.
The following two attachments are required to complete your nomination package. Each attachment file size limit is 1 MB.
Attachment 1: A one-page nomination letter that details the reasons that the nominee should receive a NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship. Describe the nominee’s contributions and explain why this individual deserves national recognition.
Attachment 2: A resume or a biography that outlines the career of the nominee. Not to exceed two pages.
Deadline for Nominations
Online nominations must be received by October 1, 2013. Fellowships will be announced in 2014.
An individual may submit one NEA Jazz Master Fellowship nominationper year. No one may nominate him/herself.
Review of Nominations
The selection criteria are the artistic excellence and significance of a nominee’s contributions to the development and performance of jazz.
Nominations are reviewed by an advisory panel of jazz experts and at least one knowledgeable layperson. Panel recommendations are forwarded to the National Council on the Arts, which then makes recommendations to the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. The Chairman reviews the Council's recommendations and makes the final decision on all the award recipients.
Nominations remain active for a total of five years unless selected or due to death of nominee.
NEA Jazz Masters
1982: Roy Eldridge, Dizzy Gillespie, Sun Ra
In addition to the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships, the agency sponsors NEA Jazz in the Schools, a free educational curriculum for high school teachers of social studies, history, and music; and NEA Jazz Masters Live, a series of engagements at select performing arts venues that features NEA Jazz Masters in performances, to educational activities, and local media activities.
Katja von Schuttenbach
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal