Group of four awards on table.

NEA Jazz Masters

The NEA Jazz Masters award is the highest honor that our nation bestows on jazz artists. Each year since 1982, the program has elevated to its ranks a select number of living legends who have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of jazz.

2020 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert archive

All Jazz Masters

Photo Gallery

2021 NEA Jazz Masters


Terri Lyne Carrington

Drummer, Composer, Educator, Producer

Albert "Tootie" Heath

Percussionist, Educator

Phil Schaap

Archivist, Educator, Historian, and Jazz Radio Host

Henry Threadgill

Saxophonist, Flautist, Composer

Nominate a Jazz Master

The Arts Endowment encourages nominations from the public of a broad range of men and women who have been significant to the field of jazz through vocal and instrumental performance, creative leadership, and education.
Make a Nomination!

Recent NEA Jazz Masters Podcasts

Henry Threadgill

Composer, multi-instrumentalist, and 2021 NEA Jazz Master

Sonny Rollins

1983 NEA Jazz Master and 2010 National Medal of Arts recipient

Dorthaan Kirk

2020 NEA Jazz Master