National Endowment for the Arts Announces the 2010 NEA Jazz Masters
Nation's highest honor in jazz is bestowed on eight living legends
May 21, 2009
Washington, DC - The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) today announced the recipients of the 2010 NEA Jazz Masters Award -- the nation's highest honor in this distinctly American music. The eight recipients will each receive a $25,000 grant award and be publicly honored in an awards ceremony and concert on Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center.
The eight 2010 NEA Jazz Masters are:
George Avakian, a jazz producer, manager, critic, and educator from Riverdale, New York, will receive the 2010 A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Award for Jazz Advocacy.
"These master artists have dedicated their lives to shaping and advancing the rich tradition of jazz," said NEA Acting Chair Patrice Walker Powell. "The NEA is pleased to recognize their individual creative talents and celebrate their combined musical contributions."
For the January presentation, the Arts Endowment will again partner with Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City to produce the event, and the Association of Performing Arts Presenters and Arts Presenter's annual conference. Conference attendees will have the opportunity to attend some of the jazz master events and learn more about presenting jazz in the communities. The Awards Ceremony & Concert will be held at Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, and will feature the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis in a program dedicated to the honorees' lives and works. Past collaborations between the NEA and Jazz at Lincoln Center include the NEA Jazz in the Schools curriculum -- available free of charge to high school teachers nationwide and used by nearly 8.4 million students since its inception. The NEA Jazz in the Schools Web site is a 2009 Webby Awards Official Honoree.
Each member of the 2010 NEA Jazz Masters class met the selection criteria of being a distinguished artist whose excellence, impact, and significant lifetime contributions have helped to keep jazz alive and further the growth of the art form:
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, the award has been given to 114 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 grant award of $25,000, are honored at a public awards ceremony, and may be offered opportunities for participation in NEA-sponsored promotional, performance, and educational activities under the NEA Jazz Masters National Initiative program. Only living musicians or jazz advocates may receive 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 Web site, 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 www.jalc.org.
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal agency