Art Works Blog

Postcard from NEA Jazz Masters Ceremony & Concert

New York City, New York

Photos by Frank Stewart

2011 NEA Jazz Master David Liebman (left) on saxophone with Justin DiCiocco (Chairman, Manhattan School of Music Jazz Division) during the January 11, 2011 NEA Jazz Masters Ceremony and Concert.

At an event like this one, we feel the whole continuity of history of jazz. You listen to the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra play Johnny Mandel's “The Shadow of Your Smile” and you hear everyone who’s ever sung it—Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, and others---all through the ages and it gives you chills. It was great just to see these people who’ve been icons to me—Dave Liebman and Johnny Mandel, Orrin Keepnews, Hubert Laws, the Marsalis Family---these are giants of jazz. These are major figures in my musical consciousness. In this particular field there are not enough honors being given. These people are not appreciated as much as they should be as major musicians. And I’m glad the NEA can step up and fill that void to a degree, especially in jazz. I think it is the American art form, the indigenous American art form. And I feel very lucky to be a part of this celebration.

2011 NEA Jazz Master Hubert Laws (left) dueted with 2010 NEA Jazz Master Kenny Barron during the concert.

For the final performance of the evening, the Marsalis Family played Jason Marsalis' composition "At the House in Da Pocket." (l-r) Ellis, Jr. on piano; Jason on drums; Wynton on trumpet; Branford on saxophone; and Delfeayo on trombone

Revisit this year's NEA Jazz Masters panel with moderator A.B. Spellman, here.

Revisit this year's NEA Jazz Masters ceremony and concert here.

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