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Did you know that 2005 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master and National Medal of Arts honoree Paquito D'Rivera was a child prodigy? He started playing professionally in Cuba when he was just 6 years old! Learn more about the Grammy Award-winning prolific composer and master artist here ...
“Ragtime has a certain style, and even the sad music still sounds happy. I think it’s reflective of being a Black person during that time and having to be so repressed about the ways society was oppressing you, and having to show that in a very understated way.” — Jannina Norproth In 1911, noted...
"Silence is perfect. So you want to try and raise whatever you're doing to that level." — Roscoe Mitchell , 2020 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Silence may be perfect, but spending an evening with the 2020 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters is even better than that! Soulful,...
Last night we celebrated the 2020 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters, including musicians Bobby McFerrin, Roscoe Mitchell, and Reggie Workman, and Dorthaan Kirk, who recived the A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Master Award for Jazz Advocacy. Learn more about the honorees here . Have someone in...
When conductor Eugene Rogers and I first met over lunch in Ann Arbor, Michigan, several years ago, it was clear that he was someone to watch, a musician who would make a real difference in the choral world and beyond. So it was no surprise when I discovered an incredibly powerful performance he led...
For almost six years, my trio has held a residency at an underground Manhattan club, performing twice monthly for enthusiastic locals and curious travelers alike. When we played on an early-March Wednesday—running through McCoy Tyner ’s “Passion Dance” in memory of the fallen giant; Nine Inch Nails...
Staying abreast of new works is one of my job responsibilities—and joys. In 2018, I had the privilege of hearing the premiere of Huang Ruo ’s opera, An American Soldier , at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, which was an incredibly moving evening of opera based on the true story of the suicide of Danny...
"Do you realize that what we do is what the Constitution is all about? In jazz, each of us has individual voices, but we must listen attentively to one another as we play—and out of this whole, comes what we call jazz." — Max Roach , National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master This quote appears in...
Being under stay-at-home directives in the Washington, DC region (and elsewhere) has led to many of us revisiting the art we have at home. Music, in particular, is a great balm in this time of great unease and anxiety, so I often turn to the thousands of recordings lying about my house. It being,...
I first met Matthew Whitaker on his 16th birthday, when he performed in front of a large audience at the 2017 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He appeared that evening in honor of Dr. Lonnie Smith, who was being inducted into that class of NEA...

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