News

Celebrate Jazz with the National Endowment for the Arts on April 4, 2016

Tickets Available for Free Tribute Concert Honoring 2016 NEA Jazz Masters at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC

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Collage of the 2016 NEA National Heritage winners

Left to right: Archie Shepp (photo by Monette Berthommier), Gary Burton (photo by Bill Gallery), Wendy Oxenhorn (photo by Francesco Pini), and Pharoah Sanders (photo by Quentin Leboucher).

Washington, DC— The National Endowment for the Arts will honor the 2016 NEA Jazz Masters at a tribute concert, held in collaboration with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, on Monday, April 4, 2016 at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall in Washington, DC. Taking place during Jazz Appreciation Month, the concert will honor four individuals whose creativity, passion, and hard work have contributed to the continuing vibrancy of jazz.

Part of the NEA’s 50th anniversary celebrations, this concert will feature world-renowned and emerging musicians performing in honor of the 2016 NEA Jazz Masters, recipients of our nation's highest honor in jazz. The 2016 NEA Jazz Masters tribute concert will also be streamed live and broadcast on SiriusXM. While in Washington, DC, the 2016 NEA Jazz Masters also will participate in a listening party at NPR’s headquarters on Sunday, April 3, and a master class at Duke Ellington School of the Arts on Tuesday, April 5. More details about all of the 2016 NEA Jazz Masters events are below.

The 2016 NEA Jazz Masters are:

* Wendy Oxenhorn is the recipient of the 2016 A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Award for Jazz Advocacy, which is bestowed upon an individual who has contributed significantly to the appreciation, knowledge, and advancement of the art form of jazz.

NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert—April 4

The 2016 NEA Jazz Masters tribute concert will take place on Monday, April 4 at 8:00 p.m. ET at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall at 2700 F Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20566. It will be hosted by Jason Moran, pianist and Kennedy Center artistic director for Jazz, and include remarks by Jane Chu, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts; Deborah F. Rutter, president of the Kennedy Center; as well as the 2016 NEA Jazz Masters. The concert will feature performances by NEA Jazz Masters Randy Weston and Jimmy Heath, as well as Ambrose Akinmusire, Lakecia Benjamin, Stefon Harris, Justin Kauflin, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Jason Moran, Linda Oh, and Roswell Rudd. Additional performers will be announced at a later date.  

Starting at 10 a.m. on Thursday, February 25, 2016, up to four (4) free tickets per household may be reserved for this concert in person at the Kennedy Center Box Office, at kennedy-center.org, or by dialing 202-467-4600 or 800-444-1324. Reservation confirmations should be printed at home (note these are not tickets, but reservations), and will be valid until 7:45 p.m. on Monday, April 4. Print-at-home tickets are unavailable for this concert. Seating locations for reserved tickets will be assigned at the Kennedy Center Hall of Nations Box Office starting at 6 p.m. on the evening of Monday, April 4. Reserved tickets will be available for pick-up from 6 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. on April 4 at the Kennedy Center Hall of Nations Box Office. Patrons with reservations should present printed reservation confirmations to Box Office personnel at time of pick-up. All reserved tickets not picked-up by 7:45 p.m. on April 4 will be released and distributed to a ticket standby line.

Media who wish to request press access to this event should contact Liz Auclair at auclaire@arts.gov. Photos from the concert are available for media use on request.

Live concert webcast

The 2016 NEA Jazz Masters tribute concert will be video-streamed live at arts.gov, Kennedy-Center.org, and NPR.org/Music. An archive of the webcast will be available following the event. In addition, SiriusXM Channel 67, Real Jazz will broadcast the concert live. Join the conversation about the concert on Twitter using #NEAJazz16.

NPR Listening Party with 2016 NEA Jazz Masters—April 3

On Sunday, April 3, at 2:00 p.m. NPR will host a listening party in honor of the 2016 NEA Jazz Masters at their headquarters at 1111 North Capitol Street, NE, Washington, DC, 20002. Hosted by Jason Moran, this event will include conversation with the 2016 NEA Jazz Masters, using music from their careers to tell the story of their lives. The 2016 NEA Jazz Masters will be joined by other musicians whose lives they have influenced. This event is free and open to the public but tickets are required. Reserve your tickets here. Media who wish to attend this event should contact Hugo Rojo with NPR at mediarelations@npr.org. An edited audio version of this conversation will be available at NPR.org/music at 7:00 p.m. ET on April 4, 2016, preceding the webcast of the concert.

Student Master Class with the 2016 NEA Jazz Masters—April 5

Recognizing the importance of mentorship to the future of jazz, on Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at 10:30 a.m., 2016 NEA Jazz Masters Gary Burton, Pharoah Sanders, and Archie Shepp will visit the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC, where they will coach Ellington School jazz students (who will also perform at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage on April 4) and share their unique insights into the music. Music students from other District of Columbia Public Schools will also observe this workshop. This event is closed to the public. Media who wish to attend this event must contact auclaire@arts.gov.

About NEA Jazz Masters

Each year since 1982, the National Endowment for the Arts has conferred the NEA Jazz Masters award to those who have devoted their lives and careers to jazz, an art form uniquely rooted in American history and culture. With this new class, the NEA has honored 140 great figures in jazz. More information about the NEA Jazz Masters and the agency’s collection of free jazz content, including podcasts, videos, and Jazz Moments – 30-90 second audio clips of musical excerpts and interviews with and about NEA Jazz Masters – is available here.

The NEA also supports the Smithsonian Jazz Oral History Program, an effort to document the lives and careers of NEA Jazz Masters. In addition to transcriptions of the comprehensive interviews, the website also includes audio clips with interview excerpts. This project has transcribed the oral histories of more than 90 NEA Jazz Masters.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts and the agency is celebrating this milestone with events and activities through September 2016. Go to the 50th section at arts.gov to enjoy art stories from around the nation, peruse the Facts & Figures section, and check out the anniversary timeline.

About the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is America's living memorial to President Kennedy, and the nation's cultural center. Under the leadership of Chairman David M. Rubenstein and President Deborah F. Rutter, the nine theaters and stages of the nation's busiest performing arts facility attract audiences and visitors totaling 3 million people annually; Center-related touring productions, television, and radio broadcasts welcome 40 million more. Opening its doors on September 8, 1971, the Center presents the greatest performances of music, dance, and theater; supports artists in the creation of new work; and serves the nation as a leader in arts education. With its artistic affiliates, the National Symphony Orchestra and Washington National Opera, the Center's achievements as a commissioner, producer, and nurturer of developing artists have resulted in more than 300 theatrical productions, and dozens of new ballets, operas, and musical works.

About NPR Music

NPR Music collaborates with NPR's newsmagazines, public radio Member Stations and the passionate NPR community to celebrate great music in every genre. Visit NPR.org/music to find the complete Tiny Desk Concerts series, live music, extensive archives of performances, interviews and reviews of artists from all genres.

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Contact

Liz Auclair (NEA), auclaire@arts.gov, 202-682-5744 

Camille Cintrón Devlin (Kennedy Center), ccdevlin@kennedy-center.org, 202-416-8447

Hugo Rojo (NPR), mediarelations@npr.org, 202-513-2302