2023 NEA Jazz Masters Honored at Free Events

Annual Concert to Take Place April 1, 2023, at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts & Streamed Online

Washington, DC—In honor of the 2023 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Jazz Masters—Regina Carter, Kenny Garrett, Louis Hayes, and Sue Mingus—the NEA is collaborating with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on a series of free events March 30-April 1 that will give audiences opportunities to experience the honorees’ music, stories, and knowledge. These events mark the culmination of the 40th anniversary of the NEA Jazz Masters, which since 1982 has awarded more than 160 fellowships to great figures in jazz.

The highlight of this annual celebration of jazz will be a tribute concert on Saturday, April 1, 2023, at 7:30 p.m. ET at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and available through a live webcast and radio broadcast. Additional events include a masterclass with Kenny Garrett at Howard University on March 30 and a listening party with the honorees at NPR’s headquarters, also on April 1.

2023 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert—Saturday, April 1, 2023

The 2023 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert will take place Saturday, April 1, 2023, at 7:30 p.m. ET at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater in Washington, DC, and available through a live webcast and radio broadcast. Hosted by Mark Ruffin of SiriusXM’s Real Jazz channel (67), this one-night-only concert will honor the 2023 NEA Jazz Masters, recipients of the nation’s highest honor in jazz. The concert will feature performances by honorees Regina Carter, Kenny Garrett, and Louis Hayes. Additional performers include Rudy Bird, Michael Bowie, Keith Brown, Ronald Bruner, Abraham Burton, Adam Cruz, Dezron Douglas, Kal Ferretti, Alvester Garnett, Sarah Hanahan, David Hazeltine, Corcoran Holt, Steve Nelson, Shawn Purcell, Melvis Santa, Helen Sung, Camille Thurman, and The String Queens—Dawn Michelle Johnson, Kendall Isadore, and Elise Sharp. (Performers subject to change.)

The concert will also include video tributes to the honorees, illuminating their lives and careers, as well as remarks by NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD; President of the Kennedy Center Deborah F. Rutter; honorees Regina Carter, Kenny Garrett, and Louis Hayes; and Roberto and Emma Ungaro, representing honoree Sue Mingus, who passed away in September 2022.

Ticket details:
Starting on Thursday, February 23, 2023, at 10 a.m. ET, up to two tickets may be reserved for this free 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 and will be valid until 7:15 p.m. the night of the concert. At 7:15 p.m. all unclaimed seats will be released and distributed through a ticket giveaway line based on availability.
Tickets for walk-up patrons will be available the night of the concert on a first-come, first-served basis to those in a giveaway line based on availability. Patrons who do not reserve tickets in advance are encouraged to arrive from 5:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. to receive tickets via the giveaway line. 
If you or a member of your party requires accessible locations and/or seating in the sign-interpreted and captioned section, please indicate your needs when making your reservation and upon picking up your tickets. Please contact the Accessibility Office at 202-416-8727 or access@kennedy-center.org if you have any questions or would like to request an accommodation.

Live webcast and radio broadcast details:
The live webcast of the 2023 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert will begin on Saturday, April 1 at 7:30 p.m. ET at arts.gov and kennedy-center.org. An archive of the webcast will be available following the event at arts.gov

In addition, the following websites will also share the live webcast: All About Jazz, The ApolloBlues Alley, BMI, Carr Center, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Herbie Hancock Institute of JazzJazz at Lincoln Center, Jazz Journalists Association, JazzTimes, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Jazz Museum of Harlem, National Museum of American History, NPR Music, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, SJFAZZ, WBGO, WDCB, WRTI, WZUM, Voice of America’s Albanian, Armenian, Bosnian, Cantonese, Creole, Deewa, French to Africa, Georgian, Khmer, Lao, Macedonian, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swahili, Tibetan, Ukrainian, and Uzbek services. (Subject to change.)

The following radio stations will share the radio broadcast of the event: SiriusXM’s Real Jazz channel (67)Eaton Radio, KFSR 90.7 (Fresno, CA), KKJZ (Los Angeles, CA),  Real Jazz, WAMU 88.5 FM (Washington, DC), WBGO 88.3 FM (Newark, NJ), WGMC 90.1 FM (Rochester, NY), WJSU 88.5 FM (Jackson, MS), WPFW 89.3 FM (Washington, DC), WRCJ 90.9 FM (Detroit, MI), and WZUM 88.1 FM (Pittsburgh, PA). (Subject to change. Radio broadcasts may occur at later times; contact the radio stations for more information.)

Media who wish to request press access to the concert should contact Liz Auclair (auclaire@arts.gov) and Brendan Padgett (BEPadgett@Kennedy-Center.org). Photos will be available for media use upon request.

Student Master Class with 2023 NEA Jazz Master Kenny Garrett—Thursday, March 30, 2023

On Thursday, March 30, 2023, from 12:30–2:00 p.m., 2023 NEA Jazz Master Kenny Garrett will conduct a master class with Howard University student musicians at Howard University’s Childers Recital Hall, 2455 6th Street NW, Washington, DC 20059. The public is invited to observe and no registration is necessary (seating is first-come, first-served). Media who wish to attend this event should contact Liz Auclair at auclaire@arts.gov.

NPR Listening Party with the 2023 NEA Jazz Masters—Saturday, April 1, 2023

On Saturday, April 1, 2023, at 10:30 a.m., NPR will host a listening party in honor of the 2023 NEA Jazz Masters at their headquarters at 1111 North Capitol Street, NE, Washington, DC, 20002. Hosted by NPR’s Felix Contreras, this event will include conversations with and about the NEA Jazz Masters, using music from their careers to tell the stories of their lives. This event is free and open to the public but tickets are required. Reserve your free tickets. Media who wish to attend this event should contact mediarelations@npr.org. 

About the NEA Jazz Masters

Since 1982, the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded 169 fellowships to great figures in jazz, such as Terri Lyne Carrington, Betty Carter, Paquito D’Rivera, Dizzy Gillespie, Maria Schneider, Henry Threadgill, and George Wein. Explore the NEA’s website for photos and bios for all of the NEA Jazz Masters, as well as archived concerts, video tributes, podcasts, and more than 350 NEA Jazz Moments audio clips. The National Endowment for the Arts has also supported the Smithsonian Jazz Oral History Program, an effort to document the lives and careers of nearly 100 NEA Jazz Masters. 

Nominate an NEA Jazz Master:
The NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships are awarded to living individuals on the basis of nominations from the public including members of the jazz community. NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships are up to $25,000 and can be received once in a lifetime. Visit the NEA’s website for detailed information and to submit nominations

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency that is the largest funder of the arts and arts education in communities nationwide and a catalyst of public and private support for the arts. By advancing equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice, the NEA fosters and sustains an environment in which the arts benefit everyone in the United States. Visit arts.gov to learn more.

About the Kennedy Center

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is America’s living memorial to President John F. Kennedy, attracting millions of visitors each year to more than 2,000 performances, events, and exhibits. With its artistic affiliates, the National Symphony Orchestra and Washington National Opera, the Center is one of the nation’s busiest performing arts centers dedicated to providing world-class art, powerful education, and outstanding memorial experiences to the broadest possible constituency. Across all its offerings, the Kennedy Center is committed to increasing accessible, inclusive opportunities for all people to participate in, and learn through the arts, including more than 400 free performances each year and a variety of Specially Priced Ticket programs for students, seniors, persons with disabilities, and others. On September 7, 2019, the Kennedy Center inaugurated the REACH, its first-ever major expansion. Designed by Steven Holl Associates, the REACH provides visitors with new opportunities to interact and engage with the Center as the nation’s premier nexus of arts, learning, and culture. On September 8, 2022, the Kennedy Center unveiled Art and Ideals: President John F. Kennedy, a new 7,500-square foot permanent exhibit exploring Kennedy’s presidency and his commitment to the arts. To learn more about the Kennedy Center, please visit www.kennedy-center.org

About NPR Music

For over a decade, NPR Music's robust music journalism and award-winning original video programming have delighted millions of music fans from all genres. NPR Music collaborates with NPR's news magazines, public radio Member stations, and the passionate listener community to celebrate exceptional music and discover emerging artists. Visit NPRMusic.org to find the complete Tiny Desk concert series, music feature stories, extensive archives of performances, interviews, and music reviews. Connect with NPR Music on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Liz Auclair (NEA), auclaire@arts.gov, 202-682-5744  
Brendan Padgett (Kennedy Center), BEPadgett@Kennedy-Center.org, 202-416-8004