2024 NEA Jazz Masters to be Celebrated at Free Events in Washington, DC

Annual Concert to Take Place April 13, 2024, at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts & Streamed Online; Tickets Available to Reserve Beginning February 23

Washington, DC—The National Endowment for the Arts, in collaboration with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, will celebrate the 2024 NEA Jazz Masters at a series of public events April 11-13, 2024, in Washington, DC, culminating in a free tribute concert on Saturday, April 13. The 2024 recipients—Gary Bartz, Terence Blanchard, Willard Jenkins, and Amina Claudine Myers—are the latest in a 40-plus year history of the National Endowment for the Arts honoring individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of jazz.

The April 13 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert is free and open to the public and available through a live webcast and radio broadcast. In addition, the 2024 NEA Jazz Masters will also participate in a listening party at NPR on Saturday, April 13, and Willard Jenkins, recipient of the 2024 A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship for Jazz Advocacy, will participate in a discussion and Q&A at Howard University on Thursday, April 11. See below for additional details and how to reserve free tickets to these events.

2024 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert—Saturday, April 13, 2024

The 2024 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert will take place one-night-only on Saturday, April 13, 2024, at 7:30 p.m. ET at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater at 2700 F St., NW, Washington, DC, and available through a live webcast and radio broadcast.

The concert will feature performances by 2024 NEA Jazz Masters Gary Bartz, Terence Blanchard, and Amina Claudine Myers, remarks by the honorees, and video tributes to their lives and careers. Joining Bartz will be members of his band—Paul Bollenback, Marc Cary, James King, and Kassa Overall. Blanchard will perform with the E-Collective: Charles Altura, Taylor Eigsti, David Ginyard, and Oscar Seaton. Myers will perform with her trio made up of Thurman Barker and Jerome Harris. In honor of Willard Jenkins, the African Rhythms Alumni Quintet will perform, featuring Alex Blake, T.K. Blue, Chief Baba Neil Clarke, Ku-umba Frank Lacy, and Sharp Radway.

Ticket details:
Starting on Friday, February 23, 2024, at 10 a.m. ET, up to two tickets per person 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 2024 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert will begin on Saturday, April 13 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, Baltimore Jazz Alliance, Blues Alley, BMI, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, DC Jazz Festival, Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz, Jazz Institute of Chicago, Jazz Journalists Association, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Jazz Museum in Harlem, National Museum of American History, NPR Music, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, SFJAZZ, WBGO, WDCB, WRTI, and Voice of America’s Afaan Oromoo, Albanian, Amharic, Armenian, Bosnian, Cantonese, Creole, Deewa, English to Africa, French to Africa, Georgian, Indonesian, Khmer, Korean, Lao, Macedonian, Mandarin, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Shona, Spanish, Swahili, Tibetan, Tigrigna, Ukrainian, Uzbek, and Vietnamese services. (Subject to change.)

The following radio stations will share the radio broadcast of the event: SiriusXM’s Real Jazz channel (67), Eaton Radio, KBEM 88.5 (Minneapolis, MN), KFSR 90.7 (Fresno, CA), KKJZ 88.1 (Long Beach, CA), Voice of America’s FM Programming, WBGO 88.3 FM (Newark, NJ), WGMC 90.1 FM (Rochester, NY), WPFW 89.3 FM (Washington, DC), 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.

“Music Careers, Beyond the Bandstand” with 2024 NEA Jazz Master Willard Jenkins—Thursday, April 11, 2024

On Thursday, April 11, 2024, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., 2024 NEA Jazz Master Willard Jenkins will join Howard University students for a discussion and Q&A titled “Music Careers, Beyond the Bandstand.” This will take place 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 2024 NEA Jazz Masters—Saturday, April 13, 2024

On Saturday, April 13, 2024, at 10:30 a.m., NPR will host a listening party in honor of the 2024 NEA Jazz Masters at their headquarters at 1111 North Capitol Street, NE, Washington, DC, 20002. This event will include conversations with the 2024 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 173 fellowships to great figures in jazz, such as Toshiko Akiyoshi, Regina Carter, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Donald Harrison, Jr., Yusef Lateef, Abbey Lincoln, Sue Mingus, Eddie Palmieri, Sonny Rollins, and Wayne Shorter. Explore the NEA’s website for photos and bios of 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 Jazz at the Kennedy Center

Kennedy Center Jazz, under the leadership of Artistic Director Jason Moran, presents legendary artists who have helped shape the art form, artists who are emerging on the jazz scene, and innovative multidisciplinary projects throughout the year. Annual Kennedy Center jazz events include the professional development residency program for young artists, Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead; NPR’s A Jazz Piano Christmas, the Kennedy Center holiday tradition shared by millions around the country via broadcast on NPR; and the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival, created in 1996 by the late Dr. Billy Taylor (Kennedy Center Artistic Director for Jazz, 1994–2010). The Center currently co-produces the annual NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concerts, celebrating iconic figures in the music. To learn more about the Kennedy Center, please visit www.kennedy-center.org


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