Meet the 2024 NEA Jazz Masters

By Carolyn Coons

“Jazz is one of our nation’s most significant artistic contributions to the world, and the NEA is proud to recognize individuals whose creativity and dedication ensure that the art form continues to evolve and inspire new audiences and practitioners."

—NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD.


Headshot of a woman

Photo by Crystal Blake

Amina Claudine Myers
Pianist, Organist, Vocalist, Composer, Arranger, Educator

"Being selected as a 2024 NEA Jazz Master is a wonderful surprise and a great honor in my career as a musician. I am thoroughly surprised and ever grateful to be included amongst great artists that have come before me. This award has shown me that my music has touched people in a positive, spiritual, and loving way. I am inspired much more, and for that I am thankful."


A man holding a saxophone looks to the side.

Photo by Alan Nahigian

Gary Bartz
Saxophonist, Educator

"I am very honored to have been chosen to join many of my mentors and contemporaries for this award honoring this art form that was founded in the USA, which I call informal composition, not improvisation. I give thanks to my ancestors who nurtured this great art form born in the USA. Music is humbling and I am humbled by this award. This music is our gift to the universe!"


A man holding a trumpet.

Photo by Cedric Angeles

Terence Blanchard
Trumpeter, Composer, Band Leader, Educator

"Words elude me in expressing the amount of pride I feel in being recognized as an NEA Jazz Master.  To be alongside the names of my heroes is an honor beyond belief. This recognition motivates me to keep creating and searching for more ideas."

Willard Jenkins

Photo by Jati Lindsay

Willard Jenkins
2024 A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship for Jazz Advocacy
Artistic Director, Writer, Broadcaster, Educator, Oral Historian

"I am deeply honored and humbled to be joining this incredible pantheon of contributors to jazz music. I am particularly thrilled to be receiving this award in the name of my friend and colleague A.B. Spellman. This award is utterly and completely gratifying!"

Read the full announcement of the 2024 NEA Jazz Masters in the news section of our website. 

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