NEA Jazz Masters Fact Sheet
The National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters program confers the nation's highest honor for this uniquely American art. Each year since 1982, the program has elevated to its ranks a select number of living legends who have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of jazz. Newly named NEA Jazz Masters receive their nation's recognition at an awards ceremony and concert and are provided with a one-time fellowship of $25,000.
Beginning in 2004, NEA Jazz Masters may be named in six categories: solo instrumentalist, rhythm instrumentalist, pianist, arranger-composer, vocalist, and jazz advocate. The Arts Endowment is also adding a touring program, television and radio broadcasts, compact disc recordings, and a new publication.
NEA Jazz Masters 2004
The 2004 NEA Jazz Masters are guitarist Jim Hall (solo instrumentalist), drummer Chico Hamilton (rhythm instrumentalist), pianist Herbie Hancock, arranger-composer Luther Henderson (1919-2003), vocalist Nancy Wilson, and music critic Nat Hentoff (jazz advocate).
NEA Jazz Masters, 1982-2003
Sixty-seven artists were named NEA Jazz Masters between 1982 and 2003. Their ranks include Count Basie, Art Blakey, Dave Brubeck, Betty Carter, Ornette Coleman, Miles Davis, Roy Eldridge, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Elvin Jones, Abbey Lincoln, Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, Cecil Taylor, Sarah Vaughan, and Teddy Wilson.
2004 Ceremony and Concert
On January 23, 2004, the Arts Endowment will honor the 2004 NEA Jazz Masters at a gala ceremony and concert in New York City. For the first time, all living NEA Jazz Masters have been invited to the event, held at the annual conference of the International Association for Jazz Education and presented in the ballroom of the New York Hilton.
In addition to NEA Chairman Dana Gioia, presenters at the ceremony will include NEA Jazz Masters David Baker, Ron Carter, Roy Haynes, and Horace Silver. Among the performers at the concert will be NEA Jazz Masters Dave Brubeck, Jimmy Heath, Percy Heath, Jon Hendricks, Billy Taylor, and Clark Terry, joined by such luminaries as Paquito D'Rivera, Hubert Laws, Joe Negri, The Four Brothers, and the New York Voices.
In 2004, the NEA Jazz Masters ceremony and concert will be televised for the first time. Broadcasts are scheduled for BET Jazz Brunch (April 4) and BET Jazz (April 4, 11, 20, and 25) as part of National Jazz Appreciation Month.
The National Endowment for the Arts has collaborated with Verve Music Group to produce a commemorative two-CD set of recordings by NEA Jazz Masters, which is in stores now. The deluxe-package CD contains two and a half hours of music by 27 NEA Jazz Masters and liner notes by 2004 NEA Jazz Master Nat Hentoff.
Verve has also collaborated with the Arts Endowment on a digital-only release, available exclusively through the iTunes Music Store, of downloadable classic selections by NEA Jazz Masters Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, and Sarah Vaughan.
Touring Program and Residencies
The National Endowment for the Arts provides funds to not-for-profit presenting organizations to encourage bookings of NEA Jazz Masters. Each engagement includes educational activities, ranging from master classes and lecture-demonstrations to meet-the-artist sessions. The Arts Endowment is inaugurating this component of the program in 2004 with the aim of achieving a 50-state tour for the NEA Jazz Masters. The first phase of the tour includes events in 13 states and the District of Columbia.
The Arts Endowment is producing audio profiles of the 2004 NEA Jazz Masters, to be aired on public radio stations around the country. Each profile mixes musical performances with interviews conducted with a variety of subjects, to give a sound portrait of the Jazz Master's life and achievements.
The Arts Endowment has produced an illustrated publication with profiles of all the NEA Jazz Masters, 1982-2004, introduced by A.B. Spellman, author of Four Lives in the Bebop Business and Deputy Chairman for Guidelines and Panel Operations, National Endowment for the Arts.
NEA Jazz Masters are chosen through nominations submitted by the American public. Nominations are reviewed by a distinguished panel of jazz experts, who make their recommendations to the National Council on the Arts and the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts for final approval.
For further information:
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal agency