[JPL] Quincy Jones Among 2008 NEA Jazz Masters

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Thu Oct 4 06:55:41 EDT 2007


Quincy Jones Among 2008 NEA Jazz Masters
By CHARLES J. GANS ­ 16 hours ago

NEW YORK (AP) ‹ Music impresario Quincy Jones was among six musicians named
as National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters for 2008.

The 2008 Jazz Masters were announced Tuesday night at a ceremony hosted by
NEA Chairman Dana Gioia at the Jazz at Lincoln Center venue named after
trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, who was among the first group of Jazz Masters in

The award, the nation's highest jazz honor, has now gone to 100 leading
figures in jazz.

The 74-year-old Jones began his career as an 18-year-old trumpeter playing
small gigs in Seattle with Ray Charles and went on to become a
groundbreaking conductor, arranger, record producer and film composer.

The NEA cited him as being "a renaissance man of music" and honored him in
the bandleader category. (Jones could not attend the ceremony because of his
busy schedule, but will accept his plaque at a special awards concert during
the annual International Association for Jazz Education conference in
January in Toronto, Gioia said.)

Pianist Andrew Hill was posthumously named in the pianist-keyboardist
category. Hill, whose innovative compositions gained wider recognition late
in his career with the release of such albums as "Passing Ships" (2003) and
"Time Lines" (2006), was informed of the honor shortly before his death in
April of lung cancer at age 75, Gioia said.

"This was the last tribute that he would receive in his lifetime," said
Hill's widow, Joanne Robinson Hill, in accepting the award. "He considered
it to be a very great and precious honor."

Candido Camero (rhythm instrumentalist) was cited by the NEA for being the
first percussionist to bring conga drumming to jazz through his work with
Gillespie and Stan Kenton in the 1950s. The 86-year-old Camero became only
the second Cuban-born musician to be named a Jazz Master, following
saxophonist-clarinetist Paquito D'Rivera in 2005.

"I wish to thank God for allowing me to enjoy this realization of the
American dream," said Camero.

The other 2008 Jazz Masters include Tom McIntosh (composer-arranger), 80, a
favorite collaborator for Gillespie and James Moody who later worked in
Hollywood on such films as "Shaft"; trumpeter Joe Wilder (solo
instrumentalist), 85, a long-time TV studio musician and popular sideman who
played with the Count Basie Orchestra, Billie Holiday and Benny Goodman,
among others; and Gunther Schuller (jazz advocacy), 81, a prominent figure
in both jazz and classical music noted for his compositions, academic career
and writings on jazz history.

Wilder acknowledged the NEA for its role in building respect for jazz
musicians, recalling that when he was a young boy in Philadelphia musicians
like his father were not held in such high regard.

"If you were a jazz musician, white or black ... you were in trouble,"
Wilder said. "You weren't invited to anybody's house because not only were
you playing the devil's music, but you were one of the devils."

The evening closed with jazz impresario and pianist George Wein, the founder
of the Newport Jazz Festival and a 2005 Jazz Master, celebrating his 82nd
birthday a day early by performing a set with his Newport All Stars. The
session closed with another Jazz Master, tenor saxophonist Frank Wess,
coming up from the audience to jam with the band on "Oh, Lady, Be Good"
before closing with the ballad "Lush Life."

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