TomtheJazzman tomthejazzman at embarqmail.com
Thu May 21 23:33:58 EDT 2009

National Endowment for the Arts Announces the 2010 NEA Jazz Masters

Nation's highest honor in jazz is bestowed on eight living legends

May 21, 2009

Media Contact:
Liz Stark, NEA
starke at arts.gov
Program Contact:
Katja von Schuttenbach
202- 682-5711
vonschuttenbach at arts.gov

Washington, DC - The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) today 
announced the recipients of the 2010 NEA Jazz Masters Award -- the 
nation's highest honor in this distinctly American music. The eight 
recipients will each receive a $25,000 grant award and be publicly 
honored in an awards ceremony and concert on Tuesday, January 12, 2010 
at Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center.

The eight 2010 NEA Jazz Masters are:

City, State

Muhal Richard Abrams
Pianist, Composer, Educator          
New York, NY

Kenny Barron
Pianist, Composer, Educator          
Brooklyn, NY

Bill Holman
Composer, Arranger, Saxophonist          
Los Angeles, CA

Bobby Hutcherson
Vibraphonist, Marimba Player, Composer
Montara, CA

Yusef Lateef           
Saxophonist, Flutist, Oboist, Composer, Educator
Amherst, MA

Annie Ross
New York, NY

Cedar Walton
Pianist, Composer
Brooklyn, NY

George Avakian, a jazz producer, manager, critic, and educator from 
Riverdale, New York, will receive the 2010 A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz 
Masters Award for Jazz Advocacy.

"These master artists have dedicated their lives to shaping and 
advancing the rich tradition of jazz," said NEA Acting Chair Patrice 
Walker Powell. "The NEA is pleased to recognize their individual 
creative talents and celebrate their combined musical contributions."

For the January presentation, the Arts Endowment will again partner with 
Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City to produce the event, and the 
Association of Performing Arts Presenters and Arts Presenter's annual 
conference. Conference attendees will have the opportunity to attend 
some of the jazz master events and learn more about presenting jazz in 
the communities. The Awards Ceremony & Concert will be held at Frederick 
P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, and will feature the Jazz 
at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis in a program dedicated 
to the honorees' lives and works. Past collaborations between the NEA 
and Jazz at Lincoln Center include the NEA Jazz in the Schools 
curriculum -- available free of charge to high school teachers 
nationwide and used by nearly 8.4 million students since its inception. 
The NEA Jazz in the Schools Web site is a 2009 Webby Awards Official 

Each member of the 2010 NEA Jazz Masters class met the selection 
criteria of being a distinguished artist whose excellence, impact, and 
significant lifetime contributions have helped to keep jazz alive and 
further the growth of the art form:

    * The co-founder and first president of the Association for the 
Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM),  pianist Muhal Richard Abrams 
is highly respected by critics and musical peers as both a pianist and 
composer in a variety of musical styles.
    * Recognized the world over as a master of performance and 
composition, virtuoso pianist Kenny Barron has worked with such renowned 
musicians as Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Haden, Roy Haynes, and fellow 2010 
NEA Jazz Master Yusef Lateef.
    * Bill Holman's unique and complex arrangements have long been 
appreciated by musicians and critics alike, including Louie Bellson, 
Count Basie, Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, Doc Severinsen, and others.
    * Bobby Hutcherson's sound and style on the vibraphone helped 
modernize the instrument in the 1960s, adding an adventurous new voice 
to hard bop and free jazz.
    * A major force on the international musical scene for more than six 
decades, Yusef Lateef was among the first to incorporate world music 
into traditional jazz through his mastery of Middle Eastern and Asian 
reed instruments.
    * One of the early practitioners of the singing style known as 
"vocalese" -- the setting of original lyrics to an instrumental jazz 
solo -- Annie Ross was part of the renowned vocal trio Lambert, 
Hendricks & Ross
    * One of the great hard bop pianists, Cedar Walton is also 
well-known for his distinctive compositions, which he first honed during 
his years with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers.
    * George Avakian is not only a record producer but a true pioneer in 
the industry. Besides producing some of the finest jazz albums of the 
1950s for Columbia, including Miles Davis's Miles Ahead and Duke 
Ellington's Ellington at Newport, he helped establish the 33 1/3 LP as 
the primary format for the recording industry. He also was the first to 
produce reissues of long out-of-print jazz recordings.

Profiles and downloadable high resolution photos of the 2010 NEA Jazz 
Masters can be found on the NEA's Web site.

Each year since 1982, the Arts Endowment has conferred the NEA Jazz 
Masters Award to living legends who have made major contributions to 
jazz. With this new class, the award has been given to 114 great figures 
of jazz in America, including Count Basie, George Benson, Art Blakey, 
Dave Brubeck, Betty Carter, Ornette Coleman, Miles Davis, Roy Eldridge, 
Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Herbie Hancock, Elvin 
Jones, John Levy, Abbey Lincoln, Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, Cecil Taylor, 
Sarah Vaughan, Nancy Wilson, and Teddy Wilson.

About NEA Jazz Masters: NEA Jazz Masters are selected from nominations 
submitted by the public and receive a one-time grant award of $25,000, 
are honored at a public awards ceremony, and may be offered 
opportunities for participation in NEA-sponsored promotional, 
performance, and educational activities under the NEA Jazz Masters 
National Initiative program. Only living musicians or jazz advocates may 
receive the NEA Jazz Masters honor.

The National Endowment for the Arts has supported jazz artists and 
organizations since 1969, providing millions of dollars in grants and 
awards. In 2004, the NEA significantly expanded its NEA Jazz Masters 
program and in 2005 created the NEA Jazz Masters Initiative, a 
comprehensive program of jazz support that includes the NEA Jazz Masters 
award; NEA Jazz Masters Live, a series of multiple performance and 
educational engagements in selected communities, featuring NEA Jazz 
Masters; radio programming featuring NEA Jazz Masters; educational 
resources through the NEA Jazz in the Schools program produced by the 
Arts Endowment in partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center; and 
publications and reports. For more information on NEA Jazz Masters, the 
public is invited to visit the Web site, at www.neajazzmasters.org.

Jazz at Lincoln Center is dedicated to inspiring and growing audiences 
for jazz. With the world-renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and a 
comprehensive array of guest artists, Jazz at Lincoln Center advances a 
unique vision for the continued development of the art of jazz by 
producing a year-round schedule of performance, education and broadcast 
events for audiences of all ages. These productions include concerts, 
national and international tours, residencies, yearly hall of fame 
inductions, weekly national radio and television programs, recordings, 
publications, an annual high school jazz band competition and festival, 
a band director academy, jazz appreciation curriculum for students, 
music publishing, children's concerts, lectures, adult education 
courses, student and educator workshops and interactive websites. Under 
the leadership of Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis, Chairman Lisa 
Schiff and Executive Director, Adrian Ellis, Jazz at Lincoln Center 
produces thousands of events each season in its home in New York City, 
Frederick P. Rose Hall, and around the world.  For more information 
visit www.jalc.org.

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