The National Endowment for the Arts will bestow its highest honor on BMI composers Terri Lyne Carrington and Albert “Tootie” Heath, who will be named Jazz Masters on April 22, 2021. The NEA celebration, presented in conjunction with SFJAZZ, will include an online tribute concert showcasing their indelible contributions to the history of jazz, and will be free to watch, with no registration or tickets required.
Carrington, who is a three-time GRAMMY winner, has remained a powerhouse drummer in jazz for four decades, while also sharing her immense talent as a composer, bandleader, producer, and educator with aspiring musicians hoping to follow in her footsteps. Tootie Heath, who is also a renowned drummer and educator, has lent his expertise with beats to a voluminous list of jazz musicians from John Coltrane to Ethan Iverson. Well-versed in a variety of styles of jazz, he has also delved into R&B, and during his storied career has performed on more than a hundred recordings.
As Jazz Masters, the two percussionists will each receive a $25,000 award in addition to the virtual concert that will pay homage to their work. The archive of last year’s virtual tribute concert, honoring BMI composers Bobby McFerrin and Reggie Workman, is also free to watch at arts.gov. Stay tuned for more about the world of Jazz as BMI celebrates Jazz Appreciation Month during the month of April.