BMI Composers Dominate List of 2010 NEA Jazz Masters

Posted in News on May 21, 2009
Kenny Barron
Kenny Barron Photo: Carol Friedman

The National Endowment for the Arts recently announced the 2010 recipients of the NEA Jazz Masters Award, and an overwhelming majority of the honorees are BMI composers. Recipients in the Pianist, Composer, Educator category are Muhal Richard Abrams and Kenny Barron; in the Vibraphonist, Marimba Player, Composer field, Bobby Hutcherson will be honored; in the Saxophonist, Flutist, Oboist, Composer, Educator field, Yusef Lateef will be honored; Annie Ross will be recognized in the Vocalist category; and Cedar Walton will celebrated under the Pianist, Composer umbrella.

The NEA Jazz Masters Award is the highest honor bestowed on jazz artists. A tribute to the substantial career achievements and artistic breakthroughs each recipient has contributed throughout their entire lives, the retrospective honor applauds the pioneers of America’s most original art form.

In addition to receiving a $25,000 grant, each artist will be honored during a ceremony and concert slated for Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York.

To read profiles on all of the 2010 NEA Jazz Masters Award recipients, please click here.

  • Muhal Richard Abrams
  • Yusef Lateef
  • Cedar Walton
  • Annie Ross

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


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