The National Endowment for the Arts saluted the gilt-edged coterie of 2010 NEA Jazz Masters Award honorees on Tuesday, January 12 in New York City. As part of the celebration, BMI hosted a celebratory luncheon at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers.
An overwhelming majority of the honorees are BMI composers: Recipients in the Pianist, Composer, Educator category included Muhal Richard Abrams and Kenny Barron; in the Vibraphonist, Marimba Player, Composer field, Bobby Hutcherson was honored; in the Saxophonist, Flutist, Oboist, Composer, Educator field, Yusef Lateef was celebrated; Annie Ross was recognized in the Vocalist category; and Cedar Walton was saluted 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.
Pictured at the BMI-hosted luncheon honoring the 2010 NEA Jazz Masters Award recipients are Wayne Brown, NEA Director, Music & Opera; Rocco Landesman, NEA Chairman; 2010 NEA Jazz Masters Award honorees Cedar Walton and Bill Holman; BMI President & CEO Del Bryant; and Robbin Ahrold, BMI Vice President, Corporate Communications and Marketing; with 2010 NEA Jazz Masters Award honorees Muhal Richard Abrams, Yusef Lateef, Annie Ross, George Avakian, Kenny Barron and Bobby Hutcherson, seated.
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, please visit neajazzmasters.org.