BMI has again partnered with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to present a webcast of the special online concert in honor of the 2023 NEA Jazz Masters. Watch it here on Saturday, April 1, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT
BMI affiliates Kenny Garrett and Louis Hayes to be honored as Jazz Masters, the highest honor bestowed in the world of jazz music.
GRAMMY-winning saxophonist, arranger, composer, and band leader Kenny Garrett, who has garnered critical recognition for his versatility in jazz, blues, and R&B, began his career performing with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Mel Lewis Orchestra, and in 1987, began working with Miles Davis. With more than 20 recordings as a leader, as well as appearing on more than 230 sessions as a sideman, Garrett has also performed and recorded with musical icons, Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea, among many other legends.
As the DownBeat New Star Award winner in 1961, Louis Hayes’ unique talent lies in his extraordinary ability to continue to shift seamlessly between driving hard bop and quiet sensitivity on ballads, making him one of the premier drummers in jazz for more than five decades. In addition to working with jazz legends such as Kenny Burrell, Curtis Fuller, Yusef Lateef and Doug Watkins since the 1970s, Hayes has led his own bands to popular as well as critical acclaim and has offered his support to new generations of musicians by often featuring them in his outstanding work.
The historic ceremony, which marks the 41st anniversary of the NEA’s Jazz Masters program, will pay tribute to the new inductees with a free and open to the public concert on Saturday, April 1, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT, with a livestream at arts.gov, sfjazz.org on Facebook and on this page. An archive of the webcast will also be available following the event at arts.gov. Please visit the NEA website for additional information.
From its inception, BMI has supported many of the most important composers in jazz. Including this year’s honorees, BMI is extremely proud that 99 of the NEA Jazz Masters are BMI affiliates, including such giants as Miles Davis, Betty Carter, Ron Carter, Percy Heath, Sonny Rollins, Ornette Coleman, Anita O’Day, Stanley Clarke, Terri Lyne Carrington and Billy Hart, among others.
In addition, since 1988, the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop, founded by acclaimed composer/trombonist Bob Brookmeyer, composer/educator Manny Albam and author and jazz authority Burt Korall, has mentored emerging jazz composers with an emphasis on “big band” (“jazz orchestra”/”large jazz ensemble”) composition. The purpose of the workshop is twofold: to foster the musical growth of the individual composers and to create a body of work that helps to extend the language of composition for the jazz orchestra. The workshop enables composers to come together, share ideas and learn from one another, with no fee for participation. Workshop members have the opportunity to hear their work played in monthly reading sessions with the BMI/New York Jazz Orchestra, a 17-piece jazz ensemble. The BMI/NYJO performs at the BMI Summer Showcase Concert, which features works developed in the workshop. Also included in the summer concert program are the pieces that have been designated as finalists in the BMI/Charlie Parker composition competition. The winning composer receives the Manny Albam Commission to compose a new work for the following year’s concert. Previous winners have included Rufus Reid, Jamie Begian, Noriko Ueda, Darcy J. Argue, Sherisse Rogers, Asuka Kakitani, Jeff Fairbanks, and Sara Jacovino.