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Friday, December 13th, 2013

National Endowment for the Arts Announces Live Webcast of 2014 NEA Jazz Masters Awards Ceremony and Concert

For Immediate Release: December 13, 2013

National Endowment for the Arts Announces Live Webcast of 2014 NEA Jazz Masters Awards Ceremony and Concert

January 13, 2014 Event To Be Co-hosted by Soledad O’Brien and Wynton Marsalis

Washington, DC — The global influence of jazz will be complemented by global access to live jazz music when the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), in partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC), presents a live webcast of the annual NEA Jazz Masters Awards Ceremony and Concert on January 13, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. ET. The event takes place in The Allen Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York City.

For the fourth consecutive year, audiences around the world will have the best seat in the house when they watch the concert at arts.gov or jazz.org/neajazzmasters. A video archive of the concert will be available on the NEA website following the event.

The 2014 NEA Jazz Masters are Jamey Aebersold (A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Award for Jazz Advocacy), Anthony Braxton, Richard Davis, and Keith Jarrett.

The NEA and JALC are delighted to welcome journalist, CEO of Starfish Media Group, and dedicated jazz fan Soledad O’Brien as co-host with JALC’s Managing and Artistic Director and 2011 NEA Jazz Master Wynton Marsalis. Ms. O’Brien, an award winning journalist, documentarian, news anchor and producer, was named journalist of the year by the National Association of Black Journalists and one of Newsweek Magazine's "10 People who Make America Great."

“What I love about jazz is the search for truth and the creation of ideas--the constant improvisation and stretching of sounds. Jazz is democratic: every one matters, even the audience.  It's an honor to be part of a celebration that recognizes brilliant artists, who are spreading the music and history of this American creation around the world.”

"The NEA Jazz Masters award ceremony and concert is an occasion for celebrating American jazz legends on an international stage," said Wayne S. Brown, NEA director of music and opera. "We are thrilled to be able to share this moment with a worldwide audience, to enjoy the music and recognize some of the leading artists who have helped to advance this unique American art form."

The art of jazz is passed from one generation to the next, as older musicians act as mentors and teachers to younger ones. This is certainly evident in the number of NEA Jazz Masters who have been educators and mentors. The mentoring tradition is exemplified this year by the inclusion of winners of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition among the performing artists for the concert: Melissa Aldana (2013), Kris Bowers (2011), and Jamison Ross (2012). Other emerging talents on the program include: 

  • Amina Figarova - piano
  • Russell Hall – bass
  • Bruce Harris – trumpet
  • Yasushi Nakamura – bass
  • Chris Pattishall - piano
  • Mark Whitfield, Jr. – drums
  • Warren Wolf - vibraphone

The Thelonious Monk awardees will join this year’s honoree, Aebersold, in performances on stage.

Also on the concert program will be NEA Jazz Masters; *

  • Jimmy Heath (2003)
  • Dave Liebman (2011)
  • Jimmy Owens (2012)
  • Kenny Barron (2010)
  • George Wein (2005) as presenter
  • Muhal Richard Abrams (2010) as presenter

Other performing guest artists include Bill Frisell, Joe Lovano, Ann Hampton Callaway, and Jason Moran.

NEA Jazz Masters in attendance at the award ceremony and concert include:*

  • Muhal Richard Abrams
  • David Baker
  • Candido Camero
  • Lou Donaldson
  • Roy Haynes
  • Shelia Jordan
  • Ellis Marsalis
  • Dan Morgenstern
  • Eddie Palmieri
  • Annie Ross
  • Randy Weston

Poet and writer A.B. Spellman will also be in attendance to present the award named in his honor.

*Performers and attendees are subject to change. In addition to watching the concert live at arts.gov or jazz.org/neajazzmasters, two radio stations/channels will offer the award ceremony and concert on their websites: wbgo.org/neajazzmasters and npr.org/music. Sirius XM Channel 67, Real Jazz will audio stream the event. A video archive of the webcast will be available on the NEA website.

Live Webcast Viewing Parties 
The NEA encourages households, schools, and community organizations to gather together to watch the webcast and enjoy superb music by world-renown artists. The NEA will provide access to the 2014 NEA Jazz Masters publication and the evening's program. And, viewers can connect with the broader community by sharing comments and photos on Twitter using the hashtag #NEAJazz. If you are interested in hosting a viewing party, please send an email to neajazzmasters@arts.gov.

Photo Opportunity 
At 5:30 p.m. on January 13, 2014, the 2014 NEA Jazz Masters and their fellow NEA Jazz Masters in attendance will gather for a group photo in the Agnes Varis and Karl Leichtman Studio in the Irene Diamond Education Center at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Broadway at 60th Street, 5th floor, New York, NY. Members of the press who would like to participate in the photo opportunity must reserve a place in advance by contacting Victoria Hutter at hutterv@arts.gov. In addition, the NEA will service photos from the concert for press purposes. Contact Victoria Hutter at hutterv@arts.gov with any requests.

Concert Details
Media interested in covering the event, may send an email to Victoria Hutter at hutterv@arts.gov.

About NEA Jazz Masters 
Each year since 1982, the Arts Endowment has conferred the NEA Jazz Masters award to living legends in recognition of their outstanding contributions to jazz. With this new class, 132 awards have been given to 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.

NEA Jazz Masters are selected from nominations submitted by the public and receive a one-time fellowship award of $25,000, are honored at the awards ceremony, and may participate in NEA-sponsored promotional, performance, and educational activities. One hundred forty-four nominations were considered for the 2014 NEA Jazz Masters. Only living musicians or jazz advocates (U.S. citizens or permanent residents) may be nominated for the NEA Jazz Masters honor.

NEA Jazz Resources
The NEA has created numerous resources as part of the NEA Jazz Masters program, including:

  • Video tributes, brief video tributes to NEA Jazz Masters' lives and careers in jazz,
  • Jazz Moments, short audio pieces featuring musical excerpts and short interviews with NEA Jazz Masters,
  • Podcasts with NEA Jazz Masters and other jazz figures about the history and current state of jazz,
  • In-depth interviews with more than 45 NEA Jazz Masters,
  • NEA Jazz Masters Live grants to support performance and educational activities featuring NEA Jazz Masters, administered by Art Midwest.

In addition, the NEA supports the Smithsonian Jazz Oral History Program, an effort to document the lives and careers of NEA Jazz Masters. In addition to transcriptions of the hours-long interviews, the website also includes audio clips with interview excerpts of the artists' early years, their first introduction to music and jazz, as well as their unique personal experiences in world of jazz.

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at arts.gov.

The mission of Jazz at Lincoln Center is to entertain, enrich and expand a global community for Jazz through performance, education and advocacy. With the world-renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and guest artists spanning genres and generations, Jazz at Lincoln Center produces thousands of performance, education, and broadcast events each season in its home in New York City (Frederick P. Rose Hall, “The House of Swing”) and around the world, for people of all ages. Now in its 26th year, Jazz at Lincoln Center is led by Chairman Robert J. Appel, Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis, and Executive Director Greg Scholl. Please visit us at jazz.org;follow us on Twitter @JALCNYC and Facebook; watch our free, global webcasts at new.livestream.com/jazz; and enjoy concerts, education programs, behind-the-scenes footage, programs and more at youtube.com/jazzatlincolncenter.