On June 13 the National Arts Club presented trumpeter Jon Faddis (pictured) with its Jazz Medal of Honor. Founded in 1898 to “stimulate, foster and promote public interest in the arts while educating the American people in the fine arts,” the National Arts Club (NAC) has been presenting a Gold Medal of Honor for Music since 1957, and just five years ago introduced its Jazz Medal of Honor.
Faddis, director of the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band since 1991, joins past jazz recipients Dick Hyman, the JVC Jazz Festival, George Shearing and Benny Carter. The reception and dinner, which took place at the Tilden Mansion on Gramercy Park South in Manhattan, featured remarks from Phil Schaap (curator of Jazz at Lincoln Center), trumpeter Terrell Stafford, past winner Dick Hyman, George Wein (producer of the JVC Jazz Festival) and a musical tribute from the Jazz Ensemble of SUNY Purchase, where Faddis has served as artist-in-residence since 1999. O. Aldon James, president of the National Arts Club, remarked: “Jon Faddis—a man whose lifetime contributions to jazz have enriched our cultural landscape—is the perfect recipient of the club’s highest recognition.”
The trumpeter’s commitment to the education of young musicians has seen him teach master classes around the world, and in receiving the award, Faddis emphasized the importance of teaching music to youth. “I am extremely pleased and proud to be the 2001-2002 recipient of the Jazz Medal of Honor, Faddis said. “To have my name placed among such luminaries of jazz and music is truly an honor and a blessing. Thanks to my parents, my instructors and my mentor and dear friend, the late Dizzy Gillespie, I learned early to dedicate myself to excellence. However, to achieve excellence and a true sense of purpose, a musician has to give out as much as he or she takes in. That’s why it is so important for me to work with young people and push them toward their dreams. I am honored that the National Arts Club has looked at my life’s work and deemed it worthy to receive this award.”
For more information on the National Arts Club, call (212) 475-3424.Originally Published