The National Endowment for the Arts will sponsor its annual NEA Jazz Masters Awards Ceremony and Concert on October 17 at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. The event will begin at 8 p.m. in Rose Theater at Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center at Broadway at 60th Street and feature the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis in a program dedicated to the honorees’ works. The concert also will include brief video biographies on each 2009 NEA Jazz Master.
In addition, a pre-concert conversation with the 2009 NEA Jazz Masters moderated by NEA Chairman Dana Gioia will be held at 6:15 p.m. in Rose Theater. The conversation will explore the careers, influences and ideas from the Masters’ experiences in jazz.
The 2009 NEA Jazz Masters include vocalist and guitarist George Benson (pictured), drummer James Wilbur “Jimmy” Cobb, saxophonist Lee Konitz, harmonica and guitar player Jean-Baptiste “Toots” Thielemans and trumpeter Eugene Edward “Snooky” Young. The A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Master Award for Jazz Advocacy is awarded to recording engineer Rudolph “Rudy” Van Gelder.
NEA Jazz Masters are selected from nominations submitted by the public. Musicians selected as NEA Jazz Masters receive a one-time grant award of $25,000, are honored at a public awards ceremony, and may participate in NEA-sponsored promotional, performance and educational activities under the NEA Jazz Masters National Initiative program. All of the NEA Jazz Masters are profiled in an NEA publication, which includes brief biographies, selected discographies and an hour-long audio CD of NEA-produced Jazz Moments, radio shorts of interviews with NEA Jazz Masters. Only living musicians or jazz advocates may receive the NEA Jazz Masters honor.
For more information on NEA Jazz Masters, the public is invited to visit the NEA Jazz Masters Web site.