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2017 NEA Jazz Masters Announced

Recipients include four musicians and one advocate

Ira Gitler at home
Dave Holland
Pianist Dick Hyman (photo by Ken Franckling)
Dr. Lonnie Smith at the 2010 Telluride Jazz Celebration

The National Endowment for the Arts announced the 2017 NEA Jazz Masters Fellows, recipients of the nation’s highest honor in jazz, earlier this evening during a DC Jazz Festival concert at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

The five recipients-vocalist/broadcaster Dee Dee Bridgewater; author, editor, producer and educator Ira Gitler (winner of the A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Award for Jazz Advocacy); bassist, cellist, composer and bandleader Dave Holland; keyboardist, composer and arranger Dick Hyman; and organist-composer Dr. Lonnie Smith-were recognized for their lifetime achievements and exceptional contributions to the advancement of jazz. Each will receive a $25,000 award and be honored at a tribute concert on Monday, April 3.

The free concert, which will be held at the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall, will be open to the public and will also be available through a live webstream. More information about the concert, as well as ticket information, will be available in 2017. Go to the official NEA website to view footage from the 2016 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert.

Originally Published