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2023 NEA Jazz Masters Announced

Recipients Regina Carter, Kenny Garrett, Louis Hayes, and Sue Mingus to be honored with ceremony on Apr. 1 at Kennedy Center

Regina Carter, Detroit Jazz Festival 2014 (photo) Marek Lazarski
Regina Carter, Detroit Jazz Festival 2014 (photo) Marek Lazarski

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has announced the recipients of its prestigious Jazz Masters fellowships for 2023. Regina Carter, Kenny Garrett, and Louis Hayes were named NEA Jazz Masters as artists. Sue Mingus is the recipient of the 2023 A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship for Jazz Advocacy, won in previous years by former JazzTimes contributors Dan Morgenstern, Nat Hentoff, Ira Gitler, and Stanley Crouch. The fellowships include an award of $25,000 and the honorees will be celebrated at a public concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, April 1, 2023.

“From its origins in the Black American experience to what is now a global treasure, jazz continues to be a source of inspiration and creativity, due in large part to the stewards of this tradition, four of whom we are excited to honor this year,” NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson said in a press release received at JazzTimes. “We look forward to collaborating with the Kennedy Center on an event that will celebrate their contributions and passion for jazz with a wide audience.”  

“We are overjoyed to have the NEA Jazz Masters return to the Kennedy Center, especially with this extraordinary class of giants,” Kennedy Center Artistic Director for Jazz Jason Moran said in the same press release. “Regina Carter’s violin sings the sonic legacies of Detroit into the world; Kenny Garrett blasted a fearless fire into his alto saxophone; Louis Hayes’ drums swung every band he was in into the stratosphere; and Sue Mingus is a champion galvanizer, producer, and manager of her late husband Charles Mingus’ immense legacy.”

The public is encouraged to nominate a future NEA Jazz Master with the guidelines provided here. The deadline for nominations for the 2024 class of NEA Jazz Masters is October 31, 2022.