CELEBRATING
50 YEARS

NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert Set for Aug. 20

This year's honorees—Bobby McFerrin, Roscoe Mitchell, Reggie Workman, and Dorthaan Kirk—will be celebrated with an online event

The 2020 NEA Jazz Masters
The 2020 NEA Jazz Masters: Bobby McFerrin (photo: Carol Friedman), Roscoe Mitchell (photo: Ken Weiss), Reggie Workman (photo: Richard Kohler), and Dorthaan Kirk (photo: David Tallacksen, courtesy of WBGO)

The National Endowment for the Arts is the latest player in the jazz world to take its presence into the virtual arena, announcing that its 2020 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute concert will be held as an online event on August 20. This year’s honorees for the highest official honor given to jazz in the U.S. include vocalist Bobby McFerrin, saxophonist/multi-reedist/composer Roscoe Mitchell, bassist Reggie Workman, and jazz advocate, producer, and curator Dorthaan Kirk.

The NEA will co-present the concert with SFJAZZ. The San Francisco institution and venue had originally been scheduled to host the 2020 tribute concert before the COVID-19 pandemic forced its cancellation.

Newly inducted musicians do not typically perform at the Jazz Masters Tribute concerts; rather, their friends, colleagues, and protégés in the jazz world will salute the honorees with performances of their compositions (or of songs associated with the honorees). The performers scheduled for the online tribute include Terri Lyne Carrington (who also serves as musical director); Ambrose Akinmusire; Dee Dee Bridgewater; James Carter; Gerald Clayton; Vincent Davis; Lisa Fischer; Morgan Guerin; Oliver Lake; Jevon, Madison, and Taylor McFerrin; Christian McBride; Kanoa Mendenhall; Junius Paul; and Steve Turre, as well as the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars.

The 2020 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert will be broadcast at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT via the websites for SFJAZZ, the NEA, and NPR Music. The NEA website will maintain an archived version of the concert after the event has concluded.

Visit the NEA website for more information about the Jazz Masters Fellowship program.

Originally Published