Free Kennedy Center Concert Honors 2017 NEA Jazz Masters

Performances by Paquito D'Rivera, Lee Konitz, Dianne Reeves and many more

Dee Dee Bridgewater performing at the 2014 Exit O International Jazz Festival
Dr. Lonnie Smith, Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival 2015
Dave Holland performs with Lionel Loueke, Chris Potter and Eric Harland at the 2016 Newport Jazz Festival
Pianist Dick Hyman (photo by Ken Franckling)
Ira Gitler at home (photo by Jacques Lowe)

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On Monday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m., a free concert honoring the 2017 NEA Jazz Masters will take place at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. This year’s award recipients include vocalist and producer Dee Dee Bridgewater, author and educator Ira Gitler, bassist and composer Dave Holland, keyboardist and composer Dick Hyman and organist and composer Dr. Lonnie Smith.

Scheduled performers at this Concert Hall event include NEA Jazz Masters Paquito D’Rivera and Lee Konitz, plus Dianne Reeves, Bill Charlap, Peter Martin, Donald Harrison, Chris Potter, Sherrie Maricle and the Diva Jazz Orchestra, Aaron Diehl and more. Speakers at the event include the 2017 Jazz Masters (with Ira Gitler represented by his son, Fitz Gitler) as well as NEA chairman Jane Chu, Kennedy Center Artistic Director for Jazz Jason Moran, NEA Jazz Masters Dan Morgenstern and Kenny Barron and others.

Up to four free tickets per household may be reserved by visiting the Kennedy Center box office in person, by calling 202-467-4600 or 800-444-1324 or through the official Kennedy Center website. The performance will also be streamed live at and

Additional free events associated with the selection of this year’s NEA Jazz Masters

A listening party with the 2017 NEA Jazz Masters will take place on April 2 at 2 p.m. at NPR headquarters (1111 North Capitol Street NE, Washington, D.C.). For more information and to reserve tickets visit the NPR Presents website.

A master class conducted by Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dick Hyman and Dr. Lonnie Smith for Howard University student and alumni musicians will take place on April 4 at 2 p.m. at Howard University’s Childer’s Recital Hall (2455 6th Street NW, Washington, D.C.). The public is invited to observe; seating is first come, first served.