Toshiko Akiyoshi Receives BNY Mellon Jazz 2018 Living Legacy Award

Pianist and composer to be honored in fall Kennedy Center ceremony

Toshiko Akiyoshi image 1
Edie Ellis

Toshiko Akiyoshi

The Japanese pianist, composer, arranger and bandleader Toshiko Akiyoshi will receive the BNY Mellon Jazz 2018 Living Legacy Award in a special ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., on Friday, Oct. 19. The award, administered by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, recognizes living jazz masters from the mid-Atlantic region who have achieved distinction in both performance and education.

Akiyoshi is no stranger to such honors. A 2007 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master, she has received 14 Grammy Award nominations, as well as the Shijahosho, the Japan Foundation Award, the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosetta, the Asahi Award and New York City’s Liberty Award.

Previous BNY Mellon Living Legacy Award honorees include last year’s winner Odean Pope (who will perform at the October event), Ron Carter, Joanne Brackeen, Muhal Richard Abrams, Phil Woods, Roy Haynes, Benny Golson, Oliver Lake, Rufus Reid, Randy Weston, Jimmy Heath, Shirley Scott, Reggie Workman, Donald Byrd and Clark Terry, among others.

Visit the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation website for more information on the BNY Mellon Jazz Living Legacy Award and the 2018 event at the Kennedy Center.

Read a vintage JazzTimes joint interview with Toshiko Akiyoshi and her husband, saxophonist/flutist Lew Tabackin.