The 2011 NEA Jazz Masters Awards Concert

fromWBGO

The 2011 NEA Jazz Masters at Jazz at Lincoln Center. i i

The 2011 NEA Jazz Masters. Top row (L-R, from second left): Delfeayo Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Jason Marsalis. Bottom row (L-R): Hubert Laws, Orrin Keepnews, Johnny Mandel, David Liebman. Also pictured are NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman (top row, left), NEA Director of Music and Opera Wayne Brown (top row, right), and Executive Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center Adrian Ellis (bottom row, right). Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center/NEA hide caption

itoggle caption Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center/NEA
The 2011 NEA Jazz Masters at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

The 2011 NEA Jazz Masters. Top row (L-R, from second left): Delfeayo Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Jason Marsalis. Bottom row (L-R): Hubert Laws, Orrin Keepnews, Johnny Mandel, David Liebman. Also pictured are NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman (top row, left), NEA Director of Music and Opera Wayne Brown (top row, right), and Executive Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center Adrian Ellis (bottom row, right).

Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center/NEA

Set List

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra

  • "Re: Person I Knew" (Evans, arr. T. Nash)

Hubert Laws with Kenny Barron

  • "Stella By Starlight" (Young)

David Liebman with Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra

  • "Summertime/There's A Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon For New York" (Gershwin)

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra

  • "The Shadow Of Your Smile" (Mandel)

Jimmy Heath, Roberta Gambarini and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra

  • "Angel Face" (Hank Jones/Abbey Lincoln)

The Marsalis Family

  • "At The House, In Da Pocket" (J. Marsalis)

In a concert and ceremony held Tuesday at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, the National Endowment for the Arts recognized its 2011 class of NEA Jazz Masters.

The honor is the country's highest award for jazz artistry; those being recognized received a $25,000 grant and an opportunity to perform with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. The event was broadcast live through XM Satellite Radio, WBGO-FM and online — with a live video stream — at this page on NPR Music.

This year, the NEA recognized four individuals — three musicians, plus one record producer to be presented the A.B. Spellman Award for Jazz Advocacy — and an entire musical family. Flutist Hubert Laws and saxophonist David Liebman are known largely for their playing over multiple decades; Laws has extensive experience in many styles, while Liebman is also a noted educator. Johnny Mandel started his career in music as a jazz trumpeter and trombonist, but is primarily known as a composer and arranger for jazz, pop and films. Orrin Keepnews produced and reissued many classic recordings for his own Riverside Records and several other labels. And there's The Marsalis Family, this country's unofficial first family of jazz. Father Ellis Marsalis, the great pianist and teacher, helped to raise the saxophonist Branford, trumpeter and composer (and Jazz at Lincoln Center Artistic Director) Wynton, trombonist Delfeayo and drummer Jason.

The Jazz Masters were celebrated with performances by The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, including special collaborations with Liebman, Laws and the Marsalis Family. The orchestra, with special guests — saxophonist Jimmy Heath and vocalist Roberta Gambarini — also recognized Jazz Masters who have died in 2010, with a tribute to Hank Jones, Abbey Lincoln, James Moody and Dr. Billy Taylor.

Since 1982, the NEA has recognized 119 Jazz Masters (or group awards), all of whom were living at the time of their selection. In addition to the one-time grant, recipients are also invited to participate in NEA-sponsored live performances and education programs across the country.

Just The Music

Orrin Keepnews
Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center/NEA

Orrin Keepnews

  • Song: Re: Person I Knew

The pianist Bill Evans wrote this piece for Keepnews, who produced many of Evans' records -- the title is an anagram of his name. Ted Nash arranged this piece for the JLCO.

Hubert Laws
Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center/NEA

Hubert Laws

  • Song: Stella By Starlight

Flutist Hubert Laws performed an impressionistic duet on this jazz standard with his friend Kenny Barron.

David Liebman
Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center/NEA

David Liebman

  • Song: Summertime/There's A Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon For New York

For his performance, soprano saxophonist David Liebman chose two selections from George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, as arranged by Gil Evans for Miles Davis. Justin DiCiocco conducted the JLCO.

Johnny Mandel
Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center/NEA

Johnny Mandel

  • Song: The Shadow Of Your Smile

"The Shadow of Your Smile" is one of Johnny Mandel's most enduring standards, performed here by the JLCO with a solo by Wynton Marsalis. Like much of his best-known work, it originated as music for a film.

Jimmy Heath and Roberta Gambarini
Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center/NEA

Tribute To Hank Jones, Abbey Lincoln, James Moody, Dr. Billy Taylor

  • Song: Angel Face

The NEA celebrated the Jazz Masters it lost in 2010 with a special JLCO performance featuring saxophonist Jimmy Heath (also an NEA Jazz Master) and vocalist Roberta Gambarini (both pictured). "Angel Face" was written by the late Hank Jones, with lyrics from the late Abbey Lincoln.

Ellis Marsalis
Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center/NEA

The Marsalis Family

  • Song: At The House In Da Pocket

The Marsalis family -- father Ellis on piano (pictured), with sons Wynton (trumpet), Branford (tenor saxophone), Delfeayo (trombone) and Jason (drums) -- closed the ceremony with Jason's "At The House, In Da Pocket," a blues with a New Orleans parade feel. Jason Stewart played bass.

Related NPR Stories

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.