Rafa Rivas/AFP/Getty Images
Sonny Rollins, eternally FTW.
Sonny Rollins, eternally FTW. Rafa Rivas/AFP/Getty Images
Saxophonist and composer Sonny Rollins will receive the Edward MacDowell Medal this year, The MacDowell Colony announced yesterday. It is the first time a jazz musician has received the honor, given yearly since 1960 to an "artist who has made an outstanding contribution to his or her field."
The distinguished jazz writer Gary Giddins, a big Sonny Rollins fan, will speak at the award ceremony. He was also chair of the Medalist Selection Committee, where he was joined by jazz-informed composer Carman Moore, jazz pianist Valerie Capers and jazz historian Dan Morgenstern.
Located in rural New Hampshire, The MacDowell Colony awards residency fellowships to working artists of many disciplines; it has hosted over 6,000 since its founding. The award will be presented at the Colony on Aug. 15, 2010 — a date not long from Rollins' 80th birthday on Sept. 7. An official press release, and the MacDowell Web site, has more information. [Press Release: Legendary Jazz Composer Sonny Rollins Named 2010 Edward MacDowell Medalist (opens PDF)]