The 2012 NEA Jazz Masters Awards Concert

fromWBGO

L-R: Jack DeJohnette, Ron Carter, Sheila Jordan, Jimmy Owens. i i

hide captionL-R: Jack DeJohnette, Ron Carter, Sheila Jordan, Jimmy Owens.

Michael G. Stewart/NEA
L-R: Jack DeJohnette, Ron Carter, Sheila Jordan, Jimmy Owens.

L-R: Jack DeJohnette, Ron Carter, Sheila Jordan, Jimmy Owens.

Michael G. Stewart/NEA

In a concert and ceremony at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City, the National Endowment for the Arts recognized its latest class of NEA Jazz Masters on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012.

The honor, here in its 30th year, is the highest federally-supported award for jazz artistry; those recognized received a $25,000 grant and an opportunity to perform. The event was broadcast live tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET through XM Satellite Radio, WBGO-FM and online — with a live video stream — at this page on NPR Music. Video of the entire event is archived at the NEA's website.

The NEA recognized five individuals, all musicians. Jack DeJohnette is one of the great drummers in modern jazz; tenor saxophonist Von Freeman has long been a hard-swinging anchor of the Chicago jazz community; Charlie Haden's bass playing seems endlessly versatile; vocalist Sheila Jordan is known for her distinctive approach and singing workshops; and Jimmy Owens, trumpeter and composer/arranger, receives the A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Award for Jazz Advocacy for helping to establish housing and emergency assistance for musicians.

Each of the 2012 NEA Jazz Masters was introduced by a short video segment and a guest speaker, then offered the chance to speak. (Haden and Freeman were unable to attend; their children, themselves prominent musicians, accepted their awards for them.) Between awards, songs written by Jazz Masters were performed by Jazz Masters, often with up-and-coming musicians and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. The list below separates all the individual performance for on-demand listening.

Since 1982, the NEA has recognized 124 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. The NEA recently announced it would renew its commitment to the Jazz Masters program after proposed funding cuts in 2011 imperiled its future existence.

The 2012 NEA Jazz Masters Awards Concert

All photos by Michael G. Stewart / NEA.

Phil Woods (left) and Grace Kelly.

"Things To Come" (Dizzy Gillespie)

Performed by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, featuring Grace Kelly (alto saxophone, right) and Phil Woods (alto saxophone, left). Dizzy Gillespie was named an NEA Jazz Master in 1982 and Woods was inducted in 2007.

 
Hubert Laws (left) and Ron Carter.

"Memory Of Minnie" (Hubert Laws) / "Little Waltz" (Ron Carter)

Performed as a duet by Ron Carter (bass, right) and Hubert Laws (flute, left). Carter was named an NEA Jazz Master in 1998 and Laws was inducted in 2011.

 
Ambrose Akinmusire (left) and Dave Liebman.

"Señor Blues" (Horace Silver)

Performed by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, featuring Ambrose Akinmusire (trumpet, left), Dave Liebman (soprano saxophone, right), Toshiko Akiyoshi (piano) and Candido Camero (percussion). Arranged by Carlos Henriquez. Horace Silver was named an NEA Jazz Master in 1995; Akiyoshi (2007), Camero (2008) and Liebman (2011) have also been inducted.

 
Bobby Hutcherson (left) and Kenny Barron.

"In Your Own Sweet Way" (Dave Brubeck)

Performed by Bobby Hutcherson (vibraphone, left) and Kenny Barron (piano, right). Dave Brubeck was named an NEA Jazz Master in 1999, and Hutcherson and Barron were both inducted in 2010.

 
Benny Golson (left) and Frank Wess.

"Magic" (Frank Wess)

Performed by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, featuring Kris Bowers (piano), Benny Golson (tenor saxophone, left) and Frank Wess (tenor saxophone, right). Frank Wess was named an NEA Jazz Master in 2007 and Golson was inducted in 1996. The performance was a tribute to 2007 NEA Jazz Master Frank Foster and 1983 NEA Jazz Master Count Basie.

 
L-R: Jack DeJohnette, Ron Carter, Sheila Jordan, Jimmy Owens.

"When Will The Blues Leave" (Ornette Coleman)

Performed by 2012 NEA Jazz Masters Sheila Jordan (voice), Jimmy Owens (trumpet) and Jack DeJohnette (drums), with 1998 NEA Jazz Master Ron Carter (bass). Ornette Coleman was named an NEA Jazz Master in 1984.

 
NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman.

"Again And Again" (Benny Carter)

Performed by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, led by Wynton Marsalis. Benny Carter was named an NEA Jazz Master in 1986, and Marsalis was inducted in 2011. Pictured is NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman.

 

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