NPR logo Sonny Rollins To Be Awarded The Edward MacDowell Medal

Sonny Rollins To Be Awarded The Edward MacDowell Medal

Sonny Rollins, eternally FTW. Rafa Rivas/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Rafa Rivas/AFP/Getty Images

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)]