In a concert and ceremony held at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, the National Endowment for the Arts recognized its 2010 Jazz Masters — recipients of the country's largest federally supported award for jazz artistry. Seven master musicians and one record producer each received public recognition, a $25,000 grant and an opportunity to perform, some with the Jazz at Lincoln Center orchestra by request. The gala was broadcast live over Sirius/XM satellite radio, terrestrial radio via WBGO and online at this page on NPR Music.
- Muhal Richard Abrams, solo and conducting the JALC Orchestra
- —Solo Piano Improvisation/"2000 Plus The Twelfth Step" (feat. Marcus Printup, trumpet; Ted Nash, saxophone; Carlos Henriquez, bass)
- Kenny Barron, solo piano
- —"Song For Abdullah"
- Bill Holman, conducting the JALC Orchestra
- —"Make My Day" (feat. Vincent Gardner, trombone; Walter Blanding, saxophone)
- Bobby Hutcherson, composing for the JALC Orchestra
- —"Little B's Poem" (feat. Warren Wolf, vibraphone; Ted Nash, saxophone)
- Yusef Lateef, performing with Adam Rudolph, percussion
- —"Brother Hold Your Light"
- Annie Ross, with the JALC Orchestra
- —"Music Is Forever" (feat. Wynton Marsalis, trumpet)
- Cedar Walton, with the JALC Orchestra
- —"Dear Ruth"
- George Avakian, introducing the JALC Orchestra
- —"Stompy Jones" (feat. Wynton Marsalis, trumpet; Joe Temperley, saxophone; Chris Crenshaw, trombone; Victor Goines, clarinet; Dan Nimmer, piano)
The artists selected for 2010 include the well-traveled, stylish pianists Kenny Barron and Cedar Walton, vibraphone and marimba master Bobby Hutcherson, singer Annie Ross (known for her vocalese as a member of Lambert, Hendricks and Ross), influential big-band writer Bill Holman, AACM co-founder and pianist/composer Muhal Richard Abrams and reedman and international music pioneer Yusef Lateef. Record producer George Avakian also received a special award for jazz advocacy.
The NEA has now inducted 114 Jazz Masters. The award is given only to living musicians and advocates; recipients are also invited to participate in NEA-sponsored live performances and education programs throughout the country. NEA chairman Rocco Landesman and Jazz at Lincoln Center artistic director Wynton Marsalis introduced the event, and many previously-inducted NEA Jazz Masters, some of whom introduced this year's class, attended the ceremony.