The 2018 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert Dianne Reeves, Pat Metheny, Joanne Brackeen and Todd Barkan are recipients of the 2018 Jazz Masters award — the highest honor the U.S. gives to a jazz musician or advocate.
NPR/NEA YouTube

Music

The 2018 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute ConcertWBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

The following text was originally published alongside the live web stream of the 2018 NEA Jazz Masters, which took place on April 16. A recording of the event can now be viewed by clicking on the video above.


Every year since 1982, the National Endowment For the Arts has inducted a new class of NEA Jazz Masters, honoring lifetime achievement across a broad range of personalities and backgrounds. The 2018 class is no exception, as we'll see during a tribute concert at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. next Monday, which will be streamed live on this page.

The senior member among this year's inductees is Joanne Brackeen, 79, a virtuoso pianist with a discography stretching back to the mid-'70s. Just behind her is the presenter and producer Todd Barkan, 71, who first made his mark as owner of the prominent San Francisco club Keystone Korner. (A fine recent archival release, Moments in Time, captures Brackeen at Keystone Korner in 1976, as a member of the Stan Getz Quartet.)

The guitarist Pat Metheny and the singer Dianne Reeves hail from a younger jazz generation — she is 61, he's 63 — and they share the rare ability to make an imposing technical command feel natural, even easeful. Each has been a paragon and a popularizer, reaching beyond the straight-ahead jazz perimeter to connect with Brazilian music, adult pop and much else besides.

Reeves, Metheny, Brackeen and Barkan will be honored during the NEA Jazz Masters ceremony in words, with short films and of course, in performance. Among the musicians taking part in this concert are pianist (and NEA Jazz Master) Eddie Palmieri, bassist (and Jazz Night in America host) Christian McBride, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington and singers Angelique Kidjo and Cécile McLorin Salvant.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Jazz

Harold Mabern Alan Nahigian/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Alan Nahigian/Courtesy of the artist

At The Helm: Harold Mabern, Stalwart Accompanist, At 82

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Harold Mabern has been one of jazz's most consistent accompanists over the last 60 years. In this episode of Jazz Night in America, we explore some of that history with him.

At The Helm: Harold Mabern, Stalwart Accompanist, At 82

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/614517884/614520719" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Barbara Cook performs at the 2014 New York Festival of Song at Carnegie Hall on April 28, 2014 in New York City. Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images

Barbara Cook On Piano Jazz

This week's Piano Jazz from 1998 remembers lyric soprano Barbara Cook, a Broadway star, staple of the New York cabaret scene and favorite of audiences around the world.

Barbara Cook On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/614380119/614428595" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

American jazz trumpeter Harry 'Sweets' Edison performs in 1991. David Redfern/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption David Redfern/Getty Images

Harry 'Sweets' Edison On Piano Jazz

On this episode of Piano Jazz from 1999, broadcast just months before Edison died, the legendary jazz trumpeter joins Marian McPartland for a few classics and an original.

Harry 'Sweets' Edison On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/612283249/612285662" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
George Kopp/Courtesy of the artist

Virginia Mayhew On Piano Jazz

Saxophonist, composer and bandleader Virginia Mayhew joins forces with Marian McPartland to perform "All the Things You Are" and "Body and Soul" on this 1998 episode of Piano Jazz.

Virginia Mayhew On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/610083723/610086310" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Joanne Brackeen and Jason Moran at NPR's Studio One in Washington, D.C. Eric Lee/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Eric Lee/NPR

Jazz Giants Take The Stage At The NEA Jazz Masters Listening Party

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Jason Moran sat down with the NEA Jazz Masters to talk about their careers and listen to music that played important roles in their lives.

Jazz Giants Take The Stage At The NEA Jazz Masters Listening Party

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/608093895/608239849" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

This 1988 episode of Piano Jazz features Brazilian pianist, composer, and vocalist Eliane Elias. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Eliane Elias On Piano Jazz

Brazilian pianist, composer, and vocalist Eliane Elias is a renowned artist in her home country and in the American jazz scene. Hear her first Piano Jazz performance from 1988.

Eliane Elias On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/607421826/607450646" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Willie Pickens On Piano Jazz

Chicago jazz mainstay Willie Pickens died this past December at age 86. Revisit his performance with McPartland in this 1997 episode of Piano Jazz.

Willie Pickens On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/604342537/604343909" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Cleo Brown on the cover of Here Comes Cleo. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Cleo Brown On Piano Jazz

Cleo Brown makes a rare appearance to perform her greatest hit, "Pinetop's Boogie-Woogie," and to recall the style's heyday in the 1930s.

Cleo Brown On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/602133644/602133663" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Gus Bennett, Jr./Courtesy of the artist

Nicholas Payton On Piano Jazz

The trumpet prodigy learned how to improv from fellow New Orleans native Wynton Marsalis. Payton was only in his 20s when he visited with McPartland for this 1998 episode.

Nicholas Payton On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/598825823/600192516" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top