The KJazz Chronicles

National Endowment for the Arts Announces the 2012 NEA Jazz Masters
30th anniversary of America’s highest honor in Jazz
Source: National Endowment for the Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) today announced the recipients of the 2012 NEA Jazz Masters Award — the nation’s highest honor in jazz. The five recipients will receive a one-time award of $25,000 and be publicly honored at the annual awards ceremony and concert, produced by Jazz at Lincoln Center at its home, Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York City.

With this class, the NEA is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the NEA Jazz Masters Awards, which recognize outstanding musicians for their lifetime achievements and significant contributions to the development and performance of jazz.

The 2012 NEA Jazz Masters are:

Jack DeJohnette, Drummer, Keyboardist, Composer
Born in Chicago, IL; lives in Willow, NY

Von Freeman, Saxophonist
Born in Chicago, IL; lives in Chicago, IL

Charlie Haden, Bassist, Composer, Educator
Born in Shenandoah, IA; lives in Agoura Hills, CA

Sheila Jordan, Vocalist, Educator
Born in Detroit, MI; lives in Middleburgh, NY

*Jimmy Owens, Educator, Trumpeter, Flugelhorn Player, Composer, Arranger
Born in Bronx, NY; lives in New York, NY


*Jimmy Owens is the recipient of the 2012 A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Award for Jazz Advocacy.

“These artists represent the highest level of artistic mastery and we are proud to recognize their achievements,” said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. “Through their contributions, we have been challenged, enlightened, and charmed, and we thank them for devoting their careers to expanding and supporting their art forms.”

“Jazz is considered by many as one of America’s greatest cultural gifts to the world,” said Wayne S. Brown, NEA Director of Music and Opera. “These artists are being recognized for their extraordinary contribution to advancing the art form and for serving as mentors for a new generation of young aspiring jazz musicians.”

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