Jazz Appreciation Month: Celebrating the 2021 NEA Jazz Masters


Nationwide recognition for jazz artists is a uncommon factor. The Nationwide Endowment for the Arts stepped up its mandate in 1982 to incorporate jazz as an artwork type and rejoice those that advance it. Robin Lloyd introduces the 2021 NEA Jazz Masters for Jazz Appreciation Month.

The best honor that our nation bestows on jazz artists is the Nationwide Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters award. Since 1982, this system has yearly celebrated dwelling legends who’ve made distinctive contributions to the development of jazz. Let’s meet the 2021 NEA Jazz Masters!

Drummer Terri Lyn Carrington grew up in a musical household and have become an expert musician at age 10, when she acquired her first Musicians Affiliation card and performed her first gig with Clark Terry. She was awarded a full scholarship to Berklee Faculty of Music the very subsequent 12 months. 

Like her mentor Clark Terry, she’s turned her consideration during the last 15 years to empowering the following technology. She’s a composer, bandleader, producer and educator, and is the founder and creative director of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice, created to deal with gender fairness within the jazz discipline and the position that jazz can play within the complete wrestle for social justice.

Drummer Albert Tootie Heath is the youngest of the Heath Brothers of Philadelphia. Each of his older brothers, bassist Percy and saxophonist Jimmy, have been additionally NEA Jazz Masters. Albert labored with J.J. Johnson, Wes Montgomery, Herbie Hancock and Yusef Lateef, and led an intergenerational jazz drum ensemble referred to as the Entire Drum Reality, which mixed legendary and rising jazz drummers akin to Sylvia Cuenca, Billy Hart, Louis Hayes and Willie Jones III. He additionally leads the Tootie Heath Trio, with pianist Ethan Iverson and bassist Ben Road. In 2018, he acquired a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jazz Basis of America. Heath was an teacher on the Stanford Jazz Workshop summer time camps for center and highschool college students for greater than 30 years.

On the forefront of avant-garde jazz, saxophonist Henry Threadgill is thought for his authentic compositions. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2016, one in all solely three jazz artists to win the celebrated award. Threadgill grew up on the south facet of Chicago, and when he was 19, he joined Muhal Richard Abrams’ Experimental Band, which developed into the Affiliation for the Development of Artistic Musicians (AACM), a collective of musicians that emphasised enjoying their very own music. 

Whereas gigging with marching bands, blues bands, Latin bands and even polka bands, he additionally began learning on the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago the place he majored in piano, flute and composition. Threadgill’s checklist of honors embody a Guggenheim Fellowship (2003), a United States Artists USA Fellowship (2008), induction into the ASCAP Wall of Fame in 2015, and a Doris Duke Artist Award (2016). In 2016, the Vietnam Veterans of America honored him with their Excellence within the Arts Award.

Phil Schaap shows his encyclopedic data of jazz music and historical past in his jazz packages on Columbia College’s radio station WKCR in New York, the place he’s been internet hosting since 1970. He has received six Grammy Awards for his liner notes, audio engineering and manufacturing. Schaap turned curator at Jazz at Lincoln Heart in New York Metropolis, the place he created the Swing College academic program, which continues to supply public jazz listening and appreciation lessons with the aim of accelerating and cultivating audiences for the music.

He has taught jazz at Columbia, Princeton and Rutgers universities, and presently teaches within the graduate faculty at Juilliard. Schaap has additionally carried out and picked up a whole lot of hours of taped interviews with jazz legends.

Be part of the celebration of the 2021 NEA Jazz Masters on Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. The live performance might be webcast on-line on arts.gov, sfjazz.org and NPR Music.

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