NEA Arts Magazine

Congressional Tribute to Shirley Horn

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Photo of Shirley Horn

2005 NEA Jazz Master Shirley Horn. Photo: Larry Busacca.

On February 15, 2006, a Congressional resolution introduced by District of Columbia Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and Michigan Representative John Conyers Jr. was passed by unanimous consent in the U.S. House of Representatives, recognizing 2005 NEA Jazz Master Shirley Horn, who passed away on October 20, 2005, for her contributions to American culture. Rep. Conyers, Nevada Representative Jon Porter, and Illinois Representative Danny Davis spoke in support of the resolution. An excerpt from the resolution follows:

Whereas Shirley Horn recorded over two dozen albums and was lauded with numerous honors, including the Grammy Award for best jazz vocal performance in 1991, election into the Lionel Hampton Jazz Hall of Fame in 1996, an honorary doctorate from the Berklee College of Music in 1998, the 2003 Jazz at Lincoln Center Award, inclusion in ASCAP's Wall of Fame as the 2005 living legend, and the 2005 NEA Jazz Master, the Nation's highest honor in jazz; Whereas Shirley Horn never forgot her roots and continued to support and perform in her local community of Washington, D.C., receiving the Mayor's Arts Award for Excellence in an Artistic Discipline; and

Resolved by the House of Representatives, That Congress--
(1) notes with deep sorrow the death of Shirley Horn and extends heartfelt sympathy to her husband and family; and
(2) recognizes Shirley Horn's many achievements and contributions to the world of jazz and American culture and notes the loss to American culture with her passing.