Art Works Blog

NEA Jazz Masters

http://youtu.be/ASytJt7-IF4 "Lou Donaldson reminds us that no matter how much technique you have, you cannot really play this music unless you play it with a large amount of soul. And for that, I thank you, Lou." ---Saxophonist Sherman Irby "Very few artists of any genre have been...
Text by Rebecca Gross / Audio production by Adam Kampe Every year, our audio producers spend hours interviewing the latest class of NEA Jazz Masters—this year they are Lou Donaldson , Lorraine Gordon , Eddie Palmieri , and Mose Allison . From those interviews, we collect interesting moments...
Pianist Helen Sung. Photo by Kathy Villacorta Musicianship requires more than just knowing how to read a sheet of music and press the proper keys. Both of those skills are critical of course, but so is knowing the tradition of your art form, understanding the masters, and learning which techniques...
In this week's podcast, we meet 2013 NEA Jazz Master Lorraine Gordon . She's the owner of the legendary New York City jazz club the Village Vanguard. The Vanguard has hosted everyone from Mary Lou Williams to Jason Moran. A jazz haven for more than 55 years, the Vanguard passed to Lorraine...
In this week's podcast, we meet a member of the 2013 class of NEA Jazz Masters: alto saxophonist, Lou Donaldson . For over 60 years, Donaldson has played a swinging bebop---combining elements of bop with a soulful sound that is absolutely his own. It's a style of playing that earned him the...
Preservation by flickr user Gruenemann If you were to criss-cross the country visiting the nation's legendary jazz clubs, one of your first stops would be the Village Vanguard, owned by NEA Jazz Master Lorraine Gordon . Founded by Gordon's husband Max, the Vanguard first opened its doors in...
Bob Koester with the late, great bluesman Big Joe Williams's famous nine-string guitar. Photo by Frank Corpus For most of us, our childhood hobbies---rock collecting, baseball cards---end their lives in dusty boxes in the attic. For select others, they grow into passions that eventually turn...
Philip Levine. Photo by Geoffrey Berliner Thanks to his Detroit upbringing, former U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine has more than a passing connection with some of the country's jazz legends, such as NEA Jazz Masters Kenny Burrell, Elvin Jones, and Tommy Flanagan. In fact, Levine has credited...
Meet Delfeayo Marsalis , one of the top trombonists and producers working in jazz today, and the third musical son in the acclaimed Marsalis family. (And for you trivia lovers, the Marsalis family has received the one and only group NEA Jazz Masters Award .) Performing internationally with some of...
This week's podcast begins our celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month with a conversation with legendary pianist and 1994 NEA Jazz Master, Ahmad Jamal . Jamal plays the piano with both subtley and virtuosity. As Miles Davis put it, Jamal allowed the "music to breath," and this use of...

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