News

National Endowment for the Arts Announces $250,000 in 2011 NEA Jazz Masters Live Grants

Grants support unique opportunities to engage with NEA Jazz Masters

Washington, DC– Rocco Landesman, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, announced today 15 not-for-profit organizations will receive grants totaling $250,000 to bring outstanding jazz musicians, writers, producers, and scholars to communities across the nation through NEA Jazz Masters Live. In cooperation with Arts Midwest, these NEA Jazz Masters Live grants support performance and educational activities featuring NEA Jazz Masters, recipients of the nation’s highest honor in jazz. The program celebrates these living legends who have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of jazz, and offers audiences the unique opportunity to share the artists’ expertise in performances, master classes, clinics, lectures, and short term residencies.

Among the NEA Jazz Masters participating in NEA Jazz Masters Live events are musicians Dave Brubeck, Paquito D’Rivera, Jimmy Heath, and Randy Weston, as well as jazz historians and educators Dan Morgenstern and Gunther Schuller, and festival producer George Avakian.

“Live interactions between musicians and audiences are essential to jazz,” said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. “These NEA Jazz Masters Live grants will provide audiences across the country direct interaction with those who have shaped, encouraged, and developed this original American art form.”

Organizations chosen for the 2011 NEA Jazz Masters Live are:

  • 92nd Street Y, Young Men's & Women's Hebrew Association (New York, NY)
  • Artists Collective (Hartford, CT)
  • Burlington Discover Jazz Festival, Flynn Center for the Performing Arts (Burlington, VT)
  • Centrum (Port Townsend, WA)
  • Charlie Parker Jazz Festival (New York, NY)
  • Contemporary Arts Center (New Orleans, LA)
  • Global Jazz Institute, Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA)
  • University Musical Society (Ann Arbor, MI)
  • Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival (Moscow, ID)
  • Litchfield Jazz Festival (Litchfield, CT)
  • Outpost Productions (Albuquerque, NM)
  • Portland Jazz Festival (Portland, OR)
  • SFJAZZ (San Francisco, CA)
  • Tanglewood Jazz Festival, Boston Symphony Orchestra (Boston, MA)
  • Tri-C JazzFest (Cleveland, OH)

About the NEA Jazz Masters Program

NEA Jazz Masters are selected from nominations submitted by the public and receive a one-time fellowship award of $25,000, are honored at a public awards ceremony, and may participate in NEA-sponsored promotional, performance, and educational activities. Only living musicians or jazz advocates may be nominated for the NEA Jazz Masters honor.

The National Endowment for the Arts has supported jazz artists and organizations since 1969, providing millions of dollars in grants and awards. In 2004, the NEA significantly expanded its NEA Jazz Masters program and in 2005 created the NEA Jazz Masters Initiative, a comprehensive program of jazz support that includes the NEA Jazz Masters Award; radio programming featuring NEA Jazz Masters; educational resources through the NEA Jazz in the Schools program produced by the Arts Endowment in partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center; and publications and reports. For more information on NEA Jazz Masters, the public is invited to visit the website, at neajazzmasters.org.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA atarts.gov.

About Arts Midwest

Arts Midwest connects people throughout the Midwest and the world to meaningful arts opportunities, sharing creativity, knowledge, and understanding across boundaries. Arts Midwest connects the arts to audiences throughout the nine-state region of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. One of six non-profit regional arts organizations in the United States, Arts Midwest’s history spans more than 25 years. For more information, please visit www.artsmidwest.org.