NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman's Statement on the Death of NEA Jazz Master John Levy
"On behalf of the National Endowment for the Arts, it is with great sadness that I acknowledge the passing of 2006 NEA Jazz Master John Levy, a recipient of the A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Master Award for Jazz Advocacy. Levy was renowned as a leading representative of jazz musicians, and as the first African American to work in the music industry as a personal manager. He began his jazz life as a bassist playing with many notable artists before turning his professional attention full time to managing. He remained active for more than fifty years representing artists such as Roberta Flack and NEA Jazz Masters Herbie Hancock, Ahmad Jamal, Abbey Lincoln, and Nancy Wilson. Although John was not able to attend this year's NEA Jazz Masters events, we recognized his upcoming 100th birthday and sent best wishes from the stage at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Theater. John will be deeply missed and rightly celebrated for his life and numerous contributions to jazz."