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National Endowment for the Arts Statement on the Death of NEA Jazz Master Marian McPartland

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Woman wearing headphones playing piano with African-American man behind her playing piano.

NEA Jazz Master Marian McPartland plays a duet with Chicago jazz musician Jodie Christian during a taping of her weekly National Public Radio series, Piano Jazz. Photo by Melisa Goh

It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the passing of 2000 NEA Jazz Master Marian McPartland. As host of the renowned public radio show Piano Jazz, McPartland played a key role in helping to popularize jazz through her intricate knowledge of the art form and her prowess on the piano. NEA Senior Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa said, "Marian McPartland faced many challenges playing jazz as a woman in the 1940s. She was one of the first women to lead her own band, landing an eight-year residency at the historic Hickory House in New York City before going on to a career as the host of Piano Jazz where she was integral to raising the profile of jazz nationwide." The NEA joins the jazz community and beyond in mourning her death while celebrating her career and dedication to jazz.