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, administered by Arts Midwest, 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.
NEA Jazz Masters Live is a continuation of the successful NEA Jazz Masters on Tour program that was started in 2004 in partnership with Arts Midwest. Between 2005 and 2007, 28 Jazz Masters toured around the country, resulting in 193 performances, plus accompanying education and outreach programs. More than 165,000 people saw a jazz performance—many for the first time—as a result of this program, including more than 40,000 youth, creating new audiences for this American art form. Already, in its first year, NEA Jazz Masters Live has reached more than 47,000 people, including 3,800 youth.