2011 NEA National Heritage Fellowships Celebration - Award Ceremony

NEA National Heritage Fellowships Awards Ceremony at the Capitol Visitors Center September 21, 2011.

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The 2011 NEA National Heritage Fellows.

The 2011 NEA National Heritage Fellows. Back row, from left to right: NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman; Bulgarian saxophonist Yuri Yunakov; frame drum player Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro; taiko drum leader Roy Hirabayashi; ukulele and slack key guitarist Ledward Kaapana; Bo Dollis Jr., son of Mardi Gras Indian Chief Bo Dollis who was unable to attend the ceremony; folklorist Jim Griffith; and NEA Director of Folk and Traditional Arts Barry Bergey. Front row, from left to right: Piedmont blues songster Warner Williams; taiko drum leader PJ Hirabayashi; quilter Laverne Brackens; and Old Regular Baptist Singer Frank Newsome. Photo by Tom Pich

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Laverne Brackens, a quilter from Fairfield, Texas, accepts her 2011 NEA National Heritage Fellowship award from NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman.

Laverne Brackens, a quilter from Fairfield, Texas, accepts her 2011 NEA National Heritage Fellowship award from NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. At the ceremony, Rocco Landesman said, "A master quilter whose use of striking colors and bold patterns reveal her skills at visual improvisation, Laverne Brackens is a teacher of quilting who proudly stands as a central figure in a four-generation line of quilters in her family." Photo by Tom Pich

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Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro, a frame drum player from Los Angeles, California, accepts his 2011 NEA National Heritage Fellowship award from NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman.

Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro, a frame drum player from Los Angeles, California, accepts his 2011 NEA National Heritage Fellowship award from NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. At the ceremony, Rocco Landesman said, "A master of Brazilian carnival traditions cultivated by the Samba schools of Rio de Janeiro, Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro is a teacher of percussion skills on the pandeiro, a tambourine-like instrument. He is recognized in both Brazil and the United States as the King of the Tambourine." Photo by Tom Pich

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Bo Dollis, Jr., son of Mardi Gras Indian Chief Bo Dollis of New Orleans, Louisiana, accepts the 2011 NEA National Heritage Fellowship award on his father's behalf from NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman.

Bo Dollis, Jr., son of Mardi Gras Indian Chief Bo Dollis of New Orleans, Louisiana, accepts the 2011 NEA National Heritage Fellowship award on his father's behalf from NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. (Bo Dollis was unable to attend the ceremony.) At the ceremony, Rocco Landesman said, "A musical ambassador for New Orleans who is known simply as 'Big Chief', Bo Dollis is a master creator of the intricate suits worn during the street parades and celebrations of Mardi Gras. A vocal artist who has led the Wild Magnolias, his music has influenced rhythm and blues and popular artists from the region and beyond." Photo by Tom Pich

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Folklorist Jim Griffith from Tucson, Arizona, accepts the 2011 Bess Lomax Hawes NEA National Heritage Fellowship award from NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman.

Folklorist Jim Griffith from Tucson, Arizona, accepts the 2011 Bess Lomax Hawes NEA National Heritage Fellowship award from NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. The Bess Lomax Hawes Award recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to the preservation and awareness of cultural heritage. At the ceremony, Rocco Landesman said, "The pre-eminent scholar of the folk arts of the cultures of the American southwest, Jim Griffith is a folklorist who has used his knowledge for the benefit of the public through books, exhibitions, media productions, and public events such as the annual Tucson Meet Yourself Festival." Photo by Tom Pich

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Ledward Kaapana, ukulele and slack key guitarist from Kaneohe, Hawaii, accepts his 2011 NEA National Heritage Fellowship award from Senator Daniel Akaka and NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman

Ledward Kaapana, ukulele and slack key guitarist from Kaneohe, Hawaii, accepts his 2011 NEA National Heritage Fellowship award from Senator Daniel Akaka and NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. At the ceremony, Rocco Landesman said, "A master of Hawaiian music, known for his virtuosic slack key guitar and ukulele playing in what is described as the "hot finger". Photo by Tom Pich

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Ledward Kaapana, ukulele and slack key guitarist from Kaneohe, Hawaii, accepts his 2011 NEA National Heritage Fellowship award from Rep. Mazie Hirono and NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman.

Ledward Kaapana, ukulele and slack key guitarist from Kaneohe, Hawaii, accepts his 2011 NEA National Heritage Fellowship award from Rep. Mazie Hirono and NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. At the ceremony, Rocco Landesman said, "A master of Hawaiian music, known for his virtuosic slack key guitar and ukulele playing in what is described as the "hot finger". Photo by Tom Pich

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Frank Newsome, an Old Regular Baptist Singer from Haysi, Virginia, accepts his 2011 NEA National Heritage Fellowship award from Rep. Morgan Griffith and NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman.

Frank Newsome, an Old Regular Baptist Singer from Haysi, Virginia, accepts his 2011 NEA National Heritage Fellowship award from Rep. Morgan Griffith and NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. At the ceremony, Rocco Landesman said, "A religious and musical leader who remains committed to the spiritual and cultural life of his coal mining community in southwestern Virginia, Frank Newsome is both a powerful vocalist singing in the a cappella tradition of the Old Regular Baptist Church and a musical educator who has been willing to share his little-known singing tradition with audiences on concert and festival stages." Photo by Tom Pich

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Taiko drum leaders from San Jose, California, Roy and PJ Hirabayashi accept their 2011 NEA National Heritage Fellowship award from Rep. Zoe Lofgren and NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman.

Taiko drum leaders from San Jose, California, Roy and PJ Hirabayashi accept their 2011 NEA National Heritage Fellowship award from Rep. Zoe Lofgren and NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. At the ceremony, Rocco Landesman said, "Founders of the seminal group San Jose Taiko, Roy and PJ Hirabayashi are innovators in this powerful drumming tradition known as the heartbeat of Japan. They are teachers and leaders of hundreds of students in this demanding art form that requires physical stamina, mental discipline, and collaborative commitment." Photo by Tom Pich

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Taiko drum leaders from San Jose, California, Roy and PJ Hirabayashi accept their 2011 NEA National Heritage Fellowship award from Rep. Michael Honda and NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman.

Taiko drum leaders from San Jose, California, Roy and PJ Hirabayashi accept their 2011 NEA National Heritage Fellowship award from Rep. Michael Honda and NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. At the ceremony, Rocco Landesman said, "Founders of the seminal group San Jose Taiko, Roy and PJ Hirabayashi are innovators in this powerful drumming tradition known as the heartbeat of Japan. They are teachers and leaders of hundreds of students in this demanding art form that requires physical stamina, mental discipline, and collaborative commitment." Photo by Tom Pich

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Warner Williams, a Piedmont blues songster from Gaithersburg, Maryland, accepts his 2011 NEA National Heritage Fellowship award from NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman.

Warner Williams, a Piedmont blues songster from Gaithersburg, Maryland, accepts his 2011 NEA National Heritage Fellowship award from NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. At the ceremony, Rocco Landesman said, "A master songster who performs an eclectic range of music, from blues to country to popular tunes, Warner Williams is a carrier of the Piedmont style of guitar playing representative of the blues music of the southeastern United States. As a performer, Williams is as comfortable playing on a street corner as on a concert stage, and simply refers to himself as "Guitar Man." Photo by Tom Pich

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Yuri Yunakov, a Bulgarian saxophonist from Bloomfield, New Jersey, accepts his 2011 NEA National Heritage Fellowship award from Rep. Bill Pascrell.

Yuri Yunakov, a Bulgarian saxophonist from Bloomfield, New Jersey, accepts his 2011 NEA National Heritage Fellowship award from Rep. Bill Pascrell. At the ceremony, Rocco Landesman said, "A master of a complex and energetic musical style associated with Bulgarian weddings and family celebrations, Yuri Yunakov is a Roma performer who in his youth learned to play on a shepherds' flute and eventually became famous throughout the Balkan region as the most renowned player of the saxophone. Yunakov is a musical innovator, who continues to play for immigrant communities in the New York-New Jersey region." Photo by Tom Pich