The Pace Report

Season 2012 Episode 01.21.12

The Pace Report: "The 2012 NEA Jazz Masters Cememony Highlights"

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One of the most important jazz events took place at Jazz at Lincoln Center during the week of APAP last week. The 2012 National Endowment for the Arts held their 30th anniversary of the Jazz Masters Ceremony and Concert to a sold-out crowd. The event pays tribute to the architects of jazz music both living and deceased. More importantly, the NEA gives the current inductees as well as music programs and centers all over the country, grants and funding to continue the legacy of providing the community jazz programming and education to keep the music viable to public. Including this year’s inductees, the NEA has celebrated the work and lives of 128 jazz musicians, awarded more than 2,400 jazz grants, and given over $32 million dollars over the last 30 years. A very important feat for the music that very seldom gets the notoriety or praise like other American black music such as hip-hop, soul, and the blues. This year’s 2012 NEA Jazz Masters inductees include: Sheila Jordan, vocalist and educator; Von Freeman, tenor saxophonist and bandleader; Jack DeJohnette, drummer and pianist; Jimmy Owens, trumpeter, educator, and advocate; and Charlie Haden, bassist and bandleader. The festivities kicked off this year in regal fashion as Rocco Landesman, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts gave the opening comments about how rich the NEA’s tradition of celebrating and commemorating of America’s only art form. 2007 NEA Jazz Master Ramsey Lewis and last year’s inductee Wynton Marsalis, artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, also gave opening comments of the historical implications of the 30th Anniversary of this year’s jazz masters ceremony. NEA Jazz Master Phil Woods along with alto saxophonist Grace Kelly played “Things To Come” composed by former NEA Jazz Master Dizzy Gillespie. The two were backed by the stellar Jazz at Lincoln Orchestra lead by Wynton Marsalis. Drummer Jack DeJohnette was inducted by his mentor anmoreless

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