NEA celebrates 30th anniversary of jazz awards

January 11, 2012 - 5:11 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — The National Endowment for the Arts is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its Jazz Masters Awards.

A gala concert Tuesday night at Jazz at Lincoln Center honored the five new recipients of the nation's highest jazz honor.

The 2012 Jazz Masters are bassist Charlie Haden, drummer Jack DeJohnette, vocalist Sheila Jordan, saxophonist Von Freeman and trumpeter Jimmy Owens, who was honored for his advocacy of jazz musicians' rights.

When the NEA submitted its 2012 budget proposal to Congress last year, there were concerns that this might be the last Jazz Masters Awards. However, members of Congress intervened to identify funding for the Jazz Masters to continue awarding each recipient a $25,000 fellowship. Since its inception in 1982, the program has given 124 awards to jazz greats.

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Online:

www.neajazzmasters.org