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2024 NEA Jazz Masters Honored At Free Events


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Celebrate the esteemed recipients of the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship: virtuoso vocalist/pianist Amina Claudine Myers, prolific saxophonist Gary Bartz, Grammy-winning trumpet player Terence Blanchard, and Artistic Director of the DC Jazz Festival Willard Jenkins. This concert event features performances by 2024 recipients, powerful tributes, special guest artists, and more.
Washington, DC—The National Endowment for the Arts, in collaboration with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, will celebrate the 2024 NEA Jazz Masters at a series of public events April 11-13, 2024, in Washington, DC, culminating in a free tribute concert on Saturday, April 13.

The 2024 NEA Jazz Masters tribute concert will include virtuoso vocalist and pianist Amina Claudine Myers, prolific saxophonist Gary Bartz, Grammy-winning trumpet player and composer Terence Blanchard, and writer and Artistic Director of the DC Jazz Festival Willard Jenkins.

Hosted by NPR Music’s Felix Contreras, the concert will feature performances by 2024 NEA Jazz Masters Gary Bartz, Terence Blanchard, and Amina Claudine Myers, remarks by the honorees, and video tributes to their lives and careers.

Joining Bartz will be members of his band—Paul Bollenback, James King, Kassa Overall, and Marc Cary. Blanchard will perform with the E-Collective: Charles Altura, Taylor Eigsti, David Ginyard, and Jaylen Petinaud. Myers will perform with her trio made up of Thurman Barker and Jerome Harris. In honor of Willard Jenkins, the African Rhythms Alumni Quintet will perform, featuring Alex Blake, T.K. Blue, Chief Baba Neil Clarke, Ku-umba Frank Lacy, and Sharp Radway.

Lakecia Benjamin, Katie Ernst, Camille Gainer, REDWOOD, and Charenée Wade close the concert with a tribute to jazz icon Duke Ellington, who was born 125 years ago in Washington, D.C.

The NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship is the nation’s highest honor in jazz. Each year since 1982, the program has elevated to its ranks a select number of living legends who have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of jazz. For more information, read a brief history of the program.

Ticket update

Tickets for walk-up patrons will be available the night of the concert on a first-come, first-served basis to those in a giveaway line based on availability. Patrons who do not reserve tickets in advance are encouraged to arrive from 5:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. to receive tickets via the giveaway line.

If you or a member of your party requires accessible locations and/or seating in the sign-interpreted and captioned section, please indicate your needs when making your reservation and upon picking up your tickets. Please contact the Accessibility Office at 202-416-8727 or [email protected] if you have any questions or would like to request an accommodation.

Live webcast and radio broadcast detail

The live webcast of the 2024 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert will begin on Saturday, April 13 at 7:30 p.m. ET at arts.gov and kennedy-center.org. An archive of the webcast will be available following the event at arts.gov. The concert will also be available on additional websites and broadcast on radio stations throughout the country. Visit our press release for full details.

Additional NEA Jazz Masters Events

“Music Careers, Beyond the Bandstand”—A discussion and Q&A with 2024 NEA Jazz Master Willard Jenkins.

Thursday, April 11, 2024, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Howard University’s Childers Recital Hall
2455 6th Street NW
Washington, DC 20059

The public is invited to observe and no registration is necessary (seating is first-come, first-served). Media who wish to attend this event should contact Liz Auclair at [email protected].

NPR Listening Party with the 2024 NEA Jazz Masters—DC Jazz Festival President & CEO Sunny Sumter will be in conversation with the 2024 NEA Jazz Masters, using music from their careers to tell the stories of their lives.

Saturday, April 13, 2024, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
NPR headquarters
1111 North Capitol Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002

Event is at capacity. Media who wish to attend this event should contact [email protected].

Extraordinary Cinema: 120 Wooster Street—A free film screening of a documentary about artist Frederick J. Brown’s Soho loft studio in New York in the 1960s/70s, which served as a gathering place for artists, musicians, writers, dancers and other creative personalities. Featuring a post-screening panel with artist Bentley Brown and NEA Jazz Master Terence Blanchard.

Sunday, April 14, 2024, at 3:00 p.m.
Justice Forum at the REACH
2700 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20566

This event is free and open to the public but tickets are required. Reserve your free tickets at kennedy-center.org

About the NEA Jazz Masters

Since 1982, the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded 173 fellowships to great figures in jazz, such as Toshiko Akiyoshi, Regina Carter, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Donald Harrison, Jr., Yusef Lateef, Abbey Lincoln, Sue Mingus, Eddie Palmieri, Sonny Rollins, and Wayne Shorter. Explore the NEA’s website for photos and bios of all of the NEA Jazz Masters, as well as archived concerts, video tributes, podcasts, and more than 350 NEA Jazz Moments audio clips. The National Endowment for the Arts has also supported the Smithsonian Jazz Oral History Program, an effort to document the lives and careers of nearly 100 NEA Jazz Masters.

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