NEA Jazz Masters

Biography

When one thinks of the enduring jazz tradition, names like Ella Fitzgerald, Lionel Hampton, Sarah Vaughan, and Count Basie immediately come to mind. But consider the far-ranging vision of free jazz pianist/composer Cecil Taylor; the eclectic style and exploration of trumpeter/composer Miles Davis; the inspirational bebop drummer/teacher Art Blakey who single-handedly mentored practically two generations of outstanding players; and unsung trombonist Melba Liston arranger for Duke Ellington, composer for Charles Mingus, and a true musician's musician.

These artists and 73 others have been appropriately lauded for their contributions to the jazz tradition by the National Endowment for the Arts "NEA Jazz Masters" Fellowships Program. Created through the Endowment's Music Program in 1982, the annual program honors jazz legends who have made a significant contribution to the art form in the African-American tradition. The honor includes a one-time-only fellowship of $25,000 for each recipient.

NEA JAZZ MASTERS nominations come from the public and members of the jazz community to the National Endowment for the Arts; no application is required. The NEA Jazz Masters Panel considers the nominations and selects from among those distinguished jazz artists who have made significant contributions to the art form in the African American tradition. You are encouraged to send nominations to: Jazz Masters Fellowships, National Endowment for the Arts, Nancy Hanks Center, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Room 703, Washington, DC 20506.

THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS is an independent agency of the U.S. Government created by Congress to support the arts and to provide education and access to the arts for all Americans. Our mission is: To foster the excellence, diversity, and vitality of the arts in the United States, and To broaden public access to the arts.

We carry out that mission through grants, leadership initiatives, partnership agreements with state and regional organizations, partnerships with other Federal agencies and the private sector, research, arts education, access programs, and advocacy.