National Endowment for the Arts Announces Jazz Masters
The National Endowment for the Arts has announced its 2022 Class of Jazz Masters – and it represents a wide range of the blues-based and boundary-pushing music that has been made over the past 50 years under the jazz label.
The new Jazz Masters are bassist Stanley Clarke, drummer Billy Hart, singer Cassandra Wilson and saxophonist Donald Harrison Jr. They will be honored in April 2022, at a ceremony at the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco, the NEA announced on Tuesday. . . The Jazz Masters Award is the highest national honor bestowed on living American jazz musicians and is accompanied by a cash prize of $ 25,000.
Clarke, 70, is best known as a founding member of the jazz-rock fusion band Return to Forever, although he has also enjoyed a dynamic career as a solo artist. Hart, 80, can be heard on timeless recordings by Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and others. Over the past decades, his quartet has often been hailed as one of the flagship groups in jazz.
Wilson’s raucous and confident vocal style and passion for jamming genres made her one of the leading jazz singers of the 1990s. Wilson, now 65, and Clarke are both multiple Grammy winners. .
Harrison grew up in New Orleans, immersed in the city’s black musical heritage, and after gaining national recognition in the 1980s and 1990s, he again committed to cultivating his hometown scene through through activism and educational work. Harrison will this year be the recipient of the AB Spellman Jazz Advocacy Fellowship, which the NEA grants more generally to non-musicians.
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