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2014 NEA Jazz Masters

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Jamey Aebersold
Educator, Saxophonist, Pianist, Bassist, Banjo player
Born in and currently resides in New Albany, Indiana

Jamey Aebersold is the recipient of the 2014 A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Award for Jazz Advocacy, which is bestowed upon an individual who has contributed significantly to the appreciation, knowledge, and advancement of the art form of jazz.

“Jamey Aebersold has made enormous contributions to the jazz world through his tireless efforts as a performer, educator, and publisher,” said 2000 NEA Jazz Master David Baker who is also on the faculty of the Summer Jazz Workshops, directed by Aebersold. “As the creator of the innovative and groundbreaking Jamey Aebersold Jazz Play-A-Long recordings series, as the longtime director of the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops, as an exceptional clinician and performer, and as the publisher of an extensive catalogue of jazz materials, Jamey has revolutionized the way people practice, teach, create, and perform their music. Jamey has carried his message that ‘anyone can improvise’ and that ‘creativity is part of the nature of every person’ throughout the world to great success, impacting generations of both aspiring and established jazz performers and teachers.”

Anthony Braxton
Anthony Braxton
Anthony Braxton
b.1945
reeds

Composer, Saxophonist, Clarinetist, Flutist, Pianist, Educator
Born in Chicago, Illinois. Currently resides in Middletown, Connecticut

Anthony Braxton’s compositions almost defy categorization through his use of the improvised and rhythmic nature of jazz but moving it in a more avant-garde direction, such as in his Ghost Trance Music compositions.

Jason Moran, jazz pianist, composer, and artistic advisor for jazz at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, noted, “Anthony Braxton’s expansive catalog has always been an inspiration. [He is] a beautiful artist in every sense of the word: performer, composer, educator, co-conspirator. Braxton is a supreme improviser and composer who searches with sounds.”

Richard Davis
Richard Davis
Richard Davis
b.1930
bass

Bassist, Educator
Born in Chicago, Illinois. Currently resides in Madison, Wisconsin

One of the premier jazz bassists in history, Richard Davis is widely recorded, not only in jazz settings but also in the pop, rock, and classical genres. Bassist and composer Linda Oh commented, “Richard Davis, with his wide palette of skill sets, has been an inspiration for me and many bassists. To me, he shows strength and versatility within his musicianship—a versatility that seems to not compromise integrity and individuality, something many bassists can only dream to achieve.” In addition to his prowess on bass, Davis is a noted educator, having been a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison since 1977.

Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett
b.1945
piano

Pianist, Composer
Born in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Currently resides in Oxford, New Jersey

Keith Jarrett’s talent for playing both abstractly and lyrically, sometimes during the same musical work, continues to astound and delight audiences around the world. His ability to work in both the jazz and classical fields as performer and composer demonstrate the breadth of his creativity. 2012 NEA Jazz Master Charlie Haden, who has performed and recorded alongside Jarrett, commented, “Along with Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett is perhaps the most influential pianist in the history of improvised music because of his mastery of the instrument, his creativity and deep harmonic knowledge. His playing transcends category.”

The NEA will again partner with Jazz at Lincoln Center to produce an awards ceremony and concert in honor of the 2014 NEA Jazz Masters, that will be webcast live on Monday, Monday, January 13, 2014 on arts.gov and jalc.org/live. A limited number of free tickets will be available for the public. More information about the awards ceremony and concert and how to obtain tickets will be released this fall.


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This story appears courtesy of Rifftides by Doug Ramsey.
Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved.
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