This year's announcement is tinged with sadness with the death of renowned pianist and composer Andrew Hill who was notified of his receipt of the award shortly before his death. His wife, Joanne Robinson Hill, acknowledged the honor on his behalf. In addition to Candido Camero (rhythm instrumentalist) and Andrew Hill, this year's recipients are; Quincy Jones (bandleader), Tom McIntosh (composer-arranger), and Joe Wilder (solo instrumentalist/trumpet). This year's recipient of the A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Master Award for Jazz Advocacy is Gunther Schuller. NEA Jazz Masters are selected from nominations submitted by the public. Newly named NEA Jazz Masters are honored at an awards ceremony and concert and are provided with a one-time fellowship of $25,000. Only living musicians or jazz advocates may be honored as NEA Jazz Masters. To help these musicians make further connections with the American people, the Arts Endowment significantly expanded the program in 2004 and in 2005, establishing the NEA Jazz Masters Initiative. The initiative encompasses the award program itself; NEA Jazz Moments, a steady stream of performance and interview segments that air on 12 channels of XM Satellite Radio; NEA Jazz in the Schools, a web-based curriculum developed in partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center and generously supported in its creation by the Verizon Foundation. The Arts Endowment also collaborated with the Verve Music Group on CD and digital compilations and produced illustrated publications with profiles of all the NEA Jazz Masters.
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