The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) pays tribute to the 2018 NEA Jazz Masters — Todd Barkan, Joanne Brackeen, Pat Metheny and Dianne Reeves — with a free concert Monday at 8 p.m. at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
The Jazz Masters designation is one of the nation’s highest honor in jazz. Each will receive a $25,000 award.
“The NEA Jazz Masters represent the very pinnacle of talent, creativity, innovation, and vision,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “We look forward to celebrating these four new Jazz Masters and their many contributions to jazz.”
Barkan is a respected veteran jazz producer and is associated with several jazz venues, particularly the Keystone Korner, a legendary club in San Francisco.
Brackeen, a pianist, composer and educator, has performed with many jazz greats and is known for her complex improvisational style.
Guitarist Methany is one of the few artists who has achieved crossover popularity from modern jazz to rock to country to classical.
Vocalist Reeves was introduced to jazz through her uncle, Charles Burrell, a classical and jazz bassist. After winning a jazz competition, she moved to Los Angeles where she received recognition through session work, moving quickly to a solo jazz career.
The concert will include performances by Terri Lyne Carrington, Nir Felder, Sullivan Fortner, James Francies, Pasquale Grasso, Gilad Hekselman, Angelique Kidjo, Christian McBride, Camila Meza, NEA Jazz Master Eddie Palmieri and the Eddie Palmieri Sextet, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Antonio Sanchez, Helen Sung, and Dan Wilson.
The sold-out event will be livestreamed by NEA and broadcast by SiriusXM’s “Real Jazz” station and WPFW-FM (89.3) in D.C.
Since 1982, the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters has awarded 149 fellowships to great figures in the genre, including Ella Fitzgerald, Sonny Rollins and Chick Corea. NEA Jazz Master Fellowships are bestowed on living individuals on the basis of nominations from the public including the jazz community.