Keith Jarrett, the brilliant (and temperamental) pianist, composer and leader of an influential long-running trio with bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette, leads the just-announced National Endowment of the Arts NEA Jazz Masters class of 2014.
The honorees, “recognized for their lifetime achievements and exceptional contributions to the advancement of jazz,” also include much-recorded bassist Richard Davis, also a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; composer, multi-reed player and educator Anthony Braxton; and Jamey Aebersold, a saxophonist and educator best known as the creator of Play-A-Long recordings and instructional books, which have enhanced jazz education for several generations of musicians (including me). Aebersold is the recipient of the A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Award for Jazz Advocacy.
Each new Jazz Master will receive a one-time award of $25,000. They’ll be honored with an awards ceremony and concert slated for Jan. 13, 2014, at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. The proceedings will be streamed live at arts.gov and jalc.org/live
Since 1982, the NEA has conferred 132 Jazz Masters status to living legends of jazz. The NEA panel reviewed 144 nominations for this year’s awards.
For more details on this year’s honorees, and the Jazz Masters program, check out the NEA Jazz Masters site.