Seven New NEA Jazz Masters



Jazz Masters (l to r) Paquito D’Rivera (photo by Lane Penderson), Artie Shaw (Bruce Weber), Slide Hampton (Teri Bloom), Shirley Horn (Larry Basacca), George Wein (John Abbott), Jimmy Smith (R. Morishima), and Kenny Burrell (Bob Barry).

Since 1982, the National Endowment for the Arts has singled out great figures in jazz and dubbed them masters in their field based on nominations submitted by the public. Kenny Burrell (guitarist), Paquito D’Rivera (clarinetist-saxophonist), Slide Hampton (arranger-composer), Shirley Horn (vocalist), Artie Shaw (big band leader), Jimmy Smith (organist) and George Wein (jazz advocate) have been so honored this year.

The new class of NEA Jazz Masters will receive their awards, which include a one-time fellowship of $25,000, in January at a gala concert in Long Beach, California.

In making the announcement, Gioia noted that “from its earliest days until now [jazz] has continued to grow creatively—and yet the people who have given us this art form deserve far greater recognition.” The Jazz Masters program seeks to rectify that situation by directing public attention to some of the field’s greatest living figures.

Biographies of the 2005 NEA Jazz Masters: