NEA Names 2014 National Heritage Fellowships and 2015 Jazz Masters

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Recently confirmed NEA Chair Jane Chu has announced the latest recipients of lifetime honors through two of its programs, the NEA Jazz Masters and the NEA National Heritage Fellowships. Three iconic jazz composers—Carla Bley, George Coleman, and Charles Lloyd—were among the honorees. An additional NEA Jazz Master award was given to jazz presenter Joe Segal, who is the founder of The Jazz Showcase, opened in 1947, which is the oldest continuously operated jazz club in Chicago. The nine 2014 NEA National Heritage Fellows include Tejano composer, singer, and bandleader Manuel “Cowboy” Donley, Omaha traditional singer and drum group leader Rufus White, blues/gospel/R&B band The Holmes Brothers, and the Singing and Praying Bands of Maryland and Delaware. Among the other recipients are masters of a wide range of traditional arts and crafts.

The 2014 NEA National Heritage Fellows will be honored at an awards ceremony on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 and at a concert at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium on Friday, September 19, 2014. The 2015 NEA Jazz Masters will be honored at an awards ceremony and concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center on Monday, April 20, 2015, to coincide with Jazz Appreciation Month. The two concerts will be streamed live on arts.gov; the Jazz Masters concert will additionally be streamed on jalc.org/live.

The NEA National Heritage Fellowships and Jazz Masters Awards were both initiated in 1982. Since their inception, the Jazz Masters program has honored over 100 leading jazz composer, instrumentalists, and vocalists, as well as important jazz advocates. The National Heritage program has recognized master artists working in 211 distinct art forms in the United States. There are more details on the NEA website.

(—from the press release)

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