NEA chairman Dana Gioia announced the winners yesterday in Seattle at a gala event hosted by the Earshot Jazz Society. The new Jazz Masters are guitarist Kenny Burrell, clarinetist/saxophonist Paquito D'Rivera, arranger/composer Slide Hampton, vocalist Shirley Horn, big-band leader Artie Shaw, organist Jimmy Smith, and jazz impressario George Wein, the creator of the Newport Jazz Festival.
Each winner will receive a $25,000 fellowship at a gala awards ceremony and concert in January in Long Beach, California. A new outreach element of the fellowship, called NEA Jazz Masters on Tour, will bring the honorees to all fifty states.
The award is the nation's highest jazz honor, given to living individuals in recognition of their contributions to the musical form. Since the award's inception in 1982, 80 musicians, composers, arrangers, and jazz advocates have been designated NEA Jazz Masters. Previous winners include Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Miles Davis, Sarah Vaughan, and Art Blakey.