Recording Academy to Honor Morton Gould, Jelly Roll Morton, Art Blakey

Classic Arts News   Recording Academy to Honor Morton Gould, Jelly Roll Morton, Art Blakey
The Recording Academy has announced the recipients of its 2005 Special Merit Awards, to be presented in a ceremony on February 12, the day before the Academy's high-profile Grammy Awards.

The honorees include composer Morton Gould, jazz drummer Art Blakey, blues pianist Pinetop Perkins, and jazz pianist and composer Jelly Roll Morton, all of whom will receive the Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition, jazz pianist and educator Billy Taylor, Blue Note Records founder Alfred Lion, and songwriter Hoagy Carmichael will honored with the Academy Trustees Award.

Performers from the worlds of country music, rock, and gospel, including the Staple Singers, the Carter Family, Led Zeppelin, and Jerry Lee Lewis, will also be honored, as will producer Phil Ramone and the audio company JBL Professional.

"These profoundly inspiring figures are being honored as legendary performers and archetypal musicians, cultural ambassadors, and technical visionaries," said recording Academy president Neil Portnow is a statement.

Gould, who died in 1996, composed film scores, dance music, and Broadway musicals as well as concert music; he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1995 for String Music. Morton, a pioneer of early jazz, did not invent the music, as he claimed, but codified and popularized it. Blakey, who died in 1990, helped to create the hard bop style and trained generations of top musicians in his Jazz Messengers. Perkins, best known for his work with Muddy Waters, is perhaps the single most influential blues pianist; still performing at age 91, he was recently nominated for a Grammy Award.

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