In a tribute concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., the National Endowment for the Arts will recognize its 2016 class of NEA Jazz Masters the highest honor the U.S. gives to a jazz musician or advocate. The performance will be webcast live, Tonight! on Monday, April 4 at 8 p.m. via arts.gov, Kennedy-Center.org, and broadcast on Sirius XM radio.
The NEA honors four individuals in 2016: vibraphonist, bandleader and educator Gary Burton; musicians’ advocate Wendy Oxenhorn; saxophonist and composer Pharoah Sanders; and saxophonist, composer and educator. Each Jazz Master receives a $25,000 grant.
The concert will be hosted by Jason Moran, pianist and Kennedy Center artistic director for Jazz, and include remarks by Jane Chu, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts; Deborah F. Rutter, president of the Kennedy Center; as well as the 2016 NEA Jazz Masters. The concert will feature performances by NEA Jazz Masters Chick Corea, Randy Weston, and Jimmy Heath, as well as Ambrose Akinmusire, Lakecia Benjamin, Billy Harper, Stefon Harris, Justin Kauflin, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Pedrito Martinez, Jason Moran, David Murray, Linda Oh, Karriem Riggins, Roswell Rudd, and Catherine Russell.
With this new class, the NEA has honored 140 great figures in jazz.