America’s National Endowment of the Arts have bestowed the honour on four outstanding people
America’s National Endowment of the Arts have named their four NEA Jazz Masters for 2020 – one of the highest honours the country can bestow on an individual jazz musician or singer. Previous recipients include Ella Fitzgerald, Wayne Shorter and Miles Davis.
This year’s honourees include the vocal genius Bobby McFerrin, the avant-garde saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell (who co-founded the Art Ensemble of Chicago) and bassist Reggie Workman who’s played alongside John Coltrane, Art Blakey and countless more. Broadcaster and producer Dorthaan Kirk will be receiving the A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship for Jazz Advocacy.
They’ll all be celebrated at a ceremony and concert in San Francisco next April, live streamed around the world.
Acting Chairman of the Arts Endowment Mary Anne Carter said, “The 2020 NEA Jazz Masters have made an incredible impact on jazz, whether it’s through their artistic work to expand the musical boundaries of the genre, their educational contributions, or their efforts to reach new audiences for jazz. The National Endowment for the Arts is excited to celebrate these recipients, and to partner with SFJAZZ for the first time, bringing the NEA Jazz Masters events to a different part of the country.”