2024 NEA Jazz Masters To Be Celebrated at Free Events in Washington DC


2024 NEA Jazz Masters Amina Claudine Myers, Gary Bartz, Terence Blanchard and Willard Jenkins.

(Photo: Crystal Blake (Myers), Alan Nahigian (Bartz), Cedric Angeles (Blanchard), Jati Lindsay (Jenkins))

The National Endowment for the Arts, in collaboration with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, will celebrate the 2024 NEA Jazz Masters at a series of public events April 11–13 in Washington, D.C., culminating in a free tribute concert on Saturday, April 13. This year’s recipients — Gary Bartz, Terence Blanchard, Willard Jenkins and Amina Claudine Myers — are the latest in a 40-plus-year history of the National Endowment for the Arts honoring individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of jazz.

The NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert is free and open to the public, and it will be available through a live webcast and radio broadcast. In addition, the 2024 NEA Jazz Masters will also participate in a listening party at NPR on April 13, and Jenkins, recipient of the 2024 A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship for Jazz Advocacy, will participate in a discussion and Q&A at Howard University on April 11.

The 2024 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert, available through a live webcast and radio broadcast, will take place April 13 at 7:30 p.m. ET at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater in Washington, D.C. The concert will feature performances by Bartz, Blanchard and Myers, remarks by the honorees and video tributes to their lives and careers. Joining Bartz will be members of his band: Paul Bollenback, Marc Cary, James King and Kassa Overall. Blanchard will perform with the E-Collective: Charles Altura, Taylor Eigsti, David Ginyard and Oscar Seaton. Myers will perform with her trio made up of Thurman Barker and Jerome Harris. In honor of Jenkins, the African Rhythms Alumni Quintet will perform, featuring Alex Blake, T.K. Blue, Chief Baba Neil Clarke, Ku-umba Frank Lacy and Sharp Radway.

Up to two tickets per person may be reserved for this free concert in person at the Kennedy Center Box Office, online at kennedy-center.org or by phone (202-467-4600 or 800-444-1324). Reservation confirmations should be printed at home and will be valid until 7:15 p.m. the night of the concert. At 7:15 p.m., all unclaimed seats will be released and distributed through a ticket giveaway line based on availability.

Tickets for walk-up patrons will be available the night of the concert on a first-come, first-served basis to those in a giveaway line based on availability. Patrons who do not reserve tickets in advance are encouraged to arrive from 5:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. to receive tickets via the giveaway line.

The live webcast of the NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET at arts.gov and kennedy-center.org. An archive of the webcast will be available following the event at arts.gov.

On April 11, from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m., Jenkins will join Howard University students for a discussion and Q&A titled “Music Careers, Beyond the Bandstand.” This will take place at Howard University’s Childers Recital Hall in Washington, D.C. The public is invited to observe and no registration is necessary (seating is first-come, first-served).

On April 13 at 10:30 a.m., NPR will host a listening party in honor of the 2024 NEA Jazz Masters at its headquarters in Washington, D.C. Hosted by NPR Music’s Felix Contreras, the event will include conversations with the 2024 NEA Jazz Masters, using music from their careers to tell the stories of their lives. This event is free and open to the public but tickets are required. Reserve your free tickets by clicking HERE.

Since 1982, the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded 173 fellowships to great figures in jazz, such as Toshiko Akiyoshi, Regina Carter, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Donald Harrison Jr., Yusef Lateef, Abbey Lincoln, Sue Mingus, Eddie Palmieri, Sonny Rollins and Wayne Shorter. DB

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