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National Endowment for the Arts announces the 2012 NEA Jazz Masters Award recipients

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has announced via news release the recipients of the 2012 NEA Jazz Masters Award – the nation’s highest honor in jazz. The five recipients will receive a one-time award of $25,000 and be publicly honored at the annual awards ceremony and concert, produced by Jazz at Lincoln Center at its home, Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York City.
With this class, the NEA is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the NEA Jazz Masters Awards, which recognizes outstanding musicians for their lifetime achievements and significant contributions to the development and performance of jazz.
The 2012 NEA Jazz Masters are:
Jack DeJohnetteDrummer, Keyboardist, Composer
(born in Chicago, IL; lives in Willow, NY)
Von Freeman, Saxophonist
(born in Chicago, IL; lives in Chicago, IL)
Charlie HadenBassist, Composer, Educator
(born in Shenandoah, IA; lives in Agoura Hills, CA)
Sheila Jordan, Vocalist, Educator
                        (born in Detroit, MI; lives in Middleburgh, NY and New York, NY)
*Jimmy Owens, Educator, Trumpeter, Flugelhorn Player, Composer, Arranger
(born in Bronx, NY; lives in New York, NY)
*Jimmy Owens is the recipient of the 2012 A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Award for Jazz Advocacy.
“These artists represent the highest level of artistic mastery and we are proud to recognize their achievements,” said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman in a news release. “Through their contributions, we have been challenged, enlightened, and charmed, and we thank them for devoting their careers to expanding and supporting their art forms.”
“Jazz is considered by many as one of America’s greatest cultural gifts to the world,” said Wayne S. Brown, NEA Director of Music and Opera. “These artists are being recognized for their extraordinary contribution to advancing the art form and for serving as mentors for a new generation of young aspiring jazz musicians.”

The NEA Jazz Masters awards were announced in conjunction with the announcement of the NEA National Heritage Fellowships and NEA Opera Honors recipients. Please go to arts.gov for the list of these recipients.
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