The National Endowment for the Arts has named Terri Lyne Carrington, Henry Threadgill, Albert “Tootie” Heath and Phil Schaap to the 2021 class of NEA Jazz Masters.

Awarded annually since 1982, these fellowships are the United States’ highest honour bestowed upon jazz musicians, broadcasters and advocates. Recipients are regarded as “living legends who have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of jazz.”

The four inductees each receive $25,000 along with their title.

The 2020 NEA Jazz Masters were vocalist Bobby McFerrin, saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell, bassist Reggie Workman and jazz advocate Dorthaan Kirk. Other past honourees include Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins and Dianne Reeves.

The four recipients will be celebrated with a free digital broadcast on April 22, presented in partnership with SFJAZZ.