Regina Carter, Kenny Garrett and Louis Hayes named as 2023 NEA Jazz Masters

The National Endowment for the Arts has named violinist Regina Carter, saxophonist Kenny Garrett and drummer Louis Hayes to the 2023 class of NEA Jazz Masters.

Sue Mingus was also announced as the recipient of the 2023 A.B Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship for Jazz Advocacy.

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 year’s four honourees will each receive a $25,000 award to go along with their title.

“From its origins in the Black American experience to what is now a global treasure, jazz continues to be a source of inspiration and creativity, due in large part to the stewards of this tradition, four of whom we are excited to honour this year,” said NEA chair Maria Rosario Jackson.

Interestingly, all three of the master jazz musicians honoured this year were all raised in Detroit before going on to make extraordinary contributions within jazz.


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The 2022 NEA Jazz Masters were bassist Stanley Clarke, drummer Billy Hart, vocalist Cassandra Wilson and saxophonist Donald Harrison, Jr. Other past honourees include Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins and Dianne Reeves.

The four recipients will be celebrated at a public concert in Washington, D.C., on April 1, 2023, in collaboration with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

The 2023 NEA Jazz Masters tribute concert will also mark the culmination of the NEA’s celebration of the 40th anniversary of the NEA Jazz Masters program.


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