The prize is one of the highest honours in the US Jazz industry
The United States’ National Endowment of the Arts has announced its 2019 Jazz Masters, one of the highest honours in the industry, recognising a significant contribution to the genre. Pianist Abdullah Ibrahim is the first African-born musician to collect the award (he escaped South Africa in the 1960’s and gained US citizenship), while bandleader and composer Maria Schneider becomes the youngest woman to receive it at the age of 57. Jazz critic and writer Stanley Crouch is also honoured (he also played a vital role in the founding of Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York), while singer and pianist Bob Dorough is recognised posthumously. The prize is worth $25,000 each and will be presented at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. next April.