Four artists have been awarded America's highest jazz honour
America’s National Endowment of the Arts has named its Class of 2018 Jazz Masters - often referred to as the highest honour for a US jazz musician. The annual fellowship will be awarded to vocalist Dianne Reeves; guitarist Pat Metheny and the pianist and educator Joanne Brackeen; each recognised for their lifetime achievements and exceptional contributions to the advancement of jazz. They will receive a $25,000 award and be honored at a tribute concert on Monday, April 16, 2018, in Washington, DC.
Additionally, Todd Barkan is the recipient of the 2018 A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship for Jazz Advocacy, which is bestowed upon an individual who has contributed significantly to the appreciation, knowledge, and advancement of the art form of jazz. Barkan’s name is inextricably associated with the Keystone Korner, a San Francisco venue he had opened in 1972 and then managed for more than a decade. He also worked as a record producer and for Jazz at Lincoln Center.
The NEA, an independant federal agency, is the subject of some controversy at the moment with the Trump administration threatening to remove its funding.