Jazz Night toasts the NEA Jazz Masters class of 2023
Baseball has Cooperstown. Hollywood has stars on the Walk of Fame. And jazz has the NEA Jazz Masters. For over 40 years, the National Endowment for the Arts has bestowed the honor to a select few musicians and advocates with irrefutable resumes who have spent their lives in service to the music.
This week, we toast the newly minted 2023 class of NEA Jazz Masters: saxophonist Kenny Garrett who cut his teeth on the bandstands of Art Blakey and Miles Davis on the way to becoming the defining alto player of his generation; violinist Regina Carter who is hailed for her mastery on the instrument and her drive to expand its possibilities; drummer Louis Hayes who has spent over 70 years keeping time with some of the most soulful artists in the music's history; and Sue Mingus, recipient of the A.B. Spellman Fellowship for Jazz Advocacy, who kept the legacy of her husband Charles Mingus alive through ensembles, reinvention and education.
We'll hear interviews from each of the artists and from Sue Mingus' family as well as some incredible music from each musician's catalog — all showing why they are deserving of the moniker "Master."
Special thanks to the NEA and Josephine Reed for the Masters interviews. You can watch the 2023 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Writers and Producers: Trevor Smith, Sarah Geledi; Host: Christian McBride; Consulting Editor: Katie Simon; Episode Mix: Ron Scalzo; Project Manager: Suraya Mohamed; Vice President of Visuals and Strategy at NPR Music: Keith Jenkins; Executive Producers: Anya Grundmann and Gabrielle Armand.
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