Photo credit and © Kyra Kverno
The NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships are the highest honours in jazz in the USA. They are conferred on “individuals who have made significant contributions to the art form.” The 2019 awardees have just been announced.
They are Bob Dorough (award made posthumously), Abdullah Ibrahim, Maria Schneider, and Stanley Crouch. Crouch receives the 2019 A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship for Jazz Advocacy. The release states that: “Sadly, Bob Dorough passed away shortly after being notified of his Jazz Masters honor.”
The 2019 recipients will be celebrated at a free tribute concert, which will take place on Monday, April 15, 2019 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, and streamed online.
The press release includes the following citations:
Stanley Crouch—Jazz Historian, Author, Critic, Co-founder Jazz at Lincoln Center (2019 A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship for Jazz Advocacy)
Crouch is the author of eight critically acclaimed books and of hundreds of uncollected articles, essays, album liner notes, and reviews on jazz that has influenced the music and championed it for the general public. He also co-founded and served as artistic consultant for Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Bob Dorough—Vocalist, Composer, Arranger, Pianist
Dorough’s career spanned more than 70 years in jazz as a singer, pianist, composer, and arranger. His distinctive vocals, clever lyrics, and strong melodies were well-known in the jazz world even before his compositions and vocals for the animation series Schoolhouse Rock!.
Abdullah Ibrahim—Pianist, Composer
Ibrahim combines the rhythmic influences of South Africa with the improvisation of jazz to create his spiritually enriching music, whether performing solo, with a trio, a full band, or an orchestra. This blend of the traditional and the modern is reflected in his distinctive style, harmonies, and musical vocabulary.
Maria Schneider—Composer, Arranger, Bandleader
Schneider’s music has been hailed by critics as “evocative,” “majestic,” “heart-stoppingly gorgeous,” and “beyond categorization.” Primarily known for her highly original and provocative big band compositions written over the past three decades, she is unique in having written classical works as well, even stepping into rock through a collaboration with David Bowie.
FULL PRESS RELEASE FROM NEA