National Endowment for the Arts and National Public Radio Partner to Produce NEA Jazz Masters Series on NPR's Jazz Profiles
March 30, 2005
Washington, D.C. - The National Endowment for the Arts announces the broadcast of a new radio series celebrating the music and lives of NEA Jazz Masters. Co-produced with National Public Radio, these fourteen, one-hour documentaries will be part of NPR's Jazz Profiles program. The NEA Jazz Masters series begins its weekly broadcast on Thursday, March 31, runs through Jazz Appreciation Month in April, and concludes on June 29. The program can be heard on more than 100 NPR affiliate stations nationwide. The NEA Jazz Masters series on Jazz Profiles is sponsored by Verizon.
Jazz Profiles is a weekly one-hour program hosted by Grammy Award-winning vocalist and NEA Jazz Master Nancy Wilson. Each program combines interviews, commentary, and music to craft a rich and nuanced presentation of a jazz artist, place, or event. Beginning in 2003, NEA Program and Media Manager Dan Stone and radio producers Molly Murphy and Suraya Mohamed conducted dozens of interviews with NEA Jazz Masters and other major figures in the jazz field including a conversation with organist and 2005 NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Smith in January 2005, just one month before his death on February 9.
National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Dana Gioia said, "The NEA is pleased to partner with NPR and commends its commitment to quality jazz programming, so essential in this era of dwindling jazz offerings on radio. We are pleased that the music, voices, and experiences of our NEA Jazz Masters provide the heart of this series. They are the music's true legends and will provide listeners with a greater understanding and appreciation for this music that is so much a part of our nation's history."
The National Endowment for the Arts has supported jazz artists and organizations since 1970, providing millions of dollars in grants and awards. Since 1982, the NEA Jazz Masters Awards program has honored jazz musicians who have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of jazz with a $25,000 fellowship and opportunities to connect with a broad audience through performances, television programming, educational resources, musical recordings – and now through Jazz Profiles.
Eighty-eight artists have been named NEA Jazz Master since the program's inception. Among those artists featured in this series in addition to Jimmy Smith will be:
Dave Brubeck (1999 NEA Jazz Master), piano, composer
The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established; bringing the arts to all Americans; and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Endowment is the nation's largest annual funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases.
With more than $71 billion in annual revenues, Verizon Communications Inc.
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal agency