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Alumnus Jamey Aebersold named National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master

June 28, 2013

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. --The National Endowment for the Arts has announced that Jacobs School alumnus Jamey Aebersold has been named a 2014 NEA Jazz Master, the Nation's Highest Honor in jazz.

As one of just four honorees this year, Aebersold is also the recipient of the 2014 A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Award for Jazz Advocacy, given to an individual who has contributed significantly to the appreciation, knowledge, and advancement of the art form of jazz.

The three additional recipients this year are composer and performer Anthony Braxton, bassist and educator Richard Davis, and pianist and composer Keith Jarrett.

"Jamey Aebersold has made enormous contributions to the jazz world through his tireless efforts as a performer, educator, and publisher," said Distinguished Professor and 2000 NEA Jazz Master David Baker, who is also on the faculty of the Summer Jazz Workshops, directed by Aebersold. "As the creator of the innovative and groundbreaking Jamey Aebersold Jazz Play-A-Long recordings series, as the longtime director of the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops, as an exceptional clinician and performer, and as the publisher of an extensive catalog of jazz materials, Jamey has revolutionized the way people practice, teach, create, and perform their music. Jamey has carried his message that 'anyone can improvise' and that 'creativity is part of the nature of every person' throughout the world to great success, impacting generations of both aspiring and established jazz performers and teachers."

The press announcement from the NEA mentions that "these musicians and educators, now awarded the nation's highest honor in the field, are recognized for their lifetime achievements and exceptional contributions to the advancement of jazz. They will each receive a one-time award of $25,000."

NEA Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa said, "The NEA is committed to supporting this uniquely American art form, whether it's through educational materials such as NEA Jazz in the Schools, supporting performance and educational activities by the Jazz Masters through Jazz Masters Live, or in this case, honoring the individuals who have devoted their lives and careers to mastering, sharing, and expanding this music."