NEA Names 2017 Jazz Masters

The National Endowment for the Arts has named its 2017 NEA Jazz Masters: the musicians -- Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dave Holland, Dr. Lonnie Smith and Dick Hyman -- and the jazz historian Ira Gitler. Each will each receive $25,000 and be honored at a tribute concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington on April 3, 2017.

All of the honored musicians still perform. Ms. Bridgewater is a Grammy- and Tony-winning singer who recently appeared as Billie Holiday in "Lady Day" Off Broadway. (Charles Isherwood, a New York Times theater critic, wrote of her performance: "I sank back happily into my seat and let her artistry, which melds her own sophisticated style with an effective vocal impersonation of Holiday, seduce me into a state of bliss.") Mr. Holland, a bassist, played extensively with Miles Davis and Anthony Braxton, and this year toured internationally with his trio.

The organist Lonnie Smith started his career in the 1960s and currently leads a band stocked with young talent, which can be heard on "Evolution," an album released this year. Dick Hyman, a pianist, has played a wide range of styles over his career and collaborated with Woody Allen on many of movies, including "The Purple Rose of Cairo" and "Stardust Memories."

Gary Burton, Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp and Wendy Oxenhorn received the 2016 award. The 2017 concert will be open to the public and broadcast via a live webstream. More information is available at

By Andrew R. Chow, New York Times, June 13, 2016.