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National Endowment for the Arts honors 2023 Jazz Masters April 1

A black woman in an eyelet turquoise blouse plays the violin.
Barbara Barefield
Courtesy of the artist
Regina Carter

The recipients of the 2023 NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship stand out not only for their musical accomplishments but also for their connection to Detroit.

Violinist Regina Carter, saxophonist Kenny Garrett, and drummer Louis Hayes were all raised in Detroit, and have gone on to make extraordinary contributions within jazz.

And it's not an anomaly, Detroit has a long history of excellence in music education, and is known for nurturing modern jazz greats.

These master jazz musicians were announcedas part of the 2023 class of inductees last July. The fellowship includes a $25,000 award along with the widely recognized "Jazz Master" title.

Sue Mingus, the journalist, archivist and widow of bassist Charles Mingus, is posthumously honored as recipient of the 2023 A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship for Jazz Advocacy. She died in September 2022.

"From its origins in the Black American experience to what is now a global treasure, jazz continues to be a source of inspiration and creativity, due in large part to the stewards of this tradition, four of whom we are excited to honor this year," Maria Rosario Jackson, chair of NEA, said in a press release.

This year's tribute concert and celebration at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., also marks the 40th anniversary of the NEA Jazz Masters program. Jackson called the collaborative event an opportunity to celebrate the NEA Jazz Masters passion and contributions to the genre with a wide audience.

Livestream the 2023 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute concert at or on April 1 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Originally from Detroit, Robin Lloyd has been presenting jazz, blues and Latin jazz on public radio for nearly 40 years. She's a member of the Jazz Education Network and the Jazz Journalists Association.