Sunday, April 22, 2012

An abundance of jazz awards

Lately it seems that every time I open an email or visit a website or page through a magazine, I read about another jazz award or gift.

On May 24, drummer and bandleader Roy Haynes will take home a Peabody Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Music in America.

Last Thursday, April 19, the first class of Doris Duke Artists--21 performing artists in the fields of jazz, dance, and theater--was awarded a total of $5.775 million. Life-changing cash grants of $225,000 each (second in size only to the MacArthur Foundation's "genius" grants of $500,000) were given to Don Byron, Bill Frisell, John Hollenbeck, Vijay Iyer, and Nicole Mitchell.

Earlier that week, on April 17, jazz historian Dan Morgenstern received the Rutgers University Award in recognition of his "exceptional contributions to preserving, promoting, and advancing our understanding of jazz." Morgenstern served as Director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers-Newark from 1976 until his retirement in January 2012.

On or near that date, jazz vocalist Kurt Elling won the 2012 ECHO Jazz Prize (Germany's Grammy) for International Male Singer of the Year.

On April 13, the 2012 Guggenheim Fellows were announced. Among them were Terry Teachout, Louis Armstrong's biographer (and blogger, and writer for the Wall Street Journal) and drummer-composer Bobby Previte.

On April 11, Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music Jazz Studies Department received a $1.9 million gift from the estate of Anne and Paul Plummer. Paul Plummer was a tenor saxophonist and friend of the University's Distinguished Professor David N. Baker.

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