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National En 




m ^y 1 



A great nation 
deserves great art. 

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 hinder of the arts, bringing 
great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner 
cities, and military bases. 

National Endowment for the Arts 

America's Highest Honor in Jazz 

2009 Fellows 


This publication is published by: 
National Endowment for the Arts 
Office of Communications 
Victoria Hutter. Acting Director 
Don Ball. Publications Manager/Editor 

Designed by: 

Fletcher Design Inc.. Washington DC 

October 2008 

Cover Photo: NEA Jazz Masters (from left) Candido Camero, Joe 
Wilder, and Paquito D'Rivera perform during the finale of the 
2008 NEA Jazz Masters awards ceremony and concert in Toronto. 
Canada. Photo by Tom Pich 

The following reference texts were used in researching biographical 
information of the Jazz Masters: 

All Music Guide to Jazz by Vladimir Bogdanov. Chris Woodstra, 
and Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Backbeat Books 

American Musicians II by Whitney Balliett, Oxford University 

Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz by Leonard Feather and Ira 
Gitler. Oxford University Press 

Four Jazz Lives by A.B. Spellman. University of Michigan Press 

Jazz: The Rough Guide by Ian Carr, Digby Fairweather, and Brian 
Priestley, Rough Guides 

Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD, 4th Edition by Richard Cook and 
Brian Morton, Penguin 

Talking Jazz: An Oral History by Ben Sidran. Da Capo Press 

Voice/TYY: (202) 682-5496 

For individuals who axe deaf or hard-of-hearing. 

Individuals who do not use conventional print may contact the Arts 
Endowment's Office for AccessAbility to obtain this publication in 
an alternate format. Telephone: (202) 682-5532 

National Endowment for the Arts 
1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW 
Washington. DC 20506-0001 
(202) 682-5400 

Additional copies of this publication can be obtained for free by 
contacting the NEA Web site: 


(*) This publication was printed on recycled paper. 

A Message from the Chairman 

In 2003 the NEA made the historic decision to increase 
significantly its support for the great America art form of jazz. 
An ambitious new national initiative was created that eventually 
included touring, festivals, television, radio, recordings, and school 
programs. At the heart of this national initiative was the NEA Jazz 
Masters Fellowships, the nation's highest honor in jazz. First created in 1982 as a 
lifetime achievement award, the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships were well respected in 
the jazz world but little know outside it. The plan was to heighten the recognition of 
this singular award to make it worthy of the great art and artists it honored. 

Six years later, I am proud to report that the program has been enormously 
successful. It has brought jazz to millions of Americans in all 50 states — best of all, 
introducing the art to seven million students through the NEA Jazz in the Schools 
curriculum which the NEA developed in partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center. 
Meanwhile hundreds of Jazz Moments radio features are broadcast daily on SIRIUS 
XM Radio, reaching millions of adult listeners many times a day. 

But most important, we honor the artists themselves through the NEA Jazz Masters 
award. By doubling the number of annual recipients, we also celebrate the breadth of 
talent in this distinctively American tradition. 

The NEA Jazz Masters constitute an artistic legion of honor. These living legends 
embody the best of our nation's creative culture. As NEA chairman, it is hard for me to 
describe the extent of my pleasure and pride to see these master musicians recognized 
officially by their nation in their own lifetime. 

The NEA's investment in jazz has influenced other institutions. The United States 
Department of State, for example, recently bestowed its first individual Benjamin 
Franklin Award for Public Diplomacy to Dave Bruebeck in honor of his legendary 
work in the Jazz Ambassadors program. This award reminds us that jazz musicians 
are more than just performers. They are cultural ambassadors, introducing America's 
music to new audiences around the world. 

We welcome the 2009 NEA Jazz Masters to their rightful place among the 
immortals of America's hottest — and coolest — musical tradition. 

<Q&AAC\ H^Ho. 

Dana Gioia 


National Endowment for the Arts 

2009 NEA Jazz Masters iii 

NEA Jazz Master Gerald Wilson leads his 
orchestra at the 2005 NEA Jazz Masters 
awards concert in Long Beach, California. 

Photo by Vance Jacobs 

Table of Contents 

A Brief History of the Program 1 

Program Overview 3 

2009 NEA Jazz Masters 5 

George Benson 6 

Jimmy Cobb 7 

Lee Konitz 8 

Toots Thielemans 9 

Snooky Young 10 

Rudy Van Gelder 11 

NEA Jazz Masters Award Ceremony 12 

1982-2009 NEA Jazz Masters 13 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

Boston Library Consortium Member Libraries 

NEA Jazz Master Slide Hampton takes a solo at the 2007 NEA Jazz Masters awards concert in New York City. 

A Brief History of the Program 

A melding of African and European music 
and cultures, jazz was born in America, 
a new musical form that used rhythm, 
improvisation, and instruments in unique and 
exciting ways. Jazz came to prominence in the early 
20th century on the dance floors of major cultural 
centers such as Kansas City and New York. With the 
advent of sound recording techniques, the increased 
availability of affordable gramophones, and the 
rise of radio as popular entertainment, jazz quickly 
conquered the country. By the 1930s and 1940s, 
jazz had become America's dance music, selling 
albums and performance tickets at dizzying rates 
and sweeping millions of fans in foreign countries 
off their feet. 

By the 1950s, however, with the advent of rock 
and roll and the tilt in jazz toward bebop rather 
than the more popular swing, jazz began a decline 
in its popularity. It was still seen as an important 
and exciting art form, but by an increasingly 
smaller audience. Jazz was still being exported 
overseas, though, especially by Voice of America 
radio broadcasts and U.S. Department of State 
goodwill tours that featured such musicians as Dizzy 
Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, and Dave Brubeck. 

By the 1960s, when the National Endowment 
for the Arts (NEA) was created by Congress, jazz 
album sales were down and jazz performances 
were becoming more difficult to find. Large 
dance orchestras disbanded for lack of work, and 
musicians found themselves in stiff competition 
for fewer and fewer gigs. The music, starting with 
bebop and into hard bop and free jazz, became more 
cerebral and less dance-oriented, focusing on freeing 
up improvisation and rhythm. It was moving to a 
new artistic level, and if this high quality were to be 
maintained, it would need some assistance. 

NEA assistance to the jazz field began in 1969, 
with its first grant in jazz awarded to pianist/ 
composer George Russell (who would later go on 
to receive an NEA Jazz Master award in 1990), 
allowing him to work on his groundbreaking book, 
Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization, 
the first major academic work in jazz. In a decade, 
jazz funding went from $20,000 in 1970 to $1.5 
million in 1980 to more than $2.8 million in 2005, 
supporting a wide range of activities, including jazz 
festivals and concert seasons, special projects such 
as Dr. Billy Taylor's Jazzmobile in New York and 
the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz's Jazz Sports 

2009 NEA Jazz Masters 

program, educational jazz programming on National 
Public Radio, artists-in-schools programs, and 

While the NEA recognized and acted on the 
need for public funding for jazz, the pioneers of the 
field were rapidly aging, and often dying without 
the appropriate recognition of their contribution 
to this great American art form. Louis Armstrong 
and Duke Ellington, two of the giants of jazz in 
terms of both musicianship and composition, both 
died in the early 1970s without the importance of 
their contributions being fully acknowledged and 

In an effort to nationally recognize outstanding 
jazz musicians for their lifelong achievements and 
mastery of jazz, the Arts Endowment in 1982 created 
the American Jazz Masters Fellowships — now the 
NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships — given to musicians 
who have reached an exceptionally high standard of 
achievement in this very specialized art form. 

In addition to the recognition, the NEA included 
a monetary award of $20,000 for each fellowship. 
The rigors of making a living in the jazz field are 
well documented. Jazz is an art form to which 
the free market has not been kind. Despite their 
unparalleled contributions to American art, many 
jazz greats worked for years just barely scraping by. 
The monetary award often has provided a much 
needed infusion of income. 

That such recognition was long overdue is 
exemplified by Thelonious Sphere Monk, one of the 
great American composers and musicians. Monk 
was nominated for an NEA Jazz Master Fellowship 
in the first year of the program, but unfortunately 
passed away before the announcement was made 
(the fellowship is not awarded posthumously). 
The three who were chosen certainly lived up to 
the criteria of artistic excellence and significance 
to the art form: Roy Eldridge, Dizzy Gillespie, and 
Sun Ra. The panel in that first year included stellar 
jazz musicians themselves, including some future 
NEA Jazz Masters: trumpeter Donald Byrd and 
saxophonists Frank Foster, Chico Freeman, Jackie 
McLean, and Archie Shepp. In addition, legendary 
Riverside record company co-owner and producer 
Orrin Keepnews was on the panel. 

From that auspicious beginning, the program has 
continued to grow and provide increased awareness 
of America's rich jazz heritage. In 2004, the number 
of fellowships awarded increased, and a new award 
was created for those individuals who helped 
to advance the appreciation of jazz. In 2005, the 
advocacy award was designated the A. B. Spellman 
NEA Jazz Masters Award for Jazz Advocacy in 
honor of A. B. Spellman, a jazz writer, accomplished 

poet, innovative arts administrator, and former 
NEA Deputy Chairman, who has dedicated much 
of his life to bringing the joy and artistry of jazz 
to all Americans. Additionally, the amount of the 
fellowship was increased to $25,000. 

In 2005, Chairman Dana Gioia greatly expanded 
the NEA Jazz Masters initiative to include several new 
programs in addition to the fellowships. A two-CD 
anthology of NEA Jazz Masters' music was produced 
by Verve Music Group. NEA Jazz Masters on Tour, 
sponsored by Verizon, brought jazz musicians to 
all 50 states throughout 2005-07 for performances, 
community events, and educational programs. 
This led to a new program, NEA Jazz Masters Live, 
which brings these jazz legends to selected events for 
performances, master classes, and lectures. A new 
arts education component was created in partnership 
with Jazz at Lincoln Center and with support from the 
Verizon Foundation, NEA Jazz in the Schools. This 
educational resource for high school teachers of social 
studies, U.S. history, and music includes a five-unit, 
Web-based curriculum and DVD toolkit that explores 
jazz as an indigenous American art form and as a 
means to understand U.S. history (more information 
can be found at New 
broadcasting programming was created, such as 14 
one-hour shows on NEA Jazz Masters featured on the 
public radio series Jazz Profiles, hosted by NEA Jazz 
Master Nancy Wilson, and Jazz Moments, radio shorts 
for broadcast on SIRIUS XM Radio. 

Each passing year brings increased international 
recognition of the NEA Jazz Masters awards as the 
nation's highest honor for outstanding musicianship 
in the field of jazz. The recipients of the NEA Jazz 
Masters award cover all aspects of the music: from 
boogie-woogie (Cleo Brown) to swing (Count Basie, 
Andy Kirk, Jay McShann); from bebop (Dizzy 
Gillespie, Kenny Clarke) to Dixieland (Danny 
Barker); from free jazz (Ornette Coleman, Cecil 
Taylor) to cool jazz (Miles Davis, Gil Evans, Ahmad 
Jamal); and everywhere in between. What ties all 
these styles together is a foundation in the blues, 
a reliance on group interplay, and unpredictable 
improvisation. Throughout the years, and in all the 
different styles, these musicians have demonstrated 
the talent, creativity, and dedication that make them 
NEA Jazz Masters. 

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2007, the 
award continues to offer a solid platform for raising 
worldwide awareness of America's rich jazz heritage 
by not only honoring those who have dedicated their 
lives to the music, but also by leading the way in 
efforts encouraging the preservation and nourishing 
of jazz as an important musical form for generations 
to come. 

2009 NEA Jazz Masters 

2008 NEA Jazz Masters Gunther Schuller, Quincy Jones, and Candido Camera 
at the NEA Jazz Masters panel discussion in Toronto, Canada. 

Program Overview 

The National Endowment for the Arts 
recognizes the importance of jazz as one 
of the great American art forms of the 
20th century. As part of its efforts to honor those 
distinguished artists whose excellence, impact, and 
significant contribution in jazz have helped keep 
this important tradition and art form alive, the Arts 
Endowment annually awards NEA Jazz Masters 
Fellowships, the highest honor that our nation 
bestows upon jazz musicians. Each fellowship 
award is $25,000. 

The NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship is a lifetime 
achievement award. The criteria for the fellowships 
are musical excellence and significance of the 
nominees' contributions to the art of jazz. The Arts 
Endowment honors a wide range of styles with 
awards currently given in the categories of rhythm 
instrumentalist, solo instrumentalist, vocalist, 
keyboardist, arranger/composer, and bandleader. 
There is also a special award given to a non- 
musician, the A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Master 
Award for Jazz Advocacy, which is awarded to an 
individual who has made major contributions to the 

appreciation, knowledge, and advancement of jazz. 

Fellowships are awarded to living artists on the 
basis of nominations from the general public and 
the jazz community. The recipients must be citizens 
or permanent residents of the United States. An 
individual may submit only one nomination each 
year, and nominations are made by submitting 
a one-page letter detailing the reasons that the 
nominated artist should receive an NEA Jazz 
Masters Fellowship. Nominations submitted to the 
Arts Endowment by the deadline are reviewed by 
an advisory panel of jazz experts and at least one 
knowledgeable layperson. Panel recommendations 
are forwarded to the National Council on the 
Arts, which then makes recommendations to the 
Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. 
Nominations remain active for five years, being 
reviewed annually during this period. 

Information on submitting a nomination and on 
the NEA Jazz Masters award is available on the NEA 
Web site: 

2009 NEA Jazz Masters 

2009 NEA Jazz Master 
Toots Thielemans 

^H W A ^ 

2009 Fellows 







f 'i-^rvj 

Names in bold in biographies denote NEA Jazz Masters awardees. 

All recordings listed in Selected Discography are under the artist's name unless otherwise noted. 

Years listed under recordings in Selected Discography denote the years the recordings were 


Born March 22, 1943 in Pittsburgh, PA 


Appreciated as both a musician and performer, 
George Benson plays the dual role of expert 
improviser and vibrant entertainer. Rounding out 
his singular approach with a strong sense of swing, he is 
considered one of the greatest guitarists in jazz. 

Benson began his career as a guitarist working the 
corner pubs of his native Pittsburgh. Legendary jazz 
guitarist Wes Montgomery came across Benson early 
on, complimenting him and urging him to continue his 
already impressive work. In the early 1960s, Benson 
apprenticed with organist Brother Jack McDuff; he found 
the organist's gritty swing a fertile ground for the sly, 
confident, and adventurous guitar lines that earned him 
an early reputation as a master. 

By the time 
legendary talent scout 
John Hammond signed 
Benson to Columbia, 
the guitarist's name 
was becoming known 
throughout the 
industry. In the late 
1960s he sat in on 
Miles Davis' Miles in 
the Sky sessions, and 
also put a personal 
spin on the tunes from 
the Beatles' Abbey 
Hoari. Joining the CTI 



J/ / 


The New Boss Guitar of George Benson, 
Prestige/OJC, 1964 

The Other Side of Abbey Road, A&M, 1 969 

Weekend in LA., Warner Brothers, 1977 

Tenderly, Warner Brothers, 1989 

Absolute Benson, GRP, 1999 

label in 1970, Benson was united with many of jazz's 
finest instrumentalists — including Stanley Turrentine, 
Ron Carter, and Freddie Hubbard — and released classic 
albums, such as Beyond the Blue Horizon. 

Despite his success, Benson's desire to combine his 
singing and guitar playing was blocked until he worked 
with music producer Tommy LiPuma. The result was 
Breezin', the first jazz record to attain platinum sales. 
The 1976 blockbuster, his first in a long association 
with Warner Brothers Records, brought Benson to the 
attention of the general public with such hits as his soulful 
rendition of Leon Russell's "This Masquerade," which 
featured the guitarist scatting along with his solo break. He 
followed up with many pop hits, including a sultry version 
of "On Broadway" and the irresistible "Give Me the Night" 
(produced by Quincy Jones). 

In the mid-1990s Benson followed LiPuma to the GRP 
label where they released three well-received albums 
highlighting Benson's vocal and guitar prowess. In 2006, 
Benson and vocalist/songwriter Al Jarreau released Givin' 
It Up with Benson's current label, Concord Music Group. 

Benson has won ten Grammy Awards, thrilling 
many crowds around the world with his performances, 
including recent appearances at Malaysia's 50th Merdeka 
celebration and the Mawazine Festival in Morocco. 

6 2009 NEA Jazz Masters 



Born January 20, 1929 in Washington, DC 

An accomplished accompanist 
and soloist, Jimmy Cobb is best 
known for being a key part of 
Miles Davis' first great quintet in the 
late 1950s. 

Largely self-taught, Cobb spent 
his younger days in his hometown 
Washington, DC, playing engagements 
with Charlie Rouse, Frank Wess, and 
Billie Holiday, among others. He left 
DC in 1950, joining Earl Bostic, with 
whom he cut his first recordings, before 
finding work with Dinah Washington, 
Pearl Bailey, Clark Terry, Dizzy 
Gillespie, and Cannonball Adderley. 
In 1957, Cobb began playing with 
Miles Davis, eventually becoming part of a formidable 
rhythm section that included Paul Chambers on bass 
and Wynton Kelly on piano. Between 1957 and 1963, 
Cobb played (along with saxophonists John Coltrane 
and Cannonball Adderley) on some of Davis' most noted 
records: Kind of Blue, Sketches of Spain, Someday My 
Prince Will Come, Live at Carnegie Hall, Live at the 
Blackhawk, and Porgy and Bess, among others. In 1963, 
Cobb left the Davis band to continue working as a trio 
with Chambers and Kelly. The trio disbanded in the late 
1960s, and Cobb worked with singer Sarah Vaughan for 
nine years. He then freelanced for the next 20 years 
with artists such as Sonny Stitt, Nat Adderley, Ricky 


Miles Davis, Kind of Blue, 
Columbia, 1959 

Wes Montgomery, Smokin'at 
the Half Note, Verve, 1965 

Joe Henderson, Four!, Verve, 1968 

Marsalis Music Honor Series, 
Marsalis Music/Rounder, 2005 

Cobb's Corner, Chesky, 2006 

Ford, Hank Jones, Ron Carter, George 
Coleman, David "Fathead" Newman, 
and Nancy Wilson. 

Cobb released his first CD (and 
music video) for the A&E network in 
1986 that featured Freddie Hubbard, 
Gregory Hines, and Bill Cosby. In 
2006, Cobb was produced by Branford 
Marsalis for the Marsalis Music 
Honor Series, recorded around Cobb's 
75th birthday. In the last few years, 
he has released several albums as 
a leader — New York Time, Cobb's 
Corner, and West of 5th — playing with 
stalwart musicians such as pianists 
Cedar Walton and Hank Jones and 
relative newcomers such as bassist Christian McBride and 
trumpeter Roy Hargrove. 

Jimmy Cobb continues to play music in New York City, 
where he lives with his wife and two children. He now 
leads the Jimmy Cobb "So What" Band, celebrating 50 
years of Kind of Blue and the music of Miles Davis, and 
travels the international circuit as he approaches his 80th 
birthday. Cobb currently teaches master classes at Stanford 
University's Jazz Workshop and has taught at The New 
School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, the University of 
Greensboro in North Carolina, the International Center for 
the Arts at San Francisco State University in California, 
and international educational institutions. 

2009 NEA Jazz Masters 


Bom October 13, 1927 in Chicago, IL 


Lee Konitz is one of the more distinctive alto 
saxophonists in jazz since Charlie Parker (and one 
of the few that did not outright copy Parker's style), 
pairing his individual style and voice with a strong sense 
of innovation. 

Born to an Austrian father and a Russian mother in 
Chicago, Konitz as a youth studied clarinet, then alto 
saxophone with various teachers. 
In the early 1940s, Konitz met noted 
pianist Lennie Tristano, under whose 
influence and tutelage Kontiz's mature 
style in jazz began to emerge. His 
recordings with Tristano include 
the 1949 releases "Intuition" and 
"Digression" — precursors to the "free 
jazz" movement of the 1960s. 

In 1947, Konitz played with the 
Claude Thornhill Orchestra, meeting 
Gil Evans, who was then arranging 
for Thornhill. Evans brought Konitz 
along to participate in Miles Davis' 
nonet performances and recordings 
[Birth of the Cool, 1948-50), considered 
the beginning point for what came to 

tiled "cool jazz." Konitz went on to play with Gerry 
Mulligan and Chel Baker's influential band and worked 
from 1952-53 in Stan Kenton's big band. From then on, he 
mainly led his own small groups, occasionally touring 

c ^DISCO Gi? 

Subconscious-Lee, Prestige/OJC, 1949-50 

The Lee Konitz Duets, Milestone/OJC, 1967 

The New York Album, Soul Note, 1987 

New Nonet, Omnitone, 2006 

Lee Konitz-Ohad Talmor Big Band, 
Portology, Omnitone, 2007 

In the early 1960s, as opportunities for performances 
declined, Konitz withdrew from the music business 
and took on day work. He continued to develop his 
unique sound, however, occasionally working with such 
musicians as Paul Bley, Martial Solal, Charlie Haden, 
and Brad Mehldau. He also worked as a private teacher, 
conducting lessons by tape with students worldwide. 

Konitz joined with Warne Marsh, his 
fellow sideman from early Tristano 
sessions, to tour Europe and record 
in 1975-76; he also founded his own 
nonet and performed regularly during 
the 1980s. In 1992, Konitz won the 
prestigious Danish JAZZPAR Prize. 

With his insatiable musical 
curiosity, Konitz records in a variety 
of different settings. His later albums 
include French impressionist music 
with a string quartet [Lee Konitz &■ 
The Axis String Quartet Play French 
Impressionist Music from the 20th 
Century), work with the Orquestra 
Jazz de Matosinhos [Portology), and an 
album with the big band Mark Masters 
Ensemble [One Day with Lee). Konitz divides his time 
between residences in the United States and Germany and 
continues to travel and perform around the globe. 

8 2009 NEA Jazz Masters 



Born April 29, 1922 in Brussels, Belgium 

Harmonica player, guitarist, and whistler Jean 
Baptiste "Toots" Thielemans has been credited 
by jazz aficionados as being among the greatest 
jazz harmonica players of the 20th century, improvising 
on an instrument more known in folk and blues music. 
Thielesman is known to audiences young and old, his 
harmonica heard on the Sesame Street theme and his 
whistling heard in an "Old Spice" commercial. 

Thielemans learned to play the accordion at the age 
of three, took up chromatic harmonica at 17, and taught 
himself to play the guitar. Influenced by Django Reinhardt 
and Charlie Parker, he became interested in jazz. In 1950, 
Thielemans toured Europe as a guitarist with the Benny 
Goodman Sextet. He immigrated to the United States in 
1952, getting a chance to play with Charlie Parker's All- 
Stars. His performance so impressed George Shearing 
that he invited Thielemans into his band, where he stayed 
until 1959. 

In 1961, Thielemans composed and recorded 
"Bluesette" using unison whistling and guitar, and ever 
since has been greatly in demand — particularly for his 
harmonica and his whistling — on pop records and as a 
jazz soloist. Thielemans began freelancing, playing and 
recording with Ella Fitzgerald, Quincy Jones, Bill Evans, 
Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Astrud Gilberto, and Elis Regina, 
among others. He also made prominent appearances on 
movie soundtracks, notably on The Pawnbroker, Midnight 
Cowboy, and The Sugarland Express. 


C &V BIBLlo^ 


Man Bites Harmonica, 
Riverside/OJC, 1957-58 

Do Not Leave Me, Vintage Jazz, 1 986 

Only Trust Your Heart, Concord Jazz, 1988 

East Coast West Coast, Private Music, 1994 

Toots and Kenny Werner, Verve, 2001 

Thielemans has 
appeared as a leader of 
swing and bop quartets 
on recordings and at 
international festivals. 
At the Montreux 
International Jazz 
Festival, he recorded as 
a sideman with Oscar 
Peterson in 1975, then 
with Dizzy Gillespie in 
1980. Thielemans' two- 
volume Brasil Project was 
popular in the 1990s and 
featured top Brazilian 

A perennial winner of Down Beat readers and critics 
polls in the category "miscellaneous instruments," 
Thielemans was called "one of the greatest musicians 
of our time" by Quincy Jones in 1995. Thielemans has 
received many awards and titles, including the French 
"Chevalier des arts et des lettres" honors and honorary 
doctorates from both universities in the city of Brussels. In 
2001, Belguim's King Albert II bestowed on him the title 
"Baron," making him Baron Jean "Toots" Thielemans. 



2009 NEA Jazz Masters 



Born February 3, 1919 in Dayton, OH 




Jimmie Lunceford, 
1939-1940, Classics, 1939-40 

Count Basie, Kansas City Suite, Roulette, 1960 

Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, Live at the 
Village Vanguard, Solid State, 1967 

Horn of Plenty, Concord Jazz, 1979 

Gerald Wilson, State Street Suite, 
MAMA Foundation, 1994 

Known for his prowess 
with the plunger 
mute, Eugene Edward 
"Snooky" Young's trumpet 
playing is most often heard 
in the context of the big band. 
For 30 years, he was heard 
every week night as a member 
of the Tonight Show orchestra. 

Young began playing 
the trumpet at five and by 
his early teens was working 
in various regional bands. 
From 1939-1942 he made 

a name for himself as lead trumpeter and soloist in 
the Jimmie Lunceford band. From 1942 to 1947 Young 
worked with Les Hite, Benny Carter, and Gerald Wilson, 
as well as with the Count Basie band, where he replaced 
trumpet player Ed Lewis. Young led his own band in his 
hometown of Dayton from 1947 to 1957 and continued to 
perform periodically with both Lionel Hampton and Basie 
from the early 1960s. 

Upon leaving Basie in 1962, Young began his longest 
engagement with a band as a trumpeter for the Doc 
Severinson band on the Tonight Show. In 1972, he moved 



to Los Angeles when the show relocated to the 
West Coast, and remained until Johnny Carson 
left in 1992. 

Young continue to work on other projects 
as well. He was a founding member of the 
Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra in 1966, 
and throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, he 
played with a variety of big bands, including on 
recordings by such jazz greats as Louis Bellson, 
Gil Evans, Quincy Jones, Charles Mingus, and 
Jimmy Smith. Young has worked outside of jazz 
as well, playing with the rock group the Band 
on New Year's Eve in 1971 and on the classic 
1976 blues recording Bobby Bland and B.B. King 
Together Again. ..Live. 

Young has worked since with several Los Angeles big 
bands, and has issued three albums under his own name, 
including Horn of Plenty, which demonstrated his solo 
gifts as a strong lead trumpeter. Young has appeared as 
a soloist at jazz festivals in Montreux, Switzerland; The 
Hague, Holland; Antibes, France; and Concord, California. 
His work has appeared on numerous soundtracks as well, 
including The Color Purple. He continues to perform and 
tour with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and the 
Gerald Wilson Orchestra. 

10 2009 NEA Jazz Masters 


Van Gelder 

Born November 2, 1924 in Jersey City, NJ 

Considered by many the greatest recording engineer 
in jazz, Rudy Van Gelder has recorded practically 
every major jazz musician of the 1950s and 1960s on 
thousands of albums. 

Van Gelder became involved with amateur radio 
as a teenager, which led to his interest in microphones 
and electronics. Since recording consoles were not 
then manufactured commercially, he created his own 
equipment and set up a studio in his parents' living room 
in Hackensack, New Jersey. An optometrist by day, Van 
Gelder began recording local jazz musicians in his free 

In 1953, saxophonist Gil Melle introduced Van Gelder 
to Blue Note founder Alfred Lion, beginning a 14-year 

association with the 
label. He recorded 
practically every 
session that Blue Note 
produced during that 
time period, from 
obscure sessions like 
Jutta Hipp with Zoot 
Sims in 1956 to the 
popular Maiden Voyage 
by Herbie Hancock 
in 1965. Van Gelder's 
notable recordings 
helped establish Blue 





Sonny Rollins, Volume 2, Blue Note, 1957 

Cannonball Adderley, Somethin' Else, 
Blue Note, 1958 

Eric Dolphy, Outward Bound, Prestige/0 JC, 1960 

John Coltrane, A Love Supreme, 
Impulse!, 1964 

Joe Henderson, Lush Life: The Music 
of Billy Strayhorn, Verve, 1991 

Note's reputation as an elite jazz label. They also enticed 
other labels, such as Prestige, Savoy, and Impulse!, to seek 
out his recording skills. 

In 1959, needing a larger space for Blue Note and his 
other clients, Van Gelder finally quit his day job and 
moved his studio to a new facility he built in Englewood 
Cliffs, New Jersey, where he has remained ever since. He 
became the house engineer for Creed Taylor's CTI label in 
the early 1970s. 

The signature Van Gelder sound features a clearly 
defined separation among the instruments, ensuring 
that every sonic detail is clear and audible. This was 
accomplished by the strategic placement of instruments 
in the studio, though his exact technique has always been 
a closely guarded secret. Van Gelder's main goal was to 
create the best mood for the musicians to perform in, 
and from the results, he seems to have greatly succeeded. 
Among the timeless recordings made under his aegis are 
John Coltrane's Blue Train (Blue Note) Miles Davis' Workin' 
(Prestige), Andrew Hill's Point of Departure (Blue Note), 
Freddie Hubbard's Red Clay (CTI), and Wayne Shorter 's 
Speak No Evil (Blue Note). 

Van Gelder still freelances for a variety of labels 
and since 1999 has been instrumental in the modern 
remastering of his original recordings — most notably the 
Blue Note RVG series — with the conversion from analog to 
digital formats. 

2009 NEA Jazz Masters 11 

NEA Jazz Masters 
Award Ceremony 

NEA Jazz Masters events include a luncheon for all attending NEA Jazz 
Masters (and a group photo), portraits of the new class of honorees, and a 
special concert and awards ceremony. Below are a few candid moments from 
the last few years. 


Frank Wess, Gerald Wilson, Jon Hendi 

Photo by Tom Pr 1 - 

Ornette Coleman 

Photo by Katja von Schuttenbach 

R?S 1 


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David Baker, 
Freddie Hubbard, 
James Moody 

Photo by Tom Pich 


Jimmy Smith, Kenny 

Burrell, Slide Hampton, 

Paquito D'Rivera 

Photo by Vance Jacobs 




Chico Hamilton, 
Roy Haynes 

Photo by Vance Jacobs 

Chick Corea, 
Roy Haynes, 
Ron Carter 

Photo by Tom Pich 


Hank Jones, Barry Harris, Billy Taylor 

Photo by Tom Pich 

Benny Golson, 

Jimmy Heath, 

Percy Heath 

Photo by Tom Pich 

12 2009 NEA Jazz Masters 



Roy Eldridge* 
Dizzy Gillespie* 
Sun Ra* 


Count Basie* 
Kenny Clarke* 
Sonny Rollins 


Ornette Coleman 
Miles Davis* 
Max Roach* 


Gil Evans* 
Ella Fitzgerald* 
Jo Jones* 


. Benny Carter* 
Dexter Gordon* 
Teddy Wilson* 


Cleo Brown* 
Melba Liston* 
Jay McShann* 


Art Blakey* 
Lionel Hampton* 
Billy Taylor 


Barry Harris 
Hank Jones 
Sarah Vaughan* 


George Russell 
Cecil Taylor 
Gerald Wilson 


Danny Barker* 
Buck Clayton* 
Andy Kirk* 
Clark Terry 


Betty Carter* 
Dorothy Donegan* 
Sweets Edison* 

* Deceased 


Jon Hendricks 
Milt Hinton* 
Joe Williams* 


Louie Bellson 
Ahmad Jamal 
Carmen McRae* 


Ray Brown* 
Roy Haynes 
Horace Silver 


Tommy Flanagan* 
Benny Golson 
J.J. Johnson* 


Billy Higgins* 
Milt Jackson* 
Anita O'Day* 


Ron Carter 
James Moody 
Wayne Shorter 


Dave Brubeck 
Art Farmer* 
Joe Henderson* 


David Baker 
Donald Byrd 
Marian McPartland 


John Lewis* 
Jackie McLean* 
Randy Weston 


Frank Foster 
Percy Heath* 
McCoy Tyner 


Jimmy Heath 
Elvin Jones* 
Abbey Lincoln 


Jim Hall 
Chico Hamilton 
Herbie Hancock 
Luther Henderson* 
Nat Hentoff 
Nancy Wilson 


Kenny Burrell 
Paquito D 'Rivera 
Slide Hampton 
Shirley Horn* 
Jimmy Smith* 
Artie Shaw* 
George Wein 


Ray Barretto* 
Tony Bennett 
Bob Brookmeyer 
Chick Corea 
Buddy DeFranco 
Freddie Hubbard 
John Levy 


Toshiko Akiyoshi 
Curtis Fuller 
Ramsey Lewis 
Dan Morgenstern 
Jimmy Scott 
Frank Wess 
Phil Woods 


Candido Camero 
Andrew Hill* 
Qutncy Jones 
Tom McIntosh 
gunther schuller 
Joe Wilder 


George Benson 
Jimmy Cobb 
Lee Konitz 
Toots Thielemans 
Rudy Van Gelder 
Snooky Young 

2009 NEA Jazz Masters 13 



National Endowment for the Arts 

Washington, DC 20506-0001 

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