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In a concert and ceremony held at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, the National Endowment for the Arts recognized its 2010 Jazz Masters — recipients of the country's largest federally supported award for jazz artistry. Seven master musicians and one record producer each received public recognition, a $25,000 grant and an opportunity to perform, some with the Jazz at Lincoln Center orchestra by request. The gala was broadcast live over Sirius/XM satellite radio, terrestrial radio via WBGO and online at this page on NPR Music.
The artists selected for 2010 include the well-traveled, stylish pianists Kenny Barron and Cedar Walton, vibraphone and marimba master Bobby Hutcherson, singer Annie Ross (known for her vocalese as a member of Lambert, Hendricks and Ross), influential big-band writer Bill Holman, AACM co-founder and pianist/composer Muhal Richard Abrams and reedman and international music pioneer Yusef Lateef. Record producer George Avakian also received a special award for jazz advocacy.
The NEA has now inducted 114 Jazz Masters. The award is given only to living musicians and advocates; recipients are also invited to participate in NEA-sponsored live performances and education programs throughout the country. NEA chairman Rocco Landesman and Jazz at Lincoln Center artistic director Wynton Marsalis introduced the event, and many previously-inducted NEA Jazz Masters, some of whom introduced this year's class, attended the ceremony.