*Three-time Grammy Award-winning jazz musician and composer Terri Lyne Carrington has been named a 2021 NEA Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C. The National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Fellowship is the nation’s highest honor in jazz.
“I am so honored to receive this prestigious award, along with so many heroes, mentors, and of course, masters of the music,” says Carrington. “I will continue my work in furthering the music, and in teaching, mentoring, and advocating for the generations behind me. I am grateful for this incredible recognition, as it will truly remain inspiring through my journey in jazz.”
Terri Lyne Carrington has remained a powerhouse drummer in jazz for four decades and has now vigorously turned her attention over the last 15 years to empowering the next generation. With outstanding versatility, she excels as a composer, bandleader, producer, and educator. Along with Carrington, the NEA will also honor fellow musicians Albert “Tootie” Heath, Henry Threadgill, and arts advocate Phil Schaap for their contributions to the advancement of the art form.
In addition to receiving a $25,000 award, the 2021 NEA Jazz Masters will be honored through a tribute concert, which due to COVID-19 will be available in an online-only broadcast on April 22, 2021. The National Endowment for the Arts will again collaborate with SFJAZZ on this virtual event, which will be free to watch, and no registration or tickets are required. More information will be available in early 2021.
From a child prodigy to a world-class musician, her current album, Waiting Game, with Social Science, a collaboration with Aaron Parks and Matthew Stevens, boasted a triple-crown win in Downbeat magazine’s International Critics Poll for Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, and Group of the Year, making her the first woman instrumentalist to concurrently win in all three categories in the 68-year history of the magazine. Carrington is not new to breaking barriers; she was also the first woman to receive a Grammy Award in the Jazz Instrumental category.
Carrington has received honorary doctorates from Manhattan School of Music and Berklee College of Music, where she currently serves as the founder and Artistic Director of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice. The Institute recruits, teaches, mentors, and advocates for musicians seeking to study jazz with gender justice and racial justice as guiding principles, and asks the important question, “What would jazz sound like in a culture without patriarchy?” She also serves as Artistic Director for Berklee’s Summer Jazz Workshop, and Artistic Director of The Carr Center in Detroit, MI. In 2019, Carrington was granted the prestigious Doris Duke Artist Award in recognition of her past and ongoing contributions to jazz music.
Terri Lyne Carrington started her professional career in Massachusetts at 10 years old when she became the youngest person to receive a union card in Boston. She was featured as a “kid wonder” in many publications and on local and national TV shows. After studying under a full scholarship at Berklee College of Music, Carrington worked as an in-demand musician in New York City and later moved to Los Angeles, where she gained recognition on late-night TV as the house drummer for both “The Arsenio Hall Show” and Quincy Jones’ “VIBE TV” show, hosted by Sinbad.
To date, Carrington has performed on more than 100 recordings and has been a role model and advocate for young women and men internationally through her teaching and touring careers. She has worked extensively with jazz giants and legends including Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Al Jarreau, Stan Getz, Woody Shaw, Clark Terry, Cassandra Wilson, Dianne Reeves, James Moody, Joe Sample, Esperanza Spalding, and many more.
ABOUT THE NEA JAZZ MASTERS
Since 1982, the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded 161 fellowships to great figures in jazz, including Ella Fitzgerald, Sonny Rollins, Dianne Reeves, Miles Davis, Chick Corea, and George Wein. The Arts Endowment’s website features resources and content about the NEA Jazz Masters, including archived concerts, video tributes, podcasts, and more than 350 NEA Jazz Moments audio clips. The National Endowment for the Arts has also supported the Smithsonian Jazz Oral History Program, an effort to document the lives and careers of nearly 100 NEA Jazz Masters.
Nominate an NEA Jazz Master: NEA Jazz Masters Fellows are nominated by the public, including the jazz community. Nominations are judged by an advisory panel of jazz experts, including administrators, performers, producers, and a knowledgeable layperson. The panel’s recommendations are reviewed by the National Council on the
Arts, which sends its recommendations to the chairman, who makes the final decision. The Arts Endowment encourages nominations of a broad range of individuals who have been significant to the field of jazz, through vocals, instrumental performance, creative leadership, and education. NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships are up to $25,000 and can be received once in a lifetime. Visit the Arts Endowment’s website for detailed information and to submit nominations. The next deadline is October 30, 2020.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS
Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support give Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more.