Yamaha Pianist JoAnne Brackeen Receives Highest Honor in Jazz With National Endowment for The Arts Jazz Masters Award

JoAnne Brackeen (photo credit: Carol Friedman)

“JoAnne is well-deserving of this prestigious honor and the accolades for a distinguished and impressive career,” said Bonnie Barrett, director, Yamaha Artist Services New York.

The National Endowment for the Arts has selected JoAnne Brackeen as a winner of its distinguished Jazz Masters Award for 2018.

The NEA Award will be presented at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, April 18, 2018, at the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall in Washington, D.C. Her fellow honorees, guitarist/composer/educator Pat Metheny, vocalist Dianne Reeves and club owner/producer/artistic programmer Todd Barkan, will join her at the ceremony, which will be streamed live and open to the public.

“It’s awesome to have received this honor, this title for being and doing what I love most,” Brackeen said. “I am so thankful. My goal is to continue and share my joy, concepts and spirit through my music with as many people as possible.”

“The NEA Jazz Masters represent the very pinnacle of talent, creativity, innovation and vision,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “We look forward to celebrating these four new Jazz Masters and their many contributions to jazz.”

“JoAnne Brackeen is a role model both as a consummate jazz performer and devoted educator,” said Bonnie Barrett, director, Yamaha Artist Services New York. “For many years, her consummate musicianship has inspired countless aspiring musicians, as well as imaginative collaborations with many of today’s greatest jazz players. JoAnne is well-deserving of this prestigious honor and the accolades for a distinguished and impressive career.”

 

Brackeen, a Yamaha Artist, is one of America’s outstanding jazz pianists, composers and educators. She has achieved many milestones in a career that stretches back to the 1950s, beginning with her history-making run as the only female musician ever to play with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. Referencing Brackeen’s more than 300 often adventurous, multi-genre compositions, jazz icon Marian McPartland noted that “Brackeen, like Picasso, broke convention and she always likely will.”

In addition to dozens of albums released under her own name, Brackeen has collaborated on projects with bassists…

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