DeJohnette the jazzer of 54 artists getting $50k USA fellowships

Drummer/composer/pianist Jack DeJohnette, an NEA Jazz Master, is the sole jazz-associated artist among 54 fellows selected by United States Artists (not a governmental organization) from 438 applications to a grants program initiated by United States Artists in 2006.

Jack DeJohnette

USA fellows received $50,000 in unrestricted funds. Citing “cutting-edge thinkers and traditional practitioners from the fields of architecture and design, crafts and traditional arts, dance, literature, media, music, theater arts, and visual arts,” USA also rewarded the well-established choreographer Trisha Brown, novelist Annie Proulx, playwright David Henry Hwang and banjoist Tony Trishka.

United States Artists started with $22 million seed money from the Rockefeller, Ford, Prudential and Rasmuson Foundations, and has raised $51 million from individual patrons to underwrite specific artists’ awards. In 2010, United States Artists established USA Projects, to allow “any accomplished artist in the country to post projects and raise funds from friends and fans,” accepting donations as small as $1, presumably without the restrictions or fees connected with such crowd-funding sites as Kickstarter.

Since 2006, jazz-related artists receiving USA Fellowship have included Bill Frisell with Jim Woodring, Don Byron, Jason Moran, John Santos, Muhal Richard Abrams, Henry Threadgill, Cyro Baptista, Lionel Loueke, George E. Lewis, Uri Caine, Guy Klucevsek, Greg Tate — as well as Cajun fiddler Michael Doucet (of BeauSoliel), sarod master Ali Akbar Khan, oudist Rahim AlHaj, Evan Ziporyn (reedist for Bang on a Can All-Stars and gamelan composer), Ella Jenkins (“First Lady of the Children’s Folk Song”), and pipa player Wu Man.

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