NEA 2014 Jazz Masters’ investiture photo gallery

Photographer Sánta István Csaba flew from Budapest to attend the NEA’s 2014 Jazz Masters awards ceremony, and here are some of his fresh images.


Jamey Abersold’s “Ornithology” onstage at the Allen Room, Jazz at Lincoln Center; photo by Sánta István Csaba

I’m reporting about the event for Down Beat, so must reserve most of my comments prior to publication. The entire three-hour event can be watched at the NEA’s website.


Anthony Braxton; photo by Sánta István Csaba


Soledad O’Brien

However, many controversies could arise from the program. The most notable within the Allen Room itself as the evening unfolded concerned new Jazz Master Anthony Braxton’s 40+ minute peroration. I’ve followed Braxton’s music for more than 40 years, and wonder what else than a long, spirited, self-referential improvised speech one could expect from a musician whose first record release, For Alto, was a two-LP set of solo sax improvisations? If a stage manager had wanted Braxton to conclude, co-MC Soledad O’Brien could have easily been asked to step up and help Braxton offstage. But the producer’s advance message to each Master receiving their Award was: “It’s your show . . .”

Prior to the program that was streamed, many formerly inducted Jazz Masters participated in a group photo:


rear row, from l. – Randy Weston, Jamey Aebersold, Anthony Braxton, Keith Jarrett, Richard Davis
2nd row: Eddie Palmieri, Dave Liebman, Muhal Richard Abrams, Jimmy Owens, Dan Morgenstern, Kenny Barron
front row: Candido Camero, Annie Ross, Delfeayo Marsalis, Sheila Jordan, Jimmy Heath, David Baker
at side: NEA Senior Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa

 It was more fun to meet the Masters up close and personal —


Richard David, bassist


Jamey Aebersold, saxophonist and educator


Keith Jarrett, improvising pianist




Eddie Palmieri, pianist-composer-bandleader


Cecil Taylor, pianist


from l.: Annie Ross, Dave Liebman, Jon Hendricks, Jimmy Owens, Sheila Jordan




Music highlights included a beautiful rendition of the late Master Frank Wess’ composition “Placidtude” —

Jimmy Owens and Kenny Barron playing a piece by the late Frank Wess at the 2014 NEA Jazz Masters ceremony

Jimmy Owens and Kenny Barron

Joe Lovano and young musicians drawn from JALC circles performed “Blue Bossa” by the late Jazz Master Kenny Dorham —


bassist Yasushi Nakamura, tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano, drummer Mark Whitfield Jr. 

Jimmy Heath and Melissa Aldana, winner of the 2013 Thelonious Monk saxophone competition, ended the event with Heath’s “New Picture” —


Tenor saxophonists Melissa Aldana and Jimmy Heath

 Wynton Marsalis,   Jazz Master and JALC managing/artistic director, co-hosted the program —


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