NEH + Jazz

2023 NEA Jazz Masters Celebrated in March 27 Tribute Concert

All tickets for this event have been claimed—please check back for additional availability. Standby tickets may be available day-of in the Hall of States on a first-come first-served basis starting at 7:15 p.m., with a standby line forming at 5:30 p.m.

Livestream the event at or on April 1 at 7:30 p.m.

FREE! Join us for a rousing concert honoring the esteemed recipients of the 2023 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Fellowship: violinist Regina Carter, saxophonist Kenny Garrett, and drummer Louis Hayes—as well as Sue Mingus, recipient of the 2023 A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship for Jazz Advocacy, who passed away in September 2022.

Hosted by Mark Ruffin of SiriusXM’s Real Jazz channel (67), this one-night-only concert will feature performances by honorees Regina Carter, Kenny Garrett, and Louis Hayes. Additional performers include Rudy Bird, Michael Bowie, Keith Brown, Ronald Bruner, Abraham Burton, Adam Cruz, Dezron Douglas, Kalia Ferretti, Alvester Garnett, Sarah Hanahan, David Hazeltine, Corcoran Holt, Steve Nelson, Shawn Purcell, Melvis Santa, Helen Sung, Camille Thurman, and The String Queens—Dawn Michelle Johnson, Kendall Isadore, and Elise Sharp. (Performers subject to change.)

The concert will also include video tributes to the honorees, illuminating their lives and careers, as well as remarks by NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD; President of the Kennedy Center Deborah F. Rutter; honorees Regina Carter, Kenny Garrett, and Louis Hayes; and Roberto and Emma Ungaro, representing honoree Sue Mingus.

The NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship is the nation’s highest honor in jazz. Each year since 1982, the program has elevated to its ranks a select number of living legends who have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of jazz. For more information, read a brief history of the program.

This concert marks the culmination of the 40th anniversary celebration of the NEA Jazz Masters program.

Please note: there is a two-ticket limit per patron for this show. Reservation confirmations should be printed at home and presented at the Kennedy Center’s Hall of States Box Office in exchange for tickets on April 1st beginning at 4 p.m.

Student Master Class with 2023 NEA Jazz Master Kenny Garrett

On Thursday, March 30 from 12:30–2:00 p.m., 2023 NEA Jazz Master Kenny Garrett will conduct a master class with Howard University student musicians at Howard University’s Childers Recital Hall, 2455 6th Street NW, Washington, DC 20059. The public is invited to observe, and no registration is necessary (seating is first-come, first-served).

NPR Listening Party with the 2023 NEA Jazz Masters

On Saturday, April 1 at 10:30 a.m., NPR will host a listening party in honor of the 2023 NEA Jazz Masters at their headquarters at 1111 North Capitol Street, NE, Washington, DC, 20002. Hosted by NPR’s Felix Contreras, this event will include conversations with and about the NEA Jazz Masters, using music from their careers to tell the stories of their lives. This event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Reserve your free tickets.