Since 1982, the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded Jazz Masters fellowships, the nation’s highest honor in jazz, to individuals who have made significant contributions to America’s classical music. The 2021 NEA Jazz Masters include Philadelphia native Albert “Tootie” Heath.
Drummer Tootie Heath is the youngest of the three Heath Brothers. Back in the day, the family home was a welcoming space for jazz musicians. The legendary jam sessions in their parents’ basement attracted the likes of John Coltrane, Benny Golson, Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker.
The NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert will be co-hosted by 2017 NEA Jazz Master Dee Dee Bridgewater and actor Delroy Lindo.
NEA Acting Chairman Ann Eilers said:
As part of our efforts to give all Americans access to the arts we are proud to partner with SFJAZZ on this virtual concert. It is an opportunity for audiences around the world to tune in and explore the honorees’ many contributions to jazz while also experiencing an evening of performances by an incredible line-up of jazz musicians.
SFJAZZ Founder and Executive Artistic Director Randall Kline added:
It is an honor to again partner with the NEA to celebrate these Jazz Masters. We are looking forward to all of these artists and our global communities coming together to honor these legendary jazz masters for their profound contributions to our world.
The free concert will be livestreamed on Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT. on arts.gov and sfjazz.org, among other platforms. For more information, go here.