NEC Jazz Studies Faculty and Alumni Among the 2016 Doris Duke Artist Awards Recipients
2016 Doris Duke Artists include NEC Jazz Studies faculty member Jason Moran plus alums Dave Douglas, Fred Hersch and Matana Roberts
The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) announced today the recipients of the fifth annual Doris Duke Artist Awards. Appointed in recognition of their creative vitality and ongoing contributions to the fields of dance, jazz and theater, awardees will each receive $275,000 in flexible, multi-year funding as well as financial and legal counseling, professional development activities and peer-to-peer learning opportunities provided by Creative Capital, DDCF's primary partner in the awards. With the 2016 class, DDCF will have awarded approximately $27.7 million to 101 noteworthy artists through the Doris Duke Artist Awards.
Among the recipients are four with strong NEC connections: faculty member and pianist Jason Moran, alumnus and former faculty member pianist Fred Hersch '77 B.M. and two other alums: trumpeter Dave Douglas '83, and saxophonist Matana Roberts '03 M.M. Roberts received the Doris Duke Impact Award in 2013.
"I was extremely pleased to hear that four members of the NEC family were chosen to receive Doris Duke Artist Awards," said Ken Schaphorst, Chair of NEC's Jazz Studies Department. "I can't think of four more deserving musicians."
This will be the final group of Doris Duke Artists to receive these awards under the umbrella of the foundation's Doris Duke Performing Artists Initiative, a larger $50 million allocation by DDCF above its existing funding to the performing arts. However, having witnessed the tremendous value of the program over the past five years, DDCF is pleased to announce plans to extend the life of the Doris Duke Artist Awards by incorporating the program into its annual grant-making budget at a more sustainable scale for the long term. In the future, the foundation will continue to yearly give Doris Duke Artist Awards to three artists. These awards will be managed internally by DDCF staff. DDCF expresses deep gratitude to Creative Capital for their successful administration of the first five classes of Doris Duke Artists and for their part in making the awards program a success.
"The Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards has been a truly visionary program, setting a standard for comprehensive artist support," said Ruby Lerner, founding president and executive director at Creative Capital. "We at Creative Capital have been so proud to be a part of the powerful partnership that has supported the 101 artists who have received awards to date."
About the Doris Duke Artist Awards
Each recipient of a Doris Duke Artist Award receives $275,000-including an unrestricted, multi-year cash grant of $225,000, plus as much as $25,000 more in targeted support for audience development and as much as $25,000 more for personal reserves or creative exploration during what are usually retirement years for most Americans. Artists will be able to access their awards over a period of three years under a schedule set by each recipient. Creative Capital, DDCF's primary partner in the Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards, will also offer the awardees the opportunity to participate in professional development activities, regional gatherings, and financial and legal counseling-all designed to help them personalize and maximize the use of their grants.
To qualify for consideration by the review panels, all the Doris Duke Artists must have won grants, prizes or awards on a national level for at least three different projects over the past 10 years, with at least one project having received support from a DDCF-funded program. The panel chose the artists based on demonstrated evidence of exceptional creativity, ongoing self-challenge and the continuing potential to make significant contributions to the fields of contemporary dance, jazz and theater in the future.
New England Conservatory's Jazz Studies Department was the first fully accredited jazz studies program at a music conservatory. The brainchild of Gunther Schuller, who moved quickly to incorporate jazz into the curriculum when he became President of the Conservatory in 1967, the Jazz Studies faculty has included six MacArthur "genius" grant recipients (three currently teaching) and four NEA Jazz Masters. The program has spawned numerous Grammy winning composers and performers and has an alumni list that reads like a who's who of jazz. As Mike West writes in JazzTimes: "NEC's jazz studies department is among the most acclaimed and successful in the world; so says the roster of visionary artists that have comprised both its faculty and alumni." The program currently has 95 students; 48 undergraduate and 47 graduate students from 13 countries.