Pianist and Composer Joanne Brackeen
Named BNY Mellon Jazz 2014 Living Legacy Awardee
(Published: May 20, 2014)
Award to be Presented Friday, October 10, 2014
at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Pianist and composer Joanne Brackeen will be honored with the BNY Mellon Jazz 2014 Living Legacy Award in a special ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, October 10, 2014. The Award is a program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and is sponsored by BNY Mellon, the global leader in investment management and investment servicing. The BNY Mellon Jazz Living Legacy Award honors living jazz masters from the mid-Atlantic region who have achieved distinction in jazz performance and education.
The 2014 Award coincides with the 20th Anniversary of the Living Legacy Award and Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation's 35th Anniversary. The celebration will include a gala reception, the award ceremony, and a performance honoring the 2012 awardee Muhal Richard Abrams in the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater.
"Diversity creates stronger companies, and at BNY Mellon, we are committed to having a culture that seeks out and welcomes diversity in all its dimensions. Diversity also creates stronger art, and Joanne Brackeen is a perfect example of this," said James P. McDonald, BNY Mellon's director of global philanthropy. "From the start, she created a body of work that has entertained audiences globally and challenged the conventions of what jazz piano should be. It's an honor to be recognizing her with the BNY Mellon Jazz 2014 Living Legacy Award."
Known as the "Picasso of the Jazz Piano", Joanne Brackeen is among the notable pianist-composers who have broken the glass ceiling for women in jazz performance. Born in 1938, she found her way to her parents' grand piano at an early age, although actual lessons were short-lived. Her free-spirit and frustrations with formal piano instruction led her to teach herself, transcribing jazz solos from recordings at the age of eleven and memorizing Charlie Parker and Bud Powell tunes. She went on to attend the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music, but her student days were brief and she soon moved to New York in 1965 to advance her career. There she met and played with Paul Chambers, Sonny Stitt, Woody Shaw, Lee Konitz and George Benson. She became the first and only female member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in 1969. In addition to her tenure with the Jazz Messengers (1969-1972), she performed extensively with Joe Henderson (1972-75) and Stan Getz (1975-1977) before leading her own trio and quartet. Her ensembles featured such noted players as Clint Houston, Eddie Gomez, John Patitucci, Jack DeJohnette, Cecil McBee, and Billy Hart. She has written over 300 compositions, and her solo performances cemented her reputation as one of the most innovative and dynamic of pianists. Brackeen continues to tour nationally and internationally. Although almost entirely self-schooled, she is committed to sharing her musical knowledge and passion for the tradition to others. Currently, she is a Professor at the Berkelee College of Music and has led clinics and residencies worldwide.
Previous BNY Mellon Living Legacy Award winners include Nathan Davis, Muhal Richard Abrams, Phil Woods, Roy Haynes, Dr. Frank Foster, Kenny Barron, Benny Golson, Oliver Lake, Rufus Reid, Randy Weston, Keter Betts, Jimmy Heath, Joe Kennedy, Jr., Shirley Scott, Reggie Workman, Dr. Donald Byrd, Larry Ridley, Barry Harris, Robert "Boysie" Lowery, and Clark Terry. A Millennium Award was conferred on Dr. Billy Taylor in 2000.
For more information on the BNY Mellon Jazz Living Legacy Award and the 2014 event, please go to http://www.midatlanticart....
This program is made possible through a collaboration with the Kennedy Center Education Department.
About BNY Mellon
BNY Mellon is a global investments company dedicated to helping its clients manage and service their financial assets throughout the investment lifecycle. Whether providing financial services for institutions, corporations or individual investors, BNY Mellon delivers informed investment management and investment services in 35 countries and more than 100 markets. As of March 31, 2014, BNY Mellon had $27.9 trillion in assets under custody and/or administration, and $1.6 trillion in assets under management. BNY Mellon can act as a single point of contact for clients looking to create, trade, hold, manage, service, distribute or restructure investments. BNY Mellon is the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK). Additional information is available on www.bnymellon.com, or follow us on Twitter @BNYMellon.
About Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation
Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation fosters and supports arts programming for the benefit of arts organizations, artists and audiences and encourages exchanges that link the arts resources of the mid-Atlantic region to the rest of the nation and the world. The Foundation was created in 1979 and is a private non-profit organization that is closely allied with the region's state arts councils and the National Endowment for the Arts. It combines funding from state and federal resources with private support from corporations, foundations, and individuals to address needs in the arts from a regional perspective. The region includes nine states and jurisdictions: The District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Virginia and West Virginia.
More Information: http://www.midatlanticarts.org