Dee Dee Bridgewater

http://www.montclairjazzfestival.org

Jazz House Kids is a grassroots jazz school for young people which has gained a reputation as one of the nation’s preeminent arts education and performance organizations.

“We use jazz, America’s home grown music, as a teaching tool to develop who we are as people,” said Jazz House Kids founder Melissa Walker

Jazz House Kids was created to provide young people with guidance and a positive influence while teaching them how to play and create music.

Shannon Finnegan

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Dee Dee Bridgewater found a moment in her acceptance speech at the 2017 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert, on Monday night at the Kennedy Center, to sound a note of thanks for the NEA itself. “They have provided the possibility for artists to dream,” she said, “and to share their art and their creativity with people all around these United States, and all around the world.”

“That’s something,” she added. “It’s something to protect.” The stress on her last word was unmistakable, and it sparked a round of applause.

Benedict Smith / Courtesy of the artist

The NEA Jazz Masters program, now in its 35th year, has been an engine of prestige in our culture: It's still the nation's highest honor reserved for living jazz musicians. In advance of this year's ceremony and concert, which will be live-streamed from the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., we're devoting this edition of Take Five to the incoming class of NEA Jazz Masters, who represent a healthy range of styles.