National Endowment for the Arts chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $30 million in grants as part of the NEA’s first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2017. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $50,000 to Jazz at Lincoln Center to curate the Jazz & Popular Song Series. The Art Works category focuses on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts.
“The arts are for all of us, and by supporting organizations such as Jazz at Lincoln Center, the National Endowment for the Arts is providing more opportunities for the public to engage with the arts,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Whether in a theater, a town square, a museum, or a hospital, the arts are everywhere and make our lives richer.”
Endowment funds will support the Jazz & Popular Song Series and Jazz Innovators Series during the 2017-2018 season at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Marking its sixth season, the Jazz & Popular Song Series will again be curated and hosted by Michael Feinstein who has selected three icons whose recordings helped shape the recorded history of jazz: Nat Cole, Mel Torme and Ella Fitzgerald.
The Unforgettable Nat King Cole performances will explore the artistry of star of stage and screen, Nat “King” Cole. With such hits as “Unforgettable,” “Nature Boy,” “The Christmas Song,” and “Route 66,” audiences will enjoy the songs, stories, showmanship, and masterful piano playing that defined Cole’s career.
The Music of Mel Torme performances will illuminate the classic crooner’s voice, musical sophistication, and emotional intensity that amplified the impact of already powerful songs.
Ella on My Mind performances will celebrate classics made famous by Ella Fitzgerald. Drawing broadly across the Great American Songbook, the “First Lady of Song” shaped definitive versions of countless tunes written by top composers such as Irving Berlin and George and Ira Gershwin.
For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.
For more information on Jazz at Lincoln Center, visit jazz.org.
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