Eight jazz artists receive Doris Duke Artists Awards

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation has announced the 21 recipients of its fifth annual Doris Duke Artists Awards. The awards are bestowed on the artists in recognition of their “creative vitality and ongoing contributions to the fields of dance, jazz and theater.”


This year, the recipients include eight jazz artists. They are trumpeters Dave Douglas and Wadada Leo Smith, pianists Fred Hersch, Wayne Horovitz and Jason Moran, saxophonist and clarinetist Matana Roberts, vocalist and instrumentalist Jen Shyu and saxophonist and flautist Henry Threadgill.


“Given the health struggles that I’ve experienced over the years, it’s remarkable that I’m alive,” said Fred Hersch. “I feel like I’m still getting better at what I do, and that keeps me going. At heart, the thing I love to do is play, but I know that this award is going to open some doors, personally and professionally, in ways I can’t even begin to predict.”


“To receive the prestigious Doris Duke Artist Award is the highest honor,” said Wadada Leo Smith. “It celebrates my achievements as a creative composer and performer in an art form that transcends boundaries. With the support of the Doris Duke Foundation, I now have the unique opportunity to develop a fresh connection to my art and to my community.”


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, the Dorus Duke Charitable Foundation’s primary partner in the awards. With the 2016 class, the Foundation has awarded approximately $27.7 million to 101 artists through the Doris Duke Artist Awards.

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