Sonny Rollins Awarded National Medal of Arts

Thanks to Don-Lucky for the heads-up that Sonny Rollins is being awarded today with  the National Medal of Arts — the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the United States Government. I am doubly pleased to see that Sonny is being honored along with James Taylor, one of my all time-favorite artists outside of the jazz sphere. On Sonny’s official Web site, this is what he had to say: “I’m very happy that jazz, the greatest American music, is being recognized through this honor, and I’m grateful to accept this award on behalf of the gods of our music.”

This is the citation read at the ceremony:

Sonny Rollins for his contributions to American jazz music. Widely recognized as one of the most important and influential jazz musicians of the post-bebop era, Mr. Rollins’ melodic sensibilities, playing style, and solos have delighted audiences and influenced generations of musicians for over 50 years.”

Here are some details about the honor, as well as past jazz winners:

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