Jamey Aebersold Biography
We are proud to announce Jamey as a recipient of the 2014 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Award, the nation's highest honor in jazz. Jamey Aebersold is the recipient of the 2014 A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Award for Jazz Advocacy, which is bestowed upon an individual who has contributed significantly to the appreciation, knowledge, and advancement of the art form of jazz. For more information, please visit the NEA Website.
Jamey Aebersold was born July 21, 1939, in New Albany, Indiana. He
attended college at Indiana University and graduated in 1962 with a
Masters Degree in Saxophone. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of
Music by Indiana University in 1992. He also plays piano, bass and
In 1989, the International Association of Jazz Educators inducted
Jamey into their Hall of Fame at the San Diego convention. With this
award, Jamey joins other jazz luminaries such as Count Basie, Duke
Ellington, Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong and others.
Jamey is a internationally-known saxophonist and authority on jazz
education and improvisation, and has developed a series of
Play-A-Longs (book and cd sets (now numbering almost 130 volumes) as
well as various other supplemental aids for the development of
improvisational skills. The Aebersold book and recording sets allow a
musician the opportunity to practice and improvise with well-known
jazz personalities at home as well as in the classroom. The recordings
employ some of the best jazz musicians in the world. This concept has
been responsible for changing the practice habits of thousands of
musicians around the world.
Jamey was one of the first to encourage small group classes which
concentrate on jazz improvisation, and he is the director of the
Jazz Workshops which now have 40+ years on record. Jamey feels
that improvisation is something all people can do—and his clinics and
lectures concentrate on demonstrating how the creative and spontaneous
nature of each person can be brought to light.
Jazz Workshops are having a profound effect on musical communities
around the world. The Workshops have traveled to Australia, New
Zealand, Germany, England, Scotland, Denmark and Canada. Every summer
there are at least two week-long Workshops in the U.S. These camps
employ many of the finest player/teachers in jazz and are open to any
serious jazz student regardless of ability or age.
In 2007, Jamey was awarded the Indiana Governor's Arts Award by Mitch
Daniels, the Governor of Indiana.
On October 4, 1987, CBS' "Sunday Morning" with Charles Kuralt and
Billie Taylor featured Jamey with the Summer Jazz Workshops in an
exciting jazz educational segment.
Jamey has taught at three colleges and universities in the Louisville,
Kentucky area and has made guest appearances in dozens of cities
around the world. While conducting a jazz clinic in Brazil he
produced a 110-minute DVD/video appropriately titled
Improvise" which has become a best-seller.
Jamey's hobby is listening to jazz, especially new young players. He
also enjoys playing basketball (he has hit 50 free throws in a row!)
and is very much interested in Metaphysics and spiritual pursuits as
they apply to the growth of the individual. In December 2004, the
Jazz Midwest Clinic bestowed upon Jamey the "Medal of Honor" in Jazz
Jamey has been a driving force in America's native art form, Jazz, and
continues to kindle the fires of musical imagination in those with
whom he comes in contact.
Click here to
read the cover story of the January 2012 edition of JazzEd Magazine
- NEA Jazz Masters Awards Ceremony & Concert Webcast (Jamey's acceptance speech & performance begins near 38:00)
- NY Daily News interview with Jamey - Wayne Lockwood
- WBGO jazz radio podcast including interview with Jamey (Jamey's interview starts at 16:00)
- NY Times Article- The Joys of Rambling, as Artists and Raconteurs: Jazz Masters Honorees Riff on Their Credos
- Louisville Courier-Journal Article
- See more at: http://arts.gov/news/2013/national-endowment-arts-announces-2014-nea-jazz-masters-nations-highest-honor-jazz#sthash.ngBgV68b.dpuf