The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Jazz Masters award is widely described as United States’ highest honor for jazz. The 2018 recipients of the prize are Reeves, pianist Joanne Brackeen, guitarist Pat Metheny and producer Todd Barkan. The new class will be inducted in a tribute concert and ceremony at the Kennedy Center on April 16, 2018. Each inductee will deliver remarks but not perform, leaving that task to colleagues and peers. At the 2017 induction celebration, Reeves performed as she paid tribute to her friend Dee Dee Bridgewater.
Winner of the 2015 Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album, “Beautiful Life” showcases Dianne’s sublime gifts in what is a melding of R&B, Latin and pop elements within the framework of 21st Century jazz. “At its essence,” says Reeves, “Life is beautiful, and I wanted to celebrate that which is too often overlooked.”
“Beautiful Life” features singularly memorable covers of Bob Marley’s “Waiting in Vain,” Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams,” Marvin Gaye’s “I Want You” and Ani DiFranco’s self-empowering “32 Flavors.” The rest of the twelve tracks cover a spectrum from jazz to soul, along with two new songs, “Cold” and “Satiated”, which are emotionally volcanic. Produced by Terri Lyne Carrington, Beautiful Life features an all-star cast including bassists Esperanza Spalding and Richard Bona, vocalists Gregory Porter and Lalah Hathaway, pianists Robert Glasper and Gerald Clayton and Reeves’ cousin and frequent longtime collaborator, the late great George Duke.
In 2013, Jazz FM launched the Jazz FM Awards with the aim of celebrating the work of jazz, blues and soul musicians, composers and contributors from across the globe. The second Jazz FM Awards took place on 10 June 2015 in partnership with Serious UK. Winners from the night also included Gregory Porter, Jarrod Lawson, Zara McFarlane, Shabaka Hutchings, Jason Moran, Dr. John and Bill Laurence. Hugh Masekela was presented with the PPL Lifetime Achievement Award.
Best Album (chosen by public vote) went to Dianne Reeves for her spectacular record “Beautiful Life” which showcases her sublime ability to blur the lines between R&B, latin, pop and jazz.