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.
On May 22nd, renowned jazz vocalist, Dianne Reeves, was recognized by the Juilliard School with an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts for her “breathtaking virtuosity, improvisational prowess, and unique jazz and R&B style.” She received her award at their 110th Commencement Ceremony in Lincoln Center, along with Suzanne Farrell, Nicholas Hytner, Murray Perahia, and Peter Sellars.