Entertainment & Arts

Dave Holland gets major US jazz honour

Dave Holland Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Holland has worked with jazz legends Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and Stan Getz

British musician Dave Holland is to receive one of America's biggest jazz honours in recognition of his contribution to music.

Famed for his work with Miles Davis, and subsequently the leader of an acclaimed big band, Holland will become one of the 2017 NEA Jazz Masters.

Born in Wolverhampton, the bassist was discovered by Davis whilst gigging at Ronnie Scott's in 1968.

He subsequently played on Bitches Brew, amongst other seminal jazz recordings.

A fellow of the Guildhall School of Music in London, where he studied from 1965-6, Holland has won three Grammy awards and continues to play with his quintet, his big band and the jazz collective Prism.

The Jazz Master honour is bestowed by the National Endowment for the Arts, and comes with a $25,000 (£17,600) prize.

"Being a musician has opened up new worlds for me and given me experiences that I couldn't have imagined," said Holland upon learning of the award.

"In 1968, the music led me to America and since then my experiences have shaped who I am and what I do. I'm grateful to the community of musicians that have welcomed and inspired me, and I'm honoured to have been selected by my peers and the NEA for this award."

Among the other honourees announced on Monday night were singer Dee Dee Bridgewater, who originated the role of Glinda the Good Witch in the Broadway musical The Wiz; and won two Grammy awards for her tribute albums to Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday.

She is only the 19th woman to be given the Jazz Master title since its inception in 1982.

"I never dreamed I would one day be named an NEA Jazz Master, as so few women hold this distinction," Bridgewater said.

"I've fought long and hard to preserve my musical integrity, to garner respect in this male-dominated jazz world.

"Being selected as a 2017 NEA Jazz Master recipient is, therefore, an affirmation that I was right to push the proverbial envelope."

Pianist Dick Hyman, who works closely with Woody Allen, Hammond organist Dr Lonnie Smith and jazz historian and writer Ira Gitler will also receive the award.

They will all be honoured at a tribute concert to be held on 3 April 2017 at the The John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC.

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