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Terri Lyne Carrington and George Lewis Earn High Recognition as 2019 Doris Duke Artists

Courtesy of the artist

Terri Lyne Carrington and George Lewis have been honored as 2019 Doris Duke Artists, sharing that distinction with innovators in theater and contemporary dance. The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation announced the awards this morning.

Each Doris Duke Artist receives an award of $275,000, most of which is entirely unrestricted. ($25,000 is earmarked for retirement savings and later life needs.)

Carrington, 53, is a drummer, composer and bandleader with three Grammy awards to her name. She is founder and artistic director of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice, established last year. She was musical director for this year’s NEA Jazz Masters concert, and will serve in the same capacity at NPR Music’s Turning the Tables Live: The Motherlode on July 31, as part of Lincoln Center Out of Doors.

“The endorsement from my colleagues really means a lot to me because for a long time I thought I was not fully accepted by my peers and played mostly with people from a generation or two before me,” Carrington said in a press statement. “I’ve tried to keep reinventing myself with diverse projects and by working with forthcoming cutting-edge artists, which is also why I teach.”

Credit Eileen Barroso

Lewis is even more rooted in the academy, as a professor and chair in composition at Columbia University. A lauded composer, improvising trombonist and pioneer of computer music, Lewis is the author of a landmark history, A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music (University of Chicago Press, 2008).

“I am driven by the awareness that things could be different than they are, and that through sound, artists can move people to believe that real change is possible,” Lewis said, also in a statement. “This award will allow me to take more time with what I do, to consider paths less traveled, and to put my work before the public in new and exciting ways.”

Lewis, who turns 67 on Sunday, is no stranger to accolades. Along with prestigious fellowships from the MacArthur and Guggenheim Foundations, he has received a United States Artists Fellowship and an Alpert Award in the Arts.

In addition to Lewis and Carrington, the 2019 Doris Duke Artists include choreographer Donald Byrd, performance artist Michelle Ellsworth, and playwrights Marcus Gardley and Lauren Yee. “They have earned this recognition through an incredibly rigorous nomination and review process conducted by a body of their peers,” says Maurine Knighton, program director for the arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. “The work of these six artists has inspired creativity, new ideas and awe across the arts sector and beyond.”

For more information, visit the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation online.

A veteran jazz critic and award-winning author, and a regular contributor to NPR Music.