Bobby McFerrin

Every year since 1982, the National Endowment for the Arts selects a new class of NEA Jazz Masters, a formal recognition reserved for seasoned musicians and jazz advocates.

Craig Lovell

Years ago, The Checkout campaigned for Bobby McFerrin to become recognized as a NEA Jazz Master. That milestone happened this year— and his daughter, vocalist Madison McFerrin is here to give thanks for also being an incredible father.

The NEA Jazz Masters fellowship, America's highest honor reserved for jazz musicians, is typically bestowed by the National Endowment for the Arts in grand fashion with a gala and all-star tribute concert.

National Endowment for the Arts

Originally set for early April at SFJAZZ, the 2020 NEA Jazz Masters gala and concert was derailed by the coronavirus pandemic. It was remade into an online experience, hosted by 2017 NEA Jazz Master Dee Dee Bridgewater. So it felt only appropriate to turn this week’s Take Five into an NEA Jazz Masters sampler. Here’s to the Class of 2020! 

Benoit Rousseau

Maison Symphonique is like Dr Who's TARDIS. Bigger on the inside.

I remember when the upper right corner of Place Des Arts was a mostly empty and small plateau. There were stairs up from the street. There were amusements for kids. And then they built a large concert hall in that corner.

Blond wood everywhere, wooden seats, wooden slats in the walls, an enormous array of silver-grey organ pipes above the stage. And with acoustics perfect for singers.