The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release

May 4, 2005

NEA Selects UI Hancher Auditorium To Be Iowa's Jazz Masters Host

The University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium has been selected as the only Iowa venue to host the "NEA Jazz Masters on Tour," organized by the National Endowment for the Arts and Arts Midwest with funds from Verizon Foundation and Chamber Music America. A Jazz Masters event will be presented in fall 2006.

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Dana Gioia said, "The NEA is proud to announce the biggest jazz program in its history. We are not only sponsoring a 50-state tour by many of America's greatest living jazz musicians. We also are providing high school teachers a free, multimedia jazz curriculum to introduce a new generation to this distinctly American art form."

"Jazz has been an important art form for Hancher since 1972 when Preservation Hall Jazz Band opened the auditorium," said Judith Hurtig, Hancher's artistic director. "Herbie Hancock and Duke Ellington also appeared that season and since then many major jazz musicians have performed here. We are delighted that this history of support for jazz has been recognized by the NEA and Arts Midwest, and we are looking forward to participating in this national initiative."

The National Endowment for the Arts launched "NEA Jazz Masters on Tour" in April 2004 with a small-scale program that helped bring artists including Ornette Coleman, Herbie Hancock, Jimmy Heath and Randy Weston to audiences. Now "NEA Jazz Masters on Tour" is a large-scale operation with an impact in every state.

Established in 1982, the NEA Jazz Masters program honors living legends for their exceptional contributions to jazz and helps to connect them and their music to the American people through broadcasts, publications, educational initiatives, and now through NEA Jazz Masters on Tour. For more information on NEA Jazz Masters, visit

A press release about the selection of Hancher and the other presenters in all 50 states is viewable at:

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail,

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073,