According to an article in the Detroit Free Press, David Liebman is receiving the highest award that the US bestows onto a jazz musician. At the age of 64, Liebman will finally be the recipient of an NEA Jazz Master Award from the National Endowment of the Arts.
Photography by: Pin Lim Source: daveliebman.com
David Liebman’s career has spanned over 4 decades, and he has played with over 100 performers on over 300 recordings. His work as a jazz educator is renowned, and he has received multiple international and national awards for his saxophone playing and musicianship. He is currently the Artist in Residence at the Manhattan School of Music, and he has consistently placed in the top three places for Best Soprano Saxophone in the Downbeat Critic’s Poll since 1973.
However, according to Mark Stryker’s article in the Detroit Free Press, there is an odd twist to the Liebman’s story. Despite Liebman’s phenomenal success in the jazz world as a performer, composer, bandleader, and educator, his band can’t get a week-long booking in a New York club, because club owners don’t think that he will bring in enough business.
So the next time your band has a hard time getting a booking in a club because the owner doesn’t think your band is a big enough draw, remember, you’re in good company.