LSU Alumnus Mose Allison Honored as a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master, Nation's Highest Honor in Jazz

01/11/2013 02:22 PM

BATON ROUGE – LSU alumnus Mose Allison is one of four musicians selected by the National Endowment for the Arts, or NEA, for the 2013 NEA Jazz Masters. The four 2013 Jazz Masters join 124 jazz greats such as Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald and Herbie Hancock who have received this honor.

The four 2013 NEA Jazz Masters include

  • Allison, pianist, vocalist, composer
    Born in Tippo, Miss., currently lives in Long Island, N.Y.
  • Lou Donaldson, saxophonist
    Born in Badin, N.C., currently lives in New York, N.Y.
  • Lorraine Gordon, jazz club owner, is the recipient of the 2013 A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Award for Jazz Advocacy
    Born in Newark, N.J., currently lives in New York, N.Y.
  • Eddie Palmieri, pianist, bandleader, arranger, composer
    Born in New York, N.Y., currently lives in Las Vegas, Nev.


These four individuals are recognized for their lifetime achievements and significant contributions to the development and performance of jazz. They will each receive a one-time award of $25,000.

Allison received a degree in English and philosophy from LSU in 1952 and went on to become known as the “William Faulkner of Jazz,” as he performed around the country and compiled a catalog of more than 55 albums and 240 songs. In August 2010, he received an honorary degree from LSU for an extraordinary and distinguished career as a jazz musician and songwriter. Adept in both the blues and jazz, he defies categorization and has been a major influence on musicians, regardless of genre, for more than 50 years.

“Mose Allison’s fusion of jazz and blues has created a new sound uniquely his own, influencing scores of musicians and songwriters after him,” NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman said.

The NEA will partner with Jazz at Lincoln Center to produce an awards ceremony and concert in honor of the 2013 NEA Jazz Masters that will be webcast live on Monday, Jan. 14, on and The ceremony will also be simulcast on SiriusXM Satellite Radio.

For more on Allison’s career and his selection as a NEA Jazz Master, visit

Allison is an alumnus of the LSU College of Humanities & Social Sciences. For more on the college, visit

About NEA Jazz Masters

Each year since 1982, the Arts Endowment has conferred the NEA Jazz Masters Award to living legends who have made major contributions to jazz. With this new class, 128 awards have been given to great figures of jazz in America. NEA Jazz Masters are selected from nominations submitted by the public and receive a one-time fellowship award of $25,000, are honored at an awards ceremony, and may participate in NEA-sponsored promotional, performance, and educational activities. There were 173 nominations considered for the 2013 NEA Jazz Masters. Only living musicians or jazz advocates may be nominated for the NEA Jazz Masters honor.

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at

Jazz at Lincoln Center is dedicated to inspiring and growing audiences for jazz. With the world-renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and a comprehensive array of guest artists, Jazz at Lincoln Center advances a unique vision for the continued development of the art of jazz by producing a year-round schedule of performance, education and broadcast events for audiences of all ages. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis and Chairman Robert J. Appel, Jazz at Lincoln Center produces thousands of events each season in its home in New York City, Frederick P. Rose Hall, and around the world.

Ernie  Ballard 
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Friday, January 11, 2013