I love stuff like this. Years ago, your government and mine sent Duke Ellington, Thelonius Monk, Louis Armstrong and others overseas as ambassadors for the USA, like jazz was something we were proud of and wanted to share with the world. Well, we don't do that anymore, but now the NEA is honoring eight jazz musicians as jazz masters, including ceremonies at Jazz At Lincoln Center, $25,000 awards (a lot of money in the jazz world), etc. The honorees are Annie Ross, Bobbie Hutcherson, Cedar Walton, Yusef Lateef, Kenny Baron, Bill Homan, George Avakian and Muhal Richard Abrams.
Howard Mandell has a great write-up on this, and an explanation of why these people are important. My kids grew up learning the lyrics to Annie Ross's Twisted (they also had to learn all the lyrics to Thunder Road, but that ain't jazz, and it's a story for another time). Here's Annie, and that's Bill "Count" Basie on piano: