*Musician Sonny Rollins was announced today as part of the five cultural icons whose creative work will be celebrated at the 34th Annual Kennedy Center Honors airing Tuesday, Dec. 27 on CBS.
Rollins will be joined Actress Meryl Streep, singer-songwriter Neil Diamond, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, saxophonist and composer Sonny Rollins and singer Barbara Cook.
“This year, the Kennedy Center selects five extraordinary individuals whose collective artistry has contributed significantly to the cultural life of our nation and the world,” says Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein.
“Saxophonist Rollins’ masterful improvisation and powerful presence have infused the truly American art form of jazz with passion and energy,” he noted in a statement.
The honorees will be given an evening of tributes and performances by their peers and fans while seated next to President Barack Obama and the First Lady at the Kennedy Center Opera House.
The Center’s Board of Trustees chooses each year’s recipients for their body of work and contributions to American culture through the performing arts. Past honorees have included Oprah Winfrey, Paul McCartney, Robert De Niro, and Steven Spielberg.
Below, Sonny Rollins – St. Thomas — Sonny Rollins (Tenor Sax), Kenny Drew (Piano), Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen (Bass); Albert “Tootie” Heath (Drums)