WASHINGTON — Acclaimed actress Shirley MacLaine and four musicians spanning rock, jazz and opera — Billy Joel, Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock and Martina Arroyo — will receive this year’s Kennedy Center Honors, considered the nation’s highest honor for those who influence American culture through the arts.
The honorees were announced Thursday. In December, President Barack Obama will host the recipients at the White House, and Secretary of State John Kerry will host a dinner for them at the State Department. Top entertainers will salute the honorees in a gala performance Dec. 8 to be broadcast Dec. 29 on CBS.
In an interview, Santana said he was very grateful and happy to be in the company of luminaries and to receive an award he remembers watching almost every year with his family. The 66-year-old musician who was born in a small, remote town in Mexico and immigrated with his family to San Francisco said he set out to bridge cultures and music styles.
“I guess people understand that Santana is not just a Mexican guitar player — I bring a collective-consciousness awareness agenda with me,” he said. “I grew up with the generation of Woodstock and Bob Marley, ‘One Love,’ and ‘Imagine,’ John Lennon. I am one of them, and we don’t do what we do to be commercial or to be popular or to be cute. It’s not entertainment or show business for us. For us, it’s a calling.”
As a Mexican immigrant, Santana is unique among those who have received the cultural prize. Last year, the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts complained the Kennedy Center had long excluded Latinos. Of the more than 180 past honorees, only two have been Hispanic, the group said.
The criticism led to a revised selection process this year, including the solicitation of nominations from the public, and …read more
Source: CBS local Boston