Saxophonist Sonny Rollins was among the recipients of the 2011 The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Awards.
Other recipients honored at the 34th annual national celebration of the arts are: singer Barbara Cook; singer and songwriter Neil Diamond; cellist Yo-Yo Ma; and actress Meryl Streep.
The Honors Gala was broadcasted on CBS as a two-hour prime-time special on Tuesday, December 27, 2011.
Rollins is widely recognized as one of the most important and influential jazz musicians. A number of his compositions, including “St. Thomas”, “Oleo”, “Doxy”, and “Airegin”, have become jazz standards.