We consider recognizing these artists in their own lifetimes to be crucially important. Their personal input and recollections are irreplaceable. Our vision is that our first documentary, Grady Tate’s Windmills, will become the inaugural film in a larger project – the National Arts Treasure Initiative (NATI), a collection featuring exclusive interviews, contributions from fellow Treasures, and unique concert footage.

Grady Tate’s Windmills

Jazz legend Grady Tate has always been celebrated as a live performer, bringing to his shows not just his virtuosity as a musician, but his uncanny humor and storytelling abilities. His performances are being filmed and will be incorporated into a full length documentary film celebrating Grady as an elder statesman of jazz giving his insights on an important American art form through the life and music of this great man. Work is already well advanced on this film, through archival footage and interviews. The concerts will provide current sights and sounds of Grady that will be woven throughout the film.

As a drummer, Grady has performed on more than 5000 recordings. He was the drummer of choice of generations of musicians, from Duke Ellington and Count Basie, to Peggy Lee and Barbara Streisand, to Miles Davis and Herbie Mann, earning him the reputation as one of the greatest jazz drummers of all time and arguably one of the most recorded musicians in history.

But it was as a vocalist that Grady gained special recognition, and putting him in a rare category, alongside the likes of Nat King Cole, of singers to emerge from the ranks of musicians. This earned him Grammy award nominations for “Best Vocalist” for the definitive version of “Windmills of Your Mind” and a captivating remake of Michael Jackson’s “She’s Out of My Life” with legendary jazz organist Jimmy Smith. Grady demonstrated his prowess as the consummate balladeer on Grover Washington Jr’s recording of “Be Mine Tonight” and, again with Grover, brought the complex “Little Black Samba” to life for many with his intricate phrasing and timing. For this, amongst so much more, we Treasure him.


Recently Buried Treasures

Dave Brubeck
Ornette Coleman
George Duke
Charlie Haden
Jim Hall
Chico Hamilton
Yusef Lateef
Marian McPartland
Horace Silver
Billy Taylor
Clark Terry

Frank Wess