Stanley has been selected as a 2022 recipient National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Fellowship. The fellowship is the highest honor that the United States bestows on jazz artists. Clarke’s fellow honorees for next year are saxophonist Donald Harrison Jr., drummer Billy Hart and vocalist Cassandra Wilson.

“It’s an honor to be chosen as a 2022 NEA Jazz Master along with its generous fellowship in commemoration of my long career in jazz as a recording artist, performer, composer, conductor, arranger, producer and film score composer,” stated Clarke. “It is a tribute to now be included among such an elite group of past fellowship winners.”

Since 1982, the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded a select group of 165 fellowships to great figures in jazz. Clarke and the other recipients will receive a substantial monetary award and will be formally honored at a special ceremony and concert held in collaboration with and produced by SFJAZZ on March 21, 2022, at the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco, CA.

Regarding the announcement of Clarke as a recipient, Jon W. Poses, Columbia Daily Tribune, wrote, “Stanley Clarke stands as one of the most facile, technically brilliant instrumentalists in modern jazz.”