National Music Council Announces George Clinton and Vince Guaraldi as 2019 American Eagle Award Honorees

May 29, 2019

The National Music Council (NMC) will honor iconic funk visionary George Clinton and beloved "Peanuts" composer and jazz piano giant Vince Guaraldi at the organization’s 36th annual American Eagle Awards on Thursday, July 18th at the Summer NAMM in Nashville. The honors are presented each year in recognition of long-term contributions to American musical culture. NMC advocates for the ideal music education for all children, and the need to protect creators’ rights both locally and internationally.

Recording under the banners of both Parliament and Funkadelic, George Clinton revolutionized R&B forever during the ’70s, morphing soul music into funk by adding influences from several of his late-’60s progressive rock music heroes: Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, and Sly Stone. The Parliament/Funkadelic sound ruled urban music in the following years, capturing over 40 R&B hit singles, including three number ones, and resulting in three platinum albums for Clinton. Through his inspiration, dedication, and determination, George Clinton elevated funk to an art form, culminating in its full recognition as a distinct and distinguished musical genre throughout the world.

The musical works of Vince Guaraldi (1928-1976), created as both a composer and recording artist, are among the most beloved in the world. Often cited as a major musical and stylistic influence by jazz legends the likes of Dave Brubeck, Wynton Marsalis, David Benoit, and George Winston, Guaraldi’s jazz masterpiece “Cast Your Fate To the Wind” has remained a standard in the American repertoire since its Grammy-winning debut in 1963. Guaraldi is truly globally revered, however, for the contribution of his musical genius to the works of cartoonist Charles Schulz as an integral part of the “Peanuts/Charlie Brown” holiday specials. There are few places in the world that “Linus and Lucy,” “The Great Pumpkin Waltz,” “Christmastime Is Here,” and many other songs and recordings associated with those masterful programs are not adoringly celebrated, and Guaraldi’s resulting influence on the spread and appreciation of jazz as an international art form has been profound among generations of young listeners.

This year’s honorees will join a “who’s – who” of cultural icons whose careers and works have been previously awarded the American Eagle, including Stephen Sondheim, Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, Clive Davis, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Morton Gould, Dave Brubeck, Marian Anderson, Max Roach, Lena Horne, Roy Clark, Crystal Gale, Ervin Drake, Theo Bikel, Roberta Peters, Odetta, Patti Smith, and 2018’s honorees, Chick Corea and Manhattan Transfer.

The evening ceremony will take place as part of Summer NAMM at Nashville’s Music City Center, which is open to industry members and Summer NAMM attendees. Tickets for this event are also available to the general public. Presenters and performers for the 2019 event will include renowned pianist George Winston and country singer/songwriter sensation, John Rich. Proceeds from the event support the National Music Council’s music education advocacy efforts.

For more information on schedule, location details, tickets, and sponsorship opportunities visit or contact NMC Director David Sanders at

For information about Summer NAMM, please visit or email

Editorial photos are available of 2019 honoree, George Clinton. Please visit:

For editorial photos of the 2018 American Eagle Awards, please credit “Jason Grant/Getty Images for NAMM”

The National Music Council

The National Music Council is celebrating its 77th year as a forum for the free discussion of this country’s national music affairs and challenges. Founded in 1940 to act as a clearinghouse for the joint opinion and decision of its members and to work to strengthen the importance of music in our lives and culture, the Council’s initial membership of 13 has grown to almost 50 national music organizations, encompassing every important form of professional and commercial musical activity. Through the cooperative work of its member organizations, the National Music Council promotes and supports music and music education as an integral part of the curricula in the schools of our nation, and in the lives of its citizens. The Council provides for the exchange of information and coordination of efforts among its member organizations and speaks with one voice for the music community whenever an authoritative expression of opinion is desirable.





About NAMM

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) is the not-for-profit association with a mission to strengthen the $17 billion music products industry. NAMM is comprised of approximately 10,300 members located in 104 countries and regions. NAMM events and members fund The NAMM Foundation's efforts to promote the pleasures and benefits of music, and advance active participation in music making across the lifespan. For more information about NAMM, please visit, call 800.767.NAMM (6266) or follow the organization on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.