Philip Glass, Wayne Shorter to receive Kennedy Center Honors

“Right here in this group of five, you have the whole picture,” said Glass of this year’s group of honorees.

Lilly Greenblatt
27 July 2018
Wayne Shorter (left), photo by Bruno Bollaert. Philip Glass (right), photo by MITO SettembreMusica.

Two artists influenced by Buddhism, composer Philip Glass and jazz legend Wayne Shorter, will receive the 2018 Kennedy Center Honors, Rolling Stone reports.

As the Kennedy Center’s website reads, the honors recognize exceptional artists who have made enduring marks on American culture.

The two join other recipients including Reba McEntire, the creators of the musical “Hamilton,” and Cher — who is a vocal fan of Pema Chödrön.

Glass has long been associated with the pro-Tibet cause and served as the artistic director of Tibet House US’s 30th Anniversary Benefit Concert last year. In the past, he has called himself a “Jewish-Taoist-Hindu-Toltec-Buddhist.”

Glass told the Washington Post that the 2018 honorees “represent the best of American culture.”

“Right here in this group of five, you have the whole picture. No matter what people think of our politics, our reputation for artmaking is international and very appreciated,” he said.

Shorter practices Nichiren Buddhism as taught in the organization Soka Gakkai International. Two years ago, Shorter joined fellow jazz giant and Buddhist Herbie Hancock in writing an open letter to young artists, which was published in Lion’s Roar.

The Kennedy Center Honors will be held in Washington, D.C. on December 2nd, and broadcast on CBS on December 26th.

Lilly Greenblatt

Lilly Greenblatt

Lilly Greenblatt is the digital editor of You can find more about her at