The MacArthur Foundation awards have been announced for this year. Two musicians were awarded the "genius" grants: John Zorn and Regina Carter. Zorn is a musician I had never heard of before I started reading music blogs. Kyle Gann, Tim Rutherford-Johnson, and various members of Sequenza 21's Composers Forum have been educating me on both very new music and 20th century music that didn't get covered in music history classes for the 1980s and 1990s.
Zorn fits in the latter category, part of the downtown music scene that Kyle Gann vigorously champions. In fairness to my music history teachers, Zorn became influential after I had taken my classes, and I did learn about some of his artistic ancestors, like the Fluxus movement.
Regina Carter is an excellent musician. I heard her on NPR, talking about getting permission to play on Paganini's violin. Besides the concert mentioned in the linked article, Regina also recorded After a Dream on "The Cannon." While much is made of the rarity of jazz violinists, I think it is making a comeback. Several violinists at DePauw are interested in jazz, and the canon has encompassed enough jazz-styled music that most young string players are being trained in the art.