Jason Moran

Sat, May 17, 2014

Jo Long Theatre | 8:00pm | $35

Since his formidable emergence on the music scene in the late 90s, jazz pianist Jason Moran has proven more than his brilliance as a performer. The Blue Note Records recording artist has established himself as a risk-taker and innovator of new directions for jazz as a whole, consistently crossing genre borders and energizing traditional jazz.

In almost every category that matters – improvisation, composition, group concept, repertoire, technique and experimentation – Moran, and his group The Bandwagon – with bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits – have challenged the status quo, and earned the reputation as “the future of jazz.”

Frequently influenced by the wider world of art as his muse, Moran has found inspiration in edgy 20th century painters like Jean-Michel Basquiat , Egon Schiele (whose painting “Facing Left” provided the eponymous title to Moran’s second album); and Robert Rauschenberg, whose chaotic refinement inspired Moran’s third album Black Stars, featuring the legendary Sam Rivers.

Music education still plays a central role in Moran’s life. He is on the piano faculty at Manhattan School of Music. He has been lecturer/instructor at Yale University, Dartmouth University, University of Pennsylvania, Eastman School of Music, The Kennedy Center, The New School, New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Banff Center for The Arts, Denmarks’ Vallekilde Jazz Camp, Skidmore and Stanford Jazz Workshop.

“Jason Moran is a specialist in the field of jazz abstraction. The pianist and leader of the trio Bandwagon has a rich knowledge of the music’s history and context—part of the reason, no doubt, that he serves as the Kennedy Center’s artistic adviser for jazz. But Moran rarely reads it straight: He prefers to dissect, fragment, distil and subvert it.”
Washington Post

“Very few living pianists are so diverse within a single song as Moran. Bare melodies are repeated into thunderous incantations. Tempos race, stop, swirl, race again. Moran is at the center of the drama. “
Jazz Times