NSO In Your Neighborhood: U Street, Howard University, Shaw, and Logan Circle
Since his emergence on the music scene in the late 1990s, Kennedy Center Artistic Director for Jazz Jason Moran has proven more than his brilliance as a performer. With a unique vision and innovative approach to the music, Mr. Moran was appointed Artistic Advisor for Jazz for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in November 2011 and given the title of Artistic Director for Jazz in May 2014.
Since his initial appointment, Mr. Moran has worked closely with the Center's staff to expand the breadth of its jazz programming. He established the Center's less conventional Crossroads Club, currently starting its third season, which has hosted acts such as Roy Hargrove's RH Factor and Mr. Moran's own Fats Waller Dance Party. A Blue Note Records recording artist, he also hosted the Kennedy Center's Blue Note at 75, a celebration in May 2014 of the iconic record label's diamond anniversary.Now beginning its third season, Mr. Moran's "Jason Select Series" includes artists who were deeply influential to the modern jazz movement of the ‘50s, ‘60s, and beyond, including the great Anthony Braxton and Dr. Lonnie Smith.
With an emphasis on cross-genre collaboration, Mr. Moran has worked with Kennedy Center affiliates, including the National Symphony Orchestra to present Wayne Shorter, Esperanza Spalding, and as a consultant for the NSO Pops performances with Nas in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Illmatic. He has worked with the Washington National Opera to present Eric Owens in concert, and collaborated with the WNO Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists for an Election Night Jam in 2012. He also paired the art of comedy with jazz when he invited comedian David Allen Grier to join him for An Evening of Comedy and Music in 2012. The 2014-15 season programming includes genre-bending multimedia performances, including Mr. Moran's own In My Mind: Monk at Town Hall, 1959 and The Great Flood: Bill Frisell, a performance blending film with live music.
Mr. Moran has also reshaped and refocused the Center's Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead professional development program for young artists, bringing in new faculty and expanding the curriculum to include collaborations with other D.C. arts organizations. He also teaches at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and has been lecturer/instructor at Yale University, Dartmouth University, University of Pennsylvania, Eastman School of Music, The New School, New York's Museum of Modern Art, Banff Center for The Arts, Denmark's Vallekilde Jazz Camp, Skidmore, and Stanford Jazz Workshop.
In almost every category that matters-improvisation, composition, group concept, repertoire, technique, and experimentation-Mr. Moran and his group The Bandwagon, with bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits, have challenged the status quo. A graduate of New York's Manhattan School of Music, Mr. Moran was awarded a MacArthur Foundation fellowship in 2010. He has performed and/or recorded with artists such as Cassandra Wilson, Wayne Shorter, Charles Lloyd, Dave Holland, Marian McPartland, Don Byron, Uri Caine (duo), Bunky Green, Sam Rivers, Jenny Scheinman, Christian McBride, and Stefon Harris. He scored a ballet for Alonzo King's LINES ballet, as well as video works for contemporary American artists Glenn Ligon and Kara Walker. Mr. Moran also has worked with pivotal visual/performance artists Joan Jonas and Adrian Piper. His recordings include the September 2014 release All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller, TEN, Soundtrack toHuman Motion, Facing Left, Black Stars, Modernistic, The Bandwagon, Same Mother, and Artist in Residence.
Celebrate the timeless music of George Gershwin, including selections from his opera Porgy and Bess, with Norm Lewis, Alicia Hall Moran, Jason Moran, Steven Reineke, and an acclaimed African American chorus.