The Kennedy Center

Theaster Gates

Jason +: Jason Moran and Theaster Gates: Looks of a Lot

Friday, February 24, 2017 8:00 PM

Jason+ Jazz Mashups

Jazz pianist Jason Moran teams up with Chicago-based installation artist and sculptor Theaster Gates and the students of Chicago's Kenwood Academy Jazz Band to remount a multimedia "opus on sustaining hope in the face of violence" (Chicago Tribune).

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Join visionary jazz composer and pianist Jason Moran, the Kennedy Center's Artistic Director for Jazz, for an inspiring performance rooted at the intersection of music, art, and civic justice. In 2014, Moran created this challenging and eclectic score for the students of Chicago's Kenwood Academy Jazz Band, whose emotional journey to premiere the work was compellingly documented in the Chicago Tribune. Moran now brings Kenwood's gifted musicians to D.C. for one night only to reprise their powerful program, which includes twists on everything from Schubert's classic Der Doppelgänger to trumpeter Roy Eldridge's "Wabash Stomp."
Exploring themes of gun violence and the resilience of the human spirit, Looks of a Lot gets its name from Chicago rapper Lil Durk, who once remarked "Looks of a lot of blues" upon seeing so many police car lights at one of his shows. Also featuring set designs and spoken word by Chicago-based installation artist and sculptor Theaster Gates, the performance welcomes Moran's trio mates from The Bandwagon (bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits), saxophonist and MacArthur Fellow Ken Vandermark, and vocalist Katie Ernst, a graduate of the Kennedy Center Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead program.

Performance Timing: 1 hour, with no intermission.