MacArthur Fellows Program

MacArthur Fellows / Meet the Class of 2010

Jason Moran

Jazz Pianist and Composer

New York, NY

Age: 35

Published January 25, 2010

Jason Moran is a pianist, composer, and bandleader who mines a variety of musical styles to create adventurous, genre-crossing jazz performances. Moran’s signature corpus marries established classical, blues, and jazz techniques with the musical influences of his generation, including funk, hip-hop, and rock. On his solo piano album, Modernistic (2002), he explores the evolution of twentieth-century rhythmic techniques through his virtuosic execution of two-handed “stride” piano—a style used extensively by jazz artists in the 1920s—while Same Mother (2005) is a re-examination of the emotional and stylistic elements of the blues tradition. In original compositions for his ensemble, The Bandwagon, Moran uses the human voice as a starting point for melodic structure, translating speech patterns into a musical language through which the listener can reflect on the underlying connections between speech and music. More recently, Moran has collaborated with visual and performing artists and incorporated new technology in imaginative multimedia performances. His 2008 homage to Thelonious Monk, In My Mind: Monk at Town Hall, 1959, weaves together crafted and found audio and visual archival material and a reharmonization of the original big band arrangements, illustrating both Monk’s contribution to the history of jazz as well as the enduring power of the musical form. Through reinterpretation of jazz standards and new compositions of his own, Moran is expanding the boundaries of jazz expression and playing a dynamic role in its evolution in the twenty-first century.

Jason Moran received a B.M. (1997) from the Manhattan School of Music. His additional recordings as a leader include Soundtrack to Human Motion (1999), The Bandwagon: Live at the Village Vanguard (2003), Artist in Residence (2006), and TEN (2010), among others. He joined the faculty of the New England Conservatory in 2010.

Photos

Hi-res photos for download. Photos licensed under a Creative Commons license. Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Right-click on the links below to save the file to your computer.

Jason Moran In the Media

"Jason Moran Channels Sound of Fats Waller" thumbnail

"Jason Moran Channels Sound of Fats Waller"

Houston Chronicle
Jason Moran, 2010 MacArthur Fellow
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"Jazz Keyboardist Moran Throws 'Fats Waller Dance Party'" thumbnail

"Jazz Keyboardist Moran Throws 'Fats Waller Dance Party'"

Journal Sentinel
Jason Moran, 2010 MacArthur Fellow
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"Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival Begins Final Year as Women-Only Showcase" thumbnail

"Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival Begins Final Year as Women-Only Showcase"

From The Washington Post
Jason Moran, MacArthur Fellow, 2010
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"Jason Moran on the 'Bandwagon'" thumbnail

"Jason Moran on the 'Bandwagon'"

From U-T San Diego
Jason Moran, MacArthur Fellow, 2010
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About the Fellows Program

The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. Learn More

Carrie Mae Weems, Photographer and Video Artist

Class of 2013

23 New MacArthur Fellows Announced thumbnail

23 New MacArthur Fellows Announced

MacArthur today named 23 new MacArthur Fellows working across a broad spectrum of endeavors. Read More