MacArthur Fellows Program

MacArthur Fellows / Meet the Class of 2010

Jason Moran

Jazz Pianist and Composer

New York, New York

Age: 35

Published September 28, 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

High-resolution photos for download. Photos are owned by the MacArthur Foundation and licensed under a Creative Commons license: CC-BY. Credit: John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Right-click on a link below to save the file to your computer.

Jason Moran In the Media

"Jason Moran Swings Future of Jazz Into City" thumbnail

"Jason Moran Swings Future of Jazz Into City"

The Philadelphia Tribune
Jason Moran, 2010 MacArthur Fellow
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"How the MacArthur Fellowships Have Nurtured Jazz"

Chicago Tribune
Jason Moran, 2010 MacArthur Fellow
Vijay Iyer, 2013 MacArthur Fellow
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"Jazz Genius Jason Moran Immersed in Houston Project" thumbnail

"Jazz Genius Jason Moran Immersed in Houston Project"

Houston Chronicle
Jason Moran, 2010 MacArthur Fellow
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"Interview with Jason Moran" thumbnail

"Interview with Jason Moran"

Film Music Magazine
Jason Moran, 2010 MacArthur Fellow
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"Jason Moran's Ongoing Fats Waller Update" thumbnail

"Jason Moran's Ongoing Fats Waller Update"

Chicago Reader
Jason Moran, 2010 MacArthur Fellow
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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

Samuel D. Hunter, Playwright

Class of 2014

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