“Shaping up to be the most provocative thinker in current jazz,” according to Rolling Stone, Jason Moran is a composer, musician, artist, and the artistic director for jazz at the Kennedy Center. In addition to releasing critically acclaimed recordings—including his debut Soundtrack to Human Motion and his solo piano disc Modernistic—Moran is interested in exploring the physical spaces where jazz is played, and their role in the lore of a city. His lecture at AAR will include a discussion of his exhibition for the 2015 Venice Biennale, STAGED, which re-created architectural elements and spaces in historic New York jazz venues, including the Savoy Ballroom and the Three Deuces. With this exhibition Moran said he was looking at “how time challenges a relationship between music and its audience, how architecture challenges that as well.” His work looks at the link between art, music, and social history to unearth the complex heritage of jazz and show how it has been used as a tool for both oppression and healing.
Moran received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2010 and recently launched his own recording label, Yes Records, and LOOP magazine. His first solo museum exhibition will open in 2018 at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.