Press Releases

Jason Moran “Exploring American Classics” in discussion at Davis Performing Arts Center

Washington, DC — Rolling Stone has noted, “Jason Moran [is] shaping up to be the most provocative thinker in current jazz,” and this internationally renowned musician, composer, and artist will give his first presentation in his role as Distinguished Artist in Residence at Georgetown University on Dec. 7, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. in the Davis Performing Arts Center’s Gonda Theatre. In the event  “Exploring American Classics,” co-sponsored by Georgetown University’s Office of the President and the GU Department of Performing Arts, Moran will discuss his ongoing investigations into the spaces inhabited by Jazz performance and the residue it leaves behind. His recent exhibition STAGED, including works shown at the Venice Biennale in 2015, recreated architectural elements associated with historic Jazz venues in New York from the 1940s and 1950s, such as the Savoy Ballroom and the Three Deuces, that no longer exist.

For Moran, Jazz is an exuberant art form, part of the living lore of the city, and an embodiment of the restlessness characterizing American society in recent years. His multivalent works examine the highly-charged intersections between music, art and social history. Awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2010, Moran, an electrifying Jazz performer, is the Artistic Director for Jazz and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and was announced as a Distinguished Artist in Residence at Georgetown in September 2017.

The Dec. 7 event with Jason Moran is free, but ticketed. Tickets can be reserved at The Davis Performing Arts Center is on Georgetown University’s main campus, which is located at 3700 O St. NW, in Washington, D.C.


Jason Moran, a pianist, composer and educator, grew up in Houston, Texas. He began studying piano when he was six, but early on developed a strong interest in both hip hop and jazz and graduated from Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. He moved to New York and graduated from the Manhattan School of Music. He started his professional career playing with Greg Osby, and his debut recording on Blue Note Records, “Soundtrack to Human Motion,” was released in 1999 to great critical praise. The following year, Facing Left established his trio The Bandwagon, with bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits, and prompted JazzTimes Magazine to declare the album “an instant classic” and Rolling Stone to state “Jason Moran is shaping up to be the most provocative thinker in current jazz.” Since his first album, Jason he has produced 10 additional albums and six film soundtracks, including scores for Ava DuVernay’s films “Selma” and “13th.” In 2007, Moran was commissioned to create “IN MY MIND: Monk at Town Hall, 1959,” producing a critically-acclaimed multi-media performance investigating Thelonious Monk’s famous recording, Monk at Town Hall. Recent releases include “The Armory Concert” (2016), “Thanksgiving at the Vanguard” (2017), and “BANGS” (2017) under his own label Yes Records. In 2010 Moran was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship and in 2011 he was appointed artistic advisor to jazz at The Kennedy Center. By 2014 he was made artistic director for jazz. Music education plays a central role in Moran’s life. He teamed up with Chicago high school students and artist Theaster Gates to create “Looks of a Lot,” an evening- length concert exploring the relationship of the blues to healing. He has been on the faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music since 2010, and also teaches in Copenhagen at The Rhythm Conservatory. He lives with his wife, Alicia Hall Moran, in Harlem.