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Jason Moran

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34 year-old pianist Jason Moran has proven, after seven years on the estimable Blue Note Records, more than his brilliance as a performer. He’s established himself as a risk-taker, a seeker of new directions for jazz as a whole. Looking to the wider world of art for inspiration, Moran has found it in edgy 20th century painters like Jean-Michel Basquiat (check out “JAMO Meets SAMO” from Soundtrack to Human Motion, his 1999 debut as a leader , as well as his ongoing series of “Gangsterism” compositions), Egon Schiele (from whose painting entitled “Facing Left” Moran borrowed the title of his second album for Blue Note) and Robert Rauschenberg, whose chaotic refinement inspired Moran’s third album Black Stars, featuring the legendary Sam Rivers.

Jason Moran was born January 21, 1975 in Houston, Texas. He began studying the piano at age 6, but longed to quit the instrument until he first experienced the sounds of jazz legend Thelonious Monk, an experience that renewed his interest in music and established an early role model in his creative development.

Moran went on to attend Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts where he became an active member of the jazz program, playing in the big band and leading a jazz quartet. His aspirations and talents eventually led him to New York City where he continued his education at the Manhattan School of Music, a school to which he was drawn by the prospect of studying with the pianist Jaki Byard, a jazz leftist who became Moran’s teacher for 4 years and a role model for life.

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