Kennedy Center Names Jason Moran as Artistic Advisor for Jazz

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Wednesday November 30, 2011

From The Washington Post

Jason Moran named Kennedy Center’s new artistic adviser for jazz
By: Jess Righthand

Jazz pianist and composer Jason Moran has been named the Kennedy Center’s new artistic adviser for jazz, in an announcement released Tuesday. Moran will be only the second person to hold the position, following a 16-year stint by one of his mentors, the iconic pianist and educator Billy Taylor, who served from 1994 until his death in December 2010.

‘I have a lot of ideas that I think will fit well with the Kennedy Center, so this is very exciting,’ Moran says.

The 36-year-old pianist inherits an already-robust program, thanks in large part to his predecessor. Taylor ‘” who started at the Kennedy Center as a seasoned musician, educator and broadcaster in his early 70s ‘” shepherded the jazz program from several scattered concerts each year to a constant bounty of shows, master classes, lectures, workshops, and interviews on his beloved radio show, ‘Billy Taylor’s Jazz at the Kennedy Center.’

Moran ‘is someone that is firmly rooted in the tradition of the music,’ says Kevin Struthers, the Kennedy Center’s director of jazz programming, who will be working with Moran over the course of his three-year appointment to curate artists for concerts and jazz education. ‘As one of the foremost contemporary artists on the scene, I think he’ll bring a more contemporary aspect to the music, and to our programming, without disrespecting the past, but still looking ahead to where the music is going.’

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