Jason Moran-The Busiest Man in Jazz

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Monday July 23, 2012


Steinway Artist Feature: Jason Moran. Quite Possibly the Busiest Man in Jazz.

Jason Moran is a busy man. The Manhattan-based jazz pianist and composer’“dubbed by Rolling Stone Magazine as ‘the most provocative thinker in current jazz’ and named a MacArthur Fellow in 2010’” is also the newly-appointed Artistic Adviser for Jazz for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He’s on a short break from a tour that concludes soon with stops in Finland and Germany. He’s embarking on his ninth album for Blue Note Records, a project focusing on the music of the legendary Fats Waller. And today, a verifiable scorcher in a New York City heat wave, he’s busy escorting his four-year-old twin sons on a donut run to Brooklyn. ‘We heard there were special donuts here,’ he says, laughing. ‘So we came looking for them.’

Moran settles into an easygoing banter, with a relaxed voice that reveals none of the pressures of the many roles he juggles in a given day: composer, musician, bandleader, teacher, administrator, husband, father. ‘I like to be busy,’ he says simply.

And now there’s one more title Moran can claim. As of early 2012, he is officially a Steinway Artist. A longtime devotee of the Steinway legacy, Moran’s home studio features a newly-acquired Steinway Model M grand piano, an instrument he says ‘marks the first time I’ve owned a piano that I actually feel is inspiring to play.’ The piano is not his first introduction to the Steinway sound, however. In fact, he says the purchase is a natural evolution of the lifelong influence Steinway pianos have had on his music. A Texas native, Moran attended Houston’s High School for Performing and Visual Arts and had the opportunity to play on Steinway grand pianos in his school. Over the years, he’s performed, studied, taught, and practiced on a wide range of Steinway pianos.

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