Pianist Jason Moran opens UMS season

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Wednesday September 04, 2013


Pianist Jason Moran opens UMS season with riffs on music of Fats Waller at unusual downtown show
By Roger Lelievre

When it came time for the University Musical Society to kick off its 2013-2014 season, programmers decided to opt for something outside their usual box.

Hence, Hill Auditorium will sit this opener out as UMS instead presents a down-home neighborhood party at Ann Arbor’s historic Downtown Home & Garden barn Friday evening. Headliner Jason Moran will offer piano riffs inspired by the late 1920s-30s jazz great Fats Waller, while singer/bass player Meshell Ndegeocello will provide the vocals.

‘It’s how Fats would groove if he were alive today,’ said Mark Jacobson, UMS’ senior programming manager.

Regional and local draft beers and wine from adjoining Bill’s Beer Garden, and ethnic dishes from the eight food carts of Mark’s Carts will complement pianist, bandleader and MacArthur Fellow Moran and Ndegeocello in their 21st-century interpretation of Waller’s songbook.

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