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Friday September 28, 2007

Pianist, composer, and Blue Note recording artist Jason Moran will celebrate the legacy of Jazz great Thelonious Monk with several events this Fall commemorating the 90th anniversary of the legendary pianist and composer’s birth. Perhaps the foremost stylistic heir to Monk, Moran has earned his own reputation for being the most provocative thinker in current jazz (Rolling Stone) over the course of seven albums for Blue Note.

On October 27th, Moran will debut his newest work, a multi-media project entitled In My Mind: Monk at Town Hall, 1959, at Duke University, about an hour from Monk’s birthplace in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Commissioned by Duke Performances, Washington Performing Arts Society, SF Jazz, and Jazz at Symphony Center, In My Mind will also receive performances in Washington DC (10/28), San Francisco (11/2), and Chicago (11/16).

Monk has long played a vital role in Moran�s musical development and career. Moran was just 13 years old and studying classical piano when he first heard Monk’s solo rendition of Round Midnight, a revelatory experience that inspired the young pianist to change course and begin pursuing Jazz studies. When SF Jazz approached Moran last year about recreating Monk’s famous 1959 Town Hall concert for a performance in May 2007, Moran began to conceive of a larger conceptual project that would look beyond Monk’s music and public image to reflect upon the man himself, his history and his creative process.

In My Mind is a full-length original piece based on the 1959 Town Hall concert, W. Eugene Smith’s documentary work, and Moran’s 2007 pilgrimage to Monk’s ancestral home in North Carolina. The piece incorporates live performance by an eight-piece ensemble, video projections, and recorded samples of Monk rehearsing his band for the Town Hall performance.

On October 10th, Monk’s birthday, Moran will participate in Monk at 90, a conversation with acclaimed Jazz critic Gary Giddins about Monk’s music and legend at CUNY in New York City. The event will include a solo piano performance by Moran. For more information, please visit:


October 10
Elebash Recital Hall, CUNY
New York, NY
Monk at 90 – Conversation & solo piano performance hosted by Gary Giddins

October 27
Page Auditorium, Duke University
Durham, NC
Performance of In My Mind: Monk at Town Hall, 1959

October 28
Lisner Auditorium, George Washington University, Washington Performing Arts Society
Washington, DC
Performance of In My Mind: Monk at Town Hall, 1959

November 2
Palace of Fine Arts, SF Jazz
San Francisco, CA
Performance of In My Mind: Monk at Town Hall, 1959

November 16
Symphony Center, Jazz at Symphony Center
Chicago, IL

Performance of In My Mind: Monk at Town Hall, 1959

Jason Moran – piano
Ralph Alessi – trumpet
Logan Richardson III – alto saxophone
Walter Smith III – tenor saxophone
Isaac Smith – trombone
Bob Stewart – tuba
Tarus Mateen – bass
Nasheet Waits – drums

Check out an audio interview with Jason Moran discussing In My Mind: