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Jason Moran and Other Houstonians Take NYC

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Thursday February 24, 2011

From A Blog Supreme/NPR Jazz

Texas Takes Manhattan, To Great Effect
By: Patrick Jarenwattananon

In the middle of January, the jazz pianist and MacArthur Fellow Jason Moran took his talents to South Manhattan. He organized an two-night, ridiculous-in-a-good-way concert revue called 713 —> 212: Houstonians In NYC, featuring musicians — jazz and otherwise — from his Texas hometown.

Great musicians come from all over, but Houston represents in force. Internationally acclaimed talents like Moran, Robert Glasper, Eric Harland and Chris Dave all came from the same performing arts high school — as did Helen Sung, Mark Kelley, Kendrick Scott, Jamire Williams, Alan Hampton, Mike Moreno, etc. and so forth. There were also singer-songwriters, and backup vocalists, and plenty of the esteemed elders: Billy Harper, Frank Lacy, Michael Carvin and more. Moran’s high school jazz band director, Robert “Doc” Morgan, even flew up for the event.

A surplus of talent and 713 pride, under one roof: You get the picture. One night was devoted to singer-songwriters and R&B; the other to modern jazz expressions. Nearly all the musicians in all seven bands were from Houston. And our friends at WBGO’s The Checkout were there to record every minute of the proceedings, live at 92YTribeca.

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