Born in Houston, Jason Moran began training in classical piano at age 6. As a boy he developed a preference for hip hop hop music until, at age 13, he heard the song “Round Midnight” by Thelonious Monk and his love of jazz was born. He attended Houston’s High School for the Performing Arts and graduated in 1993 from the Jazz program headed by Robert Morgan.
He enrolled at the Manhattan School of Music and studied with pianist Jaki Byard. During his senior year he was invited to join the band of saxophonist Greg Osby for a European tour. Upon returning to the United States he continued to play with the band and made his first recorded appearance on Osby’s 1997’s album Further Ado. He would subsequently appear on several other Osby albums and Osby introduced him to avant-garde pianists Muhal Richard Abrams and Andrew Hill. The stint with Osby led Moran to sign a contract of his own with Blue Note records. His debut Soundtrack to Human Motion
was released in 1998. He followed that with 2000’s Facing Left featuring a trio that formed out of Greg Osby’s group. Known today as The Bandwagon, the trio features Moran, bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits.
Since his debut album in 1998, his releases includes Facing Left, Black Stars, Modernistic, The Bandwagon, Same Mother, Artists in Residence, Ten, All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller, The Armory Concert, Thanksgiving at the Vanguard, Bangs, MASS, Looks of a Lot and Music for Joan Jonas. He has collaborated on numerous film soundtracks and has appeared on the records of Ralph Alessi, Don Byron, Bunky Green, and many, many more.
Moran has been on the faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music since 2010 where he coaches two ensembles and serves as the Artistic Director for Jazz, and serves as Honorary Professor at the Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen, Denmark where he periodically conducts workshops and master classes. At the Kennedy Center he serves as the musical advisor for jazz since 2011 and in 2014 was named the Artistic Director for Jazz. He and his family manage the granting of the “Moran Scholarship Award” for jazz students at HSPVA and established the Mary Lou Chester Moran Foundation for similar purposes in Houston.
Jason Moran & The Bandwagon will take the main stage on Friday, October 1, 2021 at 9pm