Jason Moran and The Bandwagon

"The Future of Jazz"

Friday, November 9, 2012
Tuckerman Hall - 8:00 PM Performance

Tickets: $42 Adults, $15 students, $5 under age 18

"Jason Moran - shaping up to be the most provocative thinker in current jazz" -  Rolling Stone

"There is no mistaking Moran’s grounding in—and respect for, and absorption of—the elders of jazz (and not just jazz). His new gig at the Kennedy Center makes him, ex officio, a curator. But his way of paying tribute to the old masters is not to impersonate but to personify—not to sound like them, but to be like them: to create something altogether new. From now on, I’m paying attention."  -         by Hendrick Hertzberg of The New Yorker, June 2012

In almost every category that matters - improv, composition, group concept, repertoire, technique, experimentation - Jason Moran and The Bandwagon, which is bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits, have challenged the status quo and earned the reputation as the future of jazz.

In November 2011 Jason Moran was named as the Kennedy Center's artistic advisor on jazz - only the 2nd person to hold the position, following 16 years by one of his mentors, the iconic pianist and educator Billy Taylor.  He is also one of only a handful of musicians to have been awarded one of the MacArthur Foundation's "genius" fellowship grants.

Jazz pianist Jason Moran made a formidable start in the late 90s and has established himself as a risk-taker and innovator.

About the Artists

Jason Moran is a pianist, composer, and bandleader who mines a variety of musical styles to create adventurous, genre-crossing jazz performances. Moran’s signature corpus marries established classical, blues, and jazz techniques with the musical influences of his generation, including funk, hip-hop, and rock. On his solo piano album, Modernistic (2002), he explores the evolution of twentieth-century rhythmic techniques through his virtuosic execution of two-handed “stride” piano—a style used extensively by jazz artists in the 1920s—while Same Mother (2005) is a re-examination of the emotional and stylistic elements of the blues tradition. In original compositions for his ensemble, The Bandwagon, Moran uses the human voice as a starting point for melodic structure, translating speech patterns into a musical language through which the listener can reflect on the underlying connections between speech and music. More recently, Moran has collaborated with visual and performing artists and incorporated new technology in imaginative multimedia performances. His 2008 homage to Thelonious Monk, In My Mind: Monk at Town Hall, 1959, weaves together crafted and found audio and visual archival material and a reharmonization of the original big band arrangements, illustrating both Monk’s contribution to the history of jazz as well as the enduring power of the musical form. Through reinterpretation of jazz standards and new compositions of his own, Moran is expanding the boundaries of jazz expression and playing a dynamic role in its evolution in the twenty-first century.

Jason Moran received a B.M. (1997) from the Manhattan School of Music. His additional recordings as a leader include Soundtrack to Human Motion (1999), The Bandwagon: Live at the Village Vanguard (2003), Artist in Residence (2006), and TEN (2010), among others. He joined the faculty of the New England Conservatory in 2010.


Jazz Pianist and Composer Jason Moran was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2010. The Fellowship is a $500,000, no-strings-attached grant for individuals who have shown exceptional creativity in their work and the promise to do more.

NASHEET WAITS, drummer/music educator, is a New York native. His interest in playing the drums was encouraged by his father, legendary percussionist, Frederick Waits. Over the course of his career, Freddie Waits played with such legendary artistsas Ella Fitzgerald, Sonny Rollins, Max Roach, McCoy Tyner, and countless others.  Nasheet’s college education began at Morehouse in Atlanta, GA, where he majored in Psychology and History. Deciding that music would be his main focus, he continued his college studies in New York at Long Island University, where he graduated with honors, receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Music. While attending Long Island University, Waits studied privately with renowned percussionist, Michael Carvin. Carvin’s tutelage provided a vast foundation upon which Waits added influences from his father, as well as mentor Max Roach. It was Max that first gave Nasheet’s formidable talent international spotlight, hiring him as a member of the famed percussion ensemble M’BOOM. One highlight of Nasheet’s tenure with M’BOOM was the live concert performance of M’BOOM with special guests Tony Williams and Ginger Baker.  Nasheet’s talent came to the attention of reedman Antonio Hart, who asked Waits to originate the percussion chair of his first quintet. Waits remained a standing member of Antonio’s various ensembles, recording three albums and touring nationally and internationally in noted venues, jazz festivals, as well as live television and radio performances. Nasheet remained a member of Antonio’s group through 1998.
Most recently Nasheet has been a member of Andrew Hill’s various bands, Jason Moran’s Bandwagon, and Fred Hersch’s trio.  As an originating member of pianist Jason Moran’s Bandwagon, Jason, bassist Tarus Mateen, and Nasheet have been deemed, “the most exciting rhythm section in jazz” by JazzTimes, The 2001 recording “Black Stars” with the Band wagon, featuring Sam Rivers was named the “Best CD of 2001” in (Jazz Times, Jan 2002) and “The New York Times”. In addition he is receiving accolades as the drummer for Nasheet’s recording and performing discography is a veritable who’s who in Jazz, boasting stints with jazz notables such as Geri Allen, Mario Bauza, Hamiett Bluiett, Jane Bunnett, Abraham Burton, Jaki Byard, Ron Carter, Marc Cary, Steve Coleman, Stanley Cowell, Orrin Evans, Stefon Harris, Andrew Hill, Bill Lee, Joe Lovano, Jackie McLean,
Mingus Orchestra, The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Greg Osby, Joshua Redman, Vanessa Rubin, Antoine Roney, Wallace Roney, Shirley Scott, Jacky Terrason, and Mark Turner. Waits has recorded and toured extensively in Africa, Europe, Japan, Canada, South America and the United States.  © www.NasheetWaits.com
Amidst his performing, recording and touring activity, Nasheet teaches private lessons to youth and adults, stressing a personal approach to the drums and music. He has been heralded for his musicality and creativity by such virtuosos as Ed Thigpen, Max Roach, Andrew Hill, and Stanley Cowell . True to his personal philosophy of the necessity to balance Tradition and Modernism, Waits collaborates and performs regularly with musical cohorts, contemporaries, and masters. Nasheet is dedicated to exploring
his role and creative path in music.

Tarus Mateen is one of the more sought-after acoustic and electric bassists on the jazz scene. He has also made his mark with a variety of R&B and hip-hop artists, as both a bassist and a producer. A graduate of Atlanta's Morehouse College, Mateen worked for several years down South. Relocating to New York in 1988, he scored the dream gig of many young jazz musicians: a spot in Betty Carter's band. He also worked with trumpeter/film composer Terence Blanchard on the score for the Spike Lee film Malcolm X, as well as the Malcolm X Jazz Suite.

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