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Arts & Culture

Artist Jason Moran to Perform at Syracuse University as Part of Jazz and Culture Series

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Jason Moran
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Provided Photo

A Jazz music and culture series at Syracuse University features Jason Moran as both lecture guest and performer Friday.

You probably think of Jason Moran as a somewhat modern, inventive jazz pianist.  But that’s not exactly how he sees himself … at least not according to what longtime jazz critic Larry Blumenfeld heard in an interview.

“He said something like, 'I don’t want you to think of me as a jazz pianist, I want you to think of me as an urban performance artist who happens to play jazz on piano.'”

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Credit Jason Moran / Provided Photo
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Provided Photo

Blumenfeld hosts an event, Gangsterism On Campus: Jazz, Race and Creative Intent, which will feature Moran performing.  But also a conversation about jazz within the context of art that reflects society and doesn’t just have to sound like the music genre’s historic styles.

“I mean Jason Moran is kind of an Exhibit A for me of a musician who’s work says, yes, I am rooted in all of these tradition but I am not bounded by it, and what I am doing raises questions that are relevant today.”

The term Gangsterism comes from a famous Basquiat painting.  Moran latched onto it as a provocative way to examine art and culture.  Moran has even expanded his creativity to visual arts.  Blumenfeld has spent two weeks in residency examining jazz’s place in society with students and public events.  Jason Moran’s talk and performance are at Hendricks Chapel Friday night at 5:30.