CELEBRATING
50 YEARS

Jason Moran Exhibition Premieres at the Whitney Museum of American Art

The pianist's first solo art show, which runs through January 5, features a performance series within sculptures meant to evoke classic NYC clubs

Jason Moran at the 2018 Newport Jazz Festival
Jason Moran at the 2018 Newport Jazz Festival (photo: Alan Nahigian)

Jason Moran’s first solo museum exhibition, simply titled Jason Moran, opens today (September 20) at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, featuring the 44-year-old pianist and composer’s sculptures and drawings, as well as collaborations with visual artists and performances with musicians. The show runs through January 5.

Moran’s mixed-media sculptures, which operate as set pieces, pay tribute to three historic New York jazz venues: the Savoy Ballroom, the Three Deuces, and Slugs’ Saloon. Within these sculptures, the exhibition will feature a regular concert series called Jazz on a High Floor in the Afternoon. Among the musicians scheduled to take part are such esteemed artists as Archie Shepp (on September 27 and 28), Fay Victor (October 18 and 19), Oliver Lake (October 25 and 26), Onyx Collective (November 1 and 2), Jamire Williams (November 8 and 9), Cecil McBee (November 15 and 16), Joanne Brackeen (November 22 and 23), Michela Marino Lerman’s Love Movement (December 6 and 7), and Tiger Trio (January 3 and 4).

“The artist David Hammons once said to me during a dinner party: ‘Jazz should happen on a high floor … in the afternoon,’” Moran said in a press release. “Hammons’ statement goes against the late-night, smoky-basement, dimly lit, jam-session club scene. These sessions, minus the smoke, happen every night here in New York. During the exhibition, musicians will come to perform on a high floor, with an understanding of the basement.”

Other highlights of the exhibition include a one-day-only (October 12) collaboration with visual artist Kara Walker called Katastwóf Karavan, featuring a steam-powered calliope. Moran’s long-running trio, the Bandwagon, which celebrates its 20-year anniversary this year, will also perform in December at the Whitney as part of the show.  

For more information and to buy tickets, go here