On March 23, 2018, jazz luminaries Milford Graves and Jason Moran mesmerized the audience at the Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, Tennessee with their improvisational performance. It was the first collaboration between the two artists who push beyond the margins set by the artform that has defined their careers. Despite their thirty-four year age difference, they share a profound sense of respect for history and remain committed to leaving behind a legacy that is representative of their distinctive perspectives. Moran pays tribute to Graves with a solo performance in the Milford Graves: A Mind-Body Deal exhibition space on November 23, 2020. Ars Nova Workshop, the Department of Music at the University of Pennsylvania, and ICA present this special performance, premiering on ICA’s Youtube channel.
Jazz pianist, composer, and performance artist Jason Moran is deeply invested in reassessing and complicating the relationship between music and language. His commission projects include the the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Dia Art Foundation, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Harlem Stage, and Jazz at Lincoln Center. Moran has a long-standing collaborative practice with his wife, the singer and Broadway actress Alicia Hall Moran. As named artists in the 2012 Whitney Biennial, they constructed a five-day series of live music called BLEED, which was widely considered to be a groundbreaking blend of music and performance. In 2018, Moran had his first solo museum exhibition at the Walker Art Center. He is the Artistic Director for Jazz at The Kennedy Center and currently teaches at the New England Conservatory. In 2010 he was named a MacArthur Fellow.
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This program is co-presented by ICA and Ars Nova Workshop.