The spaces between live sound and visual art merge and activate the galleries during Sound Horizon. Jazz pianist, composer, and visual artist Jason Moran curates this year’s lineup of new and returning musicians. Intended for both close listeners and those browsing the galleries, this free, aurally eclectic series will feature each artist performing live in Moran’s mixed-media set installations.
These installations, part of Moran’s STAGED series, are on view in the current exhibition—the artist’s first solo museum show. The sculptural vignettes are based on iconic jazz venues of New York’s past: Harlem’s Savoy Ballroom, Midtown Manhattan’s legendary Three Deuces Club, and Slugs’ Saloon of Alphabet City. STAGED: Savoy Ballroom 1 and STAGED: Three Deuces were his acclaimed contributions to the 2015 Venice Biennale. Jason Moran also includes a new sculptural commission from this series that takes inspiration from the celebrated New York jazz venue Slugs’ Saloon, which was open from 1964 to the early 1970s.
Sound Horizon: Curated by Jason Moran
Thursdays, Free, 6, 7, and 8 pm
June 21, July 19, and August 9
June 21: Douglas R. Ewart with Ananya Chatterjea, Stephen Goldstein, Mankwe Ndosi, and Carei Thomas
July 19: Jason Moran and the Bandwagon (Tarus Mateen and Nasheet Waits)
August 9: Dave King/George Cartwright/Josh Granowski
“Not only a pianist and composer but also a fluent traveler in the realm of contemporary art.” —New York Times
Jazz pianist, composer, and visual artist Jason Moran (b. 1975, Houston, Texas) earned a degree from the Manhattan School of Music. He was named Ford Foundation The Art of Change Fellow in 2017 with his wife and collaborator Alicia Hall Moran, a MacArthur Fellow in 2010, and is the Artistic Director for Jazz at The Kennedy Center. Moran currently teaches at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA. Moran has produced 11 albums and six film soundtracks, including scores for Ava DuVernay’s films Selma and 13th. He has collaborated with visual artists, including Joan Jonas, Adam Pendleton, Glenn Ligon, Kara Walker, Lorna Simpson, Stan Douglas, Theaster Gates, among others.
World-renowned musician and producer Tarus Mateen has collaborated with a diverse range of artists throughout his career, such as Lauryn Hill, The Roots, Christina Aguilera, Korn, Jason Moran, Tommy Hilfiger and Betty Carter. A guitarist, bassist, and pianist, Mateen works in styles of hip-hop, blues, rock, reggae and jazz. He has also co-produced scores for Spike Lee’s film Malcolm X (1992) and the film Sugar Hill (1993). Mateen continues to collaborate on albums of nearly every genre as well as his own.
New York-based drummer Nasheet Waits experienced the world of a musician first through his father, Frederick Waits, who has worked alongside artists Ella Fitzgerald, Sonny Rollins and Max Roach. Waits studied psychology, history and music at Morehouse in Atlanta, GA and Long Island University. As an original 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. Along with his musician career, Waits also teaches private drum lessons to youth and adults.
DOUGLAS R. EWART
Born in Jamaica, Douglas Ewart is a multi-instrumentalist, sculptor, composer and educator. He has performed solo and in ensembles playing the flute, bassoon, didgeridoo, and more around the world. He has taught at the Art Institute of Chicago since 1990 and uses his experience as past chairman of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) to build on the history and progress of the organization.
“Chatterjea is unashamedly political. She taps into social justice issues with fierce passion and empathy. Her dancers don’t simply move, but channel a raw intensity that they seem to suck up from the earth beneath them.” —Star Tribune
Minneapolis-based choreographer Ananya Chatterjea founded the world-renowned Ananya Dance Theater (ADT) in 2004. Chatterjea grew up in Kolkata, India and was trained in Indian classical and folk dance, before exploring contemporary dance woven with themes of social justice. These philosophies combined with artistic excellence is what ADT represents today, often provoking cultural discussion while telling stories of injustice against women around the world. Chatterjea is also a professor of dance at the University of Minnesota.
Stephen Goldstein began his career as a drum set player and has since expanded his palette as a computer music laptop improviser, sound designer, and electronic percussionist who uses hand drum synths.
As a percussionist, Goldstein studied at the University of Miami as a studio music and jazz major, and spent years on the road working 50 weeks a year in the Caribbean, Canada and throughout the United States playing a variety of musical styles and genres. In the late ’80s, Goldstein studied South Indian percussion instruments. Since the late ’90s, Goldstein has morphed from an acoustic hand drummer into an electronic percussionist and laptop wizard. He’s performed with Carie Thomas, David Means, Craig Harris, Viv Corringham, Donald and Faye Washington, Mankwe Ndosi as well as a variety of groups including Douglas Ewart and Quasar, Tal Maya, Anti-Gravity, and Stew Frog.
“Some performers are micro-artists; they burrow into thoughts or emotions. Ndosi is a macro-artist, bent on connecting individual struggles, revelations or beauty to universal truths,” —Minnesota Public Radio (MPR)
Minneapolis-based performance and vocal artist Mankwe Ndosi studied economics and social science at Harvard University before diving into a career in the arts. A dancer, singer and performer, she has performed at numerous venues across the Twin Cities such as the Guthrie and Patrick’s Cabaret, and has collaborated with the likes of Laurie Carlos, Ananya Dance Theater and Douglas R. Ewart.
“…One of the undersung creative heroes of the local scene,”—Pioneer Press
Pianist and composer Carei Thomas is based in St. Paul. A Pittsburgh native, Thomas has collaborated with theater groups, visual artists, and members of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) along with publishing a book —”Compositions and Concepts”. In the early ’90s, Thomas became ill with a nerve-attacking disorder that left him partially paralyzed in his hands. Despite this, Thomas still finds ways to play chords and perform alongside partners in the community.
“King’s drumming is playful and highly visual, but there’s no doubting he takes this music very seriously.” —San Diego Union Tribune
Minneapolis native Dave King has studied, played, and performed on the drums and piano since childhood. King has performed across the country and internationally and has appeared on over 50 recordings. He co-founded several music groups such as The Bad Plus and The Gang Font, and has collaborated with Bill Frisell, Dewey Redman, Atmosphere, Jeff Beck, and more.
“Incandescent saxophone playing “—The New York Times
Minnesota-based composer, producer and musician George Cartwright is originally from Mississippi and grew up studying music, piano, guitar and saxophone. The artist founded the bands Meltable Snaps It and Curlew while he lived in New York, while performing at jazz festivals and venues across North American and Europe. Since moving to Minnesota, he has continued to collaborate with fellow musicians and perform across the Twin Cities at places such as the Cedar Cultural Center and Studio Z.
An accomplished jazz bass player, Josh Granowski, a Minnesota native, performs across the Twin Cities and has collaborated with musical groups such as George Cartwright’ s Merciless Gost, Large Marge, Painted Sainds and Bookhouse Trio.
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
The work of interdisciplinary artist Jason Moran is grounded in musical composition, yet bridges the visual and performing arts through stagecraft. Moran is known for using personal experience to create dynamic musical compositions that challenge the conventional form of the medium. His experimental approach to artmaking embraces the intersection of objects and sound, pushing beyond the traditional staged concert or sculpture and drawing to amplify ways that both are inherently theatrical. This exhibition, the artist’s first museum show, features the range of work Moran has explored, from his own sculptural pieces and collaborations with visual artists to performances. Jason Moran will be on view April 26–August 26, 2018, in the Walker’s Target and Friedman galleries.
In all aspects of his work, Moran’s creative process is informed by one of the essential tenets of jazz music: the “set” in which musicians come together to engage in a collaborative process of improvisation, riffing off of one another to create the musical experience. The exhibition will highlight Moran’s mixed-media “set” installations STAGED: Savoy Ballroom 1 and STAGED: Three Deuces (both 2015), sculptural vignettes based on storied music venues from past eras that were his acclaimed contributions to the 2015 Venice Biennale. The presentation includes the premiere of a new sculptural commission from this series that takes inspiration from the celebrated New York jazz venue Slugs’ Saloon, which was open from 1964 to the early 1970s. Also featured will be a selection of Moran’s most recent charcoal drawings and time-based media works from his long-standing collaborations, or sets, with visual artists including Joan Jonas, Lorna Simpson, Glenn Ligon, Julie Mehretu and Theaster Gates, all artists with extensive relationships to the Walker.
In-gallery musical performances, activating the sculptures, will be orchestrated during the run of the show to complement the gallery presentation. On the occasion of his museum debut, the artist will also return to the McGuire Theater stage to premiere a new commissioned work, The Last Jazz Fest, his second performance to be commissioned by the Walker.
The exhibition complements the Walker’s long and meaningful history in the performing arts with Moran, which began in 2001 and includes a residency and five engagements to date.
Curator: Adrienne Edwards, Curator at Large, with Danielle Jackson, Interdisciplinary Fellow, Performing Arts