Jason Moran “The Sound Will Tell You”

February 18, 2021

The 2021 Rapaport Lecture featured Jazz pianist, composer, and artist Jason Moran, the Artistic Director for Jazz at The Kennedy Center. The event was hosted by Professor of Art and the History of Art, Sonya Clark.

2021 Rapaport Lecture: "The Sound Will Tell You"

A Black man with a beard looking away from the camera

Jason Moran
Photo credit: Ari Marcopoulos

This year’s Rapaport Lecture will feature Jazz pianist, composer, and artist Jason Moran, the Artistic Director for Jazz at The Kennedy Center. The Lecture will be held as a webinar on Thursday, February 18th at 6 pm. To attend please register in advance.

Moran has recorded 16 solo albums with the most recent being his third solo piano recording titled The Sound Will Tell You. Within jazz, his multimedia tributes to Thelonious Monk, Fats Waller, and James Reese Europe have shifted the jazz paradigm combining striking videos, music and history into masterful evening-length works.

Moran was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2010. His 21-year relationship with his trio The Bandwagon (with drummer Nasheet Waits and bassist Tarus Mateen) has resulted in a profound discography for Blue Note Records and Yes Records; a label he co-owns with his wife, singer and composer Alicia Hall Moran. The scope of Moran’s collaborators is extensive. He has collaborated with major art world figures as Adrian Piper, Joan Jonas, Glenn Ligon, Adam Pendleton, Lorna Simpson, and Kara Walker. His touring exhibition, JASON MORAN, began at the Walker Art Center and continued to the Wexner Center and Whitney Museum. Moran composed 5 scores for choreographer Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet Company, two for Ronald K. Brown’s Evidence Dance Company. He scored Ava Duvernay’s Selma and The 13th and the stage and the HBO film adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me. His current exhibition of drawings is titled The Sound Will Tell You, which comes from the culinary griot Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor. In an interview, she was asked “How do you know when fried chicken is finished cooking?” She replied, “The Sound Will Tell You.”

For further information, please contact: finearts@amherst.edu.


The Rapaport Lectureship in Contemporary Art Fund, established in 1999, provides support for an annual lecture by an artist, art writer or art critic on some aspect of contemporary art. The goal of the Rapaport Lectureship is to increase awareness and appreciation of contemporary art among students and the community.


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