JASON MORAN 'FATS WALLER DANCE PARTY'
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14 ⋅ 8 PM
DURHAM FRUIT & PRODUCE
Tickets: $15 ⋅ $10 Duke Students
Jason Moran is one of modern music’s most vital forces. Through a series of ambitious projects meant to bring jazz to a wider audience — such as the 2007 Duke Performances commission In My Mind, which reimagined Thelonious Monk’s 1959 Town Hall performance — Moran has become one of the most sought-after pianists and bandleaders in jazz today. With frequent daring nods to funk, hip-hop, and contemporary composition, Moran has expanded jazz’s stylistic reach and given it new vitality. Now a label head and the artistic director for jazz at the Kennedy Center, Moran is the form’s “greatest young conceptualist,” as JazzTimes exclaimed.
In 2011, Moran accepted an audacious commission: Update the music and mood of Fats Waller, the consummate Harlem pianist and entertainer. Moran took Waller’s hits and recast them for the twenty-first century, turning “Ain’t Misbehavin’” into a sumptuous funk jam and “Ain’t Nobody’s Business” into a seductive soul rumble. Supported by multitalented singer Lisa E. Harris, trumpet standout Leron Thomas, and the kinetic rhythm section of bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Charles Haynes, Moran — crowned in an oversized and grinning papier-mâché Fats Waller mask made by Haitian artist Didier Civil — joins dance, song, and humor. For one night only, Durham Fruit & Produce becomes the liveliest dance club in the city. The show features an opening breakbeat set by DJ DAMU, and the evening will be hosted by MC and spoken word artist Dasan Ahanu. Food will be available from SoGood Pupusas and Soul Fresh, and there will be a cash bar.
*Jason Moran Fats Waller Dance Party is co-sponsored by StArt of Cool, Museum of Durham History, Duke Department of African & African American Studies, the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture, Center for Multicultural Affairs, and Duke Swing.*