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Jason Moran Reimagines Thelonious Monk13:43

This article is more than 8 years old.

Imagine this: Thelonius Monk playing at Town Hall - a prestigious New York music venue-- in 1959.

Jason Moran. (Braithwaite & Katz Communications)
Jason Moran. (Braithwaite & Katz Communications)

It was the first time Monk played with an orchestra. The master pianist was already a giant in the jazz world, but the Town Hall moment put Monk on the map for mainstream audiences. It was a landmark in music history.

A half century later, a young musician is reimagining the Town Hall concert. Jason Moran uses music, pictures and archival audio, in a special performance that's part musical reinterpretation and part historical exploration. It's called "In My Mind."

Here's the thing: Moran is one of the most talented pianists at work right now. He's a MacArthur "genius" grant winner, jazz adviser to the Kennedy Center in Washington, and for the past couple of years, he's been teaching at New England Conservatory. Moran's also a devotee of Monk. His creativity and talent are so reminiscent of Monk, that some critics have called Moran a Thelonius for the 21st century.



This program aired on February 1, 2012.

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