Pianist Jason Moran and drummer Herlin Riley join forces for a rare duo performance as part of the 2012 Blue Note Jazz Festival.
Rolling Stone Magazine has declared pianist Jason Moran perhaps "the most provocative thinker in current jazz," and with good reason. Since his formidable emergence on the music scene in the late '90s, he has proven more than his brilliance as a performer. The Blue Note Records recording artist has established himself as a risk-taker and innovator of new directions for jazz as a whole.
In almost every category that matters – improvisation, composition, group concept, repertoire, technique, and experimentation – Moran and his group, The Bandwagon (with bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits), have challenged the status quo and earned a reputation for embodying the future of jazz.
Moran has performed and/or recorded with artists like Cassandra Wilson, Wayne Shorter, Charles Lloyd, Dave Holland, Marian McPartland, Don Byron, Joe Lovano, Greg Osby, Steve Coleman, Von Freeman, Andrew Hill, Uri Caine, Bunky Green, Sam Rivers, Lee Konitz, Paul Motian, Chris Potter, Jenny Scheinman, Christian McBride, and Stefon Harris. Among his latest releases are Artist in Residence (2006) and TEN (2010).
Drummer Herlin Riley was born on February 15, 1957, in New Orleans. Born into a musical family, Riley was always surrounded by music, and he began playing the drums at age three. Although he studied trumpet throughout high school and two years of college, his attraction to the trumpet was short-lived, and he soon concentrated his efforts on the drums.
Riley was a member of legendary pianist Ahmad Jamal's group from 1984 through 1987. He has also recorded with Marcus Roberts, Dr. John, Harry Connick Jr., George Benson, Benny Wallace, and Mark Whitfield, among others. His theater experience includes playing in One Mo' Time and Satchmo: America's Musical Legend.
In the spring of 1988, Riley joined Wynton Marsalis's touring and recording group, with which he performed through its disbanding in late 1994. He also performed on the first Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra United States tour in the fall of 1992, performing the music of Duke Ellington. He remains a regularly featured musician at Jazz at Lincoln Center to this day. He also serves as a percussion studies lecturer in the jazz department at Northwestern University.
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