The Town Hall (www.thetownhall.org) is celebrating its first 100 years and is proud to announce a special virtual event to honor Thelonious Monk. On Monday, April 11 at 7 PM, MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellow Jason Moran will be in conversation with Robin D. G. Kelly, an American historian and the Gary B. Nash Professor of American History at UCLA.
The two will speak about the life and work of Monk. This talk coincides with The Town Hall’sCentennial Series which will include a trio of concerts in tribute to legendary American composers Thelonious Monk, John Cage, and Twinkie Clark. Through the Centennial Series, The Town Hall is highlighting the important artists and movements whose work has cemented the venue as a “go to” for artists and audiences alike.
As part of the series on May 6th, Moran with giving a performance of his multimedia project “IN MY MIND: Monk at Town Hall,” a program in honor of Thelonious Monk’s 1959 landmark performance and subsequent release of The Thelonious Monk Orchestra at Town Hall— the only remaining recording of the Orchestra. Jason Moran said, “Thelonious Monk is a landmark within modern music. It is an honor to participate in the Town Hall’s Centennial to tribute to Monk’s historic event. Monk’s music continues to provoke the stage with a staggering amount of love and humanity.”
Tickets to the virtual conversation event are FREE and can be obtained by visiting www.thetownhall.org or call 800-982-2787
Jazz pianist, composer, and artist Jason Moran hails from Houston, TX. He’s an alumnus of the Manhattan School of Music where he studied with Jaki Byard. Upon graduation, he studied with Andrew Hill and Muhal Richard Abrams. Moran’s 18-year relationship with Blue Note Records produced 9 highly acclaimed recordings. His groundbreaking trio, The Bandwagon (with bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits) is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary. Moran’s performances with Cassandra Wilson, Charles Lloyd, and the late Sam Rivers reveal the scope of Moran’s partnerships and music-making. He’s also worked with visual artists Adrian Piper, Joan Jonas, Glenn Ligon, Adam Pendleton, Lorna Simpson, Kara Walker, Stan Douglas, and others. Recent awards and fellowships include the MacArthur Foundation, US Artists, Doris Duke Foundation, and Ford Foundation. Moran collaborated with his wife, the mezzo-soprano/composer Alicia Hall Moran, as named artists in the 2012 Whitney Biennial, constructing BLEED, a five-day series of live performances spanning Motown to acupuncture to dance. They also created WORK SONGS for the 2015 Venice Biennial and continue to produce albums for their record label, YES RECORDS. Since his first album, he has produced fourteen additional albums, created scores for Ava DuVernay’s films Selma and 13th, and author Ta-Nehisi Coates’ staged version of Between the World and Me. History is a recurring theme for Moran, who has mounted monumental touring works for Thelonious Monk (IN MY MIND: Monk at Town Hall 1959), Fats Waller (Fats Waller Dance Party, plus a Grammy-nominated album All Rise: An Elegy for Fats Waller) and James Reese Europe (James Reese Europe and the Absence of Ruin). In 2018, Moran’s first solo museum exhibition opened at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, and traveled to ICA/Boston. The exhibition opened at the Whitney Museum of American Art in September 2019. Moran is currently the Artistic Director for Jazz at The Kennedy Center, teaches at New England Conservatory and Jazz Ahead, and curates the Artist’s Studio series for Park Avenue Armory in New York City.
ROBIN D. G. KELLY
Robin D.G. Kelly is the Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in U.S. History at UCLA. His books include the award-winning, Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original; Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times; and Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination. His essays have appeared in several anthologies and publications, including The Nation, New York Times, Color Lines, American Quarterly, Black Music Research Journal, Callaloo, Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noir, and The Boston Review, for which he also serves as Contributing Editor.
MORE ABOUT TOWN HALL
Town Hall has played an integral part in the electrifying cultural fabric of New York City for more than 100 years. A group of Suffragists’ fight for the 19th Amendment led them to build a meeting space to educate people on the important issues of the day. During its construction, the 19th Amendment was passed, and on January 12, 1921, The Town Hall opened its doors and took on a double meaning: as a symbol of the victory sought by its founders, and as a spark for a new, more optimistic climate. In 1921, German composer Richard Strauss performed a series of concerts that cemented Hall’s reputation as an ideal venue for musical performances. Since, Town Hall has been home to countless musical milestones: The US debuts of Strauss, and Isaac Stern; Marian Anderson’s first New York recital; in 1945, Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker introduced bebop to the world; Bob Dylan’s first major concert in ’63; and much, much more.
Town Hall is committed to providing healthy and safe facilities for audiences, performers, and staff. Based on CDC and state guidelines at the time of performance, protocols may include mask enforcement, increased cleaning and ventilation/filtration enhancements, vaccination or negative test verification, and more. These are subject to change. Ticket holders who do not comply with venue policies will not be admitted.