Jazz Pianist Jason Moran to Advise Kennedy Center

November 29, 2011 - 11:20 AM
Music Jason Moran

This undated handout photo provided by the Kennedy Center shows Jason Moran. The Kennedy Center is expected to name the 36-year-old pianist Moran as its artistic adviser for jazz Tuesday, succeeding 89-year-old acclaimed musician Billy Taylor. (AP Photo/Kennedy Center)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Kennedy Center has chosen 36-year-old pianist Jason Moran as its artistic adviser for jazz, a post long held by acclaimed musician Billy Taylor until he died last year at 89.

Kennedy Center music directors say the generational handoff wasn't planned in advance but makes sense as jazz evolves. Moran's appointment was announced Tuesday.

As artistic adviser, Moran will help select artists and develop one of the nation's largest jazz programs. It includes more than 30 performances annually and concerts broadcast on NPR.

New York-based Moran says it's time for his generation to pass along traditions from the jazz greats. He began learning from Taylor at age 16.

Taylor, who played with Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis, became an ardent jazz advocate through radio, TV and his Jazzmobile venue.