(Boston) - Jazz pianist and composer Jason Moran has been named a 2010 MacArthur Fellow, it was announced today.
The unrestricted fellowship encourages "people of outstanding talent to pursue their own creative, intellectual and professional inclinations," according to the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Moran is one of 23 recipients of this year's so-called genius award, and recieves a stipend of $500,000.
Born and raised in Texas, Moran is a newly appointed member of the faculty at the New England Conservatory in Boston, where he does studio teaching, ensemble coaching and master classes. He has hailed NEC's "distinctiveness" for welcoming the many forms and styles of jazz.
This past summer in Boston, the Roxbury International Film Festival featured Moran's film documentary, In My Mind, which pays tribute to legendary pianist and composer Thelonius Monk and his historic concert at New York City's Town Hall in 1959.
Patrick Jarenwattananon of NPR Jazz/ A Blog Supreme reports that the MacArthur Foundation "has a history of granting awards to innovative improvising musicians," citing Regina Carter, Ornette Coleman, George Russell, Ran Blake and others.
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