Jason Moran and Bandwagon played two sets at the Regatta Bar in Cambridge last night. I was glued to my seat through both. Jason and crew (Tarus Mateen on bass and Nasheet Waits on drums) were joined on several numbers by Jason’s wife, Alicia Hall Moran, one of which was an aria from Turandot. Who would have guessed this could be sung so beautifully with a trio of jazz musicians?

Jason pays homage to artists Adrian Piper and Joan Jonas in his performances, and last night he also gave us a small sampling from his upcoming project on Thelonious Monk, sponsored by Duke University and the San Francisco Jazz Festival. He has been asked to re-create a famous Monk concert from 1959 which he will do, but with a typical Jason Moran twist.

I don’t have language for how transforming his music is for me. It is beyond my powers to analyze or parse. He’s my favorite musician, and one of the nicest.

If you live in DC or Miami, Lisbon or Munich, you too can hear Jason perform over the next few months. For his full schedule, check out his website:

Jason Moran

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