Jason Moran leads NEC students to the Institute of Contemporary Art

Jazz students performed within Moran's first solo museum exhibit, which included depictions of historic jazz venues

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Jazz vocalist Kayla Schwartz ’19 MM takes us behind the scenes at the ICA Boston, where Jason Moran's student ensemble performed within his solo exhibit.

NEC jazz faculty Jason Moran formed the NEC Slugs Ensemble to perform within his recreation of the the celebrated New York jazz venue Slugs’ Saloon, part of his solo exhibition at Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA).

Students in Jason Moran's Slugs Ensemble
NEC jazz students performed at Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art under the leadership of Jason Moran.

The exhibition highlighted Moran's mixed-media set installations based on storied jazz venues from past eras, including STAGED: Savoy Ballroom 1 and STAGED: Three Deuces (both 2015), sculptural vignettes that were his acclaimed contributions to the 2015 Venice Biennale. The presentation included the premiere of a new sculptural commission from this series that takes inspiration from the celebrated New York jazz venue Slugs’ Saloon, which was open from 1964 to the early 1970s.

Recreations of historic jazz venues - part of Jason Moran's installation at the Institute of Contemporary Art.
Photo by Charles Mayer

"From being a teacher and educator, I see the state of the music through the eyes of an 18-year-old coming on to the scene, and we want to make sure it stays intact. With my generation, it's our duty to do that." —Jason Moran

A trumpet player, singer and bassist in a jazz ensemble
NEC students rehearse in preparation for their performance at the ICA Boston.

Photo album: rehearsing with the Slugs Ensemble

Learn more: Jason Moran at the ICA

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