Annual Lecture Spotlights Collaboration
September 16, 2015
6:00pm reception, 7:00pm lecture


Photo credit: Dawoud Bey

The University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts brings back the Mitchell Artist Lecture, a landmark public program that annually features major figures in the world of artistic collaboration. The Center’s 2015 speakers are revered artistic and life partners, Alicia Hall Moran and Jason Moran, whose recent projects have been celebrated internationally in both visual and performing arts spheres.

Alicia Hall Moran is an operatic mezzo-soprano bringing diverse influences and passions together in rich artistic concoctions between art, jazz, Opera, classical, soul, and Broadway. For the 2012 Whitney Biennial she curated the celebrated 26-performance event, BLEED.  BLEED was a five-day series of live music surveying the couple’s many inspirations and collaborations in the musical and visual arts.  Around the same time she made her Broadway stage debut in the original cast of the Tony-winning production of Porgy and Bess, and starred as Bess for the National Tour.  She’s been artist in residence at Gardner Museum in Boston, and has been commissioned by The Kitchen New York, The Museum of Modern Art, and ArtPublic for Miami Art Basel.  Ms. Moran has collaborated closely with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, and artists Carrie Mae Weems, Adam Pendleton, Whitfield Lovell, and Simone Leigh with Liz Laser for the film Breakdown, and Ms. Moran was recently named to the inaugural group of artists in residence for the cutting edge music center, National Sawdust.

Jason Moran is a jazz pianist, composer, and bandleader who mines a variety of musical styles to create adventurous, genre-crossing performances. He has recorded nine critically acclaimed albums with Blue Note Records.  A 2010 MacArthur recipient, he recently scored the Oscar nominated film SELMA and is currently the Jazz Artistic Director at The John F. Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. The scope of Moran’s partnerships and music-making with venerated and iconic visual artists is extensive. He has collaborated with such major figures as Adrian Piper, Joan Jonas, Glenn Ligon, Stan Douglas, Adam Pendleton, Lorna Simpson, and Kara Walker; commissioning institutions of Moran’s work include the Walker Art Center, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Dia Art Foundation, and Jazz at Lincoln Center.

The current Venice Biennale includes the Morans’ collaborative performance, Work Songs.  This is preceded by the artists’ project featured in the 2012 Whitney Biennial, BLEED, in which they explored the power of performance to cross barriers and challenge assumptions.  It was widely hailed as groundbreaking in the music and performance realm.

In their Mitchell Artist Lecture, the Morans will discuss their 20 year partnership, improvisation, composition, race, gender, parenthood, and the tensions of making art that matters in today’s landscape.


About the Mitchell Artist Lecture
The annual Mitchell Artist Lecture features individuals emblematic of artistic collaboration and innovation. Each fall, the event will include a leading artist discussing the power and potential of interdisciplinary collaboration.

The 2015 Mitchell Artist Lecture is part of Jason Moran’s multi-year Da Camera Homecoming Residency. Moran’s residency features in-school and community programs, focusing on an exploration of the interconnected relationships between jazz, neighborhood, community and visual art. New work by Jason Moran will be presented as part of the Mitchell Center’s 2016 CounterCurrent festival in collaboration with Project Row Houses.

LOCATION: Moores Opera House, University of Houston, Entrance 16 off Cullen Blvd
ADMISSION: Click here for free reservations