We invite you to a special evening featuring Jason Moran, who will “activate” his install at the Cooper Gallery – STAGED: Three Deuces with a live performance! We will preview this small concert with a conversation between Moran and Vijay Iyer, and follow it with a premium dinner served in the gallery. A VIP invitation to you will immediately follow this note with rsvp reply options.

STAGED: Three Deuces premiered at the Venice Biennale last spring to wonderful acclaim. Moran has recreated the original jazz club, formerly part of the incredible mid-twentieth century jazz scene found on 52nd Street in Manhattan, as an art installation. The installation crosses disciplinary boundaries of space and place, of the aural and visual arts, and presents the musician’s gaze and sensibility of what it may have felt like to perform in the club’s tight confines. Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Max Roach, and Charles Mingus, all performed in this famous club. In Moran’s words, STAGED: Three Deuces, serves to provide: “a look at how architecture impacted the sound of jazz and the possibilities of jazz and also to examine America’s tendency to totally demolish historic sites, specifically jazz historic sites. This is an effort to raise them back up. Generally when I’m doing that as a pianist I’m doing it from a point of view of playing the music – I’ll raise the music, but this time I’ve decided to raise the structure that was the context for the music.” ~ Jason Moran’s quote is from How New York’s jazz clubs helped define the music; Jason Moran on STAGED

The Cooper Gallery will transform its last gallery into the “Three Deuces” Night Club, complete with tight seating, tiny tables, and tiny candlelights. The evening begins at 6 pm. We hope to see you!

Alert! STAGED: Three Deuces, leaves our exhibition, Art of Jazz, on April 1st.



Jason Moran

Image Credit Melissa Blackall 

Jazz pianist, composer, and performance artist Jason Moran was born in Houston, TX in 1975 and earned a degree from the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Jaki Byard. He was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2010 and is the Artistic Director for Jazz at The Kennedy Center. Moran currently teaches at the New England Conservatory.

Moran's rich and varied body of work is actively shaping the current and future landscape of jazz. He is deeply invested in reassessing and complicating the relationship between music and language, and his extensive efforts in composition, improvisation, and performance are all geared towards challenging the status quo while respecting the accomplishments of his predecessors. His activity stretches beyond the many recordings and performances with masters of the form including Charles Lloyd, Bill Frisell, and the late Sam Rivers, and his work with his trio The Bandwagon (with drummer Nasheet Waits and bassist Tarus Mateen) has resulted in a profound discography for Blue Note Records. 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, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Harlem Stage. 

Moran has a long-standing collaborative practice with his wife, the singer and Broadway actress Alicia Hall Moran; as named artists in the 2012 Whitney Biennial, they together constructed BLEED, a five-day series of live music. BLEED explored the power of performance to cross barriers and challenge assumptions, and it was widely hailed as groundbreaking in the music and performance realm.


Vijay Iyer

Vijay Iyer is a pianist, composer, bandleader, electronic musician, and writer forging a new conception of jazz and American creative music through an eclectic oeuvre that includes compositions for his own and other ensembles, collaborations across multiple genres and disciplines, and scholarly research on the act of listening.  An ardent investigator of musical communities, practices, histories, and theories, he mines core rhythmic, melodic, and structural elements from a wide range of sources to construct richly varied, improvisation-driven solo and ensemble music.

As a musician, Iyer has been nominated for a Grammy, and has won two ECHO awards (the so-called “German Grammys”), a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, and an unprecedented “quintuple crown” in DownBeat Magazine’s International Critics’ Poll. 

Vijay Iyer received a B.S. (1992) from Yale College and a Ph.D. (1998) from the University of California at Berkeley. He has performed his music at such venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Walker Art Center, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Chicago Symphony Hall, University of California at Los Angeles’s Royce Hall, Köln Philharmonie, Musiekgebouw Amsterdam, and Teatro Manzoni di Milano, as well as dozens of international music festivals and jazz clubs around the world. He is the first Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts in Harvard’s Department of Music. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has awarded him a prestigious “genius” grant.


Ingrid Monson

Ingrid Monson is Quincy Jones Professor of African American music, supported by the Time Warner Endowment, and Interim Dean of Arts and Humanities at Harvard University. She is a former chair of the Music Department, a Guggenheim fellow, and a Walter Channing Cabot Fellow of Harvard University.  Professor Monson specializes in jazz, African American music, and music of the African diaspora. She is author of Saying SomethingJazz Improvisation and Interaction (1996) winner of the Sonneck Society's Irving Lowens award for the best book published on American music in 1996. Her most recent work is on Freedom Sounds: Jazz, Civil Rights, and Africa, 1950-1967, (2005). She is also editor of The African Diaspora: A Musical Perspective(2000). This collection of essays presents musical case studies from various regions of the African diaspora that engage with the broader interdisciplinary discussions about race, gender, politics, nationalism, and music. Contributors include Akin Euba, Veit Erlmann, Eric Charry, Lucy Durán, Jerome Harris, Travis Jackson, Gage Averill, and Julian Gerstin.

Professor Monson earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in Musicology from New York University, her B.M. from New England Conservatory of Music, and her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Economics.

About the Cooper Gallery

Recently opened in fall 2014, the newly established Ethelbert Cooper Gallery features contemporary and historical exhibitions and installations of African and African American art organized by the gallery and will often feature guest curators, faculty, artists, students, and distinguished visiting scholars. It hosts a wide range of dynamic workshops, artist talks, symposia, lectures and performances that engage audiences with diverse art archives and cultural traditions from all over the world.

Located in the heart of Harvard Square, the gallery provides a stellar site of intellectual engagement for the research institutes and archives of the Hutchins Center; interdisciplinary arts initiatives across Harvard University; and artistic inquiry and engagement of the public art communities of Cambridge, greater Boston and beyond.

The new gallery, designed by renowned architect and innovator David Adjaye, of Adjaye Associates, includes 2,300 square feet of exhibition space, and state-of-the-art auxiliary spaces for seminars, conferences, and educational programming. The gallery has been made possible by the generous support of Liberian entrepreneur and philanthropist, Ethelbert Cooper.

Photo credit: Dean Kaufman



Jason Moran's Work with Radiclani Clytus 

Click the video above to watch Radiclani Clytus' film on Jason Moran's "Staged"

Click the video above to watch Radiclani Clytus' film on Jason Moran's "Staged"

Youth View Cambridge, produced and written by students at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, features the Cooper Gallery "Art of Jazz” Opening Reception! Click above.

Alchemy of the Soul

We offer a group excursion mid morning on Tuesday, 3/29, to PEM Salem for a tour with curator Trevor Smith to view Magda Campos Pons: Alchemy of the Soul. Click Image Above for More Information on the Exhibition. 

Please email thecoopergallery@fas.harvard.edu to RSVP w/subject line: Alchemy of the Soul Excursion

About "Art of Jazz"

Image Credit Marc Halevi

Art of Jazz: Form/Performance/Notes,” a stunning new three-part exhibition at The Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art held in collaboration with the Harvard Art Museums explores the interaction between jazz music and the visual arts. With more than 70 pieces ranging from early jazz age objects to mid- century jazz ephemera to contemporary works by established African American artists, the exhibition explores the beginnings of jazz and traces how it was embraced internationally as an art form, a social movement and musical iconography for Black expression.

Click Titles to View Article

Read More Here.

How to Get Here

The Cooper Gallery is located adjacent to the Hutchins Center, next to Peet’s Coffee & Tea.

Parking: Parking at the Cooper Gallery is limited and primarily restricted to Cambridge residents only. Metered parking is available on surrounding streets; however, it is encouraged to take advantage of the areas extensive public transportation system.

Public parking garages in the Harvard Square area:

  1. Church Street Lot: 41 Church Street, between Brattle Street & Massachusetts Avenue, 617-482-7740
  2. Harvard Square Parking: corner of Eliot & JFK streets, 617-354-4168
  3. Charles Square Garage: corner of Bennett Street & University Road, 617-491-6779

By Train: MBTA Red line to Harvard Square Station

By Bus: The following buses to (and from) Harvard Square would be ideal for travel to The Cooper Gallery – 1, 66, 68, 69, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 77, 78, 86, 96

By Amtrak: The nearest amtrak stations are Back Bay (BBY) and North Station Maine Service. (BON) Upon arrival, you may take the MBTA straight to Harvard Square. (via the Red Line)