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Pianist Jason Moran to become jazz director at Kennedy Center through 2017

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WASHINGTON - Pianist and composer Jason Moran is taking on a larger role in directing jazz programs at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Moran has been serving as artistic adviser for jazz since 2011. The centre announced Tuesday that Moran's contract has been extended through 2017, and he will become the centre's artistic director for jazz.

Moran curates artists and programming for the Kennedy Center's jazz season. The centre says he will work with other artistic staff to develop multidisciplinary festivals and other events.

The young New York City-based pianist took on the jazz program following the acclaimed musician Billy Taylor. Since 2011, Moran has created a special performance venue for jazz called the "Crossroads Club" that includes a dance floor and cocktail tables to complement music programs.

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