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Meet The Jazz Audience: Glenna Moran

Tonight, saxophonist Lou Donaldson will perform in NPR Music's Live at the Village Vanguard live webcast series, in partnership with WBGO. Last month, as part of a bold social media experiment during our broadcast of new MacArthur Fellow Jason Moran, Blogger Supreme Lara Pellegrinelli wrangled students into our chat room from music classes at Wellesley College, Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Rochester. Senior Glenna Moran logged in from the common room in her Wellesley dorm. And here's the rest of our Meet The Jazz Audience series. --Ed.

Glenna Moran, 21
Performer: Jason Moran and the Bandwagon
Venue: Village Vanguard, New York, N.Y. (accessed online)
Date: Oct. 6, 2010

What brought you to our Live at the Village Vanguard broadcast? Even though my professor [Tamar Barzel of MUS 209 - History of Jazz] says that Boston is a really rich city in terms of jazz shows, she really wanted us to hear Jason Moran. She had the whole class online.

Now I was going to guess that it was because you were related to Jason Moran. Someone in the chat did actually ask me that. I was a little tempted to lie.

Does your branch of the Moran family at least boast some musical talent? When I was young, my dad tried to get me into guitar. And, being the brat I was, I wouldn't listen to him. In middle school, I played the double bass in the jazz band. I can't claim to remember anything about it. I just know I really liked it.

Then why did you stop playing? Unless you're going to be a professional musician, it's a lot of time and money to invest. When I was in middle school, it was all free and at my fingertips. In high school, students received private lessons if they owned their own instruments. But I definitely didn't own my own double bass.

I was thinking all of you students would make great pianists. In an hour, we had something like 950 posts in the chat room. Your class must have excellent finger dexterity. Ha ha! I'm an English major -- I have to type a lot of papers. I think people were just eager to ask questions before the moment in the piece slipped away. So I was firing away, and my friends were doing the same.

What did you think of the concert? I have to admit, a lot of jazz that I listen to is a little over my head. For now, I'm dipping my toe in the water. This was surprisingly accessible.

Really? I thought it was amazing. I noticed a lot of contemporary musical references that I could relate to. I heard hip-hop-styled sampling. There was one piece where Moran had sampled a field holler ["Live Life Time"]. It reminded me of Moby and Portishead. The Books do that a lot, too.

And what did you think of the chat? A lot of people assume that students are more comfortable with technology than we really are. Being part of a live chat is new for us, too. It worked really well because you don't interrupt the music by commenting on it. We could point things out immediately without distracting ourselves. I think it's silly to assume that people aren't thinking about the music just because they're typing. People who are concert reviewers take notes while they're listening and we're supposed to do that, too, when we attend concerts for class. So I don't see what the difference is.

Are you sure you're not related to Jason Moran? Because maybe he'd be willing to share a little bit of his MacArthur money. I'm a senior and I'm going to have loans to pay off soon. If he's up for researching the family tree, I am, too.

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