"Thelonious Monk is the most important musician, period," Jason Moran says. He laughs out loud. "In all the world. Period!"
Moran is in a dressing room deep within the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., where he's the artistic director for jazz. He's not really wearing that hat at the moment, though. He's talking as a musician himself — and very personally, at that.