“If the music was changing, why wasn’t the format of the jazz magazine shifting around?” In 2016, jazz pianist and visual artist Jason Moran launched LOOP, an editioned print magazine (only 500 copies) through his gallery, Luhring Augustine. Looking at jazz culture from an African American perspective, it features writings by jazz greats including Cassandra Wilson, Matana Roberts, Greg Tate, and Jamaaladeen Tacuma. Flash-forward to 2017, when Moran was in Minneapolis preparing for the opening of his Walker Art Center solo show, Jason Moran, his first museum exhibition. Given the Walker’s long history of publishing, our unique positioning as a multidisciplinary art center, and long relationship with Moran (we’ve hosted him for various concerts, commissioned the 2005 album/performance Milestone, and organized his 2018 traveling exhibition), we decided to ask: could we make this amazing content available to a wider audience on the Walker Reader, our digital magazine? (Hat tip, design director Emmet Byrne for the idea.) Moran agreed—both to allow us to host issue one of LOOP and all future issues.
To prepare the magazine for online audiences, we redesigned it (kudos digital designer Jasio Stefanski), adopting the graphic identity system created for the exhibition graphics (designed by Ryan Gerald Nelson) and catalogue (designed by Hassan Rahim) and incorporating a new video (shot and edited by Andy Underwood-Bultmann) in which Moran discusses the themes of the first issue. A video will lead off the landing page for each issue, and for this issue, it was cut in various ways and lengths for use on social media, including a “jazzhands” Twitter teaser and a shortened Facebook video: