Skateboarding & Jazz with Jason Moran

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Friday September 04, 2015

From The Washington Post

Skateboarding with jazz at the Kennedy Center? Absolutely.
By: Michael J. West

Skateboarding and jazz would seem — at first glance, and maybe even at second — to be unlikely bedfellows. Skateboarding is highly improvisational, but its preferred soundtrack is punk rock and, increasingly, hip-hop. Jazz, on the other hand, is seen as cerebral chill-out music — not the stuff of motion and adrenaline.

But there’s a historic association between music and sport: “During the ’80s, there were all these skate videos that used jazz as a backdrop,” said Jason Moran, a jazz pianist and skateboarding enthusiast. He points to Spike Jonze’s 1991 “Video Days,” generally regarded as the most influential skate video of all time; in it, skater Mark Gonzalez’s segment is accompanied by the music of John Coltrane.

“So it was a natural current you would see in videos,” Moran said. “And it always felt righteous.”

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