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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