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Finding A Line: Jason Moran's Game-Changing Skateboarding & Jazz Event

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Wednesday October 07, 2015

From The Hundreds

Finding A Line: Jason Moran’s Game-Changing Skateboarding & Jazz Event
By: Rainey Cruz

Since the late 1980s and early 90s the cross pollination of skateboarding and alternative music has always pushed the subcultures towards new thresholds of creativity and collaboration. Though not at the complete forefront, it is an accepted notion that Jazz music in particular has shared a unique improvisational bond with skateboarding. The likes of 4-wheeled magicians like Mark Gonzales and his John Coltrane-laden score for his groundbreaking part in Video Days is the pinnacle of this creative matrimony. First generational skate legends like Ray Barbee, Tommy Guerrero, Steve Caballero, and Chuck Treece are also further proof of the intrinsic union between the sonic and the skating.

Ask contemporary Jazz pianist and renaissance man Jason Moran and he’ll verbalize it quite eloquently that skateboarding and Jazz go hand in hand. This is why the 40-year-old musician, a prodigy whose talent earned him a touring spot alongside saxophonist Greg Osby and eventually onto the legendary Blue Note record label for his solo debut in 1999, has also dedicated himself to developing his vision for a live skateboard and Jazz infused showcase appropriately dubbed Finding A Line. The first opportunity to produce his idea began two years back in San Francisco when Jason was asked to produce an event for the San Francisco Jazz Center. The success of the unique experience involving musicians, skaters, and a mini-ramp prompted the visionary to continue to refine and develop the concept. Support from the John F. Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts in Washington DC paved the way for this year’s rendition of the project, the most ambitious to date. It goes without saying that the event, which went down last month, was an extraordinary milestone that heralded skateboarding front and center, an opportunity usually reserved for other “branches” of the quintessential arts.

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