The Historic Love Affair Between Jazz And Skateboarding



It’s no secret that skateboarding and music have a long history and they’ve played pivotal roles in each others lives. That being the case I’ve always wondered which genres played what roles and why. When you think about music and skateboarding you might obviously think about rap, hip-hop, rock, and punk music. What about Jazz? Probably not the first genre you’d think of but when used correctly there can be a synergy between Jazz and Skateboarding, two things that embody freedom. Let me take you through a little video history of what I’m talking about.

1991 John Coltrane’s “Traneing In” and Mark Gonzales killing it

One of the big trends in skateboarding history was VHS editing. This video is epic in the way it brings together 2 masters of improvisation. The ability to improvise is essential for skateboarders and Jazz Musicians alike.

1994 Jason Lee and Chris Pastras rip the jazz thing wide open in ‘A Visual Sound’

This Stereo video uses Jazz music for the length of the film and even incorporates classic jazz record aesthetics into their advertisements and board graphics.

1996 The rarely matched technical lines of Guy Mariano in Girl Mouse

The music in this film and the display Guy Mariano puts on are all about spontaneity.

2002 Jahmal Williams DNA video part.

In an early 2000’s of puffy shoes, cargo pants and ledge lines, Williams adheres partly to this formula but also has transition and rail tricks that make this a well-rounded section in an era with fewer all-terrain skaters. The Coltrane soundtrack that refers back to Gonz in Video Days as well as the screen shots of Coltrane and Picasso make this a classic.

2011 Magenta’s SF Hill Street Blues

A standout Jazz section featuring a soundtrack that rolls through Jazz History. A great display of the synergy between Jazz and Skateboarding.

My hope is that after you read and see this you’ll believe me when I tell you that Jazz and Skateboarding have a love affair that has no end in sight. Hope you enjoyed.

Stephen Rodriguez

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