Finding A Line: Skateboarding, Music and Media with Jason Moran and The Bandwagon

Please check out this cool upcoming show, Finding a Line: Skateboarding, Music and Media, presented by Ford Theatres and UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance (CAP UCLA).

On September 29, 2018 at 8:00pm, jazz pianist Jason Moran and his band The Bandwagon will explore the improvisational intersection of jazz and skateboarding, as skaters—Kenny Anderson, Sky and Ocean (AWSM KIDS), Vanessa Torres, Brad McClain and members of the OC Ramps Team including Dave Bachinsky, Ryan Decenzo, Greg Lutzka and Cody McEntire (subject to change)—shred ramps on stage. For the performance, a mini-ramp will be installed directly onto the Ford’s lower stage by OC Ramps. Joining Jason on stage are bassist Tarus Mateen and Daru Jones on drums.

As Rolling Stone declared, “Jason Moran [is] shaping up to be the most provocative thinker in current jazz.” If this unique and brilliant show presentation is any indication, we’d have to agree.

The programming leading up to the show on Sept 29th also includes a photo exhibition, panel discussion and film screening on Sept 25 beginning at 5:30pm. The full schedule of activities at the Ford include: The Nation Skate X CSEF Exhibition (September 21-29), an exhibit of photos and artwork from The Nation Skate and College Skateboarding Educational Foundation’s array of artists; Panel Discussion: Exploring Issues of Race & Diversity in Skateboarding Culture, moderated by USC lecturer Neftalie Williams with pro skaters Kenny Anderson, Jaime Reyes, Vanessa Torres and Stevie Williams (September 25, 6:30-7:30pm); and Trick Flicks: A Night of Shorts, curated by music video director/former pro skateboarder Laban and Diana Wyenn (September 25, 7:45-9:30pm) and featuring short films by James Craven, Fullon Compadres and Kingswell, among others.

Find out more about all of these incredible events from the press release below, along with ticket info for all of the Finding a Line: Skateboarding, Music and Media events. 

Since his formidable emergence on the music scene in the 1990s, renowned pianist and composer Jason Moran has challenged the status quo, which has earned him a reputation as the future of jazz.

Finding a Line: Skateboarding, Music and Media, is an unprecedented collaboration. Moran says, “Street skaters navigate a landscape finding ways to approach a rail in the same way a drummer approaches the beginning of a song. The mode of improvisation is paramount to how both skaters and jazz musicians approach life. In jazz, there are so many moving parts, and within a composition, there are obstacles in the form.”

With Finding a Line, Ford Theatres and CAP UCLA celebrate the creativity of the full breadth of the skateboarding community, including musicians, photographers, filmmakers, painters, graphic and fashion designers, as well as skateboarders themselves. The week of Finding a Line programs at Ford Theatres is part of an ongoing, nationwide community-sourced public art project at the intersection of music, art, photography, filmmaking and skateboarding.

Tickets are available by visiting or by calling 323.461.3673.


Learn more about Finding a Line events and check out a few photos, including a photo of Ben Ashworth, one of the co-creators of the concept behind all of these events.

2018 FAL Ben Ashworth. Photo by John Falls.

The full schedule of activities at the Ford include: The Nation Skate X CSEF Exhibition (September 21-29), an exhibit of photos and artwork from The Nation Skate and College Skateboarding Educational Foundation’s array of artists documenting the diverse global skateboarding community; Panel Discussion: Exploring Issues of Race & Diversity in Skateboarding Culture, moderated by USC lecturer Neftalie Williams with pro skaters Kenny Anderson, Jaime Reyes, Vanessa Torres and Stevie Williams (September 25, 6:30-7:30pm); and Trick Flicks: A Night of Shorts, curated by music video director/former pro skateboarder Laban and Diana Wyenn (September 25, 7:45-9:30pm) and featuring short films by James Craven, Fullon Compadres and Kingswell, among others.

Moran is a CAP UCLA Artist Fellow and was awarded a three-year creative development platform through the Center, with a commitment to explore his evolving legacy by providing audiences with a unique opportunity to experience his artistry, ideas and works. IN MY MIND: Monk at Town Hall, 1959, Moran’s award-winning homage to jazz icon Thelonious Monk, was one of the highlights of CAP UCLA’s 2017–18 season.

In 2015, Moran collaborated and co-curated a similar Finding a Line festival at The Kennedy Center with Ben Ashworth, a well-known force in the local DC skating community and a skater and faculty member at George Mason University’s School of Art.

Ashworth said, “When I was a kid growing up, we would come into the city [Richmond, VA] at night and skateboard. When we did, the streets were no longer streets, sidewalks were no longer sidewalks, and curbs were no longer curbs. All became a playground for riding, learning, experimenting and failing. There were no rules, points, or winners. We were just making it up as we went along. It was this simple act at the core of skateboarding finding a line through the world around you that taught me the concept of reimagining public spaces and gave the project its name.”

Amelia Brodka – Smith Grind at the Raglan Bowl. Photo by Neftalie Williams

Olga Garay-English, Executive Director of the Ford Theatres said, “Finding a Line at the Ford spotlights a radical reinterpretation of architecture that is second nature to skateboarders. The results are an eventual new generation of cultural spaces, experiences and artifacts. This type of collaboration offers some critically necessary learning for cultural, academic and government institutions and at the same time connects these institutions to the skateboarding community.”

Ashworth and Garth Ross, Executive Director of the Schwarzman Center at Yale University, posit, “Finding a Line is something we do, not just something we see. It’s not just a performance, it’s a process. And while we can seek it on our own, we can only find it together.”

Ross said, “Artists in different disciplines inspire each other’s work every day, and perhaps none more visibly or skillfully than jazz musicians and skateboarders. Both of these communities create in sessions – loosely structured gatherings where new ideas are explored and boundaries are tested. While loose sessions are usually only for insiders of a creative community, tightly rehearsed performances are what’s shared with the public. Jazz sessions might be held in an apartment or a studio, and skateboard sessions play out on a downtown plaza or a backyard ramp. But with Finding a Line, it happens on stage.”

Ashworth said, “As a result, Finding a Line is informed by something deeper than aesthetic trends. This creative process of trusting each other and taking risks together empowers us to accomplish together what we can’t achieve alone, revealing exciting possibilities for our shared future.”


#FindingALine by Garth Ross and Ben Ashworth on the Ford Blog

This event is part of IGNITE @ the FORD!, a series presented by the Ford Theatre Foundation comprised of world-renowned contemporary artists whose work is thought-provoking and reflects the world in which we live. Supported by Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.

About the Ford Theatres

At 1,200 seats, the Ford Theatres creates an intimate outdoor amphitheatre concert experience that is a favorite among Angelenos. This season, the Ford Theatres also introduces performances providing uniquely intimate experiences in which audience and performance fit entirely onto the stage, and others at which the seating has been limited to the first ten rows.

Each summer, the Ford hosts music, dance, theatre, film and family events reflective of the communities that comprise Los Angeles County. Proceeds from IGNITE @ the FORD! events benefit the Ford Theatre Foundation. The Ford is owned by the County of Los Angeles and operated in partnership with the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Ford Theatre Foundation. Nestled in a canyon of a County regional park in the Cahuenga Pass, the Ford Theatres has a rich history dating back to the 1920s. Audiences attending the 2018 Season will enjoy a fully revitalized Ford after the completion of a nearly three-year renovation project, including improved lighting and sound and the Ford Terrace Café on the new terrace – dubbed The Zev – with a menu by Crumble Catering.

The 2018 Season at the Ford Theatres is made possible through the support of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Additional support provided by Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, along with ABC7; the Caruso Family Foundation; the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles; Chamber Music America; City National Bank; Discover Hollywood; First 5 LA; Fusicology; The James Irvine Foundation; KCETLink; KCRW;; Motev; The National Endowment for the Arts; NBC Universal; OC Ramps; Southern California Edison; Union Bank; Univision; The Wasserman Foundation; Wells Fargo; and

OC Ramps half pipe OC Ramps half pipe

About UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance

UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance (CAP UCLA) is dedicated to the advancement of the contemporary performing arts in all disciplines — dance, music, spoken word and theater, as well as emerging digital, collaborative and cross-platforms — by leading artists from around the globe. Part of UCLA’s School of the Arts and Architecture, CAP UCLA curates and facilitates direct exposure to artists who are creating extraordinary works of art and fosters a vibrant learning community both on and off the UCLA campus. The organization invests in the creative process by providing artists with financial backing and time to experiment and expand their practices through strategic partnerships and collaborations. As an influential voice within the local, national and global arts communities, CAP UCLA connects this generation to the next in order to preserve a living archive of our culture. CAP UCLA is also a safe harbor where cultural expression and artistic exploration can thrive, giving audiences the opportunity to experience real life through characters and stories on stage, and giving artists an avenue to challenge assumptions and advance new ways of seeing and understanding the world we live in now. Learn more at Like CAP UCLA on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. #CAPUCLA





Finding a Line Finding a Line

Calendar Section

WHAT: Jason Moran and The Bandwagon

Finding a Line: Skateboarding, Music and Media

WHEN: Saturday, September 29, 2018 at 8:00pm

WHERE: Ford Theatres, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood, CA 90068

Just off the 101 Hollywood Freeway

between Hollywood and Universal Studios in the Cahuenga Pass

PRICES: $30; 45. Prices subject to change

TICKETS: Online:

Phone: (323) 461-3673

Box Office Hours: Open noon – 5:00pm, Tuesday – Saturday, for phone and window sales, and two hours before evening shows for walk-up sales and Will Call.

INFO:,,, Instagram/FordTheatres

PARKING: On site, stacked. $12 per vehicle. Carpool and save: three or more people per vehicle save $5 on parking. A FREE shuttle to the Ford services the Universal City/Studio City Metro Station lot at Lankershim Blvd. and Campo de Cahuenga. The Ford shuttle stops in the “kiss and ride” area and cycles every 20 minutes. For non-stacked off-site parking, a FREE shuttle services the parking structure located at 3330 Cahuenga Blvd. West, Los

Angeles, CA 90068; parking is $14, cash only.

UK Skater Lucian Clarke, nollie-flip in Cuba.

Event Schedule

Jason Moran and The Bandwagon

Finding a Line: Skateboarding, Music and Media

Photography and Artwork Exhibit – Free

The Nation Skate X CSEF Exhibition – An exhibition of photography and artwork from The Nation Skate and College Skateboarding Educational Foundation. Curated by Neftalie Williams, this exhibit documents the diverse global skateboarding communities, including Cuba, Cambodia, South Africa and beyond.

When: Friday, September 21 to Saturday, September 29, 2018

Included with admission at Ford Theatres’ concerts during those dates.

FREE to the public: Tuesday, September 25 from 5:30 – 9:30pm

Where: Ford Theatres

2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood, CA 90068

Panel Discussion and Film Screening – Free

When: Free Public Event — Tuesday, September 25, 2018

6:30pm Panel: Exploring Issues of Race & Diversity in Skateboarding Culture, moderated by Neftalie Williams

Panelists: Kenny Anderson, Jaime Reyes, Vanessa Torres and Stevie Williams

7:45pm Films: Trick Flicks: A Night of Shorts, curated by music video director/former pro skateboarder Laban and Diana Wyenn. Featuring works by James Craven, Fullon Compadres, and Kingswell, along with premieres by Raghav Arumugam and Jagriti Khirwar, Dave Bergthold, Mike Brown, and Frank Pfeifer

Where: Ford Theatres’ Zev Terrace

2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood, CA 90068

Artist Bios:

Jason Moran, a pianist, composer and educator, grew up in Houston, Texas. He began studying piano when he was six but early on developed a strong interest in both hip-hop and jazz and graduated from Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. He moved to New York and graduated from the Manhattan School of Music. He started his professional career playing with Greg Osby, and his debut recording on Blue Note Records, Soundtrack to Human Motion, was released in 1999 to great critical praise. The following year, Facing Left established his trio The Bandwagon, with bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits, and prompted JazzTimes Magazine to declare the album “an instant classic” and Rolling Stone to state “Jason Moran is shaping up to be the most provocative thinker in current jazz.”

Since his first album, Moran has produced ten additional albums and six film soundtracks, including scores for Ava DuVernay’s films Selma and 13th. In 2007, Moran was commissioned to create IN MY MIND: Monk at Town Hall, 1959, producing a critically-acclaimed multimedia performance investigating Thelonious Monk’s famous recording, Monk at Town Hall. Recent releases include The Armory Concert (2016), Thanksgiving at the Vanguard (2017) and BANGS (2017) under his own label Yes Records.

In 2010. Moran was awarded a MacArthur fellowship and in 2011, he was appointed Artistic Advisor to Jazz at The Kennedy Center. By 2014, he was made Artistic Director for Jazz. Music education plays a central role in Moran’s life. He teamed up with Chicago high school students and artist Theater Gates to create Looks of a Lot, an evening length concert exploring the relationship of the blues to healing. He has been on the faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music since 2010 and also teaches in Copenhagen at The Rhythm Conservatory. He lives with his wife, Alicia Hall Moran, in Harlem.

Neftalie Williams is Lecturer of Skateboarding and Action-Sports Business, Media and Culture at the USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism and PhD Candidate at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. His research uses skateboarding culture as a lens to examine issues of diversity, identity, youth and mass culture, education and public diplomacy. He received his BA in Communication and MA in Public Diplomacy from the University of Southern California. He currently works with the USC Rossier School Pullias Center, along with Zoe B. Corwin on a Tony Hawk Foundation funded project to explore the relationship between skateboarders, school and society. Neftalie is a research fellow at the USC Annenberg Institute of Sports, Media and Society, former fellow for the Los Angeles LA84 Foundation, winner of the 2015 USC Black Alumni award. As an academic and skateboarding envoy for the US, Neftalie officially uses skateboarding as a tool for cultural diplomacy and to promote inclusiveness, education and global citizenship. His forthcoming book is entitled Colour in the Lines: Understanding the African-American and US Minority Experience in Skateboarding Culture.

His contributions to skateboarding culture have been featured in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Epóca Magazine, The Kennedy Center, Public Diplomacy Magazine,, Yahoo! Sports, VICE Sports, Transworld Skateboarding, Transworld Business, Voice of America, Jenkem, and the Guinness Book of World Records. Neftalie currently calls New Zealand and Los Angeles home. @neftaliedotcom

Ben Ashworth founded Finding a Line in 2012 as an ongoing community-sourced public art project that combines skateboarding, education, construction, music, media and art as a socially-engaged platform. As a process, he invites artists and community members to weekly interactive, spontaneous sessions where their combined energies and diverse backgrounds enrich the developing art spaces. Ben is co-founder of DC’s Green Skate Laboratory and one of the founding members of the now legendary DC Fight Club, an underground skate park, gallery and performing arts venue. In 2012, he produced Finding a Line for the DC temporary public art initiative 5×5 by building a skate/art park under a dicey DC freeway underpass and in 2015, co-curated a nine-day festival of Finding a Line with Jason Moran, Garth Ross and The Kennedy Center. The Finding a Line project is now part of the DC Cultural Plan and the city’s multiyear – arts and culture forward – creative placemaking initiative, “Crossing the Street: Building DC’s Inclusive Future through Creative Placemaking.”

Ben is also faculty at George Mason University School of Art where he teaches Art as Social Action and Public Art Projects. This semester’s focus is Finding a Line DC as a multi-disciplinary and immersive field experience-based course that allows students across media to coproduce ongoing community-sourced public art projects. Ben’s community art practice has been the subject of various publications, including NPR, McSweeney’s, The Washington Post, Jazz Times, BBC, ARTnews, JUICE and Landscape Architecture.

Garth Ross is the inaugural executive director of the Schwarzman Center at Yale University. Prior to his work at Yale, Garth served as vice president of community engagement at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. He has over 20 years’ experience developing and executing strategies for enlarging constituencies and increasing participation in the arts. Through this work, he has produced over 7,000 performances in a wide range of genres, featuring artists from all 50 states and around the world. Garth established The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage daily free performance series, as well as many other notable projects and festivals including Joyful Sounds: Gospel Across America, Look Both Ways: Street Arts Across America, American Voices with Renée Fleming, One Mic: Hip-Hop Culture Worldwide and Finding a Line: Skateboarding, Music and Media. With a focus on cultivating unique collaborations between organizations, artists, communities and disciplines, his work illuminates the possibility of compatibility between different cultural viewpoints by including diverse stakeholders in the process of cultural production. His chapter entitled, “From Fight club to The Kennedy Center: How We Learned to Cross Invisible Bridges,” was published in the book Grassroots Leadership and the Arts for Social Change (2017 Emerald Publishing Limited). Garth received his BA in English Literature and Music from Connecticut College and is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute.

Laban is a director and co-founder of Plain Wood Productions, who in his past life traveled the world as a professional skateboarder, in fact skateboarding was his film school. After making several successful skateboarding videos and three hit shows for Fuel TV, Laban tried his hand at music videos and never looked back. He has created lyric and official videos for a myriad of artists, including Martin Garrix, Justin Beiber, Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr, Billy Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones, Warpaint, Slash, Alicia Keys, Absofacto, Satryicon, Adam Zwig and Justin Timberlake. Laban won Best Official Lyric Video at the 2013 Telly Awards for “Suit and Tie.”

Diana Wyenn is a Los Angeles-based director, choreographer, producer and curator, who — whether working on large spectaculars or more intimate performances — challenges and inspires audiences to see beyond the usual. She has worked with The Walt Disney Company, Lincoln Center, Center Theater Group, the LA Philharmonic, REDCAT, SummerStage, Chalk Repertory Theatre, Ghost Road Ensemble, and The Inkwell Theater, among others. Wyenn is also the co-founder of Plain Wood Productions, Artistic Director at TIOH Art & Culture, and recently jumped back on stage to create and perform

Blood/Sugar, an autobiographical solo performance illuminating and embodying America’s diabetes epidemic.

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