Video by Michael Bolden
This post appeared on the Knight Foundation blog in Feb., 2016
Jazz is an art form informed by paradoxes: Improvisation is shaped by meticulous planning; freedom is built off respect from an ever-present canon; individuality, encouraged and celebrated, only truly succeeds when balanced against the needs of the music and the group. And then, to yield its rewards, jazz demands from players and listeners a willingness to take chances, to embrace uncertainty, enjoy the fleeting, unrepeatable moment. Much on this list, obviously, is not unique to jazz. Consider basketball — the team as a quintet executing a mix of set and improvised plays in one-of-a-kind performances — or, more to the point, skateboarding.