Sam Bleakley
I have presented, produced, co-edited and written surf travel films in Haiti, Jamaica, Barbados and Liberia. I have appeared on various magazine covers, company adverts, posters, and in mainstream newspapers, notably The Guardian, The Observer and The Independent. I have featured in over twenty action sport DVDs and documentaries and appeared in television programmes about surfing and travel on the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV.

Exploring surf and travel writing through metaphors of jazz has become an important part of my media work. 'Jazz' is not just a kind of music - the primary African-American art form - but a way of thinking and doing (based on improvisation, syncopation, timing, rhythm and beat). Surfers and travellers can be jazz players without ever liking or knowing jazz, where they have that jazz feel that takes them away from the straight line and the standard moves.

Surfing is about improvising in brilliant ways that utilise the sea's surprises. And surfers who travel with sensitivity to local cultures will act like jazz musicians, quickly getting an ear for the rhythm of the moment and showing facility for improvisation. These performances demand a stage - a place - which is the main player and shapes the performance.

Thinking jazz is to live an improvised life, one in which imagination, not convention, is at the core. No Room for Squares exclaimed the title of tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley's 1963 Blue Note label album. The pianist Sonny Clark's 1958 album on the same label put it another way with its title Cool Struttin'. A blue note is an imaginatively squashed note, played with soul - a note that oozes quality and feeling, and signals 'style'.

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Video:Hainan Government/Tourism Film - surfEXPLORE in Wanning, China - Sam Bleakley | Sam Bleakley - surf 'State of Play' | Sam Bleakley - surf 'Coast' | Sam Bleakley - surf 'Slide' - Dominican Republic
Sam Bleakley
Contact: sambleakley@yahoo.com | Copyright © 2015 Sam Bleakley/John Callahan and other copyright holders.
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