7/2/20 O&A NYC DIVO ALERT: Faison, Godreau and Williams- Road of the Pheobe Snow

Divo Alert! George Faison, Miguel Godreau and Dudley Williams dance in an excerpt from Talley Beatty’s The Road Of The Pheobe Snow with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Continue reading

6/28/20 O&A NYC SUNDAY AFTERNOON JAZZ CONCERT: Maxwell Unplugged (1997)

Despite only having released only one album, the music video television channel MTV saw his burgeoning popularity and asked him to tape an episode of the concert series MTV Unplugged in New York City. 
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6/14/20 O&A NYC DANCE: Meet James “Banks” Davis- Jamel Gaines Creative Outlet Dance Company of Brooklyn

By Walter Rutledge

James “Banks” Davis is a real New York success story. Banks grow up in the urban environment of Queens and Brooklyn and as a teenager found acceptance and recognition as an urban street dancer. A natural athlete Banks quickly excelled in dance and gymnastics. He loved entertaining people often turning a street corner into a stage.

Then on Halloween night 2009, gun fire erupted on a crowded Brooklyn street and Banks was shot in the knee- another innocent victim of a random shooting. His injuries would have been a death knell for anyone pursuing a career in dance. Instead, Banks treated this not as a detour, but the course appointed.

The original diagnosis was amputation; but miraculously sensation returned to his leg and Banks immediately turned his attention toward recovery. Through mediation, prayer, dedication and hard work Banks was able to return to dance. Banks broaden his aesthetic horizons through his association with Jamel Gaines and his dance company

For over 26 years Gaines has used dance to inspire inner city youth to achieve; and often his prodigy has aspired beyond their own expectations. Gaines has the unique gift of working with dancer from many diverse disciplines. And Banks (whose specialty was the L.A. street dance style called Krump) developed his art under Gaines holistic approach to dance.  

Banks combines the refined, codified styles of modern and jazz with the raw edginess of Krump. In 2014 Banks stole the hearts of many on social media as a contestant on So You Think You Can Dance Season 11. Banks played the role of the angel Gabriel in the English National Opera’s The Gospel According To Mary and toured New Zealand with the Park Avenue Armory’s production FLEXN. In 2019 Banks was featured in the groundbreaking Revelation of Proverbs Reggie “Regg Roc” and the D.R.E.A.M. Ring at The Shed.

Jamel Gaines Creative Outlet Behind The Scenes

On June 19 Creative Outlet and Summerstage will present Hanging Tree, an on-line celebration of the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth. The virtual presentation will take place on June 19, 7-8pm on Summerstage YouTube. In addition to Banks the production (choreographed, staged and conceived by Gaines) also features vocalist Marcelle Davies Lashley, poet Carl Hancock Rux, and musician Talu Green. The performance will be followed by a panel discussion entitled The Importance of Juneteenth’s History & How It Affects Our Community’s Lives Today. The panel will feature RestorationArt Executive Director Dr. Indira Etwaroo, Gaines and Rux.

For more information about Creative Outlet’s programs, classes and upcoming event visit jgcodance.org.

6/11/20 O&A NYC LOCKDOWN LEARNING: The Harlem Renaissance – Black Cultural Movement in Art Music and Literature

This a video biography of the Harlem Renaissance, a negro movement where Black America developed significant cultural resources and a new cultural identity. It was an era of intellectual flowering. The levity of this movement produced great Black renaissance poets, music, art and literature . Continue reading

6/9/20 O&A NYC INSPIRATIONAL TUESDAY: Revelations From A Lifetime Of Dance- Judith Jamison and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

“Dance can elevate our human experience beyond words,” says Judith Jamison, artistic director emerita of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. In between performances of excerpts from Alvin Ailey’s classic works “Revelations” and “Cry,” Jamison reflects on the enduring power of dance to transform history into art that thrills audiences around the world. (Performances by Solomon Dumas, Samantha Figgins and Constance Stamatiou)
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5/24/20 O&A NYC SUNDAY AFTERNOON JAZZ CONCERT: Miles Davis Quintet Live at Teatro dell’Arte in Milan, Italy (October 11, 1964)

 Miles Davis Quintet live at Teatro dell’Arte in Milan, Italy, October 11, 1964. Continue reading

5/20/20 O&A NYC WILDIN OUT WEDNESDAY: Scrub Me Mama with a Boogie Beat (1941)- Racially Banned Cartoon

Scrub Me Mama with a Boogie Beat (1941) is the racially banned cartoon for the hit boogie-woogie popular song written by Don Raye. A bawdy, jazzy tune, the song describes a laundry woman from Harlem, New York City, whose technique is so unusual that people come from all around just to watch her scrub. Continue reading

5/17/20 O&A NYC SUNDAY AFTERNOON JAZZ: Miles Davis – So What

So What is the first track on the 1959 album Kind of Blue by jazz artist,  Miles Davis. It is one of the best known examples of modal Jazz, set in the Dorian mode and consisting of 16 bars of D Dorian, followed by eight bars of E♭ Dorian and another eight of D Dorian. Continue reading

5/15/20 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: Alvin Ailey’s For ‘Bird’ – With Love (1984)- Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

A tribute to the great jazz musician Charlie “Bird” Parker, For ‘Bird’ – With Love brings the audience back to the relaxed atmosphere of an after-hours jam session at a local jazz club. Continue reading

(Repost) 5/8/20 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: The A- Z of Dance

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A-Z of Dance shows you how to set hearts alight and clubs on fire. Shot on the streets and rooftops of sunny LA, float like an Arabesque, spin like a B-Boy, wobble like a Chicken Noodle Soup… it’s time to step up! In a very special project for i-D and Diesel, director Jacob Sutton has captured the world’s hottest dancers walking in the air in their Jogg Jeans and cut-offs.

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Lil Buck shows us the way of Memphis Jookin. Super-thighs Nicole the Pole – star of Rihanna’s Pour It Up video – takes us to a whole other level. And fresh from the Rick Owens catwalk, the Soul Step team show us how to dance to Le1f. Continue reading