First Tap Jam Of 2010 Sizzles @ Skippers

Posted by Maria Miaoulis in Dai Oyama, Greg Bufford, Hillary-Marie, Jazz Events, Jeffry Foote, Justin Ballasy, Kyle Wilder, Lisle Atkinson, Lucas Ballasy, Radam Schwartz, Recaps & Reviews, Robin Young, Skippers, Newark, NJ, Tap Events, Yvette Glover

January 16th, 2010   Comments Off on First Tap Jam Of 2010 Sizzles @ Skippers

It certainly has been brutally cold these last few weeks, but the stage at Skippers Plane Street Pub was ablaze with talent during this past Thursday’s Tap Jam.

A tradition started by Yvette Glover, mother of renowned tap superstar Savion Glover, Thursday night Tap Jams are designed to showcase the tap community’s rising stars as well as professional dancers. Those in attendance that night were definitely not left disappointed by the show.

No amount of praise could begin to describe the brilliance of those musicians who provided accompaniment for the evening’s festivities. Celebrities in their own right, these men make their jobs look effortless. You can’t help but stare in amazement as Radam Schwartz’s hands glide across the ivory, Lisle Atkinson’s fingers pluck at the bass and Gregory Bufford’s arms swing expertly on the drums. They are truly great instrumentalists that help bring life to any jazz function.

But there was no shortage of excitement on Skippers low-key stage as tappers from all walks of life kept the crowd entertained for hours.

The first part of the night belonged to the Ballasy clan as brothers Justin and Lucas captivated the crowd with their respective crafts. Justin opened the night with an incredible dance solo that literally brought everything to a stop, the room watching him perform amazing tricks. That he is a showman cannot be denied, and he knew just how to hold everyone’s attention with his heart-pounding, feel-good routines. Brother Lucas took the stage in between, performing an alternative, semi-acoustic version of the Bill Withers’ classic, “Ain’t No Sunshine.” His raspy voice gave the song a hard rock edge which had the audience erupting in applause throughout the number.

More tappers arrived as the night went on, each bringing their own distinct style to the fore. Ms. Glover’s “tap daughter” Hillary-Marie certainly made her presence known with her commanding, elegant dancing. Jeffry Foote absolutely lived up to his surname, always entertaining the crowd with his deft, stylized foot moves. Dai Omiya looked like he was taking flight concentrating so hard on his steps he actually lost his signature hat at one point. Returning favorites Kyle Wilder and Robyn Young brought their own flamboyance to the event. Wilder’s frenzied routines and Young’s playful movements added a feeling of soul and funk to the group.

The highlight of the evening had to be the group number set to “All of You.” As Ms. Glover sang, her “tap children” took turns dazzling the crowd with their skills, leaving everyone starstruck. When they all took the stage, you couldn’t help but grin ear to ear and feel privileged to witness this awesome display of genius. So much so that when you could finally tear yourself away for the night, you probably floated out in an effort to capture that feeling for yourself.

Tap James are held periodically, usually every 6-8 weeks at Skippers. Stay tuned to JazzvilleNJ.com for upcoming Tap Jams. If you’re a hoofer (tap dancer) feel free to bring your tap shoes.

Skippers is located at:

304 University Avenue
Newark, NJ
973-733-9300

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