Tapology Concert Performance featuring Mercedes Ellington

7:00 pm Sunday October 28th at The Whiting

2014 Geri Allen

Geri AllenProfessor Allen is currently Director of the Jazz Studies Department at the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned a master’s degree in ethnomusicology.

Geri Allen, pianist/composer, bandleader, educator and Guggenheim Fellow, is the first recipient of the Soul Train, Lady of Soul Award for Jazz. In 2011 Geri Allen, was nominated for an NAACP Award for her Timeline, Tap Quartet Project. Allen is the first woman, and youngest person to receive the Danish Jazz Par Prize. She is a cutting edge performing artist, and continues to concertize internationally.

She is a product of the Detroit Public School System, Howard University and the University of Pittsburgh. Allen moved to NYC in 1982 after she completed her advanced degree in ethnomusicology from the University of Pittsburgh, and for the past thirty years has recorded, performed and collaborated with some of the most important artists of our time including Ornette Coleman, Ravi Coltrane, George Shirley, Dewey Redman, Jimmy Cobb, Sandra Turner-Barnes, Charles Lloyd, Marcus Belgrave, Betty Carter, Jason Moran, Lizz Wright, Marian McPartland, Roy Brooks, Vijay Iyer, Charlie Haden and Paul Motion, Laurie Anderson, Terri Lynn Carrington and Esperanza Spalding, Hal Wilner, Ron Carter, Tony Williams, Dianne Reeves, Joe Lovano, Dr. Billy Taylor, Carrie Mae Weems, Angelique Kidjo, Mary Wilson and the Supremes, S. Epatha Merkerson, Farah Jasmin Griffin, Howard University's Afro-Blue and many others.

Allen has enjoyed a very successful thirty-year performing career as a NYC jazz musician. She has now returned to Pittsburgh to continue her legacy as a cutting edge pianist/composer, recording/concertizing artist. Allen is just as passionate about her work with her undergrad and graduate students at the University of Pittsburgh, and she firmly believes that "meaningful access to music is one of the keys to success in any field, and music informs our sensitivity to others". She is a fierce advocate for all children of all ages to have direct hands on access to music, and the creative and empowering process jazz inspires.

 


  • Mercedes Ellington, Broadway and television tap dancer, choreographer, director, and producer who has preserved and extended the musical legacy of her grandfather, Duke Ellington, and who has been hailed as "one of the brightest dancing stars this universe has ever known," was born to Ruth Silas and musician and bandleader
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  •   “The McFadden Brothers” are world-class entertainers whose career spans across many countries and venues. Their unique style and abilities have earned them the label as being a “triple threat,” in that they are both accomplished singers, tap dancers and musicians.  Their show encompasses their own unique style of entertainment
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  • At age 14, Wheeler met Maceo Anderson of "The Four Step Brothers". In short order young Ivery become a hoofer performing in Anderson's groups, "Four Steps and a Miss" and later "The Third Generation Steps". Wheeler has credits in monumental hit "The Cotton Club" and Broadway & Paris performances of
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  • Actor-Director-Filmmaker is a native of New Orleans who continues to cross-over varied artistic mediums, whether serving as the Co-Producer/Director/Writer on the award-winning short film "Tap Rap," starring Savion Glover, to starring on Broadway in the award-winning Cy Coleman musical "The Life," which garnered him an Outer Critics Circle nomination, as
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  • Professor Allen is currently Director of the Jazz Studies Department at the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned a master’s degree in ethnomusicology. Geri Allen, pianist/composer, bandleader, educator and Guggenheim Fellow, is the first recipient of the Soul Train, Lady of Soul Award for Jazz. In 2011 Geri Allen, was
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  • A unique Dancer, composer, comedian, actor, choreographer, stuntman, and bandleader who combines his talents to create surprising performances. He has been teaching at the Alvin Ailey dance school and lecturing at the renowned Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C., among others. Chester Whitmore has his own well-reputed dance company, Black Ballet
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  • Celebrates 18 years as Founder and Artistic Director of New Jersey Tap Dance Ensemble. This St. Louis, MO native is known throughout the New York area as a distinguished tap professional. She is the protégé of Leslie "Bubba" Gaines of the Copasetics and student of many tap masters including Broadway
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  • David Gilmore's recent performance credits include appearances in the American Festival of the Feet at Duke University and Tap Extravaganza in New York. A native of Charleston, S.C., he grew up immersed in the melodious soulful sounds of the South, finding his musical outlet in his hometown high school marching
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  • Tina Pratt is an extraordinary tap, ballet and modern dancer, producer, writer and lecturer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.   Her performing experience is quite extensive, having performed with a number of fine entertainers, including Sammy Davis, Jr., Nancy Wilson, Flip Wilson, Redd Foxx, Pearl Bailey, Phyllis Diller, Frank Fontaine and Shecky
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  •   Germaine Ingram of Philadelphia. Festival Honoree – Performer, Documentarian, Attorney and was Asst Superintendent for Philadelphia Schools. Ms. Ingram has taught tap in workshops in the U.S. and Europe and to dance and theater majors at Philadelphia's University of the Arts. She has choreographed for musical theater, as well as
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  • “As a kid in the late 1920s in Hell’s Kitchen,” Harold Cromer recalls, “my twin sister and I used to go to the Chelsea Theatre on 8th Ave. where I saw the great Bill Robinson tap dancing. As kids, we were all playing hockey out in the street on roller
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  • Dancer, singer, actor, mentor, legend. These are just a few of the titles that can be associated with the 2007 Tapology Tap Dance Festival Honoree. Having traveled the world from Cairo, to London, to Switzerland, even hosting his own variety show in Australia, Arthur Duncan is much more than a
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