Lil Buck – A Jookin’ Jam Session

Lil Buck, photo by Kyle Cordova.

Lil Buck, photo by Kyle Cordova.

JOOKIN’ (jook·in): A street dance style that emerged from Memphis, Tenn. Identified by its extremely intricate footwork and propensity for improvisation, seen by many as a descendant of hip-hop and jazz, with elements of ballet and modern dance. 

See what jookin’ looks like for yourself, when UCSB Arts & Lectures presents Lil BuckA Jookin’ Jam Session—directed by Damian Woetzel, featuring Sandeep Das, Johnny Gandelsman, Ron “Prime Tyme” Myles, Cristina Pato and Wu Tong—on Tuesday, October 25, at 8 p.m. at The Granada Theatre (1214 State St.).

Named one of Dance Magazine’s 25 to Watch, Lil Buck has performed on Madonna’s Rebel Heart tour, in a highly-praised program at Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis, in a mesmerizing performance with Yo-Yo Ma to Saint-Saëns “The Swan,” with New York City Ballet, in Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson: One and in numerous other high-profile collaborations.

Lil Buck, photo by Kyle Cordova.

Lil Buck, photo by Kyle Cordova.

“I think he’s a genius, ” says Yo-Yo Ma. The New York Times says, “Lil Buck has already carved out a niche that almost no other dancer can fill, bouncing from music videos (that’s him, slo-mo spinning through Janelle Monae’s ‘Tightrope’) to a Super Bowl halftime show (2012, with Madonna) to Lincoln Center.”

A Memphis jookin’ phenomenon who also received early hip-hop training from and studied on scholarship at the New Ballet Ensemble, this genre-defying artist is taking the world by storm.


 

For more information or to purchase tickets call 805/893-3535, visit www.ArtsAndLectures.UCSB.edu or call 805/899-2222 or visit granadasb.org.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on October 21, 2016.

Arturo O’Farrill & the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra

Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, courtesy of UCSB Arts & Lectures.

Arturo O’Farrill and the
Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, courtesy of UCSB Arts & Lectures.

Grammy Award-winning Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra bring together the drama of big band jazz, the culture of Latin music and the virtuosity of 18 of the world’s most accomplished solo musicians, on Thu., Nov. 5, at 8 p.m. at UCSB Campbell Hall, presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures.

Pianist and composer  O’Farrill, billed by the New York Times as leader of the “first family of Afro-Cuban Jazz,” earned a reputation as a soloist in groups led by Dizzy Gillespie, Steve Turre, Freddy Cole, Lester Bowie, Wynton Marsalis and Harry Belafonte.

Son of the late, great composer Chico O’Farrill, he established the Grammy Award-winning Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra to bring the vital musical traditions of Afro Latin jazz to a wider audience. Fusing Latin rhythms, African-based percussion, modern jazz and swing, this 18-piece orchestra roars through new commissions and compositions by the best in Latin music: Tito Puente, Astor Piazzola, Hermeto Pascoal and Chico O’Farrill.

For tickets or more information, call UCSB Arts & Lectures at 805/893-3535 or purchase online at www.ArtsAndLectures.UCSB.edu.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine on October 30, 2015.