Jumaane Taylor began his training at the Sammy Dyer School of the Theatre. He has had the opportunity to perform and study with Bril Barrett, Idella Reed Davis, Jimmy Payne Jr. and Sarah Savelli. In 2015 he created Supreme Love, a tap dance production honoring John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme and the art of tap. Jumaane traveled to Germany in 2011 to perform Rasta Thomas’ Tap Stars, was part of the ensemble in Tap in2 Peace directed and choreographed by Sarah Savelli and Ayodele Casel in 2009, and also danced in Imagine Tap! directed and choreographed by Derick Grant in 2006.
Jumaane tries to practice the well being and advancement of improvised or choreographed tap dance with or without jazz music. Focusing on tap being a full music and dance entity -- trying not to miss a sound in his foot notes -- he uses his body to its capacity. Jumaane represents his dance form with honor and always forcing progression in the most necessary ways. While remembering the masters, Jumaane tries to upgrade the art form regularly.
I thank God for embedding tap dance into me. It has and continues to be the greatest expression of my life. I've trained myself in a practice that continuously causes me to improve. Tap dancing pulls me closer to the arts, which in return has caused me to have an appreciation of all things related to jazz, dance, and life. My art helps me understand the world and myself in an expressive manner. I believe the pure actions of tap dance live in the natural ways of sound and movement, in a way that speaks to energy.
—Jumaane Taylor, Artist Statement
DURING THE LAB YEAR
With Heel and Toe Productions, Jumaane wants Chicago, then the world, to know that tap dancing was never dead. He has been religiously training in this art, worshiping the prophets and ways of tap because it deserves its honorable respects. He is always studying rhythm, listening to music, and tap dance while observing the physical technique from those who created it. His current work explores tap dance and jazz music in a natural, organic way that is thoroughly progressive and expressive, developing musical communications with artists and with the world. He is looking for rhythmical and melodic conversations that deliver emotional messages of sound.
In addition to his daily dance practice and music listening, Jumaane will be “going back to school” with Isaiah Spencer III and with rhythm masters like Savion Glover. During the Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Year, Jumaane will also be developing a show, The Jazz Hoofer Quartet, with both improvised and choreographed works. The "hoofers" or tap dancers, through the musical instruments of their feet, will represent a quartet in their own regard.
To see more, visit https://jumaanetaylor.wixsite.com/thebeardedhoofer.
Photos: William Frederking |Kristie Kahns | William Frederking | Kristie Kahns
Video: HMS Media