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Jabbawockeez performing "The Red Pill"
|Origin||San Diego, California, USA|
|Genres||Hip-hop dance, b-boying, popping|
|Members||Ben "B-Tek" Chung
Joe "Punkee" Larot
Chris "Cristyle" Gatdula
Kevin "KB" Brewer
Rynan "Kid Rainen" Paguio
Jeff "Phi" Nguyen
Phil "Swagger Boy" Tayag
Tony "Transformer" Tran
|Past members||Saso "King Saso" Jimenez
Randy "DJ Wish One" Bernal
Eddie "Eddie Styles" Gutierrez
Gary "Gee" Kendall (deceased)
The Jabbawockeez (stylized as JabbaWockeeZ) is an eight-member, all male, hip-hop dance crew best known for being the winners of the first season of America's Best Dance Crew. They were initially formed by members Kevin "KB" Brewer, Phil "Swagger Boy" Tayag, & Joe "Punkee" Larot under the name "3 Muskee". By 2004, their members included Ben "B-Tek" Chung, Chris "Cristyle" Gatdula, Rynan "Kid Rainen" Paguio, and Jeff "Phi" Nguyen. Tony "Transformer" Tran joined the crew in 2013. The Jabbawockeez do not have a leader of the group; choreography for their performances as well as music and design choices are made as a collective unit.
Phil "Swagger Boy" Tayag, Kevin "KB" Brewer, and Joe "Punkee" Larot began performing as a trio called "Three Musky" in Sacramento, California while wearing white masks and gloves. The mask and glove motif was adopted as a tribute to the 1970s San Francisco strutting crew Medea Sirkas. Gary "Gee One" Kendall and Randy "DJ Wish One" Bernal were both members of the MindTricks dance crew who were active in the San Francisco Bay Area. Both the MindTricks dance crew and the Three Muskee were friends and associates with each other. Tayag, Brewer, and Larot all later moved to the San Diego area, and what began as an effort to start a Southern California chapter of the MindTricks crew later evolved into JabbaWockeeZ.
Established in 2003 in San Diego, California, Jabbawockeez is the brainchild of the "Three Musky" who wanted to showcase freestyle dance. The name Jabbawockeez, coined by Joe Larot, was inspired by the fantastical monster from the Lewis Carroll nonsense poem Jabberwocky. The white masks and gloves from Phil, Kevin, and Joe's performances as Three Musky were adopted as the visual signature of the group. In San Diego, through Gary's connections, the Jabbawockeez added b-boys Rynan "Kid Rainen" Paguio and Chris "Cristyle" Gatdula to the group. The original seven member iteration of the Jabbawockeez began performing as a group in 2004. This lineup consisted of Gary, Randy, Phil, Kevin, Joe, Rynan, and Chris.
Jabbawockeez rounded out their numbers with additional members, bringing their total to eleven. Phoenix native Jeff "Phi" Nguyen had met Rynan Paguio at various Los Angeles area auditions and performances and earned a spot in the Jabbawockeez in 2004 by battling Kevin Brewer. The Jabbawockeez also brought Kaba Modern alumnus Ben "B-Tek" Chung and b-boys Eddie "Eddiestyles" Gutierrez and Saso "Saso Fresh" Jimenez into the fold. Stylistically, the Jabbawockeez style of dance features an eclectic mix of various urban styles, primarily popping & b-boying, along with a careful synchronicity to self-created instrumentals which one member dubs "Beat-Kune-Do" (a play on the word "Jeet Kune Do", a martial arts style created by Bruce Lee). In 2007, the JabbaWockeeZ appeared on the second season of America's Got Talent. Performing with nine members, the group was eliminated in the Las Vegas callbacks episode. In 2008, they auditioned and were accepted onto the first season of America's Best Dance Crew.
America's Best Dance Crew
The Jabbawockeez auditioned a seven-member contingent for the first season of America's Best Dance Crew, because of crew member limits imposed by the show. Originally, the ABDC group was supposed to consist of Gary Kendell, Phil Tayag, Kevin Brewer, Joe Larot, Rynan Paguio, Chris Gatdula, and Phi Nguyen; however, Gary died that year, and Joe suffered a knee injury during the audition rounds. The group chose Ben Chung to replace Joe on the show and left Gary's spot vacant, proceeding with six members. They eventually went on to become the winners of the show. The win earned the crew $100,000 (USD).
Since ABDC, the Jabbawockeez have appeared in a Pepsi, and Gatorade commercial, and performed on Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and Live with Regis and Kelly. They also made a cameo appearance in Step Up 2 The Streets, launched their own clothing line, and toured with New Kids on the Block, and Jesse McCartney. Along with the ABDC season two winner, Super Cr3w, Jabbawockeez were the opening act for the Battle of the VMAs ABDC special. The group also made an appearance on Cycle 13 of America's Next Top Model during the episode "Dance With Me" to help the contestants learn how to convey emotions with their bodies. They also starred in Shake It Up, a Disney Channel Comedy Show. On February 15, 2009, they accompanied and danced with NBA All-Star center Shaquille O'Neal in his NBA All-Star Game player introduction. On October 16, 2009, they performed in front of a crowd of 35,000 at the University of Florida's Gator Growl. They also performed for DECA's 66th Annual International Career Development Conference in Salt Lake City. On May 19, 2013 they were backup dancers for Taylor Swift's performance at 2013 Billboard Music Awards.
The Jabbawockeez toured Australia from August 28 to August 30, 2009. The three-day tour was for Australian fans who were unable to see the crew due to the cancellation of the Australian leg of New Kids on the Block's Full Service Tour. The group performed in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane and made several appearances on MTV Iggy.
Other ABDC appearances
On April 15, 2010 the Jabbawockeez returned to the ABDC stage for the Champions for Charity episode along with the other four champions Super Cr3w, Quest Crew, We Are Heroes, and Poreotix. Each crew performance promoted a charity. The Jabbawockeez had been working with a cancer survivor who, after having his left leg amputated, went on to become a successful paralympic skier and create a social networking site for amputees. The night of their performance, the Robot Remains Mixtape was released for a free download.
The Jabbawockeez performed again during the ABDC season six finale before the new champions I.aM.mE were announced as the winners. The crew performed to a mastermix entitled "Devastating Stereo".
Las Vegas show
On May 7, 2010, the Jabbawockeez debuted their own live stage show called MÜS.I.C at the MGM Grand Hollywood Theater in Las Vegas. They are the first dance crew to headline a show in Las Vegas. The show included members from Super Cr3w, the winners of season two of America's Best Dance Crew. Music for the show was produced by DJ collective The Bangerz and their costumes were designed by Kara Saun. Although scheduled to end in June, the show was later extended through August. Since its initial run at the MGM Grand, the show moved to the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas and the Jupiters Casino in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. They moved to the Luxor Hotel and Casino for their new show PRiSM in May 2013. PRiSM is housed in a brand new 850-seat theater and a mural of the crew is painted in the lobby by performance artist David Garibaldi. When they moved to the Luxor, Tony "Transformer" Tran became a member of the crew.
Since their MÜS.I.C show, the Jabbawockeez made an album consisting of all the songs that they used in the show. It was released March 1, 2011 on iTunes. Since this time, they have been working to establish JBWKZ Records by promoting fellow member Phil "Swagger Boy" Tayag, who was part of the indie hip-hop group KNGDM with his brother P.C. and friend Kilo. KNGDM released "The Goodbye Mixtape" in 2010, which included a song by Tayag titled, "Ima Get It". Tayag released an EP on February 12, 2012, titled "Privileged", along with two videos on the Jabbawockeez YouTube channel for "Ima Get It" and "F N G". "F N G" featured Phil's brother and KNGDM member P.C. The album is available on iTunes and was released on JBWKZ Records. The video for "Ima Get It" was directed by fellow Jabawockeez member Chris Gatdula.
In partnership with Coca Cola, the Jabbawockeez featured in a dance video to provide medicinal aid to children in underdeveloped countries. Coca Cola agreed that for every dance video that choreographed to the song "Celebrate" by Empire of the Sun & Tommy Trash and tagged "#CokeRedMoves" in the video, they would donate 60 days worth of life-saving medicine to children afflicted with HIV. For the first 1000 videos submitted, Coca Cola will donate upwards of $25,000 to the Global Fund to finance the HIV/AIDS program on the ground in Africa. In the premiere dance video, Jabbawockeez danced alongside other well-known dancers such as Ian Eastwood, Brian Puspos, Les Twins, 8 Flavahz and more.
- Jabbawockeez profile at BuddyTV
- Ha, Daniel. "Exclusive Interview with Jeff 'Phi' Nguyen from the Jabbawockeez from America's Best Dance Crew", BuddyTV, 20 January 2009 Benjamin Lopez.
- Sagolla, Lisa Jo (August 5, 2011). "Dancing with the Jabbawockeez: Jeff 'Phi' Nguyen reveals what it's like to be part of a genuinely collaborative dance enterprise". Back Stage, National ed. 51 (31): 17.
- Kubicek, John (24 September 2009). "America's Best Dance Crew: Season Finale Recap". Retrieved 2008-04-04.
- Jabbawockeez (dancers) (July 28, 2008). Jabbawockeez on Pepsi Smash (Adobe Flash video). Yahoo! Entertainment. Retrieved 2009-08-03.
- Jabbawockeez (February 25, 2009). "Denise Richards and Chyler Leigh". The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Season 6. Episode 112. Warner Brothers.
- Jabbawockeez (dancers) (July 15, 2008). Step Up 2: The Streets (DVD). Los Angeles: Touchstone Pictures.
- Vena, Jocelyn (May 7, 2009).New Kids On The Block Pumped For Tour With Jabbawockeez. MTV News. Retrieved 2009-08-11
- RECORD BREAKING 39 MILLION VOTES CAST TO CROWN B-BOY MASTERS SUPER CR3W "AMERICA'S BEST DANCE CREW"
- America's Best Dance Crew: The Battle For The VMA's
- J.E. Skeets. "Video: All-Star Shaq pops and locks with Jabbawockeez - Ball Don't Lie". Sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2013-06-16.
- Kearney, Scott (2009-10-18). "Jabbawockeez". Gator Growl. Retrieved 2009-10-18.
- Phillips, Jevon (May 19, 2010). "'The Jabbawockeez present MUS.I.C.': Opening the doors to dance... in Las Vegas? (UPDATED)". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on June 24, 2010. Retrieved June 24, 2010.
- JabbaWockeeZ (July 30, 2010). "Jabbawockeez dances to a string of successes on The Strip". VegasDeluxe.com. Archived from the original on August 28, 2010. Retrieved August 2, 2010.
- Lane, Richard (May 17, 2013). "Look Inside The World Of Jabbawockeez's PRiSM". VegasChatter.com. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
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|America's Best Dance Crew Champions