Jason Samuels Smith
||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2011)|
||This biographical article is written like a résumé. (March 2008)|
Jason Samuels Smith, a native New Yorker, was born on October 4, 1980 to professional performing arts parents Sue Samuels and JoJo Smith. He began his professional performing career at an early age through Frank Hatchett's Professional Children's Program at the Broadway Dance Center in New York City. At a young age he had appearances on Sesame Street and at the age of 15 landed a position as an understudy to the leading role in Tony Award Winning Broadway show Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk.
Awards and achievements
He won both an Emmy and American Choreography Award for "Outstanding Choreography" for the Opening number of the 2003 Jerry Lewis/MDA Telethon in a tribute to the late Gregory Hines. Samuels Smith was also awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by the City of Los Angeles for creating the First Annual Los Angeles Tap Festival in 2003; a Proclamation declaring April 23 "Jason Samuels Day" from the City of Shreveport, Louisiana; the "Ivy of Education" from Brainerd Institute; and the "President Kenny Award" from Stony Brook. He was also the recipient of an Arts International Grant, an Alpert McDowell Residency Award, and the 2007 Gregory Hines Humanitarian Award among others.
In 2004, Samuels Smith co-starred in Dean Hargrove's award-winning short film Tap Heat. He is also a featured dancer in HBO/Universal Pictures release of Outkast's feature film Idlewild. Debbie Allen has featured his dancing in several productions including the AMC television series Cool Women, Sammy (a tribute to the life of Sammy Davis Jr.), and in a leading role of Soul Possessed with Patti LaBelle, Arturo Sandoval, and Carmen DeLavallade. He also founded the tap dance program at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Culver City, California, which is also the location of the annual Los Angeles Tap Festival.
Other performance credits include:
- Fox's hit series So You Think You Can Dance (special guest performer)
- The New York City Center Fall For Dance Festival
- Sadler's Wells Sampled at Sadler's Wells in London
- Savion Glover's NYOTs (Not Your Ordinary Tappers)
- Cross Currents: Turned on Tap at the Queen Elizabeth Hall - South Bank in London
- The 2002-2003 Harlem Jazz Dance Festivals' TAAP: The Art and Appreciation of Percussion
- The NY Tap Committee/Town Hall's 21Below! with Jennifer Holliday
- Thank You Gregory: A Tribute to the Legends of Tap
- The Cotton Club Returns: A Tribute to Great Jazz Legends
- The American Institute of Vernacular Jazz Dance Darktown Strutters Ball Gala
- The Career Transition for Dancers 20th Anniversary Jubilee
Samuels Smith is currently[when?] performing India Jazz Suites, a dynamic collaboration with Kathak Master Pandit Chitresh Das, in addition to starring in the debut of Imagine Tap! at the Harris Theater in Chicago.
Samuels Smith founded tap company A.C.G.I. (Anybody Can Get It) as well as JaJa Productions band featuring original jazz-influenced hip hop music, with appearances throughout the United States.
- Archival footage of Jason Samuels Smith performing in Midnight Sun in 2009 at Jacob's Pillow
- Debbie Allen Dance Academy
- Los Angeles Tap Festival