Jason Samuels Smith

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Jason Samuels Smith and Chitresh Das perform India Jazz Suites in 2009.

Jason Samuels Smith (born October 4, 1980, New York City) is an American tap dance performer, choreographer, and director.[1]

Early life and career[edit]

Samuels Smith was born to professional performing arts parents Sue Samuels and JoJo Smith.[2] 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.[3] At a young age, he had appearances on the television show Sesame Street and, at the age of 15, was understudy to the leading role in the Tony Award-winning Broadway show Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk.[4][5]

Awards and recognition[edit]

He won both an Emmy[6] 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[7] and received a proclamation declaring April 23 "Jason Samuels Day" from the City of Shreveport, Louisiana.[8]


In 2004, Samuels Smith co-starred in Dean Hargrove's award-winning short film Tap Heat. He was also a featured dancer in HBO/Universal Pictures release of Outkast's feature film Idlewild.[9] Debbie Allen has featured his dancing in several productions including the AMC television series Cool Women[10], Sammy (a tribute to the life of Sammy Davis Jr.)[11], and in 1999 a leading role of Soul Possessed with Patti LaBelle, Arturo Sandoval, and Carmen DeLavallade.[12] 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.[13] In 2016 Smith narrated Simone Maurice’s documentary on tap dancing Lost in the Shuffle.[14][15]

Other performance credits include:

  • Fox Television's series So You Think You Can Dance (special guest performer)[16]
  • The New York City Center Fall For Dance Festival[17]
  • Sadler's Wells Sampled at Sadler's Wells in London[18]
  • Savion Glover's NYOTs (Not Your Ordinary Tappers)[19]
  • Cross Currents: Turned on Tap at the Queen Elizabeth Hall - South Bank in London[20]
  • The 2002-2003 Harlem Jazz Dance Festivals' TAAP: The Art and Appreciation of Percussion[21]
  • The NY Tap Committee/Town Hall's 21Below! with Jennifer Holliday[22]
  • Thank You Gregory: A Tribute to the Legends of Tap[23]
  • The American Institute of Vernacular Jazz Dance Darktown Strutters Ball Gala in 2010[24]
  • The Career Transition for Dancers 20th Anniversary Jubilee at The City Center, New York in 2005
  • Special performances and choreography in Psych Season 5 Episode 2, "Feet Don't Kill Me Now".

Samuels Smith performed in India Jazz Suites, a collaboration with Kathak Master Pandit Chitresh Das[25][26], and starred in the debut of Imagine Tap! at the Harris Theater in Chicago.[27]

He founded the 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.[28]

He designed his own line of Bloch shoes in partnership with that company.[29]


  1. ^ Where a Week’s Typical Fare Is Beyond a Standard Plié
  2. ^ "Art Talk with Jason Samuels Smith NEA". www.arts.gov. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Broadway Dance Center Celebrates "Papa Frank," VOP-Style". Dance Teacher. 2 April 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Jason Samuels Smith". memory.loc.gov. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  5. ^ Eichenbaum, Rose (13 June 2017). Inside the Dancer's Art. Wesleyan University Press. ISBN 9780819577016. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  6. ^ Feet from the street
  7. ^ Fry, Kathie. "About the Los Angeles Tap Festival Southern California Tap Dancing Festival for Young People". www.tapdancingresources.com. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  8. ^ "Happy Jason Samuels Smith Day!". Dance Spirit. 23 April 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  9. ^ "Jason Samuels Smith". IMDb. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  10. ^ "Cool Women (TV Series 2002– )". Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  11. ^ Moore, Lucinda. "Maurice Hines on the Legacy of the Apollo Theater". Smithsonian. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  12. ^ Appiah, Kwame Anthony; Jr, Henry Louis Gates (2005). Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience. Oxford University Press. p. 357. ISBN 9780195170559.
  13. ^ "Guest Teachers Faculty Bio Jason Samuels Smith Steps on Broadway". www.stepsnyc.com. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  14. ^ "Lost In The Shuffle Looks At Tap from Africa To American Neighborhoods". Black Girl Nerds. 16 November 2017. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  15. ^ Maurice, S. (24 May 2016). "Lost in the Shuffle". Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  16. ^ "Jason Samuels Smith to perform on So You Think You Can Dance - Dance Informa USA". danceinforma.us. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  17. ^ Sulcas, Roslyn (10 October 2006). "Fall for Dance Festival - City Center - Dance - Review". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  18. ^ Craine, Debra (6 February 2007). "Sadler's Wells Sampled". The Times. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  19. ^ "Savion Glover in Concert : Not Your Ordainary Tappers (NYOT)". memory.loc.gov. 2 April 1998. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  20. ^ Roy, Sanjoy (6 June 2005). "Turned on Tap, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London". the Guardian. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  21. ^ "Jason Samuels Smith & Owen "Fiidla" Brown Quartet - David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center - March 4, 2014 - eveningsong". Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  22. ^ "21 Below! The World's Best Tap Dancers Aged 21 & Under". memory.loc.gov. 1 March 2002. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  23. ^ "Thank You, Gregory! Pays Tribute to the Legends of Tap". Penn State College of Arts and Architecture. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  24. ^ "Articles". www.divinerhythmproductions.com. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  25. ^ Bennett-Goleman, Tara (2013). Mind Whispering: How to break free from self-defeating emotional habits. Ebury Publishing. pp. 268–272. ISBN 9781448117710.
  26. ^ [file:///C:/Users/User/Downloads/jazzsuites_studyguide.pdf "INDIA JAZZ SUITES FEATURING PANDIT CHITRESH DAS and JASON SAMUELS SMITH"] Check |url= value (help) (PDF). jazzsuites_studyguides. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  27. ^ ""Imagine Tap!" - a celebration". Operation Tap. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  28. ^ "Jason Samuels Smith and A.C.G.I." dancemagazine. 6 August 2009. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  29. ^ "BLOCH All Star Jason Samuels Smith - BLOCH Shop EU". eu.blochworld.com. Retrieved 4 March 2018.

External links[edit]