3 Sep 2010
2010 Fairview Hospital Gala
01:39PM / Friday, September 03, 2010
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. - Tap superstar, Emmy and American Choreography Award winner Jason Samuels Smith, joined by jazz legend Curtis Lundy and his Quartet, will headline the 2010 Fairview Hospital Gala scheduled for Saturday, September 25th at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington. The event will be an exhilarating and uplifting evening which is a major benefit for Fairview Hospital, the 25 bed federally designated critical Access Hospital in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.
In less than a decade, Jason Samuels Smith (performer, choreographer, director) has emerged as a multi-talented leader in the Art form of Tap. 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. Mr. 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 23rd "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 and an Alpert McDowell Fellowship Award and most recently received the 2007 Gregory Hines Humanitarian Award.
In 2004, Smith co-starred in Dean Hargrove's "Tap Heat", a dynamic award-winning short film available on DVD. Jason is also a featured dancer in HBO/Universal Pictures's motion picture "Idlewild" starring Outkast. Debbie Allen has featured his talents 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. Other performance credits include the Tony Award-winning Broadway cast of Bring in Da'Noise, Bring in Da'Funk in principal and lead roles, Imagine Tap! at the Harris Theater in Chicago in a leading role, 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 among others.
Smith has performed India Jazz Suites, a dynamic collaboration with Kathak Master Pandit Chitresh Das worldwide. He & Das were awarded the 2007 Isadora Duncan ("Issie") Award for Best Ensemble Performance and will continue this tour in addition to their latest collaboration India Jazz Progressions which incorporates their companies.
He founded tap company A.C.G.I. (Anybody Can Get It) with most recent appearances to include The Getty Museum Family Day Festival in LA, The New York City Center Fall for Dance Festival, and Sadlers Wells' Sampled in London. He also produced JaJa Productions band featuring original jazz-influenced hip hop music with appearances throughout the United States. Their first music video "You Need This" had a successful debut in California.
Smith was most recently featured as a Special Guest on Fox's hit series "So You Think You Can Dance". As a Bloch Corporate Spokesperson, Jason has worked directly on the development of a new tap shoe to offer quality and affordable options for professional tap dancers.
Mr. Smith will be accompanies by jazz great Curtis Lundy and friends, a group of outstanding musicians who will accompany the performance. Curtis Lundy, an accomplished bassist, composer, producer, choir director, and arranger is best-known for his work as part of jazz vocalist Betty Carter's band. He has played with renowned musicians including Jack DeJohnette, Dave Holland, and Don Braden, and has also played on other jazz artists' recordings (including select albums by John Hicks, Bobby Watson, Steve Nelson Quintet, Johnny Griffin, etc.). Stepping out of the background, Curtis produced his album Just Be Yourself (1988), Against All Odds (1999) and Purpose (2002). His sister is the noted singer Carmen Lundy.
Gala ticket packages are available which include a special pre-show Gala cocktail/hors d’oeuvres reception at allium and dinners in downtown Great Barrington including Castle Street Café and Napa. A special dinner will take place at Pearl’s, which will open for one night only, for platinum guests of the Gala. Dinner guests will be entertained by Berkshire magician, Carl Seiger, who has been called the hottest ticket in the Berkshires in his Cabaret Magic Show with Carl Seiger, which was recently performed in Pittsfield.
Funds raised at the 2010 Fairview Hospital Gala will be used to invest in new cardiac telemetry technology at Fairview.
Call Fairview Hospital for details about Gala Evening Packages at (413) 854-9609. Show only tickets are available by calling the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center directly at (413-528-0100.