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Jazz is the only unhampered, unhindered expression of complete freedom yet produced in this country.

- Duke Ellington

Legacy Tap Dance Concert 
June 23rd – 25th, 2022


 



June 23 – 25, 2022
8:00 PM EDT

Canadian Stage High Park Amphitheatre, Toronto

Tickets: $30


Where dance meets music. Where tradition meets innovation. dance Immersion’s Legacy Tap Dance Concert celebrates Black culture born from the Harlem Renaissance, with a genre-bending intergenerational cast led by Travis Knights, Lisa La Touche, and Donny Milwalkee.

The Legacy Series is a movement. It examines the past, present and future of African Diasporic dance forms through reclamation, education, and celebration. This Concert brings together some of Canada’s most renowned tap dance artists and multi-genre musicians, with brief appearances from some special next-generation tap dancers. Celebrate and honour the culture with us at the Legacy Tap Dance Concert. 

dance Immersion’s Legacy Tap Dance Concert is part of Canadian Stage Dream in High Park.

Legacy Series is made possible with the generous support of: TD Bank Group

Presenting Partner: Canadian Stage

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE YOUR TICKET
Artist Spotlights
Spotlighting Canadian dance, drum, & theatre artists of the African- diaspora that have, and continue to pave the way.
 
Archie Alleyne

 

From drumming for Billie Holiday, to being an activist for the musical arts, and being the co-owner of a Toronto soul food restaurant, Archie Alleyne has left a mark on Toronto’s Jazz and arts scene. 

Born on January 7th, 1933 in Toronto, Ontario and raised in the bohemian neighbourhood of Kensington Market, Archibald Alexander Alleyne began his music journey at a young age when he taught himself how to drum and started his career in 1953. By the time he reached his 20s, he was already breaking racial barriers within the Toronto music scene. During the 1940’s he made various appearances at Toronto music clubs including the “Town Tavern” which was previously a “whites only” club. Alleyne went on to be the house drummer of this club for over 10 years, where he accompanied a variety of affluent jazz musicians.  
 

In 1967 after a car accident, Alleyne put his music career on hold to pursue a career in hospitality as a co-owner of The Underground Railroad Soul Food restaurant, alongside Howard Matthews, Dave Mann, and John Henry Jackson. He returned to music in 1982 when he created a quartet with Frank Wright, Connie Maynard, and Bill Best. During this time he became a well-known advocate for Black and jazz artists in Toronto and even protested the Canada Council of the Arts’ for their exclusion of jazz artists from funding. He also successfully led in lobbying to ensure Black musicians were represented at the Toronto Jazz Festival. During the ’80s Alleyne toured Cuba, Ireland, Spain, Egypt, the Ivory Coast and Nigeria, with pianist Oliver Jones. 

In the year 2000, Alleyne and Doug Richardson created a jazz band known as Kollage, with an amazing collective of musicians including; Jeff King, Chris Butcher, Alex Brown, Stacie McGregor, Artie Roth and Archie Alleyne himself. The group disbanded in 2014 but was re-established in 2015 with the Archie Alleyne Scholarship recipient and Evolution of Jazz Ensemble member, Isaiah Gibbons, as the percussionist.

In 2001, Alleyne created the Evolution of Jazz Ensemble (EOJ) providing performance opportunities and mentorship to post-secondary musicians identifying as Black. In addition to this program, he created the Archie Alleyne Scholarship Fund in 2003 to provide bursaries to music students. In 2011 Alleyne organized The Syncopation Series which promoted Black entertainment history through a series of live performances, alongside a photo exhibit that shared the biographies and histories of Black Canadian artists in music. That same year he was named to be a Member of the Order of Canada, and in 2015 he received the Black Business and Professional Association's Harry Jerome Award for Lifetime Achievement. 

Alleyne passed on June 8, 2015, at the age of 82. His autobiography Colour Me Jazz: The Archie Alleyne Story was published a few months after his passing.

Thank you Archie for creating endless opportunities for Black and Jazz musicians in Canada, and influencing generations of jazz musicians.

Donny Milwalkee 

 

Donny Milwalkee is a creative who wears many hats within the music realm. As a bandleader, music director, drummer, percussionist, vocal coach, arranger, educator, curator, and production consultant, he continues to find new and inspiring ways to influence Canada's jazz scene. From building Toronto’s live hip-hop showband scene to not-for-profit music education to owning a live music venue and working with festivals and events producers to innovate the concert experience, Milwalkee has built a reputation for shaking up the status quo. As a drummer, he is known for creating deeply emotional arrangements, and this sensibility is prevalent in his live productions.

Milwalkee holds a Bachelor of Music from Humber College, as well as a diploma in Contemporary Music & Technology Diploma from Selkirk College. In addition to his formal education, Milwalkee has obtained several private lessons and elite mentorships, in Canada and the U.S.A, with award-winning musicians including Ali Jackson, Chendy Leon, Brownman Ali, and many more.  His live credits include arranging the New York Chamber Society for JP Saxe, horns for Roc Nation artist Young Paris, and dozens of other live performances with orchestrations for horns and strings.

Milwalkee moves to create culture and community in every aspect of his work, which includes his showcasing band The Dirty B-Sides, trap-jazz collective game.set.trap, concerts at his restaurant Friday Roots, hip-hop brass band Bangerz Brass, his music school The BAR Institute, and more.

In addition, Milwalkee has facilitated and coordinated initiatives including; the African Nova Scotian Music Association, Black Vibes Showcase, It's Deeper Than Music IV, and more. He has also been a guest lecturer at Nova Scotia Community College, Humber College, and is an active community educator. 

Now based between Toronto and Halifax, he continues his work supporting the African Nova Scotian Music Association as a project coordinator, ushering in new ideas, initiatives, and programming to guide new pathways for the community and expansion throughout Atlantic Canada.

Click here to learn more about Donny and to follow his journey.

Donny will be the musical director of our Legacy Tap Dance Concert from June 23rd – to June 25th at Dream in High Park, Toronto. 

Click here to purchase your tickets!

The AMANI Project

 


The 2022 AMANI Project shares intergenerational wisdom among African Diasporic artists and educators while creating an enduring archive of their contributions to the cultural fabric of the world. Visit the website to access the free interviews, panel discussions, and commemorative magazine featuring some of Canada's incredible Black artists and educators!

AMANI (Artist Mentorship and Networking Interplay) is created and managed by Right Path World Arts Director Kai ner Maa Pitanta and Timea Wharton-Suri, and is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Department of Canadian Heritage. 

 

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE
Thank you to our Funders!
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