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Savion Glover and Friends at Blue Note thru June 17!

June 10, 2012

Savion Glover is an American tap dancer, actor, and choreographer. According to Savion, his style is young and funk. When asked to describe what funk is, he says it is the bass line. Funk is anything that gets one’s head on beat. It is riding with the rhythm. It is a pulse that keeps one rolling with the beat.

His great grandfather on his mother’s side, Dick (King Richard) Lundy, was a short stop for the Negro Leagues. He managed eleven Negro League baseball teams, including the Newark Eagles. His grandfather, Bill Lewis, was a big band pianist and vocalist. His grandmother, Anna Lundy Lewis, was the minister of music at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark. She played for Whitney Houston when she was singing in the gospel choir. Anna Lundy Lewis was the one who first noticed Savion’s musical talent. She once held him and hummed some rhythms to him, and he smiled and joined along.

Gregory Hines, a tap legend, was once one of Glover’s tap teachers. Hines states that, “Savion is possibly the best tap dancer that ever lived.” Savion likes to start his pieces with some old school moves from famous tappers and then work his way into his own style. Hines says it’s like paying homage to those he respects, those he looks up to. When Honi Coles died, Savion performed at his memorial service. He finished his dance with a famous Coles move, a backflip into a split from standing position, then getting up without using one’s hands. Savion rarely does this move because it wasn’t his style, but he did it because it was Coles’ style that Savion wanted to keep alive, “I feel like it’s one of my responsibilities to keep the dance alive, to keep it out there, to keep the style.”

Henry Le Tang calls Glover ‘the Sponge’ because he learns very quickly with everything that is thrown at him. Le Tang taught the Hines brothers back in the 1950s and taught Glover for a little while before having him work for “Black and Blue,” a tap revue in Paris in 1987. Glover is the future of tap. Many legendary tappers taught Glover such as Le Tang, the Hines brothers, Jimmy Slyde, Chuck Green, Lon Chaney, Honi Coles, Sammy Davis, Jr., Buster Brown, Howard Sims, and Arthur Duncan. They all passed on their moves and talents to Savion after he went public with his career with the Broadway performance in, “The Tap Dance Kid” at the age of ten. He went on to work in “Jelly’s Last Jam”, took home the Tony Award for best choreography for the 1996 show “Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk” and continues his craft to this day.

Savion will perform through June 17 with McCoy Tyner and Jack DeJohnette at Blue Note. I know you’re gonna love this!

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