JAM Session

First ThursdayTatN-2-circle-collage_JAM

Old Town Newhall Library, patio area
24500 Main Street, Old Town Newhall
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Dance to the beat, play an instrument, and experience something unexpected with JAM Sessions, fun, interactive music and dance events hosted in conjunction with the Ford Theatre Foundation. The evening integrates live dance instruction from professional instructors with live band performances.

Wear comfortable clothes and shoes, and bring a chair if you just plan on listening to the music. JAM Sessions are participatory and centered around movement and music. All JAMs are FREE, and all ages and skill levels are welcome.

March 2 – Bollywood Dance

Combine jazz and hip-hop with modern and traditional Indian dance and you get the energetic sounds and movements of Bollywood. Twirl, twist and step with Achinta S. McDaniel and dancers from Blue13 Dance Company who make it easy to pick up the moves of this popular dance. Live music from 2 Dhol drummers and a live DJ.

April 6 – Samba Dance

Kick off your shoes and let your body sway to one of Brazil’s most popular cultural expressions – the samba! Viver Brasil Dance Company will help you pick up the rhythms and movements of this lively dance. Live music from Samba Society, who’s repertoire features renditions of vintage sambas reminiscent of classic recordings from the 1970s. They are primarily dedicated to the partido alto and samba de terreiro popularized by Rio’s “Old Guard” of urban samba.

May 4 – Salsa Dance

Dance the Rueda de Casino! Urban Latin dance theatre company CONTRA-TIEMPO will lead an exploration of this fun social dance, a Cuban form of salsa danced in a circle. Leave inspired, engaged and better at communicating through movement! Live music from Orquesta Charangoa, who perform authentic Cuban music in the Charanga style, and have performed at the Watts Towers Jazz Festival, the L.A. Salsa Festival, the L.A. Cuban Festival, and more.

June 1 – African Dance & Drums

Celebrate the rhythms of West Africa! At this energetic JAM led by Yeko Ladzekpo-Cole, you’ll explore the drumming, dancing and singing traditions of the Ewe and Dagomba people of Ghana.  Live music from ADAAWE, who is comprised of seven scintillating women that create an international fusion of African music, R&B/pop vocals, jazz-funk, Latin and Reggae, steeped in Gospel harmonies. 

July 6 – Pacific Island Dance

Sway your hips to the beat of the drum! Members of the Kalakeke Pacific Island Dance Company will bring Tahitian island culture to life through the fast paced dance moves of Ori Tahiti (Tahitian dance), set to the rhythms of Tahitian drums. Live music from Jason Arimoto and Friends, who perform a wide repertoire of covers and originals ranging from Americana and blues to Hawaiian, all featuring the ukulele. 

August 3 – Caribbean Dance

Move your body to the island beat! Combining soca, dance hall, punta, and African dance styles, Betty Rox will lead you on a cultural journey of the islands of Belize, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Barbados. Live music from Detour Posse, who create a high-energy, melodic blend of Roots Reggae, DanceHall, Lover’s Rock, Ska, R&B and Funk that is guaranteed to inspire lots of dancing in any audience.

September 7 – Mexican Folk Dance

Delight in the vibrant music and dance of Veracruz! Step up on the tarima (wooden dance platform) with Ballet Folklorico Ollin who will walk you through this rhythmic dance style. The JAM will end with a fandango celebrating the entire community. Live music from Mariachi Tesoro de San Fernando, an award-winning youth mariachi ensemble from San Fernando who won the National Arts and Humanities Youth Award from the White House in 2012. 

October 5 – Swing Dance

Grab your kicks and boogie the night away! Pasadena Ballroom Dance Association will break down the swing dance steps, pivots and turns so anyone can join in the fun! Singles and couples of all ages are welcome.  Live music from The Big Butter Jazz Band, who is dedicated to playing New Orleans traditional jazz, which is full of beautiful melodies, infectious energy, and smooth rhythms that you can’t help but dance to.

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