ELKINS – An evening of music, dance and sweets is planned as the Davis & Elkins College student organizations Appalachian Music and Dance Club and Black Student Union host Jazz and Java from 7-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30. The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place in Timms Lounge in Madden Student Center.
Highlighting the evening will be a performance by guest artist Jimmy Payne Jr. with the audience invited to participate. Payne’s teacher and father was legendary dance master Jimmy Payne Sr., who taught tap and Afro-Caribbean dance to thousands of dance enthusiasts and professionals, including Bob Fosse, Lena Horne and Gregory Hines, for more than 70 years.
Payne Jr. continues the tradition by performing and teaching in Chicago and abroad. He has performed at the Chicago Blues Festival, the Chicago Jazz Festival, Dance Chicago and with Chicago Human Rhythm Project. For more than 20 years, he has served on the faculty at Columbia College. His style of tap, commonly referred to as rhythm tap, is rooted in intricate rhythms and movements.
“Everyone is welcome to stop in to hear a few soulful poems, see a great tap dance artist and students share their artistry as you indulge in chocolate sweets,” said BSU faculty adviser and Adjunct Professor of Dance Laurie Goux. “Who knows, you may be inspired to awaken the Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou or Ntozake Shange in yourself and share your spoken word.
“This is a great event that AMAD President Carmensita Woodward and BSU President Jakeya Perrin have sponsored for the community to bring pages of history to life,” said Goux who was mentored by Jimmy Payne Sr. in Chicago.
Jazz and Java will also include an open mic session, a Harlem Renaissance poetry reading, jazz drum solo by D&E student Kalvin Spells, monologues by D&E alumna Denise Folley, ’18 and student Megan Augustine, a dance presentation by Elizabeth Brown and a routine performance by the BSU Step Team. Artwork by Perrin and student Marquis Allen will be on display and available for sale.
Those attending can also enjoy jazz, neo-soul and R&B music. Members of Appalachian Music and Dance Club and Black Student Union will serve coffee and hot chocolate. Baked goods will be available for purchase as a fundraiser to support BSU.