Photo Gallery: Jookin’ Jam Session Headlines Campaign Kickoff Weekend With Verve

Special artistic collaboration, featuring student performers, enlivens Dinand Library
May 6th, 2016 by 


To begin the performance, Galician bagpiper and former Arts Transcending Borders (ATB) artist-in-residence Cristina Pato and Brazilian drummer Marcus Santos lead audience members into Dinand Library. Photo by Dan Vaillancourt


Former Arts Transcending Borders (ATB) artist-in-residence and Galician bagpiper Cristina Pato, during the performance. Photo by Dan Vaillancourt


Galician bagpiper Cristina Pato plays beside worldwide dance phenomenon Lil Buck. Photo by Dan Vaillancourt


Members of the audience watch in awe of the one-of-a-kind performance. Photo by Dan Vaillancourt


Brazilian drummer Marcus Santos plays various percussion instruments during the performance. Photo by Dan Vaillancourt


Lil Buck shares his gravity defying dancing with the crowd. Photo by Dan Vaillancourt


Victor Prieto (accordion) and Edward Perez (bass) were among the various featured international musicians. Photo by Dan Vaillancourt


Christina Pato (right) introduces cellist, Jan Muller-Szeraws. Photo by Dan Vaillancourt


Holy Cross faculty, staff, and alumni applaud the various artists on stage. Photo by Dan Vaillancourt


Current students Kalif Raymond ’16 (right), Carmela Clave ’19 (center) and Ameer Phillips ’17 (left) perform on stage with Lil Buck. Photo by Dan Vaillancourt


Acclaimed director Damian Woetzel introduces Holy Cross student performers Carmela Clave ’19 (left), Kalif Raymond ’16 (center), Ameer Phillips ’17 (right) and Hannah Comeau ’18 (far right). Photo by Dan Vaillancourt


Inspired by the sounds of Argentina, Lil Buck begins a routine back to back with Christina Pato on piano. Photo by Dan Vaillancourt


Lil Buck performs his signature jookin’ dance moves to the sounds of Cristina Pato on bagpipes. Photo by Dan Vaillancourt


Lil Buck performs his interpretation of "The Dying Swan." The piece was originally performed with cellist Yo-Yo Ma in 2011 and brought Lil Buck to international attention. Photo by Dan Vaillancourt


Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J. (right), watches intently beside Rev. Paul F. Harman, S.J. Photo by Dan Vaillancourt


In an encore to end the evening, student performers return to the stage for a freestyle jookin’ jam. Photo by Dan Vaillancourt

On Friday, April 29, hundreds of students, faculty, staff, alumni and trustees gathered in Dinand Library’s Main Reading Room for a one-of-a-kind performance by worldwide dance phenomenon Charles “Lil Buck” Riley and Holy Cross’ former Arts Transcending Borders (ATB) artist-in-residence, Galician bagpiper Cristina Pato.

This collaborative show was the headlining event for the College’s “Become More: Campaign for the Future of Holy Cross” kickoff weekend. It was cosponsored by ATB and the Office of Advancement, in conjunction with the 2016 Academic Conference.

Hosted by acclaimed director Damian Woetzel — credited with introducing Lil Buck and his style of dance, jookin’, to the world by pairing him with cellist Yo-Yo Ma in a video performance that went viral in 2011 — the show featured international musicians Victor Prieto (accordion), Jan Muller-Szeraws (cello), Edward Perez (bass) and Marcus Santos (percussion), in addition to Pato (bagpipes and piano).

The program also showcased four talented Holy Cross students, Kalif Raymond ’16, Ameer Phillips ’17, Hannah Comeau ’18 and Carmela Clave ’19, who put their dance skills to the test alongside Lil Buck.

“Performing with Lil Buck has been the highlight of my semester,” says Phillips, who has been following the dancer for years. “Having the opportunity to not only meet with him but also perform with him on the same stage was somewhat like a dream come true.”

“It always feels good dancing with the student performers,” says Lil Buck, a longtime advocate for arts education. “It’s invigorating — getting a chance to work with [them] and sharing this gift and passing it on.”

Identified by its extremely intricate footwork, propensity for improvisation and fluidity of movement — Buck is often described as “gliding” across the floor — jookin’ is a dance style native to Memphis, Tenn. When paired with traditional music from such places as Galicia and Argentina, the result is, according to audience member Emma O’Leary ’18, “mesmerizing.”

“The arts have a way of telling things that words cannot explain,” says Pato. “They connect to you in powerful, emotional ways.”

For more information on the campaign, please visit the campaign website: www.holycross.edu/BecomeMore

Written by Rebecca Smith ’99 & Kim Staley ’99

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