2nd FRIDAYS TAP JAMS
- Friday, June 11 at 8 p.m. CDT
- Hosted by Bril Barrett
- Harold Washington Cultural Center, 4701 S. King Dr. (47th Street Entrance)
- In-Person and streamed LIVE on M.A.D.D. Rhythm’s YouTube channel
This June, M.A.D.D. Rhythms converts the Harold Washington Cultural Center’s parking lot into a Jazz cabaret with live music and, of course, Tap dancing. Every second Friday of the month, M.A.D.D. Rhythms hosts “2nd Fridays Tap Jams” a FREE and open to the public celebration of Tap. Individuals may join in person, following all social distancing protocols. “2nd Friday Tap Jams,” encourage members of the community to discover Tap or to improve their skills through paying homage to the hoofers of old and the traditions they have set and helping individuals learn to create, communicate and express themselves. “2nd Fridays Tap Jams” is a unique event involving members of the M.A.D.D. Rhythms’ company, guest artists and live musicians including Isaiah Spencer on drums and Charlie Johnson on piano.
M.A.D.D. Rhythms Friday Tap Jams, photo courtesy of M.A.D.D. Rhythms
M.A.D.D. Rhythms, Chicago’s premier tap collective, continues its 20th Anniversary with appearances and performances throughout the Midwest with See Chicago Dance’s Chicago Dance Month, a COVID-19 vaccination event in Appleton, Wisconsin, Juneteenth Celebrations and its monthly “2nd Fridays Tap Jams” on Friday, June 11 at 8 p.m. CDT. Information on all of these special 20th Anniversary events and more may be found at MADDRhythms.com.
“We have reached the midpoint of our 20th Anniversary Season and the celebration doesn't stop,” said M.A.D.D. Rhythms Founder Bril Barrett. “We are excited to join with other Chicago companies to be a part of See Chicago Dance’s Chicago Dance Month, encourage all to get vaccinated and transform the Harold Washington Cultural Center’s parking lot into a Jazz cabaret. June is indeed Chicago’s Dance Month!”
Additional June M.A.D.D. Rhythms events include, in chronological order:
African Heritage Inc’s 11th Juneteenth Celebration
- Sunday, June 13 from 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.
- Jones Park, 301 W. Lawrence Street, Appleton, WI
- In-Person and streamed LIVE at AfricanHeritageInc.org
M.A.D.D. Rhythms joins African Heritage Inc.’s 11th Juneteenth Celebration in Appleton, WI. M.A.D.D. Rhythms at the Juneteenth Get The Shot 2021 is included in an incredible lineup of performers and also features opportunities to get vaccinated, a community resource fair with area organizations and food/retail vendors.
Juneteenth: The Celebration
- Saturday, June 19 at 1 p.m.
- Harold Washington Cultural Center
- 2701 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Dr.
M.A.D.D. Rhythms returns with the arts partners of the Harold Washington Cultural Center and Bronzeville businesses for its annual Juneteenth celebration. This afternoon celebration includes live dance, DJ and music, complimentary food, workshops, raffles, art and children’s activities.
Chi-Village Festival 2021
- Saturday, June 19 at 11 a.m.
- Presented by Chi-Village
- Location to be Announced
Starinah “Star” Dixon of M.A.D.D. Rhythms performs at Chi-Village Festival 2021. Chi-Village Festival provides the Pan-African community-at-large with a safe space to pay homage to its ancestors, recognize its elders whose shoulders we stand on and share its talents and gifts.
Chicago Takes 10 with Star Dixon and Donnetta ‘LilBit’ Jackson
As part of See Chicago Dance’s Chicago Dance Month
Thursday, June 24 at 6 p.m. CDT
Chicago Takes 10 is a new virtual performance series sponsored by the Walder Foundation to provide support to performing artists and arts organizations who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and also highlights diverse performance styles throughout the Chicago region. M.A.D.D. Rhythms’ Company Members Star Dixon and Donnetta ‘LilBit’ Jackson and Ambe’r Johnson, Ayanna London, Banks Performance Project, Clinard Dance’s Flamenco Quartet and Lee Na-Moo perform.
The Map of Now
- Friday, June 25 and Saturday, June 26 from 5 - 8 p.m. CDT
- Tickets: $10 - 25
M.A.D.D. Rhythms participates in Lucky Plush Productions’ latest virtual performance where they pair the aesthetics of retro video games with a turbo-charged line-up of Chicago dance, theater, music and comedy performers for The Map of Now, a radically new, interactive digital festival.
This festival-style event will be hosted on an interactive online platform called Gather.Town, through which audience members (as avatars) can choose their own adventure on a digital map of Chicago that highlights the richness of Chicago’s performing arts ecology in four performing arts venues across geographically diverse corners of the city. Each venue will be mapped out in a way that accurately represents the physical space in a retro game-like world (think Mario Bros), and when you find a seat in the venue, you can click on interactive objects that link to performances recorded in the actual venues.
Participating venues will provide space and/or other resources for artists to film their work in advance, which will enhance the audience’s feeling that they are seeing the work in the actual venue.
In addition to highlighting Chicago’s diverse artists & venues, the event will explore community connectivity in a brand new way. When an audience member’s avatar gets close to someone else on the map, there’s a video chat function that allows them to engage in passing conversations, allowing them to catch up with people they haven’t seen in a long time. People can also watch performances together or sign up for guided tours to watch a curated selection from each venue.
M.A.D.D Rhythms Tap Academy
July 7 - August 8
The M.A.D.D. Rhythms Tap Academy is back with “Tap for Tots” for kids, “Grown & Sexy” for adults and more. Registration is available now for beginners, ages 2 years old and older, adults and professionals. Classes are offered in person or virtually for all interested students. The Academy is taught by members of M.A.D.D. Rhythms.
All programs and performers are subject to change.
ABOUT M.A.D.D. RHYTHMS
M.A.D.D. (Making A Difference Dancing) Rhythms is a phenomenal tap dance collective whose “SOLE” purpose is to spread the love and joy of tap worldwide. What started as Bril Barrett and Martin Dumas III’s formula for giving back, is now, in its 20th year, a full-fledged 501 (c) 3 performing arts company, quickly gaining a reputation for representing the true essence of tap: RHYTHM! The company is composed of young, versatile tap dancers from all over Chicago. Their ages range from 17 to 45 years old, and their backgrounds are equally diverse. The one thing they all have in common is a love for “the dance.”
M.A.D.D. Rhythms’ mission is to preserve, promote and contribute to this art form called tap. They teach its history, represent its culture and advocate for its future. M.A.D.D. Rhythms use this beautiful dance/music form to make a difference in the under-served communities of this world by connecting and caring for the youth of this world. Believing that having access and options gives a child a greater chance at a positive life, M.A.D.D. Rhythms spread the joy, love, discipline and expression of tap to as many children as they humanly can!
M.A.D.D. Rhythms’ performance opportunities, in short, have included: Dance Africa Chicago, Dance Chicago, The Stars of “Dance Chicago” in Istanbul, Turkey, M.A.D.D. Rhythms Canada’s “Release Yourself” and “Great Feets of Rhythm,” Downbeats Canada’s “Embrace the Rhythm,” Miami’s Art-Deco Festival, An Expo for Today’s Black Woman, Kwanzaa Festival, The African Festival of the Arts, St. Louis Tap Festival, Boys and Girls Clubs National Conference, the Chicago Historical Society’s Summer Performance Series, and DuSable Museum’s educational theatre series. They have also produced nine full-length productions, created the annual Chicago Tap Summit and educated more than 200 students via The M.A.D.D. Rhythms Tap Academy.
In an effort to continuously give back to their communities, they have also worked with many public and private schools and volunteered performances for various community affiliated organizations including A.C.E.S. (Athletes Committed to Educating Students), Children Affected by AIDS Foundation, Nikola Tesla Alternative High School for Girls, TCA Health and Nutrition Fair, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. and Rainbow House.
M.A.D.D. Rhythms Friday Tap Jams, photo courtesy of M.A.D.D. Rhythms