In less than a decade, Jason Samuels Smith (performer, choreographer, director) has emerged as a multi-talented leader in the Art form of Tap. He won both an Emmy and American Choreography Award for “Outstanding Choreography” for the Opening number of the 2003 Jerry Lewis/MDA Telethon in a tribute to the late Gregory Hines. Mr. Samuels-Smith was also awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by the City of Los Angeles for creating the First Annual Los Angeles Tap Festival in 2003; a Proclamation declaring April 23rd “Jason Samuels Day” from the City of Shreveport, Louisiana; the “Ivy of Education” from Brainerd Institute; and the “President Kenny Award” from Stony Brook. He was also the recipient of an Arts International Grant and an Alpert McDowell Fellowship Award and most recently received the 2007 Gregory Hines Humanitarian Award.
In 2004, Smith co-starred in Dean Hargrove’s “Tap Heat”, a dynamic award-winning short film available on DVD. Jason is also a featured dancer in HBO/Universal Pictures’s motion picture “Idlewild” starring Outkast. Debbie Allen has featured his talents in several productions including the AMC television series “Cool Women”, Sammy (a tribute to the life of Sammy Davis jr.), and in a leading role of Soul Possessed with Patti LaBelle, Arturo Sandoval and Carmen DeLavallade. Other performance credits include the Tony Award-winning Broadway cast of Bring in Da’Noise, Bring in Da’Funk in principal and lead roles, Imagine Tap! at the Harris Theater in Chicago in a leading role, Savion Glover’s NYOTs (Not Your Ordinary Tappers), Cross Currents: Turned on Tap at the Queen Elizabeth Hall – South Bank in London, the 2002-2003 Harlem Jazz Dance Festivals, TAAP: The Art and Appreciation of Percussion , the NY Tap Committee/Town Hall’s 21Below! with Jennifer Holliday, Thank You Gregory: A Tribute to the Legends of Tap, The Cotton Club Returns: A Tribute to Great Jazz Legends, the American Institute of Vernacular Jazz Dance Darktown Strutters Ball Gala, the Career Transition For Dancers 20th Anniversary Jubilee among others.
Smith has performed India Jazz Suites, a dynamic collaboration with Kathak Master Pandit Chitresh Das worldwide. He & Das were awarded the 2007 Isadora Duncan (“Issie”) Award for Best Ensemble Performance and will continue this tour in addition to their latest collaboration India Jazz Progressions which incorporates their companies.
He founded tap company A.C.G.I. (Anybody Can Get It) with most recent appearances to include The Getty Museum Family Day Festival in LA, The New York City Center Fall for Dance Festival, and Sadlers Wells’ Sampled in London. He also produced JaJa Productions band featuring original jazz-influenced hip hop music with appearances throughout the United States. Their first music video “You Need This” had a successful debut in California.
Smith was most recently featured as a Special Guest on Fox’s hit series “So You Think You Can Dance”. As a Bloch Corporate Spokesperson, Jason has worked directly on the development of a new tap shoe to offer quality and affordable options for professional tap dancers.