Jason Samuels Smith (performer, choreographer, instructor, artistic director, public speaker, actor) is a multi-talented leader and advocate for the Art form of Tap. Over the course of his extensive travels, he has influenced, and at times, introduced the culture of tap dance to audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Accolades include a Dance Magazine Award, an Emmy and an American Choreography Award for “Outstanding Choreography”. Mr. Samuels-Smith has also received the Gregory Hines Humanitarian Award; Bessie recognition (NY Dance and Performance Awards); Hoofers Award; Certificate of Appreciation by the City of Los Angeles for creating the First Annual Los Angeles Tap Festival (2003); Proclamation declaring April 23rd “Jason Samuels Day” from the City of Shreveport, Louisiana; the “Ivy of Education” from Brainerd Institute; the “President Kenny Award” from Stony Brook; an Andrew Mellon Grant/ Joyce Foundation Residency; an Alpert/ McDowell Residency Award; an Arts International Grant; National Performance Network and Map funding among others in support of his work.
Choreography and special guest performances include feature films “Idlewild” w/ Outkast; Black Nativity; TV hit series Psych with Dule Hill as well as a live performance for Comic Con; MYA on CBS’s Secret Talents of the Stars; Fox’s hit series “So You Think You Can Dance” (solo & company special guest performances); ABC’s Dancing with The Stars; and special guest appearances with world renowned singers including Jennifer Halliday and Lalah Hathaway. Other television and film credits include the TV One Christmas Special (2013), Dean Hargrove’s award- winning short film “Tap Heat” (co-star) and full length documentary “Tap World” (Executive Consultant); co-star of dance documentary UPAJ which aired on PBS (2014); Nostalgia:A Tap Film; AlleyOop Films music videos “Kaleidoscope” and “Nautilus”; and Debbie Allen’s AMC series “Cool Women” to name a few. Performances include Sammy (tribute to Sammy Davis jr.); Soul Possessed (leading role); Tony Award winning Broadway show Bring in Da’Noise, Bring in Da’Funk (principal and lead roles); andImagine Tap! (leading role). Mr. Samuels Smith continues to tour the world with his own tap company formerly known as A.C.G.I (Anybody Can Get It) which empowered the careers of many popular tap dancers today. Some of his projects include JaJa Productions Band; Chasing The Bird - A Charlie Parker inspired work;“Transformation: Rhythm’s Roots , a collaboration with critically acclaimed musician Owen “Fiidla” Brown (Valentine) (commissioned by the Charles & Joan Gross Family Foundation). After 10 years of touring worldwide to sold-out audiences and critical acclaim, India Jazz Suites also billed as Fastest Feet In Rhythm has come to an end due to the untimely passing of great friend and co-star Kathak Master Pandit Chitresh Das (2015). The work has inspired many as Smith continues to tour with Das’ principal disciple from India, as well as other collaborations including SPEAK featuring an all-female cast.
Jason’s extensive work as an instructor/ mentor has had an immense impact on opening the doors to many careers of successful working tap dancers in the industry today. In addition to working on faculty at Broadway Dance Center (NYC), founding and directing the Tap program at Debbie Allen Dance Academy (LA), and offering special guest seasonal workshops at Steps on Broadway, Jason has consulted on several new festivals, projects and events in order to help garner success in supporting venues that highlight Tap and fellow rhythmic arts. Jason has also privately trained numerous artists in the industry, as well as coached dancers to prepare for Broadway and beyond.
As a humanitarian, Jason has supported organizations such as Dancers Responding to Aids, Tied to Greatness, Career Transitions for Dancers, Groove With Me, Tap Into A Cure, The Elm Project, and TapTakeOverHarlem to name a few. As the official Tap representative for BLOCH he has successfully developed his own professional tap shoe available to every continent. Jason aims to promote lasting respect for the art form and to create opportunities for tap dancers, as he continues to provide leadership as a spokesman for tap around the world.