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Jones, the 86-year old world-class concert timpanist, joins Amos and other dancers. of the Grown Women Dance Collective for the annual “Fallen Heroes, Rising Stars: A Juneteenth Celebration Through Dance” on Friday in Pleasant Hill and Saturday, June 28 in Pittsburg. Now, in its fifth year, the Grown Women Dance Collective seeks to increase cultural awareness through its annual concerts and through raising funds for scholarships. In 1998, Jones retired from the San Francisco Opera orchestra dance shoes for men. She now conducts lecture demonstrations for children and adults in schools and community centers..
“We’re honored to have such a cultural treasure share her talent with us,” Amos said. In recent years, the multimedia dance and music event has paid tribute to such musical talents as Ray Charles, Lena Horne, James Brown, Michael Jackson, Nina Simone, Luther Vandross and Miriam Makeba. This year’s show will honor other notable artists who’ve recently died, such as Yusef Lateef, George Duke and Cleotha Staples dance shoes for men. A special tribute dance will be dedicated to Maya Angelou..
Amos said Juneteenth celebrations that honor African American musical artists through dance help preserve the tradition that dates back to June 19, 1865, the date of the oldest known event celebrating African American liberation from slavery. The news that the Civil War had ended and that the enslaved were now free arrived in Texas 2 1/2 years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. The multimedia portion of the show, produced by Amos’ husband, Donald Martin Jr., presents photos and highlights the achievements of these African American musical artists whose work will be interpreted by unique choreography dance shoes for men.
Amos, who dances with her own father Morris Amos to to Luther Vandross’ “Dance with my Father,” organized the annual Juneteenth event in Contra Costa County as a testament to her own struggles to gain recognition as a young dancer in the predominantly white San Francisco Ballet community in the 1970s dance shoes for men. She temporarily gave up dancing until college when, at UC Berkeley, she attended a performance by the Alvin Ailey dancers and was amazed at the artistry of dancers who showed her “you can make it in dance no matter what your skin color.”..
It was then that she realized music and dance can create social change, she said. “It’s a pleasure dancing with my daughter and watching her evolution from ballerina to choreographer to businesswoman,” said Morris Amos dance shoes for men. Jones said that Tanya Amos’ artistic journey — from San Francisco Ballet dancer being denied lead roles in “The Nutcracker” to UC Berkeley grad to a four-year scholarship at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and dancing professionally in New York City — reminds her of her own journey..