For this husband-and-wife team, project collaboration is the name of the game. Musician David Leonhardt and dancer Shelley Oliver share energetic evenings of rhythm, jazz and choreography with their audiences. The couple met and dated in New York then relocated to the Lehigh Valley. Oliver and Leonhardt now travel with five dancers and five musicians. The couple’s talents blend together so well in their performance art that they can communicate on stage with a look alone. Together they have produced a series of seven well-known CDs called “Tap Music for Tap Dancers,” made for tap professionals and students to dance with and use for rehearsals and practice.
The Shelley Oliver Tap Dancers are a high caliber ensemble of three women tap dancers that present an energetic tap dance concert. Performing original works of choreography by Oliver, they are accompanied by the David Leonhardt Jazz Group, her husband’s band. The group is a critically acclaimed acoustic ensemble that plays a blend of mainstream and modern jazz.
Oliver is a choreographer and educator. She has appeared internationally with some of the great legends in the tap world. She is a founding member of the popular dance ensemble, Manhattan Tap, and was co-artistic director and choreographer with the company. A noted soloist, Oliver has toured extensively throughout Europe, China, the Caribbean, Canada and the United States. Oliver has appeared with top tap notables such as Gregory Hines, Savion Glover, Jimmy Slide and Buster Brown.
Leonhardt, jazz pianist, composer and recording artist, has 30 years of critically acclaimed experience including television, radio, concerts, festivals and night clubs. He has appeared throughout North and South America, Europe, the Middle and Far East. He has produced, arranged and performed on numerous recordings with jazz stars Stan Getz, Herbie Mann, Slide Hampton, Jon Hendricks and Ron Carter. His compositions have been recorded by jazz greats Stanley Turentine, David “Fathead” Newman and Hank Crawford. Leonhardt is a well known educator, giving clinics worldwide and writing for the magazine Piano Today.
The show is sponsored by Buchannan Ingersoll & Rooney PC with grant support from the Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour.
The public is invited to a free Community Tap Jam with members of Hot Taps N’ Cool Jazz from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 3. Grab your tappin’ shoes and join in for a Community Tap Jam on the main stage at the Rose Lehrman Arts Center. Space is limited; call 780-2545 to register in advance. This tap jam is recommended for ages 12 and up.
This project is partially supported by a grant from Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour, a program developed and funded by The Heinz Endowments; the William Penn Foundation; the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency; and The Pew Charitable Trusts; and administered by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation.
Tickets for the performance are $27 adult, $25 senior citizen, $15 student. RLAC Box Office phone is 231-ROSE (7673). Ticket can be purchased online by clicking on the Website below.