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Special Guest


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Maurice Chesntnut


Guest Tap Artist

Newark, New Jersey native Maurice Chestnut began dancing at the age of five, under the direction of Mr. Alfred Gallman. He became a professional dancer at the age of nine as an original member of the New Jersey Tap Ensemble under the direction of Ms. Deborah Mitchell. As one of taps’ brightest young stars, he was featured on The Sally Jesse Raphael Show in the “My Kid’s A Star" segment, where he proudly proclaimed that he loved to dance and would keep doing it “until I die”. He was a gold medalist in the NAACP Act-So competition and was crowned “Top Dog Performer” at The Apollo Theater. At the age of fourteen, the Newark Star-Ledger’s arts reviewers named Maurice, “one of the twenty New Jersey faces to watch for in the new millennium.” In 2003, Maurice was recruited by tap master Savion Glover, to join the national touring company of the Tony Award winning Bring In ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk. Maurice received critical favor in that role. He has continued to work with Savion as a member of his Improvography and Bare Soundz tours, as well as performing in productions such as Classical Savion, Tappin’ Into Monk, Invitation To The Dancer and on ABC-TV’s Dancing With The Stars. Off-Broadway credits include Shades of Harlem, The Wiz, Bubbling Brown Sugar directed by George Faison at Atlanta’s Fox Theater and Can I Hit That and in 2011, He was one of the performers in the movie"Happy Feet 2". Maurice has developed an impressive list of credits. In addition to performing with his own band, he is often invited to perform or tour as a special guest with such prominent jazz musicians as Christian McBride, Cyrus Chestnut and Thelonius Monk III. His high profile engagements have included the JVC Jazz Festival, the Playboy Jazz Festival, The Apollo Theater and Birdland, as well as appearances at Carnegie Hall and throughout Europe with the Geri Allen Trio. As a featured soloist and choreographer, Maurice skillfully uses these venues to further develop his signature style of “playing tap” as a “live instrument.” He seamlessly weaves complex dance steps to interplay with musical notes, creating a powerful and distinctive energy that resonates with his audiences. Inspired by such hoofing greats as the Nicholas Brothers and Jimmy Slyde, yet equally influenced by and connected to urban culture, Maurice Chestnut dances with truth, soul and power. As his appearance on BET’s 106th and Park demonstrated, watching him dance is like walking through Harlem in the 1940’s...while bumping a hip-hop beat.


Debra L. Perry


Music Director

Debra L. Perry began her musical career at age 6 and has mastered 10 instruments including drums, bass guitar, organ, piano, clarinet, and saxophone. She is a music educator of 27 years with Grand Rapids Public Schools, obtained a BA from Calvin College and an MA in Music Education from Western Michigan University, and an MA in Educational Leadership from Grand Valley State University (GVSU). Debra has been the recipient of numerous awards including the distinguished Ethel Coe Giant's Award and the Malinda P. Sapp award. Most recently Debra received the Harlem Renaissance Culture Architect Award for her service to her community through her business Joint Heir Music Studios. Debra's musical outreach also includes long time work as a musical director with Grand Rapids Circle Theatre. She is also the first black female musical director for Grand Rapids Civic Theatre. She also serves and serving as the musical director at New Hope Baptist Church. Grand Rapids, MI, under pastor Howard Earle. Debra has been part of the Gospel Music Workshop of America (GMWA) since 1995 and also serves on National Music Selection Committee. Debra’s musical compositions remain favorites among the National Mass Choir, Women of Worship, and the Men of Promise. Debra is a noted songwriter and arranger and has composed works for national artists and has orchestrated full- scale works for the Grand Rapids Symphony and Westshore Symphony. This past year, her piece “Beautiful Song”, was performed by the Grand Rapids Symphony & Symphony Chorus featured in the annual Symphony With Soul Celebration. Debra founded her own chorale Majestic Praise and has 3 albums to her credit. Her latest album “Conqueror” has remained in rotation since its release. This album also features her own elementary Honor’s Choir from Coit Creative Arts Academy. Shortly thereafter, Majestic Praise released a single and video “I’ll Bless The Lord,” which premiered at the Grand Rapids Symphony’s Celebration of Soul event. The group was nominated for song of the year for the Jammie Awards this February and number 2 in the state of Michigan on WYCE. Debra is CEO of Joint Heir Music Group and operates Joint Heir Music Studios, in which she specializes in production, editing, and mixing. She has received a Grammy nomination for her engineering work on noted gospel recording artist Marvin Sapp’s acclaimed release “Close”. Another notable recording credit is engineering vocals for Marvin Sapp on Snoop Dog's smash gospel release "Bible of Love".

Kathy Lamar Headshot.jpeg

Kathy Lamar



More about Kathy to come!


Erica Starks



Erica is a senior in high school. She has been a part of 9 shows in the past two years: Almost Maine, Guess Who's Coming To Dinner, The Matchmaker, The Crucible, Hair (Circle Theater), Little Women, and recently Once on This Island (Civic Theater). Erica hopes to have a career in acting because of Viola Davis’ wise words, "We are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life. "



Dance Group

"Dance collective in Grand Rapids, Michigan to inclusively represent artists of all levels from all different backgrounds while striving to reach new levels in their love for dance." - Darlene & Co.


Troy Ceasar


Live DJ

More About Troy to come!

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