On July 30 the Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP), celebrating 25 years of American tap and contemporary percussive arts excellence, welcomed 10-time Tony Award winner Tommy Tune at its 25th Anniversary Jubalee Gala. The special evening, hosted by WGN's Dean Richards, took place at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in downtown Chicago. Attended by 270 people, the event raised $212,000 from a combination of ticket sales, silent and live auction proceeds, table sponsorships and individual and corporate contributions.
At the Jubalee Tune performed his one-man show Taps, Tunes and Tall Tales, an autobiographical stroll celebrating 50-plus years of big-time showmanship-from his arrival in New York City as a fresh-faced kid from Texas, through his most popular roles on stage and screen, to his ascension as one of Broadway's most accomplished director-choreographers. Accompanied by Michael Biagi, Tune’s music director for nearly four decades, he shared personal renditions of standards by Irving Berlin, Kurt Weill, Cole Porter, Johnny Mercer, the Gershwins and more.
CHRP also presented Tune with its 25th Anniversary JUBA! Award for Extraordinary Lifetime Achievement. Tune joins the distinguished company of past JUBA! Award recipients, including Gregory Hines, Bill Irwin, Savion Glover, Fayard Nicholas, Mayor and Mrs. Richard M. Daley, Ted and Susan Oppenheimer and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, among others. The evening also included a cocktail reception, dinner and live and silent auctions.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel was Honorary Chair of the event. Co-Chairs included the organization’s founder and artistic director Lane Alexander, Elaine Cohen and Arlen Rubin.
For 25 years, Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP) has helped to foster the revival and nascent renaissance of American tap dance throughout North and South America, Australia, Europe and Asia. CHRP presents the oldest and largest annual festival of American tap and percussive dance in the world and has expanded through community outreach, commissioning the creation of new work, tap community development, and a host of other initiatives demonstrating a commitment to the field and the communities it serves.
Among the organization’s many accomplishments, CHRP received an Emmy Award nomination, as well as national airings, for JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance, which was co-produced with ITVS and WTTW/Channel 11. The organization earned an NEA American Masterpieces grant administered by the Illinois Arts Council Agency; curated the first full-length tap concert in any of the Kennedy Center's three largest theaters for a sold-out audience of 1,100 in the Eisenhower Theater; and provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in tap dance scholarships to deserving, talented teens.
For information about CHRP programs and educational initiatives, visit chicagotap.org.
Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts
Chicago Human Rhythm Project Raises $212K in 25th Anniversary Celebration Featuring Tap Legend Tommy Tune
Tap legend Tommy Tune was guest of honor at the 25th anniversary Jubalee Gala at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (photo by Sandra Armenteros).