On Wednesday evening, October 6, 2010, Stark Pulse made its debut performance at Can Can in Seattle. We had a BLAST!
2 tap dancers and a pianist in a unique type of band that’s both audibly and visually stimulating, featuring killer tap dancer Danny Nielsen, myself, and the phenomenal Josh Rawlings on Rhodes (See bios below video clip).
To make you feel good.
Check out the footage below!
DANNY NIELSEN (taps) – A native of Calgary, now residing in Vancouver, Danny Nielsen began his tap dance career as a founding member of MADD Rhythms Canada. His mentors have included Lisa La Touche, Bril Barrett, Martin ‘Tre’ Dumas III, Heather Cornell, and Vicki Adams Willis who have all fostered the close relation between Jazz music and Tap Dance. An emerging artist on the national as well as the international scene. He has performed as a principle dancer in the worldwide broadcast of the 2010 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies, the opening number for the 2008 Jerry Lewis Telethon choreographed by Chloe Arnold, Heather Cornell’s CanTap, and the 2010 Edmonton Jazz Festival. He is currently the artist in residence for 2010 -2011 season at the Vancouver Tap Dance Society. His choreography has been seen in Decidedly Jazz Danceworks’ productions of Tinge and Tone and 25, the FEATS Festival in Edmonton, and Alberta Dance Explosions.
JOSH RAWLINGS (piano/rhodes) – Pianist and Composer Josh Rawlings is a renaissance jazz pianist that exhibits awesome ability on his instrument and ease playing genre-to-genre – setting-to-setting. Since moving to Seattle, Rawlings has seen wide successes as a performer and musician, and has been featured on the Northwest’ most prestigious stages. Josh graduated from Seattle’s renowned Cornish College of the Arts in 2005, and has twice since been honored by Earshot! Magazine’s Golden Ear Award Nominations. Having studied and performed with renowned groups & musicians, Denney Goodhew and the Qhromatics, Randy Halberstadt, Jovino Santos Neto and Hadley Caliman while at Cornish, Josh developed a voice that was literally bursting out of his school doors.
He’s recently played sold out performances at Jazz Alley, Triple Door and many major Seattle festivals from Pike Place Market to the Bite of Seattle. Josh also performed on the main stage of the 2008 Bumbershoot Festival. Whether headlining or supporting on stage, Josh has a unique ability to merge with his fellow artists, while anticipating, supporting and energizing his band mates to put on premier performances.
Climbing Stairs is Josh’s recent début release as a songwriter, musician and bandleader. The album is a beautiful portrait of the breadth and range of his musical relationships, environment, development and exploration over the past few years. The album captures the air and joy of a refreshing, up and coming young composer and pianist.
Josh’s repertoire spans from timeless jazz standards to arrangements of eclectic music such as video game themes. Many of the groups and musicians he works with also feature his original music which can be romantic and whimsical, joyful yet contemplative. Josh writes music that encapsulates people, places and special moments in time. He is an exciting emerging jazz voice from the next generation of musicians.
Rawlings is accompanied by Nate Omdal (bass) and Adam Kessler (drums). The two have backed up such jazz luminaries as Ernestine Anderson, Hadley Caliman, and Jay Thomas. Together, the trio follows in the musical fingerprints of Bill Evans, while developing a sound uniquely theirs.
JESSIE SAWYERS (taps) – Founder and Owner of Visual Music Productions, Jessie Sawyers is a tap dancer at heart whose creative expression flows across multiple mediums – dance, music, art – all of which are unified by her observations of life’s rhythm and patterns. She began tap dancing at the age of eleven under the direction of Cheryl Johnson and Anthony Peters at the Johnson & Peters Tap Dance Studio in Seattle. She has had the honor of studying with tap masters Ernest “Brownie” Brown, Harold “Stumpy” Cromer, Arthur Duncan, Jeni LeGon, and the late tap greats Cholly Atkins, Gregory Hines, Fayard Nicholas, LaVaughn Robinson, Jimmy Slyde, and Prince Spencer. Jessie has worked with Savion Glover and performed his choreography in DANCE This at the Paramount Theatre, a stage upon which she was also invited to dance with the late Gregory Hines. Internationally, Jessie has been a featured soloist and faculty member at the Vancouver Tap Dance Festival, where she has also shared the stage with the illustrious Dianne “Lady Di” Walker and has been Ms. Walker’s teaching assistant for the last three years.
Commercial Credits include a promotional video for Intel and commercials and appearances for Ivar’s as their tap dancing clam mascot. In 2006, Jessie founded her own tap dance company through which her choreography was well received at the Century Ballroom’s Masters of Lindy Hop and Tap, the Vancouver International Tap Dance Festival, and Microsoft Corporation.
Most Recently, Jessie self-produced and performed in her first full-length show featuring live music by The Teaching, world-renowned tap dancers Mark Mendonca and Travis Knights, contemporary dance from VAM performance, a group piece with 22 tap dancers from around Seattle, and a silent auction of her own hand painted ceramic artwork with proceeds benefitting the Starlight Children’s Foundation. The show was called “FLOW: An Evening of Music, Dance, and Visual Art,” and it played at the Triple Door, Seattle’s premiere live music venue, to a sold out house of 300.