Join the Celebration of Tap! The Trudl Zipper Dance Institute is excited to present the 4th Annual Tap Fest, a day-long festival of workshops led Arthur Duncan, Monti Ellison, Sam Weber and Aaron Williams with a culminating performance from 5:30pm in Zipper Hall featuring our skilled students and professional dancers!

Schedule of events

Location and parking

Tap Fest Artists

Schedule of Events

All events are at The Colburn School campus and are open to the public. See location information below.


12 pm – 1:15 pm
Percussion Class with Jerry
Dance Studio B, Int ages 9-15, $25

11:30 am– 12:30 pm
Intermediate Tap with Aaron Williams
Dance Studio B Int/Adv level ages 9-12 $25

3 pm – 4:15 pm
Advanced Tap with Jason Samuels Smith
Dance Studio B Int/Adv level ages 13-adult, $25

4:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Open Tap Jam
Dance Studio B, all ages, FREE

5:00 pm
Evening Performance featuring our skilled students alongside professionals including performances by: Arthur Duncan, Monti Ellison, Linda Sohl-Ellison, Sam Weber, Steve Zee and the Colburn Tap Ensemble, and Colburn Tap Faculty. Music Provided by The Jerry Kalaf Trio.
Zipper Hall, FREE

Location, Parking, and Cafe Information

All Tap Fest events will be held at various venues on the campus of The Colburn School. Maps and signs will be available on campus to direct you to each event.

The Colburn School
200 South Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Our campus is located one block from the Civic Center station off the Metro Red Line, and is convenient to many bus lines. For an interactive map to plan your route by car or public transit, click here.

The Colburn Cafe will be open all day for this event. Grab-and-go salads, sandwiches, and beverages as well as a full grill menu will be offered.

Tap Fest Artists

Blake Colie (Colburn Faculty) hails from North Carolina where he began playing drums at age elleven. Through his Drum Set studies he was led to begin Classical Percussion lessons at age sixteen. Blake was then later accepted to North Carolina School of the Arts where he continued all of his musical training on a college level. Blake then transferred to California Institute of the Arts where he pursued a focus on Drum Set and World Percussion exclusively. He graduated from CalArts in 1998 with his BFA and in 2000 with his MFA, both degrees in Music Performance Studies. Blake has since stayed active around the Los Angeles music scene, which has led him to touring the United States extensively with different bands and ensembles. He is currently an artist on Indie label Ubiquity Records with the Funk/Reggae/Rare-Groove band The Lions. Blake is also the touring drummer for Salvador Santana. Blake began accompanying dance classes in 2000 at Plaza de la Raza in Los Angeles. He has been fortunate to accompany workshops held by the Jose Limon Dance Company, the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, the Hubbard Street Dance Company, and the Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Blake is currently playing dance classes for The Colburn School and Antelope Valley College. More info on Blake can be found at his website:

Arthur Duncan (Guest Artist) was born to dance. A highly visible performer, he is often referred to as an "Entertainer’s Entertainer" as he performed around the world: a quintessential song and dance man, whose performances are a lively collection of sophisticated footwork and wonderful songs. He has performed in concert at both Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. His television credits include guest appearances in “Diagnosis of a Murder” with Dick Van Dyke, Columbo with Peter Falk, The Phil Donahue Show, The Betty White Show as well as being a regular for 18 years on the weekly Lawrence Welk show. At a time when tap dance was fading from Broadway and Hollywood, Duncan’s charm and talent captivated audiences. He brought the art form to a new medium, allowing American across the nation to experience tap dance in their own homes. Duncan has performed in Las Vegas, in movies (he was a featured personality in the movie “Tap” (starring Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis Jr.), and toured with Tommy Tune in the Broadway show “My One and Only.” He joined Bob Hope on several USO tours and even danced a high-spirited tap in a McDonald’s commercial. Duncan is also a dedicated mentor and shares his spotlight experiences through lecture demonstrations and master tap classes.
While living abroad, Arthur spread his magic all over Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Australia, giving to his audiences a stunning and dazzling show. It is said a beautiful “Song and dance” never end.
He has been honored with the 2004 Flobert Award for Lifetime Achievement of Tap Artistry in New York City, the 2005 Living Treasure in American Dance Award from Oklahoma City University and received an honorary Doctor of Performing Arts in American Dance at OCU, as well. On July 21, 2011, The Chicago National Association of Dance Masters hosted a very special awards banquet, as tap dancing legend Arthur Duncan accepted a Lifetime Achievement Award. Joining the ranks of an elite list of only three individuals who have received this honor in their 100 year history. One of the most entertaining performers of today, Arthur Duncan’s seamless blend of song and dance continues to make a significant contribution to the artistic legacy of dance and entertainment.

Monti Ellison (Guest Artist) is an accomplished percussionist/ drummer, composer and performer. He has performed worldwide as a soloist with Harry Belafonte, Stephanie Mills, Lonnie Liston Smith, Little Steven and others. As a dance musician he spent 15 years at the Alvin Ailey School in New York where he was head staff musician. Monti teaches African dance and drumming; he is an accompanist and faculty member at Loyola Marymount University, Orange Coast College, CSU Long Beach and The Wooden floor. He has composed numerous scores including Judith Jamison's Divining for the Alvin Ailey company, a percussion score for the New York based Urban Arts Corps' production of Alice in Wonderland directed by Vinette Carroll and choreographed by Talley Beatty; J5A6Z7Z8 for jazz choreographer Jose Meier; Dat's Right, Espiritu, Riptide, FOIL/Copper, Zinc, Brass, Stroke of the Oarsmen, Deciduous Dances, Wade and Chugarump for Rhapsody In Taps plus many compositions for the Monti Ellison Percussion Ensemble.

Domenic Genova (Guest Artist) started working as a professional bassist in the mid 60’s, playing Pop, Rock, R&B and later Jazz. He toured in the 70’s with a variety of pop acts: Bobby Sherjkkman, Oliver, Lori Lieberman, Tony Orlando and Dawn, the 5th Dimension, Olivia Newton-John, Seals and Crofts and Shaun Cassidy then later with Melissa Manchester. In the late 70’s Domenic began working in the TV industry with composer Earle Hagen for the show “8 is Enough”. Other TV shows included Happy Days, Lavern and Shirley, Dukes of Hazzard, Cheers, Cagney and Lacey, Alien Nation, Punky Brewster, Taxi, The Star Trek: Generations, Deep Space 9, Voyager, and Enterprise, Roseanne, Malcolm in the Middle, Jag, King of the Hill, MacGyver, Home Improvement, just to name a few. Since the late 70’s he has worked on films such as Grease, This is Elvis, All the Pretty Horses, Clueless, Down Periscope, Bye Bye Love, Flight of the Intruder, Godfather lll, Hope Floats, Hot Shots, Ladybugs, Leap of Faith, Legally Blonde ll, Matrix Reloaded, McHale’s Navy, Mortal Kombat, The Negotiator, Rookie of the Year, Star Trek: Generations, Something’s Gotta Give, U-571, Undercover Brother, Up in the Air, X-Files: the Movie and many more. Genova has played locally with Fred Tackett (from Little Feat), Jim Cox Trio, Lawrence Juber, Jerry Kalaf Trio, Gerard Hagen Trio, Thom Rotella Quartet, Jeff Richman Group, Bill Labounty Group, Louis Durra Trio, and World of Warcraft Blizzcon.

Hiroshi Hamanishi (Colburn Faculty) is a Los Angeles based tap dancer, choreographer, and educator. Hiroshi has toured nationally and internationally with the production of Caution: Men at Work, TAP. He has had the pleasure of dancing with Alfred Desio, Rhapsody in Taps, Jazz Tap Ensemble, the James Brown Band, Dianne Walker, Arthur Duncan and Gregory Hines. Hiroshi's choreographic interest lies in creating innovative work as well as teaching and recreating many traditional tap dance choreographic works. He has been invited from Spectrum Dance in LA, KIN Dance Company, Tap Overload, St. Louis Tap Festival, NY Fringe Festival, and Idyllwild Arts summer dance program. He directs Honoring the Tap Masters Concert Series and Hiroshi Hamanishi and Friends. An active teacher, Hiroshi is on faculty at The Colburn School, El Camino College, and Loyola Marymount University.

Jerry Kalaf (Colburn Faculty) has been active in the Jazz community for many years. His credits include performances and tours with Eddie Harris, Gary Burton, Gary Foster, Frank Strazzeri, Bill Mays, Bill Perkins, Jimmy Cleveland, The Pointer Sisters and Major Holley. Jerry has toured Europe, Asia, South America and the United States as musical director of the Jazz Tap Ensemble with performances at the Playboy Jazz festival in Los Angeles, Salzburg Jazz festival in Salzburg Austria and in New York, at Carnegie Hall, The Joyce and Apollo Theaters. A recipient of a "Meet The Composer/California" grant funded by the National Endowment For The Arts and the California Arts Council, Jerry's recording "Just Like Old Times" is a collaboration with arranger Doug Walter and features eight of Jerry's compositions. The arrangements challenge and inspire a trio of Piano, Bass and Drums and show the two sides of Jazz Composition: the interpretation of the written note and the improvising musician's response to it. He continues to write and record his original compositions.

Angel Pennington (Colburn Faculty) has a BA in Liberal Studies from California State University Northridge. She has performed at the L.A. Tap Festival and with the Jazz/Tap Ensemble at the Ford Amphitheatre and the Jazz Bakery. Other performances include the Black Swan Theater in Ashland, Oregon, and at the Four Queens hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. She has taught for Everybody Dance and at the Tap Academy in Santa Monica. Teaching and loving tap dance for years, she has studied extensively with Sam Weber, Denise Scheerer, and Chance Taylor. She currently teaches elementary students in a private school in West Los Angeles.

Denise Scheerer (Colburn Chair, Tap and Musical Theater) Founded and performed with That’s Jazz, a Seattle-based Jazz Dance Company. While in Seattle, Denise also choreographed for The Seattle Opera, The Empty Space Theater, The Pioneer Square Theatre, Tacoma Civic Light Opera and the Seattle Civic Light Opera. Most recently, she choreographed “Anything Goes” and “Oliver” in Los Angeles for the West Side Youth Theatre. Denise danced in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Hotel in “Hallelujah Hollywood.” She danced in the Albert Brooks film “I’ll Do Anything,” and was the featured dancer and choreographer for the Roy Clark Special “Especially Roy.” Denise has performed with The Jazz Tap Ensemble. She studied and performed with tap legends Eddie Brown and Sam Weber. She taught and performed at the L.A. Tap Festival in 2008. She plays the drums and studied music with Jerry Kalaf, musical director of The Jazz Tap Ensemble. She was dance faculty at Loyola Marymount University for five years. She has taught in NYC for Tradition in Tap workshop in New York City that honored her husband, Robert Scheerer as well as Tap Festivals in St. Louis and Detroit.

Linda Sohl-Ellison (Guest Artist) is the Artistic Director, choreographer, and soloist with Rhapsody In Taps, a Long Beach, CA based touring company of seven tap dancers and six musicians founded in 1981. She has a BFA from Ohio University in Dance and Graphic Design and MA from UCLA. Her training includes studies under the great tap masters Foster Johnson, Eddie Brown, Honi Coles and Buster Brown. She collaborated with Gregory Hines, staging and performing in his first choreographic work, Toeing the 3rd and Fifth made for Rhapsody In Taps in 1990. Recognized for her choreographic innovation in tap, she has been awarded five Choreographers' Fellowships from the NEA, three grants from the James Irvine Foundation and Artist Fellowships from the California Arts Council, Arts Council for Long Beach, Public Corporation for the Arts, NARB and California Community Foundation. She received a Lester Horton Dance Award from the DRC, a Distinguished Alumni Award from Ohio University and a Tapestry Award from Soul To Sole Tap Festival for 30 years of contributions to tap. Linda has been a full-time Professor of Dance at Orange Coast College since 1978, where she teaches many dance forms, directs the annual student dance concert and mentors dancers with professional career goals. She appears in several tap film documentaries, teaches and performs throughout the U.S., Asia, France and Germany as a soloist, with Rhapsody In Taps and with her husband, percussionist Monti Ellison.

Doug Walter (Guest Artist), a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY. is a published composer/arranger, orchestrator, conductor and performer. A master of keyboards and woodwinds (saxophone, clarinet and flute), Walter has performed and/or recorded with such jazz artists as Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Phil Woods, Chuck Mangione, Gerry Mulligan, Chuck Israels, Jon Faddis, and Joe Williams, the big bands of Gordon Goodwin, Toshiko Akiyoshi/ Lew Tabackin, Bill Watrous, Les Brown, Ray Anthony, and Roger Neumann, as well as Bob Hope, Steve Allen, Michael Crawford, Barry Manilow, Wyclef Jean, Wynonna, Smokey Robinson, Michael Feinstein, Cher, Marvin Hamlisch, Ashford and Simpson, and Chaka Khan. He is a music director and arranger of Broadway shows and performances for artists as diverse as Sally Kellerman, Connie Francis, Rita Moreno, Suzanne Somers and Carol Burnett, and was in the house band on the Howie Mandel Show. He also orchestrates and composes for network television, cable, videos and theatrical films.

Sam Weber (Guest Artist) is an award-winning artist who has gained an international reputation in the world of tap dance and is in demand throughout the world as a performer, master teacher and choreographer. He has appeared with such tap luminaries as Charles “Honi” Coles, Jimmy Slyde, Steve Condos, Gregory Hines and the Nicholas Brothers. A protégé of tap master Stan Kahn in San Francisco, he was a principal dancer and choreographer with the Jazz Tap Ensemble from 1986 to 2009 and has received acclaim in the U.S. and abroad touring with the company. Mr. Weber is one of the few tap dancers in the world currently performing Morton Gould’s “Tap Dance Concerto.” He was the first tap dancer to receive New York’s “Bessie” award, presented in recognition of outstanding artistic achievement. Sam is also the recipient of the Legacy Award from the Third Coast Rhythm Project, the Giant Steps Award from the San Francisco Tap Festival and the Juba Award from the Chicago Human Rhythm Project. Sam has been teaching and performing at international tap festivals since the first Colorado Tap Festival in 1986. He has taught at UCLA, Cal State U. Fullerton, Cal State U. L.A., and most recently, San Francisco State University.

Aaron Williams is a tap dancer, percussionist, pianist, vocalist, teacher, and composer, originally from Kansas City, Missouri. After receiving his BA in Percussion Performance from Missouri Western State University, Aaron moved to Los Angeles, where he has been teaching and performing since. Some of Aaron’s most recent work includes headlining the 2014 Pocono Juggling Festival Show with Collision of Rhythm; being a featured tap dancer in Coca-Cola’s “America the Beautiful” commercial, which premiered during Super Bowl XLVIII and aired during the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics; and performing with Sarah Reich’s Tap Music Project at the LA County 54th Annual Holiday Celebration, which was televised on KCET. Currently, Aaron teaches music at Children’s Community School and dances regularly with Linda Sohl-Ellison’s Rhapsody In Taps, Gregg Russell’s Tap Sounds Underground, and Steve Zee’s LA Ironworks.

Steve Zee (Guest Artist) is currently a candidate for president of the United States and performs his on-going club act at the M Bar in Hollywood. Previously, Steve has danced with Gregory Hines and the Nicholas Brothers and has shared the bill with numerous tap notables. He has been a featured soloist in the Jazz Tap Ensemble and a member of Rhapsody In Taps. He trained Kiril Kulish for the Broadway production of Billy Elliot for which Kiril won the Tony Award and has served as tap coach for pop icons Bette Midler, David Lee Roth and Toni Basil. Steve edited the Oral History/Biography of tap master Stan Kahn (archived at the San Francisco Performing Arts Library & Museum) and the Oral History/Biography of Robert Scheerer (archived at the New York Public Library and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences) and has made five instructional tap videos. Steve is on faculty in the dance department at CSU Long Beach and teaches on-going weekly classes at the Tap Academy in Santa Monica, the Dance Arts Academy in Los Angeles and for the Gabriella Axelrad Education Foundation in Los Angeles. He is the director of the nonprofit arts organization LA Ironworks.

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