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Global Rhythms

Global Rhythms is the first concert series in the United States dedicated exclusively to tap and contemporary percussive arts companies. CHRP shares 50% of the proceeds from these concerts with more than 50 Chicago area non-profits through the Thanks4Giving program.

Previous Global Rhythms Artists


Che Malambo
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Mexican Dance Ensemble
Claudia Pizarro & Jose Torres, Principal Dancers, Ensemble Espanol Spanish Dance Theater i

Che Malambo is a vibrant, exciting, fiery, Argentinian music and dance theatrical experience. It is a wonderfully wild spectacle of drumming and foot stomping dance choreographed and produced by Gilles Brinas. Che Malambo is an inspired interpretation of the all-male Argentine Malambo tradition and is infused with primal energy and diabolic rhythms. This show is like a Latino Stomp!

"Che Malambo" arose from the language and expressions of the Gaucho experience as a solo dance performed by men. Award winning choreographer, Gilles Brinas, has adapted two Malambo styles featuring powerful foot stomping from the North and and the subtler Southern style in bare feet. The rhythms are echoed by "bombos," large, fat, rustic drums, "boleadoras," or bolas (long, thin ropes with two or more stones attached at the ends), accentuated by passionate songs and live musical accompaniment.

Like a wild horde, carried away, enigmatic, there are fourteen male dancers, half-man, half-horse offering from the first breath a rhythmic dance, physical and impressive. They come from the far away pampas to tell us about their various traditions to the present time.

Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater


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ScrapArtsMusic [skrap-artz-myoo'zik] - noun: 1. An earth-friendly, Vancouver-based company that creates unforgettable percussion performances using kinetic instruments skillfully crafted from industrial scraps; 2. An entertaining contemporary invented instrument ensemble; 3. Five extraordinary virtuosic and innovative drummers; 4. the result of transforming "scrap" into "art" and "arts" into "music." With instruments fashioned from offbeat materials ranging from accordion parts to artillery shells, ScrapArtsMusic delivers an intoxicating mix of intricate rhythms, raw energy, athletic choreography and the most inventive percussive arts concert on the stage today! Created by Gregory Kozak and Justine Murdy.




Sones de Mexico is a unique ensemble of seasoned Mexican folk musicians and educators that hails from Chicago, a city that boasts a Mexican community that is quickly nearing one million people. The group formed in 1994 to keep the tradition of Mexican son alive in its many regional forms, true to its roots and old masters, and current and fresh at the same time.

Sones de Mexico
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Be the Groove
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Ensemble Espanol Spanish Dance Theater
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Jump Rhythm Jazz Project


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The Mexican Folkloric Dance Company of Chicago

Under the artistic leadership of Founder, Dame Libby Komaiko and Associate Artistic Director, Irma Suarez Ruiz, is the premier Spanish dance company and center in the United States to have in-residence status at a university: Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago. The Company, under the auspices of the Department of Music & the Dance Program, is chartered to share the rich traditions of the dance, music, literature, and culture of Spain in the classical, folkloric and Flamenco styles, with all communities, and to be a center which encourages new artistic creativity within the framework of the Ibero-Hispanic experience. The Ensemble Espanol, founded in 1976 by Dame Libby, is comprised of forty dancers, singers, musicians and guest artists.

The Mexican Folkloric Dance Company of Chicago was founded in 1982 by José Luis and Matie Ovalle, its present artistic directors and choreographers. As Chicago's oldest Mexican dance institution, MFDC has received countless recognitions and awards, has performed for three presidents and represented Mexico in the 1994 USA World Cup opening ceremony, as well as numerous national television performances, most recently at the 2009 Latin Grammy Awards. MFDC will welcome their special guests, the Grammy nominated music sensation - Sones de Mexico!

BAM! is Chicago Human Rhythm Project's performing ensemble that has an extensive repertory including the classics, contemporary jazz tap and experimental yet accessible rhythmic expression like body drumming. Technical virtuosity and passion are the hallmarks of the company. The ensemble was created in 2004 as a choreographic project with funding from the Chicago Dancemakers Forum, a choreographers development project led by The Museum of Contemporary Art, The Dance Center of Columbia College, and Links Hall with funding by the Chicago Community Trust.

Be the Groove is a rhythmic performance ensemble that believes rhythm is not just a beat—rhythm is a mode of expression. This Chicago based group fuses a variety of movement, percussion, and rhythmic techniques to create a unique style of its own. Through high-energy performances and a strong commitment to education, Be the Groove seeks to share its love of rhythm with people everywhere. Formed in 2006 by Artistic Director Stephanie Paul and Executive Director Davora Sides, Be the Groove has quickly established a reputation for entertaining audiences in the Chicago dance and arts community and has performed at such venues as the Ravinia Festival, Old Town School of Folk Music, and Dance Chicago.

The Jump Rhythm Jazz Project is a Chicago-based, Emmy-Award-winning dance theatre company that was founded by Billy Siegenfeld in New York City in 1990. The company’s rhythmically explosive ensemble celebrates dancing, singing, and story-telling to the beat-driven sounds of swinging jazz and the blues, hard-hitting funk and hip hop, and world music. JUMP RHYTHM performs its rich blend of percussive musicality and story-based dance theatre in annual festivals in Chicago as well as on tour nationally and internationally.



Step Afrika is the first professional company in the world dedicated to the tradition of stepping. Founded in December 1994, the company is critically-acclaimed for its efforts to promote an understanding of and appreciation for stepping and the dance tradition's use as an educational tool for young people worldwide. Step Afrika reaches tens of thousands of Americans each year and has performed on many stages in North & South America, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean.

Step Afrika (Washington D.C., U.S.A.)



Barbatuques was founded in 1996 as an artistic and pedagogic lab to research body percussion in musical expression. It comprises 13 company members who use a combination of claps, chest slaps, tap dance sequences, mouth vacuums, vocal resrouces and more to create unique rhythms and melodies. The result is a “circle orchestra” in which all musicians play and improvise on the same instrument. Barbatuques tours widely in Brazil and abroad with performances and educational workshops. Its 2002 debut album Corpo do Som and subsequent 2008 album O Seguinte E Esse were released by the label MCD.

Barbatuques (Sao Paolo, Brazil)


TAO (Kyushu, Japan)

“Bringing wadaiko (Japanese drum) into an internationally accepted entertainment” – such was the grand dream of TAO at the time of its inception in Aichi prefecture back in 1993. TAO established their base in Kuju Town, Oita, Kyushu, which is surrounded by the grandeur of nature and officially opened their doors to the world in 2004 when they performed at the month-long Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Their dynamic stage presence has won the hearts of many during their world tours and their overpowering performances continue to fascinate audiences worldwide.“Bringing wadaiko (Japanese drum) into an internationally accepted entertainment” – such was the grand dream of TAO at the time of its inception in Aichi prefecture back in 1993. TAO established their base in Kuju Town, Oita, Kyushu, which is surrounded by the grandeur of nature and officially opened their doors to the world in 2004 when they performed at the month-long Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Their dynamic stage presence has won the hearts of many during their world tours and their overpowering performances continue to fascinate audiences worldwide.

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Shekatek (Tel Aviv, Israel)
Tapeplas (Barcelona, Spain)
India Jazz Suites
(India and United States)


Sheketek, founded in 1997 by Danny Rachom and Zahi Patish, is based in rhythm, consisting of 5 members combining dance, live music, humor and each one’s special skills and talent. The group has traveled and performed in over 15 countries all over Europe, The U.S and the Far East and was invited back to perform in several places year after year. In 2003 Danny and Zahi created “Sheketak - Rhythm in Motion” a big production with 12 performers on satge in a show that combines movement, live music and video work all based on rhythm and street energy.

"Charlie’s Angels” A Rhythmic Tribute to Charlie Parker” is a collaborative concept created by Jason Samuels Smith of three of the leading ladies in the tap world today: Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Chloe Arnold, and Ayodele Casel. The choreography and improvisational elements of the program are performed in honor of Charles “Yardbird” Parker’s own improvisational brilliance featuring his original tunes. Charlie Parker was an amazing saxophonist who gained wide recognition for his brilliant solos and who worked frequently with tap dancers throughout his career. 


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The Stripes (Tokyo, Japan)
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Vata Tap (Fortaleza, Brazil)

Founded in 1994 by Brazilian actress, choreographer and tap dancer Valeria Pinheiro, Vatá Tap brings to the stage an artistic sense as tied to hybridity as Brazil is itself. Pinheiro says of her company, “we are brincantes!” (This means to be an actor, a singer, a musician, a dancer, a complete artist.) Taking that idea as her foundation, Pinheiro has created a style that brings together American Tap dance with the dance rhythms, theater, circus arts and popular traditional music of Northeastern Brazil. A magical blend of popular culture, spirituality and intellectual inquiry Vatá Tap explores the notion of the hybrid body in an awe striking display of light, sound and movement.

Charlie's Angels (Los Angeles, USA)

Tap dance, music and rhythm in an innovative theatrical concept. The company’s style fuses movement and sound in a visual, dynamic and fresh language. The “groove”, as a pivotal means of expression, is inspired by influences as versatile as Mediterranean, European and Middle-eastern. The group’s debut at Tap City 2003 in New York encouraged its growth and in a short time Tapeplas got officially established in its own studios in Barcelona. Between 2003 and 2005, the group presented parts of its repertory in different festivals, acts and events, but only at the end of did Tapeplas premiered its full length show: BoomBach.

India Jazz Suites, featuring Pandit Chitresh Das and Jason Samuels Smith, is an explosive collaboration between one of India’s foremost Kathak masters and one of the world’s fastest, Emmy-award winning tap dancers. The result is high entertainment which crosses all boundaries of age, race and culture — a blast of incredible speed and power, grace and beauty, epic storytelling and the pure joy of dance. After premiering in San Francisco in 2005, India Jazz Suites has received extensive critical acclaim and has toured around the U.S. and India. It was chosen as the #1 Dance Performance of 2005 by the San Francisco Chronicle and won the prestigious Isadora Duncan Dance Award (Izzie) for Best Ensemble Performance of the year.

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