May 25th is National Tap Dance Day, and we are celebrating with professional tap dancers Johnnie Hobbs III & Cassidy Linder! They will be joined by Jazz Trio Mark Goldenberg on guitar, Steve Nelson on bass, and Debra Dobkin on drums!
Johnnie Hobbs III is a tap dancer, film director, teacher, performer and coloring book collector. He’s worked with such theatre companies as The New Freedom Theatre, Adren Theatre Company, Interact Theatre and Matrix Theatre. A 2004 graduate of Philadelphia’s The University of the Arts, Johnnie moved to L.A. to follow his passion for film and television. His talent of tap dancing was showcased at “ Showtime at The Apollo”, the Inauguration Events in Washington D.C for President Barack Obama and The Guatemala Dance Challenge in Guatemala. He’s first directorial effort was in 2012 with a tap dancing short film drama called “NOSTALGIA” starring Dule Hill (The West Wing, Psych) and tap dancers Sarah Reich, Jason Samuels Smith and Chloe Arnold. The film went on to be accepted to film festivals around the country. He’s directed three other short films since then. Johnnie’s been a guest speaker at University of Colorado, Temple University, Santa Monica College, and Art Institute to name a few. Relativity School, a new college in Downtown Los Angeles, has recently named him Adjunct Professor of tap dance for the Commercial Dance Department.
Cassidy Linder is a professional tap choreographer and improvisational performer. A tapper since age 3, her instructors saw potential, and she started performing tap solos (and winning) in competitions at the age of 9. By the age of 17 she began taking professional level classes in Chicago. She was once again noticed by an instructor, and was asked to audition for a professional tap company. Upon auditioning, Cassidy became a full member of Chicago Tap Theatre at 17 years old. She performed in the midwest and toured the south of France with them for 4 years. During this time Cassidy taught most notably at the Joel Hall Dance Studio. Since moving to Ventura County, she spent a season performing with the tap group Pumping Metal in Oxnard, performed with the band Noble Creatures and poet Lady May, and has had her taps recorded as musical accompaniment. She is a featured guest choreographer at Nordoff High School and is on faculty at Encore Dance Studio in Santa Paula. Cassidy opened her own dance studio/performance venue, Ojai Arts Exchange, with her fiancé Bernie Larsen. Cassidy instructs classes in tap, ballet, and dance fitness to adults 16 and up. Bernie and Cassidy perform all over Southern California, where she performs improvisational tap to his songs.
Mark Goldenberg is a guitarist who has played on records for a myriad of artists including Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, Eels, Natalie Imbruglia,Chris Isaak, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Peter Frampton and yes, William Shatner. He has been lead guitarist for Jackson Browne since 1994. He is also a songwriter whose works have been recorded by Linda Rondstat, Chicago, Pointer Sisters, Natalie Imbruglia, Eels, Chris Botti, and yes, Olivia Newton John, among others.
Steve Nelson is a bass player desired by all. He keeps the pulse of the music going, and is the backbone of every song. You can find him playing live almost every weekend and working at NBC Universal as a Sound Editor.
Debra Dobkin can be heard on numerous recordings spanning many different genres and live in concert from the smallest local bar in Hollywood, Ca. to the great hall at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. She has recorded and appeared in concert with Bonnie Raitt, Richard Thompson, Shawn Colvin, Jackson Browne, Don Henley, and Was (not Was), John Trudell's Bad Dog, and Perla Batalla among many others.
The celebration and show begins at 7:30, and there is a $25 suggested donation at the door.