City Pulse

By PK Greenfield

Michela Marino Lerman

Tap! Tap! Tap! What’s that funky sound?

It’s the fascinating footwork pattering from NYC’s Greenwich Village.

Smalls Jazz Club on West 10th Street hosts TAP/JAZZ JAM sessions every Wednesday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., and you must hear it to believe it. The dancers (hoofers) and musicians mash-up thanks to the incredible MC and performer, Michela Marino Lerman.

Michela got her first tap dance gig on Sesame Street at the age of 5. She was mentored by some of the greatest talents: Buster Brown, Gregory Hines and Leroy Masters. She also won many awards and her career has spanned from Broadway with Jennifer Holiday, to television with Grammy award-winning singer, Mya, and live performances with Al Green, Angie Stone and Patti LaBelle, just to name a few.

This is not one of those fancy and celebrity funded jazz venues. Expect a slightly tattered, unpretentious and dimly lit room with dusty ghosts like Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk. Smalls is small, and reminiscent of clubs that existed in the days of “Daddy-O” and “Cool cat”.

Speaking of cool cats, you might be greeted by one sitting on a stool at the entrance — not a dude sporting a beret and sunglasses, but a real feline. Be careful not to trip on the carpets (like I did), settle in and enjoy the incomparable fusion of two distinctly American art forms.
This gathering is the crossroads for dancers and musicians of every age, culture and style, and Michela has assembled some of the best in the business.

With no cover and only 1 drink minimum for the tap/jazz sessions, leave work behind, call your friends and shuffle over to Smalls this Wednesday.

Check it out here: Smalls Jazz Club.

Smalls Jazz Club
183 West 10th Street
New York, NY
(212) 252-5091

Photos: Courtesy of Michela Marino Lerman.

Originally published September 2012
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