Reggio & Brownie

Photo: John Sundlof

During the ‘Golden Age of Tap’, Brownie was half of the celebrated vaudeville duo Cook and Brown. They headlined at New York’s Roxy, Radio City Music Hall, The Cotton Club, London’s Palladium and The Latin Casino in Paris. Brownie was one of the co-founding members of the original “Copasetics”, an elite legendary tap ensemble that was formed to keep traditional tap alive in the memory of Bill “Bojangles” Robinson after his passing in 1949. Brownie performed during the Big Band era with Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Cab Calloway. He is a Broadway veteran of “Kiss Me Kate”.

Brownie received many prestigious awards. The Flo-Bert Award, New York City’s Tap City Hoofer’s Award, The Living Treasury Award from Oklahoma City University, St. Louis Hoofer’s Award, and Chicago Human Rhythm “Juba” Award.

In the early 90’s a new phase in both Brownie and Reggio careers began. They appeared together as a one-of-a-kind tap duo, performing recreations of the tap routines that Brownie did with Cookie and the Copasetics. They performed and taught workshops at all the major tap festivals in the nation and were featured in the PBS documentary, “JUBA Masters of Tap”. Brownie appeared with Reggio in his classic holiday show, “The Nut Tapper” every year until his passing at 92years old. Their tap dancing as a duo lasted for close to two decades.

Reggio is a true Copasetic in every sense of the word. He continues to keep the legacy of Brownie and the traditional Copasetics tap alive.