Shows & Performances

New All-Star Lineup

National Tap Day Celebration

Master of ceremonies Reggio the Hoofer McLaughlin will lead you through a celebration of percussive dance at the National Tap Day Show.

Accompanied by the big band beat of Alan Greysik's Swing Shift band, Reggio has brought together a variety of special guests to join in this evening of dance at the Old Town School of Folk Music.

Special Guests Include:

  • George "Mo Leggs" Patterson from the broadway hit show "Bring in the Noise, Bring in the Funk"
  • Doris Humphries, who danced with the legendary Louis Jordan's Big Band during the golden age of tap
  • The Young Stracke All Star Singers
  • Susan Hebach from Tap City New York
  • Reggio's Advanced Tap Students
Mark your calendars because you won't want to miss this fantastic group of dancers coming together to celebrate their art form!

For further information and tickets visit Concert Details at The Old Town School of Folk Music web site. Or call (773) 728-6000.
December 2, 2012 at City Winery

Reggio ‘The Hoofer’ McLaughlin and
George ‘Mo Leggs’ Patterson with
Alan Gresik’s Swing Shift Band

Longtime Green Mill favorite, the Alan Gresik Swing Shift Orchestra is bringing its unique 1930s rock 'n roll big band sound to Chicago's outstanding new West Loop concert space where they'll be joined by rhythm tappers Reggio McLaughlin and George Patterson.

If audience members at last June's National Tap Day show felt transported back in time to the swing era, it was these same musicians and dancers bringing to life the atmosphere, the sounds and the excitement of the Cotton Club in the 30s and 40s. This is a chance to discover first hand what all the buzz was about.

For further information and tickets visit City Winery's Events Calendar. The venue is located at 1200 W Randolph in Chicago. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. and the show starts at 7:00.

Keep a Song In Your Soul:
The Black Roots of Vaudeville

In November 2011, The Old Town School of Folk Music presented its first-ever theatrical work, developed by the Grammy-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, MacArthur "Genius" grant recipient Reginald R. Robinson, and Chicago tap icon Reggio "The Hoofer" McLaughlin. Funding for the project was provided by the Joyce Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the MAP Fund.

Set in the Great Migration era of 1910–1930, "Keep a Song in Your Soul: The Black Roots of Vaudeville" tells the story of a young woman (Rhiannon Giddens) who is lured from the rural South by the promise of a better life in a northern city, followed by her devoted boyfriend (Reginald McLaughlin). There, the two encounter further challenges, as they attempt to cope with the realities behind the city's gleam. The songs that tell the story include such historic pieces as "Underneath The Harlem Moon," "Darktown Strutter's Ball," "There's a Brownskin Girl Down the Road Somewhere," "Raise a Ruckus," "Run, N-gger, Run," "Cakewalkin' Babies from Home," and "Keep a Song in Your Soul" (written by Fats Waller and Alex Hill in 1930). In addition, McLaughlin choreographed dances for the show in the spirit and tradition of the Chitlin' Circuit era, including the "Chair Dance" which was taught to him by his mentor, and former Vaudeville performer, Ernest "Brownie" Brown.

Description adapted from:
The Center for Black Music Research - Columbia College

Past National Tap Day Celebrations

© Terry Tasche
It Don't Mean a Thing if it Ain't Got that Swing!

The Chicago dance community celebrates Bill "Bojangles" Robinson's birthday each year with a National Tap Day extravaganza at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Presented by Reggio "The Hoofer" McLaughlin, the shows celebrate different facets of tap, swing, jazz and rhythm dancing. Above Reggio is rehearsing some of the cast for the 2009 show, The Golden Age of Tap, which featured Norma Miller, the "Queen of Swing".

National Tap Day shows have included guest performances by Brenda Bufalino, Tony Waag, Andrew Nemur, The Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Doris Humphries, author and tap revivalist Jane Goldberg, Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk's George "Mo Leggs" Patterson and students from the Old Town School of Folk Music.

"When it comes to jazz tap, Reggio is the real deal.

He apprenticed to the elders and absorbed the nuances of their legacy. He's produced a body of work that draws equally on heritage and creativity. And he's generated a community of students and audience members that worship him and his astonishing footwork."
Bau Graves
Executive Director
Old Town School of Folk Music
"Dancing with Reggio has always been a delight. His timing, energy, generosity and professionalism all contribute to making him an audience favorite."
Brenda Bufalino
Tap Dancer, Choreographer, Author
Artistic Mentor and Board Member - American Tap Dance Foundation