February 13, 2012

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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Shelley Oliver Tap Dancers and the David Leonhardt Jazz Trio will present a family matinee performance Saturday, Feb. 18, at 1 p.m.

Through the generosity of the Weis Center Green Room Board, this performance is free to the community. The event is a Pennsylvania affair, with Muhlenberg professor Shelley Oliver joining David Leonhardt, who has twice been the Artist in Residence at Lafayette College and is on the roster of The Pennsylvania Arts on Tour.

With more than 20 years experience as a professional tap dancer, Shelley Oliver has appeared internationally with some of the legends of the tap world. A founding member of noted dance ensemble Manhattan Tap, she was a co-artistic director/choreographer with the company for two years.

She has toured extensively throughout Europe, China, the Caribbean, Canada and the U.S., performing with such tap notables as Savion Glover, Jimmy Slide, Buster Brown, and Chuck Green as well as with many jazz greats including Slide Hampton, David "Fathead" Newman and Kenny Washington.

Her television appearances include "Tap Dance in America" with Gregory Hines and Star Search, in which she was a finalist. Oliver teaches jazztap at Muhlenberg College, choreographs for the theater, and is director of the Muhlenberg Jazz Tap Ensemble. She has conducted work shops and residencies for Lincoln Center, New York City Public Schools and universities through out the United States.

The featured tap soloist with the David Leonhardt Jazz Group touring jazz festivals and concerts worldwide, Oliver is the author of the CD "Tap Music For Tap Dance."

Jazz pianist and composer David Leonhardt has 25 years of professional experience in recordings, T.V. and radio, concerts and festivals, night clubs and stage shows. He has appeared internationally throughout North and South America, Europe, the Middle and Far East. Recently he arranged and recorded the #1 jazz CD, "Under a Woodstock Moon," with saxophonist David Newman and appeared with flutist Herbie Mann and bassist Ron Carter on the CD "Celebration."

Musical director and arranger for The Muhlenberg Jazz Tap Ensemble, he was musical director for the dance group Manhattan Tap for three years. He is leading his own band with appearances at the International Arts Festival of Shenzen in China, the Winnipeg Jazz Festival, The French Maison de Dance in Lyon as well as The Apollo Theater, The Blue Note, Birdland and Sweet Basil. A well-known educator who gives clinics world wide, he also writes for Piano Today.

Leonhardt has produced, arranged and performed on numerous recordings with jazz stars Stan Getz, Slide Hampton, Jon Hendricks, Eddie Henderson, Robin Eubanks, Ray Drummond and Lewis Nash. His compositions have been recorded by such jazz greats as Stanley Turentine, David "Fathead" Newman, Hank Crawford and Claudio Roditi.

The next event in the Weis Center series is Feb. 24 with the Walnut Street Theatre's production of "Proof" by David Auburn. Winner of both the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play, "Proof" tells the story of a young woman who comes home to take care of her brilliant, yet mentally ill, father. Tickets are $20 for the Feb. 24 production.

Contact: Division of Communications