"They are the most innovative and genuinely creative dance company in the country, by any measurement." - Tommy Banks
The Company of Decidedly Jazz Danceworks was founded in 1984 with the objective of creating concert jazz dance that sustains the spirit and traditions of jazz. After almost three decades of work, a distinct and eclectic style that mixes groove, African roots, rhythm, improvisation, interplay with musicians, and deeply human soul, has distinguished DJD on the international jazz dance stage. Our founders and artists are progressive historians, innovating boldly while maintaining a respectful and loving eye on the roots of jazz.
The Company has created more than 50 full-length performances, many featuring live musicians including notables such as the late Big Miller, Tommy Banks, Mark Murphy, PJ Perry and Jackie Richardson to name just a few. Decidedly Jazz Danceworks performs two original productions each season to inspire our audiencesand evolve the art of jazz dance boldy forward.
Our artists and teachers offer classes in jazz and related forms and evolve and enhance jazz through creative collaborations and outreach activities locally, nationally and internationally. Our artists have shared our unique vision across Canada, in the United States including at The School at Jacob's Pillow, in Europe, Africa and the Caribbean.
We exist to enliven our audiences, other artists and our community with jazz dance. Here’s what some have said about us... and our thanks to each of them.
"You listen. You look. And you say yes. That’s what music should look like." - Calgary Herald
"...entertains simply by the ingenious way it moves through an amazing variety of styles...and the audience...gave standing ovations both nights." - Dance International Magazine
"We were absolutely blown away - what a stunning production...your dancers were marvellous - thrilling to watch. Ms. Richardson is a national treasure - what a treat to hear her sing. Your work is so engaging, so fundamentally humane, it makes me feel I can dance - that dance is the logical natural form of human expression." - Audience member, St. Catharines ON
"Such energy, such originality, such freshness." - Audience member, Victoria BC
"It's progressive. It's visually spectacular." - Swerve Magazine
"I was thoroughly excited when I saw DJD the first time about a decade ago. I find this company to be one of a handful of dance groups worldwide that genuinely understands the history of jazz and can create work that expresses the true energy and life of both the music and the dance. They truly are a rare find in the international community." - Heather Cornell, Artistic Director, Manhattan Tap, New York