30 Years of Movement, Music & Sharing Our Stories…

JAM SESSION is an exciting musical celebration of dance Immersion’s 30 years

of championing dancers and dances of the African Diaspora!

Part of Canadian Stage Dream in High Park

Close out our 30th anniversary season with us at our Jam Session that includes remarkable dancers and a live band weaving together sights and sounds of popular African Diasporic music/dance. Rosie Harbans, Travis Knights, Shelly Ann McLeod, Jamari “Rhino” Whittaker, and Musical Director Donny Milwalkee and his band are bringing Krump, Jazz, Caribbean Folk, and Tap together on one stage for this unforgettable event.

WHEN?  JULY 4 – 6, 2024 @ 8:00 PM

WHERE?  Canadian Stage High Park Amphitheatre, 1873 Bloor St W, Toronto

TICKETS?  $35 (total after taxes), with a pay-what-you-wish option available at noon online on each day of a performance.

Tickets can also be purchased in-person on the day of each performance between 6:00pm – 8:00pm. In-person tickets can be purchased at the $35 level or at the pay-what-you-wish level. 


*Note: No parking inside High Park on weekends. Street parking available. TTC to High Park Subway Station. There is a 10-minute walk from the High Park entrances to the Amphitheatre. 


Rose-Mary “Rosie” Harbans (she/they) is a multifaceted performer, emerging choreographer, and dance educator based in Toronto, Ontario. She is a Dora nominated artist whose artistic practice centres dance and movement as a powerful vessel for inner transformation, liberation, and healing. Their movement vocabulary has its roots in jazz, west african, and afro – caribbean dance, as well as western styles of movement. Rosie is also a graduate of Toronto Metropolitan University (BFA). Some of their credits include Treemonisha (Volcano Theatre), Evita (Drayton Theatre), Trinity: Music, Dance & You (Vicki St. Denys), Dixon Road (Musical Stage Co./ Ray Hogg), Kira, The Path | La Voie (Lua Shayenne Dance Company), A Revolution for Love (Esie Mensah), and After Midnight (Norwegian Cruise Lines/ Warren Carlyle).

Travis Knights is a Tap Dancer. Born in Montreal, Canada, Travis was introduced to the rich oral tradition of Tap by his teacher Ethel Bruneau at age 10. He went on to travel the world spreading his love of rhythm across 4 continents, touring with Tap Dogs, Tapestry Dance Company, and the self-produced Tap Love Tour.  In 2019 Travis finished a two year community development residency at the Tranzac Club in Toronto hosting the Jazz United Jam, a weekly jazz jam session aimed at reconnecting live musicians with dancers.  He was the 2020 recipient of the Jaqueline Lemieux Prize for outstanding contribution to dance in Canada.  In 2021, in partnership with Anandam DanceTheatre, Travis debuted an original work ‘Ephemeral Artifacts’, a 4 channel video installation, with original sound design, lighting and sculptures of bells onto the historic building of Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto.  In December 2021, in partnership with Dance Immersion, Travis, along with renowned Tap Dancer Lisa LaTouche, created and directed Legacy Series: Tap Dance Symposium which aimed to re-introduce Tap Dance to the local Black community in Toronto.  In 2022, Travis toured 4 international cities with Ephemeral Artifacts, won a Dora Award for Outstanding Performance in Dance Immersion’s Tap Legacy Concert, and became a Slaight Family Music Associate at Soulpepper.  He currently lives in Brampton, Ontario and hosts The Tap Love Tour Podcast, available on spotify, soundcloud and apple podcasts, (make sure to subscribe) featuring interviews of a myriad of inspiring tap dance artists. Travis’s costume is designed and constructed by Reggie Knights

Shelly Ann McLeod was born on the beautiful twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago into a family deeply rooted and involved in theatre arts. She has traveled the Caribbean representing Trinidad and Tobago at various dance festivals where she was also invited to teach classes ranging from beginners to advanced dancers and artists. In 2006 she was awarded and accepted a scholarship from COBA, Collective of Black Artists in Toronto Canada, where she trained and became a full-time company member, faculty, spokesperson, and board liaison for company dancers. In 2007 Shelly Ann was recognized by her primary school, La Romaine Roman Catholic Primary School, for outstanding Alumni and contribution towards the community through arts and culture. Shelly Ann then took her pedagogy to Seneca, York University Campus as Dance and Movement Professor in August 2016, and Movement Professor at Toronto Film School in January 2018. She is now the Dance Educator at Emery Collegiate Institute. To add to her list of talents, Shelly Ann also sings and writes Calypsos and other genres of music. She plays steel pan and other percussion instruments. Shelly Ann is the founder and owner of Shhhhh Designz Body Bar, a natural and Organic skincare line. Her aim is to educate about the importance of skin care using natural ingredients. And to simply love and enjoy the skin you are in. Shelly Ann’s costume is designed and constructed by A-Feeree Dance Arts director, BaKari I. Lindsay

Jamari “Rhino”Whittaker, a charismatic and influential street style dancer, hails from the vibrant city of Toronto. Born with an innate passion for krumping, he has carved a unique niche for himself in the dance community. Rhino’s journey into the world of krump began at a young age, when he was captivated by the raw energy and expressive movements of this dance style from the movie RIZE. Over the years, Rhino honed his krumping skills to become a force in the Toronto dance scene. His style is a mesmerizing blend of power, precision, and emotion, which has earned him respect and admiration from fellow dancers and enthusiasts alike. But Rhino’s impact goes beyond his incredible dance talent. He’s also a dedicated teacher and advocate for krump culture, recognizing the power of this art form to uplift and inspire. He shares his knowledge and passion for krumping to a new generation of dancers, fostering their creativity and self-expression. Rhino’s commitment to spreading awareness of krump culture extends beyond the studio. He frequently organizes public performances and workshops, reaching out to communities and schools, helping people understand the roots, history, and significance of krump in the world of dance. Through his dancing and teaching, Rhino has become a beloved figure in Toronto’s dance community, leaving an indelible mark and ensuring that krump culture thrives in the city for years to come.

From building Toronto’s live hip-hop show band scene, to not-for-profit music education, to owning a live music venue and working with festivals and events producers to innovate the concert experience, Donny Milwalkee has built a reputation for shaking up the status quo. As a drummer, he is known for creating deeply emotional arrangements, and this sensibility is prevalent in his live productions. Live credits include arranging the New York Chamber Society for JP Saxe, horns for Roc Nation artist Young Paris, and dozens of other live performances with orchestrations for horns and strings. Donny moves to create culture and community in every aspect of his work, which includes his showcasing band The Dirty B-Sides, trap-jazz collective game.set.trap, concerts at his restaurant Friday Roots, hip-hop brass band Bangerz Brass, his music school The BAR Institute, and more. Now based between Toronto and Halifax, he continues his work supporting the African Nova Scotian Music Association as a project coordinator, ushering in new ideas, initiatives, and programming to guide new pathways for the community and expanding throughout Atlantic Canada.


Donny Milwalkee – Musical Direction / Sound Design / Drums

Carlis Majid Afram – Steelpan

Sam Little – Bass

Ciara Leah – Keys & Vocals





LIGHTING DESIGNER: Logan Raju Cracknell

VOLUNTEER: Nikki Chabrol

TRAILER VIDEO: Miha Matevzic