The Jamaica Dance Festival is back!

Matthew Westerby Dance Company

Matthew Westerby Company has been presented at venues and festivals around the northeast for the past decade, as well as three self-produced NYC seasons. The Company was dance company in residence for Project Poetry Live! in partnership with Litchfield Performing Arts (2009-17) with funding from the Connecticut State Dept. of Education, and has been supported by funding from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone and a two year residency from the CUNY Dance Initiative. The Company’s, now in it’s 4th year, brings together children, teens and adults together each summer to perform in a community dance celebration in Marcus Garvey Park (Harlem). Artistic Director Matthew Westerby continues to collaborate with composers Bryan Senti & Rick Smith, currently collaborating on a new evening length work for premiere in fall 2019. The Company became a non-profit organization in 2017.

Photo by Sam Polcer

Jamal Jackson Dance Company

Jamal Jackson Dance Company (JJDC) was founded in 2004 with the purpose of fusing various traditional African dance styles with Modern and Hip Hop techniques and diverse contemporary music styles in order to create a new, unique technique that is relevant to a multifarious community of Americans. The movement and storylines of JJDC choreography focus on redefining ideas of community and blurring divisive lines, while still celebrating the beauty of individual cultures.


Jeremy McQueen’s Black Iris Project

Founded in 2016 by award-winning choreographer Jeremy McQueen, The Black Iris Project (BIP) is a ballet collaborative and education vehicle which creates new, relevant classical & contemporary ballet works that celebrate diversity and Black history. Based in New York City, the project hosts a team of predominantly artists of color delivering cross-discipline and wholly original works. Championing individuality, the collaborative harnesses the Black community’s inherent creative spirit to encourage and inspire youth of color to pursue art, movement and music as an expressive outlet and a means for collective healing. To learn more about The BIP visit www.blackirisproject.org.

Photo by Matthew Murphy

Obremski/Works

Jesse Obremski, a native New Yorker, has been described by DanceTabs as one who dances “with fluent simplicity” and “quiet understanding”. He started training at The Ailey School and later graduated from Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School (2012). In 2016, Jesse graduated from The Juilliard School, under the direction of Lawrence Rhodes, where he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts. Jesse is an Eagle Scout Rank recipient (2010), a Father Fame Awardee (2012), the recipient of the 2016 Jadin Wong Dance Award, administered by the Asian American Arts Alliance, and a “Dancer to Watch” by Interview En L’air (2017). He has also attended Springboard Danse Montreal, Earl Mosley’s Institute of the Arts (EMIA), and Jacob’s Pillow’s Contemporary Program. Jesse is the founder and artistic director of Obremski/Works, a contemporary dance ensemble based in New York City.