A Jam Session for Troubling Times

Acclaimed Ailey dancer and Resident Choreographer Jamar Roberts will be contributing to the centennial of Charlie “Bird” Parker with A Jam Session for Troubling Times, a premiere inspired by and featuring the music of the revolutionary saxophonist and composer. Alvin Ailey is famous for having said that “dance came from the people, and it should always be delivered back to the people.” In this upbeat, quirky, and accessible work, Resident Choreographer Jamar Roberts holds fast to that mission. At a time in our world rife with chaos and uncertainty, A Jam Session For Troubling Times uses the energy, nuance, and virtuosity of the ‘bebop’ sound as a vehicle to lift our spirits and demonstrate that we are stronger than our circumstances. Jazz has provided the soundtrack to his other works for the Company, including Members Don’t Get Weary (2017) and Ode, last year’s powerful meditation on the beauty and delicacy of life in a time of growing gun violence.

Featured News Releases

Ailey All Access Returns With A Fall Series Of Free Digital Broadcasts August 25 - November 17

New York, NY – August 25, 2021 – The Ailey organization resumes Ailey All Access with a fall series of free programs from August 25 – November 17 in advance of the much-anticipated return to the New York City Center stage for live performances this December. The online initiative, which has built community and celebrated the indomitable human spirit through dance since March 2020, features presentations of performance broadcasts, Ailey Extension dance and fitness classes, and more.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Presents Ailey Forward - First-Ever Virtual Season Celebrating Six Decades Of Revelations December 2 - 31, 2020

New York – November 10, 2020 – This holiday season, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will continue a tradition of uplifting and uniting audiences across the globe with a free virtual engagement celebrating six decades of Revelations, thanks to the generous support of Bank of America. Nine special presentations extending from December 2 – 31 will each be available online for a one-week period and open to all. Ailey’s extraordinary dancers will elevate a legacy of innovation and excellence in artistry with a reimagined season featuring premieres by Ailey’s Resident Choreographer Jamar Roberts; and Associate Artistic Director Matthew Rushing, in partnership with Company member and Assistant to the Rehearsal Director Clifton Brown, and former Company member Yusha-Marie Sorzano; a variety of other distinct programs; and a series of BattleTalk conversations, moderated by Artistic Director Robert Battle.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Opening Night Virtual Benefit, "Revelations Reimagined" Launches Season Celebration Of Revelations At 60 Wednesday, December 2 at 7:30pm ET

New York – November 25, 2020 – Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s holiday virtual season Ailey Forward celebrating six decades of the beloved American masterpiece, Revelations, will launch on Wednesday, December 2 at 7:30pm ET with a “Revelations Reimagined” Opening Night Virtual Benefit. The joyous program will feature a series of pièce d'occasion performances by Ailey’s extraordinary dance artists, along with planned appearances by special celebrity guests Sterling K. Brown, Jasmine Guy, Jillian Hervey of Lion Babe, Nigel Lythgoe, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Phylicia Rashad, Shonda Rhimes, Lynn Whitfield, Vanessa Williams, Jeffrey Wright and more. It will surely be a night to remember — one of celebration, dance, and love shared with people around the world.

Featured Press Coverage


CNN - A Man's Passion For Dance

CNN's Tomeka Jones talks to Jamar Roberts, a dancer and resident choreographer for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, who shares why he expresses his voice through dance.


WBGO - Alvin Ailey Choreographer Jamar Roberts: "A Jam Session For Troubling Times" Honors "Bird"

As part of the free Ailey Forward first-ever virtual holiday season celebrating six decades of Revelations, comes tonight's world premiere of A Jam Session for Troubling Times on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's website. It's the latest work from acclaimed Ailey dancer and choreographer Jamar Roberts. During his Zoom chat with WBGO News Director Doug Doyle, Roberts talked about how the December 14 virtual world premiere (7:30pm) that marks the centennial (dubbed Bird100) of jazz revolutionary saxophonist Charlie "Bird" Parker.


The New York Times - Weekend Roundup: Dance, Theater And Dickens Top The List

In normal times, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater would now be encamped at New York City Center for the month, inspiring awe and bringing joy. This year, everything is virtual: a mix of archival and newly filmed video, supplemented with conversations, available free on the company’s website, YouTube channel and Facebook page.