ABOUT THE SHELLEY OLIVER TAP DANCERS... The Shelley Oliver Tap Dancers are a high caliber ensemble of three women rhythm tap dancers with wide scale audience appeal.
True to the traditions of both jazz music and jazz tap dancing, the performances include dynamic improvisational elements, synchronized ensemble dancing and stunning solo work.
Each dancer in the ensemble is a strong soloist skilled in jazz tap improvisation with diverse professional experience including TV, video, stage and concert appearances.
The Shelley Oliver Tap Dancers have performance and production qualities of the highest standard and the group consistently draws raves in concert halls, theaters, clubs and festivals. They provide an exciting evening of sophisticated music and dance that is first-rate.
Shelley Oliver, Canadian born tap dancer, choreographer, and educator has over twenty years experience as a professional in which time she has appeared internationally with some of the legends of the tap world. She leads her own group The Shelley Oliver Tap Dancers and is the featured tap soloist with the David Leonhardt Jazz Group touring jazz festivals and concerts worldwide. She is a founding member of the international touring ensemble, Manhattan Tap. Ms. Oliver has performed throughout Europe, China, the Caribbean, Canada and the United States.
Ms. Oliver has worked with the legendary Gregory Hines, Jimmy Slide, Buster Brown, Charles "Cookie" Cook, Steve Condos, Chuck Green and Savion Glover. She has performed with many great jazz musicians including Slide Hampton, David "Fathead" Newman, Robin Eubanks, and Kenny Washington. Her television appearances include Tap Dance in America with Gregory Hines and as a winning tap dancer in the original Star Search as a young performer.
A well-known dance educator, she is the 2009 recipient of the Lehigh Valley Dance Consortium Award for Outstanding Educator and Choreographer. She is on faculty at Muhlenberg College where she directs the Muhlenberg Jazz Tap Ensemble providing community outreach programs for inner city schools in Allentown. Ms. Oliver has conducted workshops and residencies for Lincoln Center, New York City Public Schools and universities throughout the United States. She has pioneered a tap and math program for elementary schools that accommodate special needs children and developed a tap dance workshop for learning disabled children in reading and math.
Ms. Oliver has produced a popular series of Tap Dance CDs “Tap Music For Tap Dancers” designed as an educational aide for tap students that have become a standard pedagogical tool worldwide.
Rebekkah Brown, a native of Pennsylvania began performing as a three year old in theater and dance. A skilled choreographer and dancer, Ms. Brown has choreographed for Muhlenberg Summer Music Theater’s productions of Cabaret, Brigadoon, South Pacific and Guys and Dolls and A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum. She has won numerous awards for tap dancing, teaches dance and creative drama, and holds a degree in Theater and Dance from Muhlenberg College and an MBA from St. John’s University.
Sarabeth Roland has many years experience as a tap dance performer. She has studied dance in New York City with master tap dancers, Diane Walker and Savion Glover and at Muhlenberg College. She was a featured dancer with the award winning Muhlenberg Jazz Tap Ensemble for two years, has performed in various National Tap Dance Day Festivals, and toured the US as a tap performer.
Jenny Lynn Peters is thrilled to be performing with the Shelley Oliver Tap Dancers once again. A graduate of Muhlenberg College, Jenny received a B.A. in theater/dance. She has been seen on the National Tour of 42nd Street, (u/s Peggy Sawyer) and in Wisconsin Dells, WI where she performed in American Musical Celebration, an all singing all dancing musical revue at Broadway in the Dells. Regionally she has been seen in George M! (Josie), Annie Get Your Gun (Winnie Tate), and Dames At Sea (Joan). Favorite roles include Little Red in Into the Woods and Hildy in On the Town, both which earned her Irene Ryan Nominations. She has worked with choreographers such as Germaine Salsburg, Rick Conant, and Randy Skinner. Jenny is currently working as a teaching artist in schools and as a drama, dance and vocal coach at theaters in the tri-state area. For more information go to
For YouTube videos go to: thinkjazzz David Leonhardt CDs and Ms. Oliver's tap CDs are available on iTunes and CDBaby
About The David Leonhardt Jazz Group…
David Leonhardt (piano), is a critically acclaimed and highly popular jazz pianist who has appeared successfully at the International Arts Festival of Shenzhen in China, the Winnipeg Jazz Festival, The French Maison de Dance in Lyon, as well festivals and concerts throughout the United States. He has been heard at The Apollo Theater, The Blue Note, Birdland, The Village Gate and other New York area nightclubs. He was musical director for jazz vocal legend Jon Hendricks for four years and has played for over fifteen years as the pianist in The David “Fathead” Newman Quartet. Mr. Leonhardt has numerous CDs, under his own name, is the president of Big Bang Records, is on the Roster of The Pennsylvania Arts On Tour and has performed with an array of jazz stars from Art Blakey to Benny Carter to Dave Liebman to Diane Reeves.
David Leonhardt - Career Highlights
Twenty year with saxophonist David “Fathead” Newman: arranging and playing on four CDs, international tours. 1988-2008
Four year as musical director for jazz vocalist Jon Hendricks: international tours, jazz festivals, radio and TV broadcasts. 1983-1987
President and founder of Big Bang Records with eighteen CDs as a leader. 1993 to present.
Fifteen years leading The David Leonhardt Jazz Group a concert ensemble with hundreds of performances: theaters, Universities, Colleges, festivals, arts organizations US, Canada and Europe. 1993-2008
Twelve years freelance experience in New York City. Broadway to the Today Show, jazz clubs to dance halls, Bar Mitzvahs and weddings to cabaret clubs and Lincoln Center, jingles to jazz records. 1980-1992
Twenty years performing with legendary Tap Dancers. Musical director for Manhattan Tap and The Shelley Oliver Tap Dancers including National and European tours, television and DVDs. 1987 to 2008
Decades of experiences as a jazz educator in universities, colleges, clinics and workshops. Ten years of presenting “Jazz For Kids” an interactive children's program.
First jazz experience playing piano as a teenager with jazz educator Jamey Aebersold in concerts, clubs and school presentations in Louisville, KY. 1974-1980
First professional engagement at the age of 14 in a teenage rock band. First road experience with a southern rock band touring Dixie age 16. 1970-1976
Paul Wells (drums), a native of Pittsburgh Paul has been an in demand percussionist on the New York jazz scene for years. He has performed and recorded with a many jazz greats and was recently the drummer on a national tour with rocker Debbie Harry. of Blondie fame He also holds the drum chair in The Duke Ellington Legacy Band. A versatile musician with years of experience he has performed with Joe Williams, Norman Simmons, Randy Brecker, Eric Alexander, Larry Goldings, Rufus Reid, Mark Murphy, Rick Margitza, Dave Valentin, and Houston Person
Matthew Parish (bass), rising star of the jazz bass Matthew Parrish has performed with Clark Terry, Marian McPartland and Harry "Sweets" Edison. He has performed or recorded with y, Regina Carter, Wynton Marsalis, Ravi Coltrane, Mickey Roker, Bobby Durham, Shirley Scott, Al Grey, Stefon Harris, and Greg Osby. He has performed on four continents and is a regular on the Philadelphia jazz scene and numerous jazz recordings.
Nancy Reed (vocals), the daughter of a jazz pianist and an opera singer grew up in Brooklyn amid the musically rich culture of New York City. She has sung professionally for over twenty years honing her skills in the clubs of New York and on tour in Europe and the Far East. She has performed and recorded with Phil Woods, Slide Hampton, David “Fathead” Newman and Bob Dorough . She performs with the Mercer Ellington Orchestra and has recently recorded a CD with David Leibman.
Larry McKenna (sax) is the dean of Philadelphia saxophonists and has been playing beautifully for over fifty years. He first went on the road with The Woody Herman Orchestra in 1958. He has played and recorded with, Buddy DeFranco, Clark Terry, John Faddis, Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney, Tony Bennett, and Sarah Vaughn.