Director Damian Woetzel, Lil Buck, and Ron Myles.

Gail Arnold

Director Damian Woetzel, Lil Buck, and Ron Myles.

Arts & Lectures Hosts Reception with Lil Buck

Reception for Donors Follows Performance at the Granada

Santa Barbara Arts & Lectures donors were treated to an intimate reception with Charles Riley, aka Lil Buck, and fellow performers in the McCune Founders Room at the Granada Theatre after their amazing performance on Tuesday, October 25th.

Lil Buck performed “A Jookin’ Jam Session” to a mesmerized audience. The performance was directed by Damian Woetzel and Lil Buck was joined by fellow dancer Ron “Prime Tyme” Myles and musicians Sandeep Das, Johnny Gandelsman, Cristina Pato, and Wu Tong.

Jookin, a street dance style originating in Memphis, Tennessee, has become increasingly popular in recent years as Lil Buck has toured the world collaborating with a wide range of performers. He has performed with Yo-Yo Ma, the New York City Ballet, and Cirque du Soleil and has toured with Madonna.

In a Q & A session immediately after the performance, Lil Buck shared how upon his return from Memphis from touring, he has seen many youth who were previously involved with gangs now immersed in Jookin and is so pleased to see this development. He is strongly committed to exposing the world of dance to different communities around the world.

Along with doing major performances, community outreach is very important to Lil Buck. This helps explains the plethora of activities with which Woetzel, Lil Buck and his fellow performers graced the Santa Barbara community. These included Meet-the-Artist Sessions at Santa Barbara Junior High and Goleta Valley Jr. High School, dance classes for UCSB students, a choreography workshop for students from UCSB Dance Division and the Santa Barbara Festival Ballet, an open rehearsal for various students, and community dance classes at Santa Barbara Dance Arts Studio and Gustafson Dance Studio,

After the Q&A, Woetzel, Lil Buck and fellow performers adjourned to the elegant Founders Room where an excited group of about 70 Arts & Lectures donors (those at the Producers’ Circle level and above) got to chat with the stars over tasty bites and cocktails.

For Arts & Lectures, ticket sales cover only about 30 percent of the cost of presenting performances and lectures and doing the amazing community outreach like Lil Buck and his team just did. Thus, donations are critical for these performances, lectures, and community outreach programs. Invites to receptions like this are just one of many benefits of becoming a donor. For more information about Arts & Lectures, including how to become a member, go

Event sponsors were John Arnhold and Mission Wealth. Annette & Dr. Richard Caleel are Dance Series Sponsors, and Maxine Prisyon of the William H. Kearns Foundation is an Education Sponsor.

If you have an event that you would like to see in this column, you may contact Gail at

By Gail Arnold

Top row: Johnny Gandelsman, Grace Park, Eric Jacobsen, Damian Woetzel, John Arnhold, Lil Buck, Ron Myles, Kate Davis; bottom row: Sandeep Das, Cristina Pato.

Grace-Kathryn Photography

John Arnhold, Cristina Pato, and Johnny Gandelsman.

Grace-Kathryn Photography

Dr. Richard and Annette Caleel with Director Damian Woetzel.

By Gail Arnold

Santa Barbara Dance Theater Artistic Director Christopher Pilafian, A&L Programming Manager Heather Silva, Sheryl Stagg, and Patricia Toppel.

By Gail Arnold

Director Damian Woetzel, Lil Buck, and Ron Myles.

By Gail Arnold

Amanda Thomas from Mission Wealth, an event sponsor, with her husband, Jay Thomas.

Grace-Kathryn Photographyy

Johnny Gandelsman and Maxine Prisyon of the William H. Kearns Foundation, an Education Sponsor.

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