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Wednesday, October 22, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 36.0° F  Fog/Mist
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Just tap-dancing through
From the Isthmus archives, Sept. 15, 1989

Previewing the Isthmus Jazz Festival, contributor Cathryn Harding looks beyond headliner Ray Charles for a City Notes profile of jazz dancer LaVaughn Robinson, who will present a workshop and lecture-demonstration during the festival. Robinson started busking when he was 8 years old, in Philadelphia. "We used to have a tramp band - washboard and cymbals on our fingers. And we had great big steel taps on our shoes," says Robinson, who's opened for acts including Charlie Parker and Billie Holiday and was honored by the National Endowment for the Arts. "People used to see hoofin' as an entertainment. Now they see it as an art form." Robinson dies at 80, in 2008, but is still renowned for the clarity and elegance of his high-speed a cappella style.

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