C-Jack Run Revue

At First Sight:

There are groups and groups of people squeezing under the Pan-African Village tent for one of two reasons: either they can’t hear the act that is on or they want a better view of the dancers in CJack’s variety showcase. Right of the tent is a line-up of dancers, singers, bands and collaborations mixed and huddled into stances of seasoned performers and nervous first-timers.

Hip Hop Violinists and twin brothers Eric, left, and Anthony McGriff play the Pan-African Village as part of CJack Run's Variety Show. | Ruthnie Angrand, Staff Photo

The Bands/Showcase:

The showcase has become a six-year running feature at The Pan-African Village, drawing larger crowds and acts each year. McGriff Twins, who play the cello and violin to hip-hop rhythms, are first time acts and Kalabash Dance troupe from Syracuse University are seasoned performers.

“I’m always keeping an ear for talent or open to offer performance opportunities,” said organizer Charles Jackson.


The Sound:

The Variety Show sound will range from “cute singer,” “ambitious singer with great stage presence” to down-right phenomenal. Seasoned vocal acts include Tamar Smithers and Burnell Reid & United Praise.

“I’m always looking for that combination of move your soul and spirit type of music, new and experimental sounds and stage presence,” Jackson added.

When asked, what is needed to have a good performance, Jackson says, “I enjoy the shock value of [a good performance] and the ‘wow’ effect.”


Take away acts of the showcase:

Though it was difficult, audiences echoed SU’s Break-dancers, Burnell Reid and United Praise, SU’s Nu Rho Poetic Society and The McGriff Twins as favorite acts with Kalabash and SU Black Reign coming in close.


Catch them at: CJack Run TV – 9 p.m. Sundays, on Facebook and at The Pan African Village once a year or online


Variety Cast:

Tamar Smithers, The McGriff Twins, Burnell Reid & United Praise, Gregory Collins, Black Reign, Bachateros, Kalabash, Underground Poetry Spot, Olympia, Nu Rho Poetic Society, Jamari, Jeanette, The 3 Poets, Syracuse Dance Project, Nicole Blue, Alice Seals, Kiara Maldonado.


Hosted by Maria Maldonado

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