Yackez (Larissa & Jon Velez-Jackson)

Yackez (Larissa & Jon Velez-Jackson)

 

Yackez is the arty rap group/multimedia collaboration of Larissa and Jon Velez-Jackson, aka Twitta and Papi Jon. This married art-pop duo exists as both a celebration and critique of popular culture, politics, urban mentality and most notably, itself. Jon Velez-Jackson is a songwriter, writer and full-time journalist. He is also an avid pro-wrestling aficionado and the band wrestling coach. Larissa Velez-Jackson is a NYC-based choreographer and multi-platform artist. She was recently nominated for a 2016 New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” award for Outstanding Emerging Choreographer. Yackez often performs with their beloved mascot YackMan and their wrestling post-modernist dance ensemble, The Yackez Dancers (Tyler Ashley, Laurie Berg, Lillie De, Antonio Ramos and Ashley R.T. Yergens).

Larissa Velez-Jackson is a choreographer and hybrid artist who uses improvisation as a main tool for research and creation, focusing on personhood and the dancing/sound-making body. She employs a deep humor to grant audiences universal access to contemporary art’s critical discourse. LVJ has presented work at numerous NYC venues such as: Roulette, New Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum of art and Design, (former) Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project ’10, American Realness Festival ’11 and ‘15 at Abrons Arts Center and Chocolate Factory Theater ‘14. In 2011, she launched a song-and-dance collaboration with her husband Jon Velez-Jackson called Yackez. Velez-Jackson was a Movement Research Artist-in-Residence (2012-2013), a Seniors Partnering with Artists Citywide artist-in-residence with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (2013), an El Museo Del Barrio Artist in Residence (2014-2015) and most recently a Live Feed artist-in-residence at New York Live Arts (2015-2016). In 2012 she attended the danceWEB Scholarship Program of Impulstanz Festival with the support of a Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant. She will premiere a full-length commission at New York Live Arts in 2016 that incorporates her multimedia collaborative, Yackez with her older adult aerobics students. Velez-Jackson was recently awarded the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant to Artists for 2016, on her tenth year anniversary of professionally showing work.