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Oral History with Kevin LaMarr Jones (B'94)
Oral History with Kevin LaMarr Jones (B'94)
In this oral history interview, Kevin Jones (‘94) sat down with Cole Richard (’21) and Jisu Song (‘22) on June 18, 2019, in Boatwright Memorial Library. Over the course of the one hour interview, Jones discussed his experience as one of the only black students in the business school, as well as his participation in three student groups: Minority Student Union, Asian American Student Association, and Volunteer Action Council. Jones reflects on his active search for diversity while on campus, including his time living in the International House, a dorm for study abroad and four-year international students.
Beyond the social barriers of race, religion, gender, and geography, Kevin LaMarr Jones professes that dance and music have the ability to unite the world. Since graduating from the University of Richmond with a B.S. in Business Administration and Virginia Commonwealth University with a B.F.A. in Dance and Choreography, Jones has become a graphic designer, dancer, choreographer, and producer based in Richmond, Virginia. His dance portfolio includes work with the Latin Ballet of Virginia as a professional company member, in addition to founding, CLAVES UNIDOS, a community-based dance company and academy which connects Richmond, Virginia to the world and gathers its residents around dances of the African diaspora.
Mr. Jones has been cultivating his own Pan-African dance style since the mid 1990s when as a Senior UR, he was introduced to and became a permanent fan of the music of, salsa band, Bio Ritmo. Jones studied traditional West African dance with Sister Faye Walker and Judy Lynn Edwards. He discovered a passion for flamenco through teachers like with Ana Ines King, Anna Menendez and Antonio Hidalgo Paz as well as many other master flamenco teachers during his travels to New York, Washington DC, Jerez de la Frontera, Madrid and Seville. He has studied Afro-Cuban dances with Ifé Michelle Milligan, Alberto Limonta Perez and various other master teachers in workshops between Miami, New York and Barcelona. He has studied salsa and partner dancing with various artists including Edwin Roa, Steve Greene and Yamil Boo. In 2006 & 2007 he delved into community engagement through the arts with Urban Bush Women as a participant in their Summer Leadership Institute in Brooklyn, NY. In 2015, he performed with his Bomba Afro-Puerto Rican dance teacher, Isha Renta, as an invited guest artist with her group, Semilla Cultural, at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage. He currently serves as a member of the board of directors for Dogtown Dance Theatre where he also creates and presents concert dance performances and productions.
Recent photograph of Kevin Jones thanks to Elli Morris.
This oral history is available for academic purposes--including but not limited to research by students, faculty, and staff--by permission from the interviewee (Kevin LaMarr Jones). The interviewee maintains the copyright, and must be contacted via the Race & Racism Project (firstname.lastname@example.org) for permissions for use outside of academic purposes.
“Oral History with Kevin LaMarr Jones (B'94),” Race & Racism at the University of Richmond, accessed November 21, 2019, http://memory.richmond.edu/items/show/3068.