Summer Intensives

Tri-Tone Tap & Percussive Arts Summer Intensive

July 17 – 20, 2024


Early Bird Deadline June 10, 2024


The Tap and Percussive Arts Summer Intensive will provide an opportunity for Intermediate & Advanced level tap dancers to expand their rhythmic, musical and creative skillset. The intensive will focus on enhancing technique (tap and body percussion), musicianship, creative expression (improvisation and composition), and historical knowledge (honouring our masters and mentors/lineage).

We are delighted to have Jessie Sawyers joining us from Seattle! Both the intermediate and advanced classes will have the opportunity to work with Jessie along with participating in morning sessions to prepare the dancers in both physical alignment and mental mindset, creating a space for a positive and collaborative growth experience facilitated by Tasha and Jessie.

Advanced level dancers will engage in a new composition, set to a mashup of the hip hop song “Passionfruit” by Drake and the jazz post-bop tune “Passion Dance” by McCoy Tyler, that will be performed at the Saturday Tap Jam with live music.


Please contact if you have questions about level. 


Intensive includes: 

  • Rhythm Tap Technique
  • Body Percussion
  • Jazz Music Clinic
  • Tap and Body Music Improvisation
  • Composition & Repertoire
  • Footage & History on Lunch break
  • Tap Jam with Live Jazz Trio (Day 4 @ Asylum For Art)



• Wednesday, July 17 – Friday, July 19, 2024 – In Studio – 11:00AM-5:00PM
Saturday, July 20, 2024 – Live Music Tap Jam Brunch – 12:30-2:30 PM

  • 1 Jam ticket included in package for intensive participants
  • Additional tickets – 15.00 TTRS Members / 20.00 Non Members
  • Brunch menu provided at location. Fee covers Musicians and venue.
  • e-transfer:


In Studio – Decidedly Jazz Danceworks – 5th Floor; 111 – 12 Ave. SE
Tap Jam Brunch – Asylum For Art – 2505, 14th Street SW, T2T-3T8 

Faculty Bios

Jessie Sawyers

Jessie is an author, speaker, coach, and force of positivity who has traveled across 6 continents to over 10 countries. She has been teaching tap dance for 18 years and working professionally for 22. Her artistic expression is melodic, powerfully rhythmic, graceful, and exudes a deep love for improvised music collaboration. Her studies began under the tutelage of Ginger Roberts who then connected her with Cheryl Johnson and Anthony Peters in Seattle. Jessie has had the honor of studying around the U.S. and internationally with late tap greats Cholly Atkins, Ernest Brown, Harold Cromer, Fayard Nicholas, LaVaughn Robinson, Jimmy Slyde, Prince Spencer. At 16 years old, she was invited to share the stage with the late great Gregory Hines, and at 19 worked with Savion Glover as part of the Seattle Theatre Group’s DANCE This concert. She often has the honor of assisting living tap legend Dianne Walker in passing on the late great Leon Collins’ body of work.

Jessie’s first professional work began at 13 years old as a tap dancing clam mascot in a commercial for the Seattle seafood restaurant, Ivar’s. She continued doing promotional events at their restaurants and sports stadiums for 7 years. As an educator, Jessie has been on faculty at numerous international tap dance festivals including Australia, Brazil, Calgary, and Vancouver, and was a principal dancer with Tapestry Dance Company in Austin, TX, in 2014 for their 25th Anniversary Season. In 2015, Jessie was a guest performer at the Harare International Festival of the Arts in Zimbabwe, collaborating with the band Mokoomba and Iranian cajon player Ramin Khalatbari. 

At 24 years old, Jessie produced Flow, her first evening length concert with a quartet of musicians and guest dance artists including Mark Mendonca, Travis Knights, and VAM Performance at the Triple Door in Seattle to a sold out crowd of 300. Five years later, Jessie was hired as Creative Director for the Women In Tap concert presented at the Vancouver International Tap Dance Festival. She organized and led the monthly Seattle Tap Jam event for years at music venues around the city, welcoming dancers of all ages, abilities, and all dance studio affiliations. In 2016, she released a global music video called Music of Humankind, which involved taking a solo trip around the world and collaborating with over 100 dancers and musicians she met along the way.

In addition to tap dance, Jessie is a published author with works including her first book, Getting Unlocked, and two volumes of her anthology book, Stories of Humankind. You can also catch Jessie on vocals. In 2018, she collaborated with GRAMMY-Nominated pianist and producer Josh Rawlings to create their first album of sound healing music, for which she sang and included tap dance on some tracks as a percussive element. The music was originally created as a supplemental tool for clients in her signature Self-Expansion Unlocked™ coaching program, but she and Josh have plans to share the full album and more with the public in the future. You can find their song, “I Will Rise” on all major music streaming platforms. To learn more, visit 

Tasha Lawson

Tasha Lawson is an established International dance artist with 25 plus years as a vibrant and successful visionary spanning festival producer, educator, choreographer, artistic director and performer.

Ms. Lawson is the founder, producer and artistic director of Calgary’s Tri-Tone Rhythm Ensemble and Rhythm, Body and Soul Tap Festival, with a focus on preserving and promoting tap dance and percussive arts through education and presentation.

Ms. Lawson, is recognized for developing well rounded dancers, providing the foundation needed to pursue a professional career.  Students have been accepted into prestigious schools including Jacob’s Pillow in Massechusettes and Escola Luthier in Barcelona, and performed with acclaimed companies such as STOMP and Dorrance Dance.

Passionate about education, Miss Lawson developed Tri-Tone Teacher Training Program’s in Rhythm Tap and Pre-School Creative Dance, sharing methodologies that integrate technique, musicality, artistry and history while inspiring creativity and self discipline in students.

Tasha toured the US and Japan in 2010-2011, as Assistant Artistic Director of Cirque Du Soleil’s, KOOZA, maintaining show quality and artist integration. She has delivered body percussion workshops for the Cirque casts in Las Vegas, and for the International Body Music Festival’s in San Francisco and Paris.

From 2002-2008, Tasha performed and toured with Tapestry Dance Company in Austin, Texas, under the direction of Acia Gray. During this time, Tasha also served as Artistic Director of  Tapestry’s apprentice company, Visions In Rhythm, directing the creation of six full-length concert presentations.

Tasha has guested at numerous International Festivals in North America, South America and Europe. She was on faculty at Jacobs Pillow for its  inaugural Professional Tap program and has been artist is residence for Capilano University, University of Texas, Decidedly Jazz Dancework’s PTP Program, Harbour Dance Center, Vancouver’s, ITP Program. She will be teaching for The University of Calgary.

Tasha Graduated with advanced standing in Dance Teacher Training and Dance Performance, from Grant MacEwan University,  with a focus on pedagogy in modern, jazz and classical ballet and pre-school creative dance. She later attended the Modern Dance Program at Simon Fraser, then re-located to New York, immersing in rhythm tap and music studies.

In 2022, Tasha premiered Lawson Percussive Dance Arts, a multi-form dance and live music company comprised of Tri-Tone Ensemble Alumni, which premiered at the National Music Center, supported in part by the Calgary Arts Development Authority,

Grateful for the many opportunities afforded to her, she strives to share her experiences and give back to community.  Tasha is currently in her 10th Season as AD with the Tri-Tone Rhythm Ensemble,  sits on the Board of Directors for the Dianne Walker Legacy Foundation, and  will be teaching at the University of Calgary in the Spring of 2024.

Musician Bios

Michelle Gregoire

Michelle Gregoire is a versatile and award-winning musician and composer who performs regularly in Calgary and across Canada. With a solid reputation and vast experience in the Canadian jazz landscape, Michelle brings a level of professionalism and experience coupled with extreme musicality to all of her corporate engagements.

An active freelance musician since 1984, Michelle maintains a solid reputation as a solo player, sideperson, and band leader, having performed with artists such as Dee Dee Bridgewater, Peter Appleyard, Kenny Wheeler, and others. As well, her original compositions are played regularly on North American jazz programs.

With over 30 years of experience as a first call player and band leader, Michelle has a vast repertoire, and works with top calibre players when putting ensembles together for corporate functions. Regardless of the ensemble size, Michelle and her players provide artistic and balanced performances to enhance your event. You can expect a positive attitude, professional presentation, punctuality, and open communication when you work with Michelle and her players.

Tyler Hornby

He started drumming at age 10, honed his artistry in high school big bands and experimental jazz combos, and has blossomed into one of the country’s most innovative and sought-after drummers.

After completing his B.Music at the University of Calgary in Jazz Studies 98’ Tyler continued to enhance his drumming skills attending the North Texas Drumset Camp, studying with legendary instructor Ed Soph. After that Tyler went on scholarship to the University of Colorado (Boulder) and completed his Masters Degree in Jazz Performance/Pedagogy 2006’. Since then Hornby has become a gifted composer by expanding his musical tastes, studying the craft with Grammy Award winning pianist Chip Stephens, and immersing himself in the work of other great players from all over the planet. His list of collaborators is wide and wealthy, including Bob Mintzer, Ingrid Jensen, Walter Smith III, Wycliffe Gordon, Frank Mantooth, Alain Caron, Randy Brecker, Eric Marienthal, Tom Harrell, Jiggs Whigham, Irvin Mayfield, James Carter, Brad Goode, Chip Stephens, Hugh Fraser, Tommy Banks, PJ Perry, Shelly Berg, Ralph Bowen, Maciek Grzywacz (with a 2007 Polish Music Award nomination for their collaboration), Maciej Sikala, Piotr Lemanczyk, Pat Bianchi, John Gunther, Ken Walker, Phil Dwyer, Mike Murley, David Braid, Joel Miller, Campbell Ryga, Jeff Johnston, Brad Turner, Victor Goines, Kirk MacDonald, Jens Lindemann, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, and Decidedly Jazz Danceworks.

Hornby has performed at festivals, clubs and concerts in North America, South America and Europe, and has appeared on more than 50 recordings. His first solo album, a critically acclaimed exploration of post bop released in 2005 called Shadows of a Brighter Day, was selected for a National Jazz Compilation called Dig Your Roots. In 2009, Tyler was nominated for the Galaxie Rising Star Award of Radio Canada & General Motors Grand Jazz Award at Festival International de Jazz de Montreal and in 2011 released A Road to Remember which was nominated for a WCMA for Best Jazz Recording of the Year and received a Downbeat Magazine review: “…Tyler Hornby is a fluid player with a light touch and a penchant for writing wistful mid-tempo songs” (Nov 2010). In 2013, Tyler formed a new group the Tyler Hornby B3 Trio, releasing Locus which received a WCMA nomination for Best Jazz Recording of the Year (2014). In 2015 the Tyler Hornby Quartet released Launch which features Ingrid Jensen & David Braid and hit #1 on the Canadian National Jazz charts and remained in the top ten for 10 weeks. Launch was nominated for a 2015 WCMA & 2016 YYC Music Awards nomination for Best Jazz Recording of the Year. Tyler also received a nomination at the 2016 YYC Music Awards for Best Male Artist (all genres) & a Juno nomination for his drumming on Al Muirhead’s It’s About Time.

In addition to working with his own groups Hornby has collaborated with the Poland/Canada Jazz Trio Sikala/Lemanczyk/Hornby which received a 4 star review in Jazz Forum Magazine for their latest release Able to Fly. He has served as composer and musical director on a handful of live productions including; More Rocky Mountain Fairy Tales, University of Calgary Dance Department: Senses and Why Dance to the Power of One, and Sex Over 40.

Tyler is the jazz coordinator and instructor at Ambrose University teaching drum set, jazz history, and jazz combo as well as an instructor at the University of Calgary teaching drum set & percussion ensemble. He has developed clinics and workshops in Canada, Germany, Italy, Poland, the United States, and Venezuela, and is the founder and director of the Drumset Educational Camp (Ambrose University) held annually in August as well as the director of the Ambrose University Jazz Camp.

Kodi Hutchinson

One of the most active musicians in Western Canada, double bassist Kodi Hutchinson is a man who wears many hats. As well as running his own musical group the Hutchinson Andrew Trio,CKUA radio show “A Time For Jazz”, and record label Chronograph Records, Kodi is a sought after sideman on both double bass and electric bass

Described by those who know him as creative, introspective and just a happy-go-lucky guy, Kodi started his career in jazz while attending the University of Calgary. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Commerce in 1995, but followed his true passion and jumped  into play music full-time shortly thereafter. since those early beginnings, Kodi has established himself as on of the top call bassists in Alberta. He has worked with artists such as P.J. Perry, Lee Konitz, Oliver Jones, Julian Priester, Walt Weiskopf, Karl Schwonik, Dave Restivo, Owen Howard, Hugh Fraser, Paul Tobey, Ingrid Jensen, Denny Christianson, Ross Taggert, Mike Murley, Marc Antoine, Nick Colionne, Beat Kaestli, Bill Anschell, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Theatre Calgary and Decidedly Jazz Danceworks.

Kodi’s wide range of musical tastes have allowed him to tour throughout North America and Europe with such groups such as Karl Schwonik, Clanterra, Destino, Johanna Silanpaa as well as Sillian & Young. The Hutchinson Andrew Trio won the prestigious 2013 TD Grand Jazz Award at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, and all three of their albums, ‘Prairie Modern’ (2013), ‘Music Box’ (2008) and ‘Lost but not Together’ (2006) were nominated for the Western Canadian Music Award for Outstanding Jazz Recording. His boutique jazz record label, Chronograph Records, was nominated for independent Record Label of the Year in 2009 & 2011 – a testament to his hard work and passion for promoting Western Canadian artists.

Kodi is a true artist that finds musical inspiration in the simple things – and he channels this inspiration into his work with the Hutchinson Andrew Trio and all his musical endeavours.