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The European Tour of
„DJAM Under Jebon“
by Marcel Bieger
This concept aroused our interest immediately, and even more as this show series comes on tour through Europe this summer. At the end of August and the beginning of September we will see Kaeshi Chai, Brad MacDonald (from “Djinn” and husband of Kaeshi), the “Bellyqueen” dancer Susan Frankovich and the duo “Beatbox Guitar” (Pete List, also “Djinn”, doing the beatbox and Rob Mastrianni, guitar) in five dance studios (see below), where they will introduce their concept “DJAM Under Jebon”. Part of this will be to invite local dancers on the stage. Normally they will stay two days at each place, on the first evening there will be the “DJAM Under Jebon” show and on the second day Keashi and Susan will give workshops.
Susan Frankovic and Kaeshi Chai
Brad MacDonald
"Beatbox Guitar":
Pete List und Rob Mastrianni
Brad MacDonald was so kind as to answer us some questions, and Kaeshi and Susan add at some places. We will watch the show(s) at Offenbach. Look out for the report.
In Amsterdam the show is cancelled but they will have 3 teachers. Irina Akulenko (also Bellyqueen) will join Kaeshi and Susan, and in Offenbach there will be three days in a row: on Friday (in order to get attuned) “Eliana’s Tribal Passion”, a big party with show acts, on Saturday there will be “DJAM Under Jebon” show in Offenbach (and not in Frankfurt, as has been announced by a mistake), and on Sunday you will have your workshops.
Kaeshi: Djam under JeBon is an artistic bellydance happening that is hosted by Kaeshi and Djinn every week in the heart of the East Village in New York City. Beatbox Guitar is often the featured band at these events. We're taking the Djam Under Jebon show format on the road and believe its a great way to introduce local scenes to new music and dance while featuring local talent.
What is the idea behind Djam Under Jebon?
This event enables you and your students to showcase your work in a supportive environment with a stage, as well as have the rare opportunity to dance to live music. All styles of bellydance are welcome, Cabaret, Tribal, Folkloric, Fusion, Goth, Theatrical, Modern, Hip Hop, Gypsy and so on.
Brad: Our goal has always been to create a show unlike any other in
New York City. We want Jebon to be a home for dancers and musicians to
embrace experimentation. There is no right or wrong way to do things but we do our best to feature individuals and troupes who perform at a high level. On any given Wednesday night we want people to feel comfortable dropping by at Je’Bon because they just know it'll be an interesting show even if they don't know the lineup. It's also an opportunity for the performers to push themselves to try new things and expand their own horizons.

Has this idea changed over the past three years?

Brad: The format for the evening has been surprisingly consistent even though we're featuring different dancers weekly and very often different musicians as well. We have a running joke that the show we pull together every week would normally take months to organize. Now and then we'll try something new, like showing performance DVDs before the show begins, but we've discovered our format is flexible enough to accommodate small weekly changes without requiring to reinvent the structure.

Beatbox Guitar with Kaeshi at the Tea Lounge (YouTube-Video)
Keashi Chai with Beatbox Guitar
(YouTube Video)
In Set 1 the band plays open floor for a few songs, Kaeshi performs two songs and then our special guest dancer does two songs. The band then takes a break for a CD set that features the students of our featured dancers. Then Set 2 is a repeat of Set 1: band, Kaeshi then featured dancer and we usually close with some open floor dancing.

Now and then a guest dancer will request something different and we always welcome a new challenge. Improvisation is a large component of our show so that keeps things fresh for us from week to week. Very often dancers will request an improvised song based on a rhythm, a mood or a tempo. Sometimes a combination of all those! The band, Djinn records most of the their shows and quite a few songs from their two CDs were inspired from improvised jams from Jebon.
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Photos © Lina Jang
Graphics and layout: Konstanze Winkler
Every given Wednesday people come together from 7:30 to 10:30 in NYC’s „Je’Bon Noodle Shop” to celebrate the “most experimental bellydance party in NYC” (as the hosts call it). For this you get special guests and live music on a regular basis. And as a house rule about anybody can enter the stage and show the breathless audience what he or she are able to. The hosts are the famous dancer Kaeshi Chai and the equally famous Oriental rock band “Djinn”. An off spin of “Djinn” is the duo “Beatbox Guitar”, which performs very often at the Je’Bon Wednesdays to provide the live music.