Urban Bush Women
Walking with ‘Trane

Urban Bush Women

Walking with ‘Trane


In 2014, Urban Bush Women celebrated thirty years as an unstoppable force in American dance. Jawole Willa Jo Zollar’s troupe started out with “raw power and conviction” (Village Voice), and it continues to make visceral, politically charged work. On February 7 and 8, 2014, Urban Bush Women premiered two new pieces with Duke Performances at Reynolds Industries Theater.

The culmination of a two-week residency at Duke, their program began with Hep Hep Sweet Sweet. It was an earthy and provocative new take on the Great Migration-era music and culture that emerged at jazz clubs in Harlem and Zollar’s hometown, Kansas City.

They followed that with Dark Swan, choreographed by former UBW dancer Nora Chipaumire, which reimagines the classic European ballet in a modern African context. To close the program, Urban Bush Women presented the world premiere of Walking with ‘Trane, a piece inspired by the life of John Coltrane and his seminal jazz suite A Love Supreme, with live music by pianist George Caldwell.

“In this beautiful, compelling and occasionally — and deliberately — uncontrolled work, various artistic states and outcomes emerge from a fragmented mosaic of images. “

The Washington Post

Promo video of Walking With ‘Trane shot by ADI (2015)


Funded, in part, with a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council; a Visiting Artist Grant from the Council for the Arts, Office of the Provost, Duke University; a grant from the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation; and support from the Dance Program at Duke University.


  • INDY Week, Urban Bush Women Take Durham
  • CVNC, Celebrating 30 Years, Urban Bush Women Dance into Our Hearts
  • Triangle Arts & Entertainment, Joyful and Inspiring, Urban Dance Women Celebrate Dance and Story’s Ability to Inform and Transform
  • The New York Times, Review: Urban Bush Women Channel John Coltrane at BAM