It’s not every day you hear Young Jai’s “Gansta Walk” emanating from the usually quiet corridors of Dinand Library. But on Friday April 29, under cool blue lights, the Main Reading Room was thumping to the beat of an eclectic fusion of world music; from Galician folk tunes to American hip-hop. The performance, entitled “A Jookin’ Jam Session with Lil Buck, Cristina Pato & Friends,” kicked off Holy Cross’ “Become More Campaign” celebration weekend in front of a full crowd of eager students, staff, and alumni.
Featuring international jookin’ sensation Lil Buck alongside Galician bagpiper Christina Pato, the evening transported the audience on a musical journey around the world. Following a brief tutorial on the art of jookin’ — a street dance that originated in Memphis, Tennessee in the 1990s — Lil Buck proceeded to mesmerize the audience with his mind-bending ability to contort his body and move about the stage as if he were floating on air. Yet what was most remarkable was Lil Buck’s outstanding versatility. Whether it was hip-hop or even a Bach cello suite, Lil Buck made Memphis jookin’ appropriate for practically any style of music. This kind of artistic flexibility is what the Holy Cross Arts Transcending Borders (ATB) initiative has strove to demonstrate and it’s why Lil Buck’s performance seemed to resonant so well with the Holy Cross community.
The true highlight of the evening however, was when Lil Buck teamed up with Holy Cross students Hannah Comeau ’18, Carmela Clave ’19, Ameer Phillips ’17, and Kalif Raymond ’16. By the end of the night, these students had the entire audience on the their feet – an impressive accomplishment considering Lil Buck had just taught them Memphis jookin’ earlier that day. Overall, Lil Buck’s “Jookin’ Jam Session” ignited the spirit of the arts at Holy Cross, proving just how relevant the arts can be. – Adam Ouellet ’16