UCSB Arts & Lectures presents Memphis Jookin’: The Show featuring street dance phenomenon Lil Buck Tuesday, March 8th at 8:00 p.m. at The Granada Theatre


  • UCSB Arts & Lectures presents Memphis Jookin’: The Show featuring street dance phenomenon Lil Buck
  • This evening-length show chronicles how Memphis Jookin’ grew from local street dance to an international phenomenon
  • Starring renowned dance artist Lil Buck (who also conceived and choreographed the piece) alongside ten highly-skilled dancers
  • Tuesday, March 8th / 8:00 p.m. Pacific / The Granada Theatre
  • $46 – $61 : General Public / $16 : UCSB Students (Current student ID required)
  • Health & Safety: Proof of full vaccination is required for all attendees. Proof of booster vaccination will be required for all eligible attendees beginning February 4, 2022. Masks are required indoors at all times. N95, KN95, KF94 or FFP2 face masks are strongly recommended. Regardless of the mask type, it is only effective if it is worn over your mouth and nose. Visit https://artsandlectures.ucsb.edu/SeasonFAQs/ for updates and further details.
  • Tickets/Info: (805) 893-3535, www.ArtsAndLectures.UCSB.edu or www.GranadaSB.org
  • This event includes an at-home viewing option (live stream only; no replay).

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UCSB Arts & Lectures presents Memphis Jookin’: The Show featuring street dance phenomenon Lil Buck on Tuesday, March 8th at 8:00 p.m. Pacific at The Granada Theatre. This presentation is part of the 2021-2022 CREATING HOPE programming initiative.

An ode to the birthplace of the singular dance style known as Memphis Jookin’, this evening-length show chronicles how the art form grew from local street dance to an international phenomenon. Starring renowned dance artist Lil Buck (who also conceived and choreographed the piece) alongside ten highly-skilled dancers and a DJ, Memphis Jookin’: The Show transports audiences to the streets and the clubs where the style originated.

YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eMLV0VNiPU



“When I saw Jookin’ being done in my own backyard, and being danced by people who looked like me, that blew my mind. I knew immediately: I want that so bad.”

– Lil Buck

“Buck’s power derives from the ability to get to the bottom of what something feels like for him and then to express it to the world.” The New York Times


Memphis Jookin is a dance style from Memphis, TN. It was originally called “Gangsta Walking” when it 1st started in the mid 80’s and remained underground throughout the 90-2000s. But around 2004 when a group of young Memphis dancers teamed with Young Jai of Jai Productions, the name “Memphis Jookin” was established and adopted by the world.

When “Gangsta Walking” 1st started, it was born from the streets and clubs of Memphis as a very simple “walk with a bounce” to be done to the “gangsta rap” music that was being created by local producers, djs and rappers in Memphis. Over the years it has evolved from a simple walk/strut to a beautiful, elegant, art form that’s respected and taught worldwide on the same level as ballet. Visually and fundamentally, Memphis Jookin is steps, tided together with slides, glides, toes spins and intricate footwork, all while in tennis shoes.

Jookin has no limitations and is done by all ages, races and genders. In the present dance world, “Memphis Jookin” is the premiere dance style to know.  It has been used in some of the top performers choreography, in multiple NFL and NBA game celebrations, featured in the NBA 2K video game series for 4 years, featured in commercials from Apple, Versace, Jordan, Lexus, Stuart Weitzman, Vogue to EBay and studied all over the globe with Memphis Jookin members in Russia, China, Japan, Columbia, Africa and pretty much all territories globally.




Lil Buck, born in Chicago in 1988 and raised in Memphis, became a YouTube sensation after director Spike Jonze uploaded a video of his dance improvisation with cellist Yo-Yo Ma. In addition to being the ambassador of one of the most groundbreaking dance styles of this generation, Memphis Jookin’, Lil Buck also founded the dance collective Movement Art Is (MAI), an organization that uses dance and movement to inspire and change the world. Lil Buck is also the first street dancer ever to design a capsule collection with Versace, and in February 2012, He joined Madonna for her Super Bowl halftime show, which broke the record for the most-watched television program in American history. He also completed two world tours with Madonna: MDNA and REBEL HEART, and has worked with, among others, New York City Ballet and choreographer Benjamin Millepied. In 2014, Lil Buck was also awarded The Wall Street Journal Innovator of the Year Award.


YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAD2JraUZZo  

See A&L’s full 2022 lineup here

This is a moment that calls for Optimism, Resilience, Courage and Vision.

Santa Barbara needs Hope, and Arts & Lectures is uniquely positioned to respond.

A&L’s 2021-2022 CREATING HOPE programming initiative has already inspired our community with presentations by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, chef José Andrés and author Anne Lamott. We will continue to inspire, through shared experiences with thought leaders, creative problem solvers and arts visionaries who will guide us forward. CREATING HOPE programs strengthen human connection, promote emotional well-being, joy and compassion, and envision positive change. Learn more about the CREATING HOPE: https://artsandlectures.ucsb.edu/CreatingHope.aspx




Founded in 1959, UCSB Arts & Lectures (A&L) is the largest and most influential arts and lectures organization between Los Angeles and San Francisco. A&L annually presents more than a hundred public events, from critically acclaimed concerts and dance performances by world-renowned artists to talks by groundbreaking authors and film series at UCSB and Santa Barbara-area venues. With a mission to “educate, entertain and inspire,” A&L also oversees an outreach program that brings visiting artists and speakers into local classrooms and other venues for master classes, open rehearsals, discussions and more, serving K-12 students, college students and the general public.  

Memphis Jookin’: The Show is presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures.

This presentation is part of the 2021-2022 CREATING HOPE programming initiative.

$46 – $61 : General Public / $16 : UCSB Students (Current student ID required)

For tickets and more information, call UCSB Arts & Lectures at (805) 893-3535 or visit www.ArtsAndLectures.UCSB.edu.

Major Sponsors: Jody & John Arnhold, Marcia & John Mike Cohen, and Sara Miller McCune

Dance Series Sponsors: Margo Cohen-Feinberg & Bob Feinberg, Audrey & Timothy O. Fisher, Barbara Stupay, and Sheila Wald

UCSB Arts & Lectures gratefully acknowledges our Community Partners the Natalie Orfalea Foundation & Lou Buglioli for their generous support of the 2021-2022 season.

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