Voorhees College alumnus Jamal Josef recently choreographed the set of singer Faith Evans’ performance featuring Shelia E and the introduction opening act for comedian, actress, and host Wanda Sykes during the 2020 Trumpet Awards on Bounce TV on Sunday, January 12.
According to the Trumpet Foundation, the Trumpet Awards were created to herald the accomplishments of Black
Americans who have succeeded against immense odds. Special recognition is given to the few, who symbolize the
many, who have overcome the ills of racism and poverty and achieved special greatness.
Josef landed the opportunity on the way to Sheryl Lee Ralph’s “DIVAS Simply Singing,” a fundraiser for
HIV/AIDS awareness, when he received a call from the award show’s production manager asking of his availability.
“He told me they needed eight dancers and if I was available to start rehearsals the next day. I responded yes, and
then had to begin work for it while I was at Ralph’s event. I only had one day of rehearsal, a technical rehearsal, and
then it was show time,” Josef said.
Josef created a piece based on Sykes’ opening that embraced her vision of “love is love” and equality. He explained that Sykes was easy to work with and appreciated his Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) background and their commonality as members of Black Greek-Letter Organizations.
“The set is full of pride, colors, and excitement. I believe we did a really good job with mixing Sykes’ comedic style, awareness, and dance,” Josef said.
Evans was the opening performer for the show. She performed some of her greatest hits.
“I was able to mix the iconic old school styles of dance with a modern twist to match Evans’ music style which continues to impact multiple generations,” Josef said.
Josef said he encourages everyone to check out the 2020 Trumpet awards they are going to be honoring comedians and actors Martin Lawrence and Cedric the Entertainer, as well as actress and producer Marsai Martin.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Voorhees in 2010. He was a member of the Eta Iota Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., where he served as step master and president, president of Model Troupe, captain of the Voorhees College Dance Team, and a member of the Voorhees College Concert Choir.
Josef resides in Los Angeles and is working on multiple projects simultaneously that he said he cannot wait to release and share. Follow him on social media @jamal josef for updates.