The JD Story
The 21st Century has been an interesting one for JD and has seen him pick up the guitar, dust off his dance shoes and return to his performing roots. In 2006 Jeffrey put a band together and began performing his own original material. He played a huge event in Gabon, Africa – televised to millions in front of 30,000 people – the same gig Bob Marley did 30 years ago.
Jeffrey appeared on the UK's Soccer am in February 2007 to talk about his work and relationship with Michael Jackson. There had been a craze amongst footballers to celebrate a goal by performing the Moonwalk on the pitch. It was Jeffrey that had first performed the Moonwalk on TV and had taught the dance to Michael as his personal choreographer. The TV appearance introduced Jeffrey to a new generation and his website was bombarded with hits and he was inundated with emails from new fans.
The Moonwalk debate is still an ongoing topic generating tremendous interest all over the world with over 10,000 entries on YouTube and one million three hundred thousand on Google alone.
April 2007 saw Jeffrey headline the “Riding on a Soul Train” tour performing his own songs to the UK audience. In May 2007 Jeffrey then appeared as the compere on Michael Jackson's' Thriller Live on a 26 date UK tour.
In 2009 Jeffrey choreographed and appeared within a TV commercial for UNIQLO in Japan, featured with Shalamar on TV One Channels Unseen and on the UK ITV tribute to Michael Jackson. He also appeared in The tribute to Soul Train put together by VH1.
JD undertook an international tour in the fall of 2009 teaching West Coast Contemporary Street Dance Master Classes in LA, Hawaii, the UK and in Japan. This was extremely successful with thousands of attendees at the workshops which took on all ages.
He found time to tour with Shalamar with shows across the UK including the O2 Indigo, Oxford, Swindon and York. Internationally there were shows in Dubai, Nigeria, Japan and in the USA.
From 2010 - 2015 Jeffrey has been splitting his time between Africa where he gets much of his inspiration and Japan. Jeffrey Daniel has been appearing as a judge on the Nigerian Idol for the past 5 years. He is developing his own TV ideas and projects for Africa.
Jeffrey is still performing regularly with Shalamar from 2001 through to the present day with a strong line up in Howard Hewett, Carolyn Griffey and of course JD. Backed by a 7 piece band they bring the funk to town.
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The influence of Jeffrey Daniel and the American 'Soul Train' T.V. dancers, is evident in the moves of Usher, Justin Timberlake, and Sisqo. These generations of stars were in turn influenced by Michael Jackson. Jackson was a big fan of 'Soul Train'. He soon met, learned from, and later hired dancer/choreographers from the Soul Train T.V. show. One of those young dancers was 17 year old Jeffrey Daniel.
Jeffrey Daniel became a renowned and respected pioneer of the West coast Street Dance movement. He and his peers took a style of dance from the streets and clubs to the mainstream music and media world. The world saw a fusion of Jazz, Popping, Locking, Robotics, Wack, House and Hip Hop merged into effortless sequences.
During his career he has taught, worked and ranked alongside other friends and dance pioneers such as Casper Geron, Poppin Pete and The Electric Boogaloos.
Jeffrey gives great credit to a man that inspired him, the original dance 'Locker' Don Campbell, one of the earliest 'Soul Train' dancers. He also gives thanks to Cleveland Moses Jr. his partner in crime on 'Soul Train' and to Tyrone Proctor who was the premier 'Wack' dancer who taught Jeffrey the style of dance known as 'Wacking'. It was on Soul Train whilst doing a routine dressed in black that Jeffrey and Geron 'Casper' Candidate and Derek 'Cooly' Jackson first performed the moonwalk on US television. Michael Jackson later worked with both Jeffrey and Casper and they taught him the moonwalk.
Jeffrey and his 'Soul Train' dance partner Jody Watley, (whom he had known as a since she was 12 years old from church) along with Howard Hewett, became the world famous soul funk group - Shalamar. They had a multitude of hits such as 'Night to Remember, I Can Make You Feel Good, There It Is, Take It To The Bank, Make That Move, Friends, For The Lover In You, Uptown Festival and others.
Jeffrey performed a body popping and locking routine which saw the debut of the moonwalk in the U.K. on 'Top of The Pops'. This episode alone gained more viewers than the UK's most watched soap opera 'Coronation Street.' In the 80's Jeffrey became something of a style icon with his ever-changing hairstyles and unique dress sense. He was often seen on the London club scene with Bananarama, Wham, Culture Club, etc.
After 7 years and 25 million album sales, and tours around the world, Shalamar performed at London's Wembley Arena and went their separate ways and Jeffrey took on the role of 'Electra' in Andrew Lloyd Webber's new West End musical 'Starlight Express' which involved wild costumes with complex choreography on roller skates!
Jeffrey then began working with Michael Jackson who had always been a fan of Jeffrey's dance style since watching him on 'Soul Train'. He was hired as co-choreographer on the 'Bad' and 'Smooth Criminal' videos in which he also starred with his ' dance brother'
He was later employed as a creative and choreography consultant on his world tours and the video 'Ghosts'. Jeffrey's music and dance expertise was then employed when he became a consultant at the MJJ Productions record label to whom Browstone, 3T and Men of Vision were signed. Michael Jackson flew Jeffrey back to live in the USA from Japan where Jeffrey had taken up residence since leaving the U.K.
Today Jeffrey has bases in Osaka Japan, in London and in the USA. He has become a fluent speaker and writer of the Japanese language with a fair grasp on Cantonese. He still continues to perform, choreograph, produce, and compose with the biggest names in show business. He has worked with Babyface, LL Cool J, Paul McCartney, Vanessa Williams and many others over the years.
As president of 'J-pan Soul Ltd' (his recording and development company) he continues to seek, groom, and refine new talent for the music world.
Jeffrey reunited with Howard Hewett and new Shalamar member - Carolyn Griffey (daughter of Dick Griffey CEO of SOLAR records) for two UK Arena tours in 1999 and 2003, then in 2005 Jeffrey for the U.K. T.V. show 'Hit Me Baby One More Time'. In 2009 Shalamar played the O2 Indigo in London and many other shows across the world including Dubai, Nigeria, the USA and Japan. In the spring of 2010 Shalamar played several dates on a UK tour including Oxford, Swindon and York.