Jai Pro is a Memphian first and foremost. He has an extreme love for his city and all it has contributed to the world. His love for Memphis and his desire to protect its assets was the major motivation for his work in helping spread Memphis jookin’ around the world.
Jai Pro began his career in television and music early on. By the age of 20, he had worked “hands on” in the television industry for more than six years, creating his own music from the age of 15. By 2008, after seeing many fly-by-night dances become popular, Jai Pro scoured the city for anyone involved with jookin’. “I couldn’t find anything on the web about anyone involved with Memphis jookin’, gangsta walking, anything.”
In 2006, Jai Pro released Memphis Jookin,’ Vol. 1 featuring the premier jookers of the city. Thanks to the DVD—and to promotion on an emerging new platform called YouTube—Memphis jookin’ instantly took the city and the world by storm. By 2010, jookin’ had spread to all continents and was beginning to be recognized by the wider dance industry.
Since 2010, Jai Pro has continued to promote this dance style, which has now taken him all over the world. He has booked Memphis jookers on commercials, music videos, and movies, and managed the career of the most influential jooker of them all, Lil Buck. Months before the pandemic shut down virtually all live performances, Jai Pro and Lil Buck were introduced to CAMI Music in Paris; two-and-a half years later, they are here in Berkeley tonight. Keep an eye out for the nonprofit Memphis Jookin’ Arts Academy, which will open later this year, and for more big news involving Memphis jookin’ globally. @MemphisJookin’ Everywhere!