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The Week Ahead: Hiss Golden Messenger, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Caracara, State Property and more

DJ Jazzy Jeff | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
DJ Jazzy Jeff | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

It’s another chill week, but we’re fortunate in Philly when a chill week still means we’ve got a diverse spread of concert options large and small. The DIY scene goes acoustic in the First Unitarian Church side chapel, a Philly legend cuts it up on the 1’s and 2’s, a cult favorite of reggae at Kung Fu Necktie, and a reunion by a force of nature in 90s rap: here are ten concerts to see all around Philadelphia in the next seven days.  Continue reading →

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Listen to Killiam Shakespeare groove with DJ Jazzy Jeff on “Crispus Attucks” from new LP A Town Called Elsewhere

Killiam Shakespeare | photo via killiamseason.bandcamp.com

Philadelphia groove riders Killiam Shakespeare will return this fall with a new full-length project called A Town Called Elsewhere. The long-running psych / groove / prog / rock outlet of versatile Philly producers and studio musicians Steve McKie (drums) and Corey Bernhard (keyboards) is out on November 2nd, it features a sick Dewey Saunders-designed album cover that you can scope down below, and it features collabs with the duo’s good friend Bilal (they’re his longtime musical directors) as well as Amber Navran, Chris Turner, and DJ Jazzy Jeff. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Summer Block Party brings Jill Scott, Boyz II Men and DJ Jazzy Jeff to the Mann

Jill Scott | photo via the artist’s Facebook page

A Block Party…at the Mann Center? Well, with a lineup like this, count us in. This June, Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and poet Jill Scott will headline the first annual WDAS Summer Block Party, along with long-running Philly R&B faves Boyz II Men and DJ Jazzy Jeff, plus special guests still TBA.

It’ll be something of a hometown celebration for all performers. Scott got her start in Philly’s Black Lily open mic scene in the 90s, and still calls the city home, and Jazzy Jeff lives in the Philly region as well. Boyz II Men got its start when its members were students at the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts. Though they no longer reside in Philadelphia, their legacy lives on — a section of South Broad Street was recently designated “Boyz II Men Boulevard.” Continue reading →

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Watch DJ Jazzy Jeff build a beat from the ground up using three random vinyl LPs

DJ Jazzy Jeff | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
DJ Jazzy Jeff | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Crafting a good beat is an art — particularly if you’re taking the old school sampledelic approach. Digging up the right records, identifying the right spots of those records and recontextualizing them alongside other records that create something new and wholly engaging…it’s a mix of genius and happenstance. And Philly’s DJ Jazzy Jeff is a master of that balance.

For an illustration, check out this spotlight on the Philly icon that Mass Appeal’s Rhythm Roulette feature put together. In it, producer and record collector Gene Brown pulls his van up to Jeff’s Delaware home — previously seen during his PLAYlist Retreat project — and let him choose three LPs from rows of crates, while blindfolded. He walks away with nuggets from Al Johnson, Reuben Howell and Les Dudek, and sets to focused listening, brainstorming and assembling, and the process is magic to watch. Continue reading →

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Firefly on the Fly, Day Three: Chance the Rapper, Bob Dylan, Mondo Cozmo, Kesha, Bishop Briggs, DJ Jazzy Jeff and more

Chance The Rapper | Firefly Music Festival 2017 | Photos by John Vettese

Day Three of the Firefly Music Festival brought out superstar performances from Bob Dylan, Chance The Rapper, and The Weeknd, but it also brought out some of Philly’s finest including Mondo Cozmo, Chill Moody, Hardwork Movement, Vita and the Woolf, and a DJ set from the legendary DJ Jazzy Jeff. Some great sets by Bishop Briggs, Sunflower Bean, and Kesha. Continue reading →

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DJ Jazzy Jeff challenged a world-class team of artists to create Chasing Goosebumps in a week, and they delivered

DJ Jazzy Jeff | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
DJ Jazzy Jeff | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

“You put creative people in the room and I’ma show you what can happen…” – DJ Jazzy Jeff

For the past few years, Philadelphia music ambassador DJ Jazzy Jeff has hosted a gathering at his Wilmington-area home called the PLAYlist Retreat. Utilizing his influence as a respected, world-class DJ, Jeff calls together an all-star cadre of some of the world’s finest musicians, producers, DJs and songwriters for a weekend of music making and sharing knowledge. For this year’s edition of the Retreat, Jeff presented the team with a heavy task; to compose, produce, mix, master and release a full-length album in seven days. If that weren’t interesting enough, there’s a twist; a crew would film the entire process and broadcast it live via social media, allowing fans an insider’s “fly-on-the-wall” look into the creative process.

Loose jam sessions evolved into fully realized songs, recording and mixing sessions, downtime conversations about music and life, and viewers were there every step of the way. By the time the album was completed, an entire community of music lovers had blossomed around the project. With a cast of players that includes singer-songwriter Glenn Lewis, The Roots’ James Poyser, DJ Rich Medina, rapper Dayne Jordan, hip-hop / soul wunderkind Stro Elliot and more, the music on Chasing Goosebumps is soulful, evocative and timely. It hits at both the new ways in which contemporary music can be made while reflecting the message of self-determination, love and community, that we need. Continue reading →

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Boiler Room brings the heat to The Fillmore with DJ Jazzy Jeff, Kur and more

DJ Jazzy Jeff | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
DJ Jazzy Jeff | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Normally, a chilly Tuesday night in January would not be the most ideal setting for a raucous dance party, but when the renowned music and lifestyle brand Boiler Room descends upon the city of Philadelphia, a party is sure to jump off. For the past four decades Philly has been (rightfully) celebrated as a breeding ground for elite DJ talent. This reputation along with a thriving hip-hop and dance music scene made this Budweiser-sponsored meeting with Boiler Room a match made in nightlife heaven. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Boiler Room ft. DJ Jazzy Jeff at The Foundry, Ill Fated Natives at The Fire, Dashboard Confessional at TLA

DJ Jazzy Jeff | via facebook.com/DJJazzyJeff

Budweiser’s Boiler Room series makes a visit to The Foundry at the Fillmore Philadelphia tonight, and man, the lineup is stacked. On the MC tip, we’ve got the dynamic Joie Kathos as well as the poised-to-break-out rapper Kur, fresh off a TLA gig last month. And then the DJs: on the 1s and 2s is Matthew Law from the Illvibe Collective, as well as Cosmo Baker and headlining the proceedings, Philly legend DJ Jazzy Jeff, who’s been having a lot of fun with the Vinyl Destinations series but who still rocks the party like nobody’s business. For more info and to RSVP to tonight’s Boiler Room show, head here. Continue reading →

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The Ultimate Summertime Jam: Watch Bri Steves salute DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince

Bri Steves | via Facebook

First things first: Bri Steves, if you didn’t know this already, is awesome.

The up-and-coming MC is a loud and proud Philadelphian, and you’ll often see her rocking the stage in either a Temple or Sixers jersey while she spits verses about the 215. She’s got a dynamic presence and a compelling delivery – pointed and strong, but with plenty of chill to balance the vibe out. Her set opening for Bahamadia at Johnny Brenda’s this spring was impressive, and I’m equally digging this latest throwback to her roots – “Summer’s Mine,” a song where she salutes DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince’s classic “Summertime” by incorporating it into her own anthem for the season.

The music video for the song, premiered yesterday on The Fader, is equally fun, re-creating many shots from the original video as she rides around town with DJ HVNlee. Continue reading →