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 →
“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 →
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 →
Killiam Shakespeare is Philly-based collective, led by drummer and producer Steve McKie and keyboardist and producer Corey Bernhard. Having released their debut album in 2015, they’re back with a new mixtape that they worked on in collaboration with Philly’s DJ Jazzy Jeff, Killiam Season 1. Continue reading →
The folks at RECPhilly are once again packing up and heading to Austin for the SXSW music festival, and they’re bringing a roundup of artists to rep the Philly music scene along with them.
The SXSW Philadelphia showcase takes place on Tuesday, March 15th at 8 p.m. at The Main, a venue at 610 E. 6th Street in downtown Austin. The lineup features the piano driven-soul pop of Vita and the Woolf and the fierce flow of rapper Joie Kathos, along with the charismatic Lil Dicky, local legend DJ Jazzy Jeff spinning a two-hour set. Continue reading →
Inspired (or trapped?) by the Winter Storm Jonas, two Philly legends – DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Roots’ keyboardist James Poyser – were holed up in the studio and took it upon themselves to craft a wonderfully chill little EP of hip-hop / future soul instrumentals. Composed in about four hours and mostly consisting of live drums, spacey synths and electric pianos, Snow Beats has the feel of an early 2000’s Black Lily-era winter jam session. Continue reading →
On the latest edition of Vinyl Destination, a documentary series featuring DJ Jazzy Jeff, the cameras go behind the scenes of 2013’s July Fourth Welcome America event, featuring not only Jazzy Jeff, but also artists like Jill Scott and The Roots (I watched the first half of the video thinking it was from this year’s, but oddly enough, it’s actually from last year’s). The video shows conversations between the artists about Jeff learning to swim and Jill learning to drive, and interestingly enough, there’s a scene just around the corner of WXPN’s World Cafe live as Jazzy Jeff checks out the food trucks on 30th Street. Check out the episode below:
Aloe Blacc, Jennifer Hudson, Ed Sheeran, Nicki Minaj and The Roots performed at the Wawa Welcome America on July 4th, hosted by Marlon Wayans. Joining The Roots were Philly R&B singer Bilal and DJ Jazzy Jeff. Earlier last week, Aloe Blacc stopped by WXPN to record a session for an upcoming World Cafe with David Dye.
Below, watch the July 4th Jam in its entirety via VH-1.
On this date in 2005, the Live 8 concerts were held around the world, including at the Philadelphia Art Museum and Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of Live Aid, performers in Philly included Stevie Wonder, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, Linkin Park with Jay-Z, Dave Matthews, Bon Jovi, Destiny’s Child, the Black Eyed Peas, Maroon 5, Sarah McLachlan, Def Leppard, Alicia Keys, Rob Thomas (of Matchbox 20), Toby Keith, and Kanye West (who performed with string section who wore Long Ranger-styled strips of black tape over their eyes). Some highlights below.