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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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Meet Killiam Shakespeare, listen to Killiam Season 1

Killiam Season 1 mixtape cover | via Bandcamp
Killiam Season 1 mixtape cover | via Bandcamp

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 →

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Vita and the Woolf, Lil Dicky, Joie Kathos, DJ Jazzy Jeff and more to play an #AmplifyPhilly SXSW showcase

Lil Dicky | Photo by Morgan Smith for WXPN | phobymo.com

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 →

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Snowbound Jams: Hear what DJ Jazzy Jeff and James Poyser did during Winter Storm Jonas

DJ Jazzy Jeff | Photo courtesy of the artist
DJ Jazzy Jeff | Photo courtesy of the artist

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 →

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Check out this cool behind the scenes video from last year’s Fourth of July Jam

DJJazzyJeff

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:

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Watch the Philly 4th of July Jam with The Roots, Aloe Blacc, Nicki Minaj and more

Photo by Mark Stehle via http://6abc.com/entertainment/photos-philly-4th-of-july-jam/157734/#gallery-8
Photo by Mark Stehle via http://6abc.com/entertainment/photos-philly-4th-of-july-jam/157734/#gallery-8

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.

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Remembering Live 8 in Philly on July 2, 2005

Photo: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images
Photo: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

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.

Continue reading →

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Watch DJ Jazzy Jeff’s new web video series, Vinyl Destination

While on tour in 2012, famed Philadelphia turntablist DJ Jazzy Jeff had a camera with him at all times (well, most times), and the result is Vinyl Destination, a new web video series he launched with the new year. In the first episode, which premiered on Tuesday, Jeff visits Hong Kong. Subsequent episodes will follow him to 50 cities around the globe, and will include appearances by Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg (Lion), Estelle and more. From Jeff’s blog:

“I am blessed to be able to travel the world and play music for people to enjoy,” said Jeff. “So I thought it would be a great idea to record it this time so that I could take my fans along for the ride.”

Filmed and edited by Cristopher Schafer of Virginia-based production company, Visually Inklined, Vinyl Destination shows viewers what it is really like to be one of the world’s busiest DJ’s.

Watch Episode 1 below, and keep your eyes peeled for more installments on a biweekly basis.

VINYL DESTINATION | EPISODE 1 from DJ Jazzy Jeff on Vimeo.