Remembering The Florida Room As It Closes Its Doors

 

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This week, a very special venue in the hearts of many (including ours) closed its doors for good. The Florida Room in the basement of Delano Hotel in South Beach Florida was a Lenny Kravitz designed venue with the feel of a classic old school night club.

Within its first year of opening, Giant Step starting doing events at The Florida Room and the list became pretty impressive. Many of our events were Miami debuts featuring great artists such as Jose James, Janelle Monae, Melanie Fiona, and Jazmine Sullivan, to name a few.

Watch the video of Questlove and Gilles Peterson at WMC 2010 as Quest toasts Gilles for being one to go down in history – quite timely to share given yesterday’s news.

After the jump, also find videos from De La Soul, The Roots, and Janelle Monae, all doing their thing at a venue that will be greatly missed.

Here’s a partial list of some of our great nights:

June 2008 – Janelle Monae (Miami Debut)
Sept 2008 – Jazmine Sullivan (Miami Debut)
Oct 2008 – Nikka Costa
NYE 2008 – The Roots and Janelle Monae
Jan 2009 – The Florida Room 1st anniversary with De La Soul
WMC 2009 – Pete Rock, Benji B, Wale, Questlove, Melanie Fiona, Taylor McFerrin
NYE 2009 – Common
WMC 2010 – Gilles Peterson and Questlove

So to all our friends in Miami and of course the great staff of this special venue that had the best cocktails in the world – we salute you and all the good times.

More videos from The Florida Room after the jump

Roy Ayers “Homage” Mix by Anthony Valadez + LA Event – Nov 17

 

November 17th is going to be a very special night in Los Angeles! The “Homage” series, which pays tribute to various musical greats, will salute sir Roy Ayers “for his amazing impact and contribution to hip-hop, R&B, and neo-soul” and also present him with a special award on behalf of the City of Los Angeles, Roy Ayers’ birthplace and hometown!

DJ Anthony Valadez of KCRW has put together a divine Roy Ayers mix in support of the upcoming show for which you can find details below. Stream and download the mix below as well!

Also, be sure to enter our contest to win tickets to this historic event!

Homage – Roy Ayers mixed by Anthony Valadez by ArtDontSleep

Event Details
“Homage” Featuring Roy Ayers w/ Live Band
Special Guests Pete Rock, Thundercat, J. Rocc and others
November 17th, 2011

Exchange LA
618 S. Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90014

Tickets: $20-30
Purchase tickets

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J. Period & John Legend & The Roots Announce The Official Wake Up! Radio Mixtape + MP3

J. Period made a mix of The Roots and John Legend re-imagining of old classics called Wake Up! The full J. Period mixtape, Wake Up Radio, will be available in late November with an all-star cast of hip-hop/R&B heavyweights, plus exclusive remixes, album outtakes, and personal interviews with John Legend, Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson, and Black Thought. The first single, now a free download, is J. Period’s remix of “Our Generation” featuring the hip-hop pioneers Pete Rock & CL Smooth.

The Roots & John Legend – “My Generation” (J. Period Remix feat. Pete Rock & CL Smooth) [Download from J.Period]
 

Jperiod.com/wakeup

Soul Brother #1 Pete Rock To Spin At Hudson 4/20

pete_rock-1Giant Step’s biweekly DJ series at Hudson Hotel welcomes back hip hop legend Pete Rock on Monday, April 20. In the 2008 series, the classic New York producer and DJ tore it up, lining the dance floor with jam after jam.

As New York City’s premier Monday night event for the last two years, the Hudson has consistently seen a curated roster of DJ legends and pioneering artists as wide-ranging as Louie Vega, Afrika Bambaataa, Jazzanova, Bobbito and Danny Krivit, playing styles from soulful house, Latin, hip hop, jazz, funk and more. Free with RSVP.

Giant Step’s Resident 31: Pete Rock, N.E.R.D., Raphael Saadiq, Kelis

Photo from Pete Rock at Hudson (c) Bartek Radwan

By Mawuse Ziegbe

The most authentic thing about Sex and the City is all the bitchy conversations New Yorkers have about relationships. Every single time I venture out for dranky dranks, the talk always turns to how batty single people are and how dating in New York is like lighting your head on fire. There’s the girl whose ex-boyfriend used to beg her to go to crappy parties and then ignore her while he danced with other girls. There’s the guy who freaked out and sent his lady friend home in a cab when she received a text message after midnight. And then there are my poor guy friends who, no matter how fugly or partially unemployed, always end up swatting away giggly girls who furiously claw at their nether-regions simply because they’re single. Yeah, boo hoo. Anyway, finding a meaningful relationship in NYC is like trying not to laugh during a Sarah Palin speech. But for knuckleheaded dreamers like myself, that doesn’t dull the chase.

And that’s why Pete Rock’s recent Giant Step throwdown at the Hudson was double the fun. Everyone there was simply too attractive. Men with velvet blazers were sipping cocktails like they were born with a pinky ring. I spent most of the time nursing a red wine and making eyes with the fellers (I’m too much of a loony tunes to actually talk to boy people). Pete Rock was getting all House Party 2 with it, blasting Johnny Kemp and TLC like it ain’t no thang. Despite his groovy, soulful album offerings, as a DJ he’s usually good for a boot-stomping, ashy-knuckle, Boyz N The Hood type of time. But I liked the switch up because pajammy jams are like totally more fun than drive-by shootings.

Also high on the funness scale is Raphael Saadiq. Raphael touched down at SOBs for his last New York performance of the year. He’s one of the few artists that I just become a drooling mess for. Me at a Raphael Saadiq concert is just this sad mix of two-stepping and screaming. Raphael takes the stage and then I’m just bellowing foolishness for the next 40 minutes: “Oh my god, he’s doing a rock version of “Be Here!” Oh snap! He just mixed “Get Involved” with “Feels Good!” Is that a 12-minute reprise of “Sky, Can You Hear Me?!” Yes, dear god encore!” Then I mouth the lyrics like he’s talking to me, impale other people’s feet with my stilettos and steal posters. I’m that person. And it feels great.

Another semi-authentic thingy about Sex and the City is getting into that party. Last week, one of the places to be was arguably the N.E.R.D. and Nas throwdown sponsored by Smirnoff at Capitale. I used to constantly hit up these corporate ragers, knocking back cocktails and hi-fiving the typical group of industry ankle-biters who crowd these things. I stopped going to these events because there is always an infestation of people at the door trying to get in. The crowd was also this goofy mix of ruddy, balding corporate fatheads and shallow, downtown hip hop fatheads. However, all was forgotten when N.E.R.D. took the stage and did their “I’m wild at 35!” dilettante rock. Nas is talented and all but he has the stage presence of a brick of cheddar. But he did get my attention when he brought out Kelis to sing “If I Ruled The World.” She wandered out, drink in hand, and listlessly crooned the chorus before kissing Nas and wandering off as unceremoniously as she came. Yes, honey, it’s late and we’ve all seen this pony’s tricks before. But at least you got into the party and you’ve got a man. Some of us are making careers chasing both.