A couple of weeks ago, we were extremely shocked and saddened to hear of the untimely passing of Ronny Jordan, British guitarist and good friend of Giant Step. Jordan came onto the scene in the early 90s at the forefront of the acid jazz movement, which combined elements of R&B, hip-hop, and jazz. The unfortunate news prompted us to remember the career of an incredibly talented musician that we've been lucky to support from the beginning. Read more »
UK guitarist Ronny Jordan has passed away at the age of 51. The acid jazz pioneer helped lead the way in blending R&B, hip hop, and jazz, cementing his influence on music history. He received a Grammy nomination for his 2000 release, A Brighter Day.
After the jump, watch two clips of "The Jackal," a popular song Ronny did in collaboration with Dana Bryant (a former Giant Step artist). The first clip is the music video for the track, while the second one shows the track featured front and center in a lip sync on the beloved TV series West Wing.
For this week’s Throwback Thursday, Giant Step President/CEO Maurice Bernstein takes it back to Jamiroquai's US debut! We know you've got some Jamiroquai memories - serve 'em up!
This was Jamiroquai’s US debut. We first became familiar with them in the very early 90s when they released the “Too Young To Die” single on Acid Jazz. Very quickly, they were signed to a major deal on Sony in the UK. This was first artist we worked with from the “acid jazz” scene that really garnered major label interest. You had the Brand New Heavies before that, but this was huge – it was a massive, massive deal.
The album came out in the UK; it was a double album called Emergency On Planet Earth and it went straight to number one – #1 in Europe, #1 in Japan – massive. Keep in mind that before this all happened, the type of music we were all promoting was underground and not mainstream at all – but this was total mainstream.
With that said, it was then time for Jamiroquai to come to the US. Leading up to the show, the band came out to the states a few times to do bits of promo, and each time they’d come to the club and hang out with us; we got to get to know the guys pretty well.
This short video collage chronicles the shows and events from 1990 through 1996 of the company that preceded Giant Step: The Groove Academy. This is the first time that the flyers and posters of Groove Academy shows have been digitized.
The concept behind The Groove Academy was to give an opportunity for the masters of funk and groove to perform their craft in front of a young audience and new generation of fans as most only knew these artists from samples used in hip-hop and rap. At this time, many of the originators were in fact forgotten in the USA and had to go to Europe and Japan to make a living. The Groove Academy was determined to help re-launch careers in the States and give them their just props!
As time went on and Giant Step was born, The Groove Academy became the concert wing of the company and helped to introduce new artists. By the mid 1990s, The Groove Academy came to an end, putting all events under the unified umbrella of Giant Step.
Stay tuned for more memorabilia as we celebrate our 20th Anniversary and please share any memories, feedback, or your own photos from this historic time. To see the individual flyers and posters from this video, view the album on our facebook page.