Throwback Thursday: Blaze @ SOBs – August 22 & 23, 1990

 

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For this week’s Throwback Thursday, Giant Step President/CEO Maurice Bernstein tells us about Blaze’s 1990 shows for their debut album. What were some of your favorite Blaze tunes?

We started out the Groove Academy in June of 1990 with our main focus on shows highlighting older funk & soul artists, but the third show we did was with a new group called Blaze from New Jersey.

Representing the New Jersey underground house scene, they were heavily influenced by 70s soul, dance music, and gospel. Signed to Motown by Timmy Regisford, Blaze were pegged as the next generation of the label (in the spirit of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On”).

We were really excited to work with them, especially with Blaze being a band that I was very keen on and the fact that Motown had really gotten behind them. Their tune “So Special” was a big hit in NY house music community.

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Interview: Jason Orr Talks FunkJazz Kafé Arts & Music Festival

 

Jason Orr, founder of Atlanta’s highly revered FunkJazz Kafé Arts & Music Festival talks about how the festival got started, his most prized relationships as a result of the festival, and some exciting tidbits on what’s in store for this year’s event. 2013′s program launches this Friday, July 12 with a screening of the music documentary FunkJazz Kafé: Diary Of A Decade (The Story Of A Movement) and the festival itself takes place on Saturday, July 13. Watch the trailer after the jump.

Giant Step: When you first conceived FunkJazz Kafé, what was your mission? What inspired you to start the festival in the first place?

Jason Orr: The mission when I first conceived FunkJazz Kafé Arts & Music Festival was to create an arts festival environment with new and innovative music as the soundtrack. I was inspired by the multiple talents around me here in Atlanta, particularly the artist I was managing, Vinnie Bernard, drummer extraordinaire, Lil John Roberts, visual artist Maurice Evans and the various creators in fashion, theater, dance, music etc. around the city. Everything was vibrant and bubbling but needed one place to come together.

GS: What’s been your most memorable experience in the 19 years you’ve been holding FunkJazz Kafé?

JO: Out of all 46 festivals, I remember them all very well because they are like my children that have been growing up nicely. Sounds funny, but very true.

GS: A particularly odd or funny memory from FunkJazz Kafé over the years?

JO: A funny memory is when we were on tour in 1999 and we were going to Detroit and everything was going wrong… like the production truck couldn’t get up the hills in the Smokey mountains because it weighed too much, the tour bus threw a rod, and we had a racist skin head engineer who hated us for no reason and was sabotaging the sound. It was a great test of will, patience, and magic. The festival came together in the end and was one of the best on that tour after all.

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BIGGASOUNDS Presents: Caron Wheeler, Monique Bingham & The Bigga Sextet, DJ Spinna, King Britt and Rich Medina – Thu, 5/26

BIGGAsounds presents the subterranean heroes of UK-Philly-Brooklyn soul, house and nu-jazz. Living legends Caron Wheeler (Soul II Soul), Monique Bingham and The BIGGA Sextet, King Britt, DJ Spinna and Rich Medina will take over Santos Party House on Thursday, May 26th, in a very special line up.

Doors open at 10pm, and you can purchase advance tickets, or enter for a chance to win a pair of tickets.

More Info || Buy Tickets || Enter to Win