Throwback Thursday: Erykah Badu, Talib Kweli, Mama Zap at Giant Step SummerStage 2001

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With the madness of the holidays behind us and Mother Nature giving us some weather related blues, we thought it would be a nice vacation for the soul to take this Throwback Thursday to revisit a particularly hot and humid summer night with Erykah Badu at Central Park.

There’s something special about summertime in New York. The city slows down and everyone’s a bit more carefree. It’s late in the season, and the long, sweltering days make us hesitant to venture from our little slice of heaven we’ve found in the closest air conditioning. It was a show not to be missed though, and everyone knew the promise of the night would be worth the heaviness in the air. It was August 6, 2001 and those that faced the above and underground temperatures made it to one of the city’s favorite escapes for the SummerStage concert series.

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Giant Step SummerStage 2013 Video Recap

 

Almost a month ago, over 6000 people came out to celebrate music at Giant Step’s annual SummerStage showcase. We were thrilled to bring New Yorkers an awesome lineup featuring Hiatus Kaiyote, Jose James, and Shuggie Otis. The mood, the merriment, and good weather were all undeniable. Watch our video above for clips from each performance as well as sit downs with Maurice and each act.

Photo: SummerStage w/ Shuggie Otis, Jose James, & Hiatus Kaiyote

 

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Photos by Seher Sikandar

Yesterday Central Park was glowing with piles of beautiful people of all ages. It wouldn’t be a true Giant Step produced SummerStage without the most adorable of children scurrying around and an eclectic bunch of young folks sprawled out soaking up the sun and an AsiaDog or three.

Hiatus Kaiyote, Jose James, and Shuggie Otis all put on brilliant performances leaving an ever attentive crowd cheering for more over and over. And DJ OP! held it down all day to many, many happy ears. Amongst the crowd were Salaam Remi, DJ Spinna, Jesse Boykins III, and TK Wonder. Check the day in photos below!

Interview: Jose James Checks In Before SummerStage on August 11

 

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Before hitting SummerStage this Sunday, August 11, Jose James catches up with us about his relationship to Giant Step, his growth as an artist, and what’s up next.

Giant Step: How would you say Giant Step most influenced your music and/or career?

Jose James: Wow. It’s been so great, thank you guys. The first show was at the Hiro Ballroom in NYC opening for the amazing Alice Russell. Then we started the Brownswood Sessions at Nublu with DJ Moni and Taylor McFerrin. Beautiful times! Giant Step really paved the way for what I do, connecting hip-hop, soul, jazz and DJ culture. The London connection, Gilles Peterson, all that. It’s a global movement to present quality music.

GS: We’ve been with you from the start and it’s been a pleasure to see you progress; how would you say No Beginning No End Jose has evolved from The Dreamer Jose?

JJ: Well, I’m more well traveled. That influences you tremendously. When I made The Dreamer I was still in school and had only been to a couple places outside the US – now I’ve toured in 40 countries and counting. I’m actually in Mexico right now. You meet people and see how your music is loved worldwide and that’s a powerful thing. Now I have worldwide family and a great relationship with my fans. It’s beautiful. Musically I’m more comfortable expressing all the worlds I love – soul, R&B, jazz, rock, blues, gospel, hip-hop – and you can hear that on the new album, and in the collaborations – Robert Glasper, Pino Palladino, Emily King, Hindi Zahra.

GS: And where do you see yourself going next? Any challenges/goals you’re keen on tackling?

JJ: I’d like to reconnect with electronic music. I just dropped an EP on Blue Note with remixes by FaltyDL, Oddisee, fLako, and Taylor McFerrin. I lived in London for a year and went to Plastic People, Fabric, Cargo and met great DJs and producers like Benji B, Benga and Skream, Floating Points. So I miss that and want to do more in that world. I’m working on a new album now for next year called Desire.

Read the rest of the interview after the jump

NYC: SummerStage ft. Shuggie Otis, Jose James, & Hiatus Kaiyote – August 11 @ Central Park + VIP Passes

 

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SummerStage is just around the corner on this coming Sunday, August 11! For those living under a rock, our lineup includes Shuggie Otis, Jose James, and Hiatus Kaiyote. Make sure to come out and not kick yourself later; it’s always a beautiful, diverse crowd of friends and family, yummy eats, and tunes you can’t deny.

For those wanting to experience the show in style, we’re holding a contest for VIP Passes, which includes express entry and a special seating area.

Enter our contest for VIP Passes to our August 11 SummerStage show!

See you all Sunday!