Jazzy Jay and other esoteria
Just because the Israeli concert-going market can’t support more than one or two performances from A-list-ers like Paul McCartney each summer, doesn’t mean that we need to deal with washed-up international talents like Deep Purple the rest of the time.
The best of the not-quite-mainstream pop talent whose art is uncompromised, esoteric and less disposable have been entertaining us here more and more often, whether it’s Devendra Bernhardt, Low, Blonde Redhead, Lee “Scratch” Perry or Morrissey. Thankfully, more and more performers along these lines have been making their way to Israeli stages in recent years.
And despite the ongoing violence in the south of the country in recent weeks, the show must go on. No notices announcing a cancellation of this Friday’s Urbanology Festival have reached this cultural correspondent’s desk so far, which means that old-school talent DJ Jazzy Jay is still expected to hit the decks this weekend at the Cult Club at Herzl St. 154, Tel Aviv (tickets available at 057-777-4422).
Jazzy Jay is one of the founding fathers of hip hop. A scratch turntablism pioneer, he spun at street parties in the Bronx in the late Seventies and in downtown Manhattan clubs in the early Eighties. Part of Afrika Bambaataa’s Universal Zulu Nation collective, Jay was also a co-founder of the influential Def Jam Recordings. His “It’s Yours” single was the label’s first-ever release, and he helped broker the partnership between notorious trailblazing rap moguls Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons. His own Jazzy Jay’s Studio was an early home to luminaries like A Tribe Called Quest Brand Nubian.
Jay comes to Israel for the Cult Club’s Urbanology party, branded as a celebration of everything associated with old-school hip hop culture – rap, breakdancing, graffiti and more. Events like these have been taking place at venues across Israel for years, but none with a marquee performer of this stature. Other participants include local talents like the disco funk-fixated DJ Alarm, DJ Mesh, local old-schoolers Quami and Kottage, the Tachlis Band and alt-rappers Peled and Ortega.