Dutty Artz has always been into multisensory experiences, especially ones that help us link across and through borders, making conscious links across the globe and celebrating flavors that don’t get enough love. A few years back at Beyond the Block in Sunset Park, we made sure food trucks with Chinese and Mexican food kept people fed. This month we bring it in-house with BRUNCH GOZÓN, the first of a series of daytime (into early evening) music-and-food experiences, kicking off Sunday, August 30th from 12pm-7pm at TBA Brooklyn (395 Wythe Ave on the corner of South 6th Street). (more…)

Fresh off my European tour, I’m please to play a benefit for The Jamaica Project, a small project furthering education, cultural exchange and sharing resources between the region of St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, and the NorthEast Coast of the US.

As we see in relation to Greece the depredations of the IMF and rabidly destructive austerity and “economic restructuring” projects, I’ve been struck by the fact that these projects have already been in place in disastrous results in Jamaica (and for those of you with long enough memories, Russia before that). In Jamaica, although there is wealth, it is not in the hands of the Black majority, and people in these districts farther from the city struggle, with a great deal of heart and creativity but not a lot of resources.

The Jamaica Project is heartening me for me, as an example of how people can attempt to move resources back in the direction they should be going: it includes a breakfast program for kids in school in St. Elizabeth (something I’ve been increasingly aware of as an educational issue even here in  NY teaching at the college level), and a teacher exchange program that partners schools in NY and NJ and also sends tutors down to JA to support educational programs happening there. There was also a sweet little project where kids in the two countries learned each others songs:  students from Hamilton Park Montessori in Jersey City, and students from Bigwoods Primary school in St. Elizabeth JA collaborated: the Bigwoods kids sent two Jamaican folk songs were sent to New Jersey, who sent two school favorites back to St. Elizabeth. All students learned all four songs and they were recorded and combined into a set of recordings that blended both schools together. They experimented with a concert in NJ where recordings from Jamaican school were blended with a live performance (I think a simulcast would be the next thing to work out)!

It’s a small, creative project, coming from the heart, and I hope it can sustain itself and maintain a positive, non-exploitative, non-savior approach to support Jamaicans whose labor, skills, and talent have provided so much wealth to the rest of the world.

The night, at Max Cellar (2 Knickerbocker Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11237)  will be a combination of live acts and DJs:

DJ Autograph
Delroy Melody
Screechy Dan
Hardi Hard
DJ Golden
Dj Ripley

RSVP at the event page (donations gratefully accepted at the door): Jamaica Project Party


I have a friend whose father collects and sells records. As in, vinyl. This he does by mail, as an auction. No internet, no phone calls, no email. It’s not a good living, but it’s an interesting one, and occasionally through family connections I end up hearing some lovely tunes. This month, it was a gorgeous track by Orchestre Lipua Lipua called “Fuga Fuga.” (more…)

This year has been a year of expansion & experimentation for me (DJ Ripley), from the chance to play Lincoln Center with Ushka, Dutty Artz/Kafundo collaborators Buraka Plays Som and Charanjit Singh, to my new gig as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Business at NYU. I’ve also been branching out creatively, with new collaborations in the works in production/remixing (more on that forthcoming), and this week, a new live performance experience – I will be performing a live DJ set with amazing drummer/percussionist/beatmaker Ravish Momin. He is an esteemed jazz drummer and Indian percussionist who has toured across the world alongside many free jazz greats as well as with multiple iterations of his own band, Tarana.


The NYTimes published the Ballad of Geeshie and Elvie about a little over a week ago and it made its way across my laptop screen, as articles like that tend to do.

It’s about “lost” musical recordings, gorgeous recordings, and a narrative of various writers and researchers tracking down information on female blues singers through their descendents, families and hoarders of information and recordings. It’s an interesting read, and beautifully written, but I found the beauty painful in a way I couldn’t articulate. There’s a lot of strands of thought about silence and visibility, about choices to step into, and out of, different kinds of limelight.  I was reading it, listening to the music and weeping by the end, without being able to untangle why. (more…)