Roots NYC – Lil Ricky’s Rib Shack Cruise Afterparty | Rich Medina & Kevin Hedge – Tickets – Cielo – New York, NY – August 16th, 2017

Roots NYC - Lil Ricky's Rib Shack Cruise Afterparty | Rich Medina & Kevin Hedge

Roots NYC - Lil Ricky's Rib Shack Cruise Afterparty | Rich Medina & Kevin Hedge

Aug 16

Doors: 10:00 pm / Show: 10:00 pm (event ends at 4:00 am)

Tickets at the Door

Rich Medina
Rich Medina
For the past two decades, Rich Medina has cemented his reputation as an elite DJ, one of few on the planet capable of taking audiences worldwide on a sonic journey through hip-hop, house, soul, afrobeat, funk, breaks and dance classics. Today, many artists who have been Rich's idols have become peers, and his fans often become his friends, even if just through the shared experience of music. Countless couples and relationships were commenced to the soundtracks he has created time and time again. His eloquence extends well beyond the music he plays—Medina's spontaneous use of language speaks to the fact that he's been a well-respected spoken word artist for over a quarter century, not to mention that he's a journalist who has contributed columns and features to a wide variety of publications, including The Fader, Complex and Wax Poetics. His commanding physical presence is a constant reminder of four years of varsity basketball while at Cornell University, not to mention a brief stint of semi-pro ball immediately thereafter.

Rich Medina's passion for spinning records began at the tender age of twelve, when he played his first party in his hometown of Lakewood, NJ. From that moment forward, he practiced and studied his craft with the focus of a seasoned athlete, quietly developing the skills that made sequencing and mixing music extremely natural to him.

At twenty-five years old, Medina already had an Ivy League degree, a season of semi-pro hoops (dreams of pro-ball dashed by an injury), and two Fortune 500 jobs under his belt. He then made the brave decision to give up a six-figure job at Abbott Laboratories in favor of hauling crates of records between Philly and NYC to manifest his dream of being a well-respected DJ. Right off the bat, he was able to establish himself with residencies in both cities as well as a steady stream of guest appearances with the likes of Qool Marv, Prince Language and Bobbito Garcia, beginning the musical adventure that has now taken him far and wide around the globe many times over.

True to his knack for being in the right place at the right time, in 2001, Medina established an unprecedented nine year run with his legendary party Lil' Ricky's Rib Shack at APT, in NYC's soon-to-be-hot Meatpacking District. APT became a real destination in the City—a place with no nonsense and no bottle service, where folks like Puff Daddy, Kevin Powell, Lord Sear, Mos Def, Talib Kweli and Prince could be seen regularly, getting down on the dancefloor, mixing right in with the crowd. In the midst of APT's heyday, in 2005, hip-hop legend Q-Tip chose Medina to be his partner for a new Friday night weekly called Open, at Santos Party House in NYC, which played to capacity crowds for the duration of its four year run. Using NYC as a catalyst, Rich became what many would call the ultimate DJ-in-residence, with steady established outposts in numerous cities, including Miami, San Francisco, Chicago, St. Louis, DC, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Amsterdam, London and Paris.

One of Medina's proudest achievements has been establishment of JUMP N FUNK in 2001, North America's Original Afrobeat party, dedicated to the late Nigerian icon Fela Anikulapo Kuti. The groundwork laid down by Medina via his JNF brand to raise global awareness (not to mention the dancefloor potential) for Afrobeat was silently vital in setting the stage, literally and figuratively, for the award-winning Broadway and worldwide run of "Fela!". And as with Rich's other branded parties, JNF has been presented around the world, including, Tokyo, Brussels, London, Amsterdam, and over twenty cities across North America.

DJing only scratches the surface of Rich Medina's story. His spoken word artistry has been featured on records by the likes of King Britt, Phil Asher, De Lata, Antibalas, IG-Culture, and Nathan Haines. As a record producer, he has collaborated with the likes of Jill Scott, J Dilla, Platinum Pied Pipers, Martin Luther, DJ Mitsu The Beats, Okada Taxi, Ty, Bobbito Garcia, 4AD, Blue Note Records, and Concord Music Group. He also released his first full-length LP, "Connecting the Dots" in 2005, on the Dutch indie powerhouse label Kindred Spirits.

While attending his twentieth college reunion at Cornell University in 2012, Medina was approached by the school's director of The Cornell Hip Hop Collection to become the first ever Cornell alumnus to join their esteemed advisory board. The collection consists of the largest acquisition of rare and at-risk materials and artifacts covering the beginnings of hip hop culture—the most extensive held by any organization in the US. He has lectured on numerous topics and moderated multiple panel discussions for Cornell's Music and Africana departments. He has also been invited to speak at San Francisco State University, and was a featured speaker at TEDxPhilly in 2011.

Rich is a card-carrying member of the Rock Steady Crew and the Universal Zulu Nation. And he has consistently lent his name to charitable organizations close to his heart, most recently The Africa Center, Room to Grow and GrassRoots.

While Medina could rest on all of his past accomplishments, he has retained the energy of a prizefighter, constantly seeking something greater as both an artist and a businessman, steadily building a respected brand with his own two hands. Rich is one of those rare people who has built himself a platform on his own terms, in his own way, achieving success with every step he takes and enriching countless souls with incredible music and unique wisdom.
Kevin Hedge
Kevin Hedge
Kevin is one half of the songwriting/production team known as
BLAZE. They have been recording dance-oriented music for
over 25 years and are considered to be pioneers in soulful
house sound. As songwriter, producer, and re-mixer Kevin has
worked with some of the industry’s' biggest names.
Most recently Kevin has release his first track in over 6 years,
"Follow Your Heart" on the High Rise Label, debuting at #2 on
TRAXSOURCE within the first day of its release FEB 15th 2012.
The track feature's RICK GALACTIK of DJN Project and has
the signature BLAZE sound we've come to know and love over
the past 25 years. Kevin is back in the studio and there is no
stopping him, be on the look out for new music coming soon!

BLAZE, the trio started to develop demo recordings in the style of the days popular club music. With “DJ” Kevin at the controls, Josh “the piano man” on the synthesizer and the “lead vocal” styling of Chris, they turned out song after song for other artist and producers to record. Some included “This Time” by Colonel Abrams knock off Hunter Hayes, “One Man” by Chanelle and “Reachin’ ” by Phase II. The three ultimately signed their first record deal with the newly formed Quark records in ’85, producing three major club hits of the time; “Whatcha Gonna Do”, “If You Should Need A Friend” and “Can’t Win For Losing”.
The BLAZE sound caught the ear of then Motown Vice-president of A&R Timmy Regisford, who immediately put them to work on numerous Motown projects. “These guys were making productions that was raw enough to move the club, but they always kept the integrity of the songs.” Regisford on Blaze. By now, the Blaze sound was capturing the spirit of dancers in the clubs and the hearts of radio listeners in NY. With so many original productions receiving commercial success, the team was in high demand as remix producers and overdub musicians for other remixers. As remixers Blaze have work on Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, Macy Gray, Jamiriqui, Lisa Stansfield, Babyface, Beyonce, Jennifer Hudson, and countless others. As overdub musicians they have worked with DJ/producers David Morales, Frankie Knuckles, Timmy Regisford, Masters at Work and many others. It was at this point Timmy Regisford decided it was time to take it to the next level, he invited Kevin, Chris and Josh to record a full length album for the soul music icon Motown. “25 Years Later” Blazes’ first long player was critically acclaimed upon its’ initial release in ’91 and has since went on to become one of house musics’ classic albums. “This was the first time we had the time and the budget to experiment, with sounds, equipment, and live instruments.” Kevin notes “This project allowed us to try out the song writing and production styles of our musical heroes.” When listening to “25 Years Later” you can hear all of Blazes’ influences as well as their signature soulful house sound. Josh reflects “We really didn’t know what we were doing. We just tried to emulate the productions of artist like Donnie Hathaway, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield and many others, who created the soul music of the seventies.” What’s most impressive about this work is, they wrote into the lyrics and the interludes a concept, an over riding theme, the story of a slain civil rights leader who was to be the reincarnate of Malcom X.

After touring with bands and playing places like Wembley arena, most of the Caribbean islands and major cities in the U.S. . Blaze returned home to start businesses that included; real estate, car services, retail stores and nightlife(Kevin and Josh co-owned and promoted the Club Shelter in NYC). During this time Chris decided to continue his career in the now popular hip hop R&B music genre, leaving Josh and Kevin to further their careers by writing and producing for other artist and vocalists. “We took this time to reflect on where we had been and what we had done, but moreover where we were going.” says Milan. “It was during this period we(now only Josh and Kevin) began to find other voices.” Kevin quips. ” We really crafted some of the production and writing tricks we are known for today, during that time.”

Hedge and Milan went on to produce three more albums under the Blaze banner : “Basic Blaze” on Slip-n-Slide/UK, “Natural Blaze : the James Toney Jr. Project” on Life Line/Japan and “Spiritually Speaking” on Slip-n-Slide/UK . Also you will find many compilation albums comprising some of Blazes’ greatest hits, a few are : “6 Hubert St.” on Avex/Japan, “Pure Blaze” on Easy Street/US, “Blaze Productions” on Playhouse/Germany and “Spiritually Speaking then and now” West End/US. In ’95 Blaze scored their biggest writing success with a song called “Hideaway” performed by De’lacy. The song went into the top ten on the UK charts and was added to a vast array compilations, racking up sales in the millions. Josh and Kevin also penned charts hits for Amira “My Desire”, "Most Precious Love" feat. Barbara Tucker, and themselves with the no# 1 dance hit “Breathe”. This helps to maintains the duo as one of the most sought after writing, production and remix teams in the business.

Blaze went on to be involved in various other productions and businesses. Kevin later partnered with the “God Father of Disco” Mel Cheren to relaunch his seminal dance imprint West End records. Blaze then released their very first mix compilation on West End entitled “Found Love” feat. the hit single title track “Found Love” by Blaze. A song dedicated to the truest kind of love, the love of self. Kevin spells out “You can only share love if you have it and it all starts with loving yourself.” “I feel Kevin and Joshs’ music is the perfect match for West Ends’ legacy. They produce danceable R&B songs. Not only are they great artist but also
good businessmen.” Cheren proudly announced. “Our goal is to do what the label has always done. Release great music that will stand the test of time.” says Kevin who serves as president. Musically the group have collaborated with super DJ/Producer Louie Vega (one half of the production team Masters at Work) to assist him with the production of his own solo debut long player “Elements Of Life”. Vega quotes “Blaze are pioneers in our house music community. I’ve been lucky enough to watch them become masters as songwriters, producers and artists. I was honoured to work with them on the songs “Elements Of Life” and “Brand New Day”. In retrospect, I learned a valuable musical lesson from my experiences with Blaze. There were more emotions inside of me that needed to be expressed, but it couldn’t grow without the fostering I received from so many people, beginning with Blaze.”

After more than 20 years on the scene BLAZE is now just Kevin Hedge and he continues to produce relevant hits today as he did back in ’85. For the past 8 years Kevin has partnered with Little Louie Vega to produced the longest running weekly house party in NYC. RootsNYC located in the heart of NYC's meatpacking district at Cielo Club takes place every Wednesday night with Kevin and Louie DJing each week. Louie & Kevin create a home for house music each and every week, spinning timeless hits that represent the very best the music they love has to offer. Playing together and with Guest Djs and artists they have made ROOTSNYC and Cielo a must attend event each week within the house community and for visitors from around the world. In 2010 Kevin and Louie took ROOTSNYC to the mainstream with America's #1 R&B radio station WBLS 107.5 every Friday night. In two short years ROOTSNYCLIVE on WBLS has become the #1 House Music Show in the nation enjoying a prime time slot from 10pm to 12am with no signs of slowing. Currently Kevin is gearing up for his first original studio production in seven years, "Follow Your Heart" is slated for release February 2012. "I see myself as a tool being used by the universe helping to bring lyrical messages and melodies to the world.” Kevin explains “Music is communication. Ideas come to us from the spirit of creation.".

Blazing the past, present and future, Kevin Hedge is truly excited for all the universe has to reveal through music and the creators guidance.
Venue Information:
Cielo
18 Little West 12th Street
New York, NY, 10014
http://www.cieloclub.com/