Red Bull Music Academy presents Masters At Work

‘Little’ Louie Vega and Kenny ‘Dope’ Gonzalez are synonymous with the rise and peak of NYC house music. Since meeting through their mutual friend Todd Terry back in 1988, the two native New Yorkers have amassed an overwhelming body of work, including more than 800 remixes for the likes of Madonna and Michael Jackson, a classic album under their Nuyorican Soul guise, and countless club anthems on labels like Nervous, Strictly Rhythm, and their own MAW outfit. They defiantly mix everything they can find – house, hip hop, funk, disco, Latin, African, and jazz – into a universal groove. In doing so, MAW has become a cultural mélange unto itself, emblematic of the city that has bred them. With a whole new generation of producers from Julio Bashmore to Jamie Jones turning to their classic house sound for inspiration, the Masters are now more relevant than ever, still churning out hits and setting dance floors on fire with their unique blend of Kenny’s beat-heavy roughness and Louie’s elegance. To celebrate more than two decades of Masters At Work, the duo will play an exclusive, three-hour-long live set of their biggest tunes, bringing along one of the most influential and most sampled artists, Roy Ayers. A special night with some of New York’s true musical heroes!

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Masters At Work

Their name says it all: Masters at Work. ‘Little’ Louie Vega and Kenny ‘Dope’ Gonzalez are celebrating more than 20 years together, shepherding dance music down new paths with their inventive production style and imaginative feel for different musical forms. Synonymous with the rise and peak of NYC house music, Kenny Dope and Louie Vega met through their mutual friend Todd Terry, resulting in a fruitful production partnership full of timeless hits. With remixes being their specialty, the Masters at Work treatment has been given to a diverse roster of artists, from Madonna, Debbie Gibson, and Lisa Stansfield to Saint Etienne, Michael Jackson, Brand New Heavies, and about 800 other artists. They defiantly mix everything they can find—house, hip hop, funk, disco, Latin, African and jazz—into a universal groove. In doing so, MAW has become a cultural mélange unto itself, emblematic of the multicultural society in which we live.

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Roy Ayers

Talking about Roy Ayers’ work and influence on many past and current musicians could take weeks. The vibraphonist recorded a string of classic soul and funk jams like Running Away, Get Up, or Sylvia Striplin’s You Can’t Turn Me Away that are evergreens and standards. Ayers might be the second most-sampled artist in hip hop right after James Brown, and since he started performing and recording in the 1960s, he has never stopped going strong.

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Suzanne Kraft

Operating under his solo moniker on labels like Running Back and as part of LA’s über-prolific Dublab crew, and in addition to his role as synth player in the 100% Silk act Pharoahs, Suzanne Kraft channels the best of baggy Manchester house, syrupy Balearic disco, and kraut-inspired pop within his productions. Kraft’s suave, ethereal chords jut up alongside rubbery bass lines, blending the sophisticated sheen of the Paradise Garage with the never-ending sun and mutant aesthetics of his Venice Beach residence.

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Jolly Mare

As the old adage goes, “What is a DJ if he can’t scratch?” Italy’s JOLLY MARE is forging a new answer to this eternal question, with the help of his PhD in Vibration Dynamics, his trusty turntables, and enhancements provided by the capabilities of modern software. His turntablist skills and endless bedroom practicing led him to win the 2010 IDA DJ Championships, and crate digging is truly a daily operation for this self-confessed vinyl addict. In recent years he has moved into the realm of production, creating slow boogie jams that emanate soulful, scientific authenticity. He’s also a skilled graphic designer, guitarist and bassist, and dreams that one day his intricate robot-band rhythm patterns will be capable of extra-terrestrial communication.

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