Now, back to Fort Lauderdale, 1 pm. We were retrieved by our Jamaican friend, who serenaded us to a mix cd of dancehall remakes of everything from Jay-Z to R. Kelly, as he shuttled us off to a local spot for a some divinely inspired chicken and callaloo patties. Around 2.30, wed made it to the Rabrinni hotel in Miaminot bad, clean, full kitchenette, set atop this wicked Cuban restaurant, Raffis, close to the beach, and appropriately overpriced for conference goers. Check in. Change clothes. Then out the door to Jump n- Funk at the Marlin.
Rich Medina was the maestro for the day, serving up some delicious Afro beat, house and reggae. Coupled with periodic free drink specials, it was the perfect sunny Saturday afternoon. Wunmi showed up around 6 for a live performance that mesmerized the crowd, and soaked the room in vibe. As a first-time conference attendee, I was immediately smitten with the experience. Jump-n- Funk was the ideal start to a weekend full of connecting faces to name. Osunlade, DJ Spinna, Yoruba Records artist Dinji Brown, Diaspora Records and I.G Culture manager Jeff Peacock, hip-hop artist Aceylone, and a host of old and new friends rolled through.
Later that night, after taking in some burritos from Raffis, we headed to Goddess for the Blue Note/Jazzanova/Bugz in the Attic partythe quintessential event for me. Sonar Kollektivs Ame started off the night on the main floor in full form with serious deep house dancefloor bizness, while Mikey from Bugz, and Jazzanovas Jurgen rocked a chilled-out set upstairs. Mikey and Orin Afronaught Walters continued to keep the crowd hot and the dancefloor steadily filled up. The Man Seiji stole the night though, plunging in the depths of the broken bizness. From Freedom Soundz Feelings, to DKDs Future Rage, to the loose Lips/Loose Tips mix, you couldnt peel me off the dancefloor. At least not until it was time to head off to Jojo Flores Gotsoul party at Jazzid.
By now (circa 3am), Id been functioning (barely) on about two and a half hours of sleep, so you gotta cut me a little slack for dozing off once we go to the club. My respite didnt last long, though. I settled into the cozy upper level of the club, and was submerged into the depths of a seamless stream of sublime house sets from E-Man and Justin JustOne Chapman.
Sunday afternoon brought a successful search for a good breakfast, and a jaunt to the beach, where we soaked up a bit of sun. Then we headed to the Raleigh where we met up with Gilles Peterson for a delightful chat about everything from Brownswood to Bush, over Red Stripe and honeyed tea . Then off to E-Mans pool party for a health dose of an ol' skool New York house party.
Following leftover burritos for dinner, we dared to get a bit of rest before heading off to the Future party at the stunning indoor/outdoor spot, Opium Garden. The Future party is normally where all the nu jazz/broken beat heads would get a real fix, at least thats what Ive heard. Having never been, I cant attest to that, but I can say that I certainly was not expecting the night to be full of top 40 hip-hop, and old commercial R-n-B. But for getting to spend a bit of quality time with Fauna Flashs Christian Prommer and Roland Appel, and Detroits DJ Genesis, I honestly was not as enthralled with the Future party as Id hoped to be. We left early, only to discover the next day that the Future at the Future party was in another room where Rick Medina and Vikter Duplaix were at the helm. Oh well. Instead, we headed to the famed Pizza Rustica with Genesis, and stuffed our faces with chicken Florentine pizza.