October 1, 2004
Director of Media Relations
AMHERST, Mass.- The Amherst College Global Sound Project will kick off a Hip-Hop Happening on Thursday and Friday, Oct. 21 and 22, with a dance party on Thursday, Oct. 21, at 9:30 p.m. in the Front Room in the Keefe Campus Center. The Original Jazzy Jay and GrandWizzard Theodore, pioneering hip-hop DJs, and renowned hip-hop dance legend Jorge "Fabel" Pabon will provide the entertainment. They will be joined by hip-hop publicist and agent, Christie-Z-Pabon, co-founder of "Tools of War", on Friday, Oct. 22, at 10:00 a.m. in the Amherst College music department for a workshop. Both events are free and open to the public.
The Original Jazzy Jay began his career in the Bronx under the guidance of Afrika Bambaataa. During the '80s club revolution, Jazzy went from performing on the streets to spinning records in clubs. With the Jazzy 5, he recorded the hit single "Jazzy Sensation." He co-produced the seminal hit "Planet Rock" with Bambaataa and The Soul Sonic Force, played the role of club DJ in the hip-hop classic Beat Street and contributed to the movie's soundtrack. A co-founder of Def Jam records, where he worked with such artists as LL Cool J, the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy, Jazzy was inducted into the DMC/Technics DJ Hall of Fame in 2000. He is featured in the DJ documentary Scratch and has headlined every Scratch Tour in the U.S., Japan, New Zealand, Australia and Canada.
GrandWizzard Theodore, who invented the "scratch" and "needle drop" techniques, was a member of the L Brothers and the Fantastic Five, and was also involved in creating the soundtrack for the cult classic movie WildStyle. He was inducted into the DMC/Technics DJ Hall of Fame in 1998 and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Turntablist Federation. He served as a panelist at "Roots, Rhyme and Rage: The Hip-Hop Story" at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 and is also featured in the DJ documentary Scratch.
Jorge "Fabel" Pabon, born and raised in Spanish Harlem, developed his dance and choreography career at hip-hop jams and clubs throughout the city. President of the Hierophysics crew, senior vice president of the Rock Steady Crew, member of Magnificent Force, and an honorary member of the Electric Boogaloos, Fabel also co-founded GhettOriginal Productions, with whom Fabel co-authored, co-directed and co-choreographed the first two hip-hop musicals, "So! What Happens Now?" and "Jam on the Groove." Fabel served as a consultant, moderator, panelist and writer for "Roots, Rhyme and Rage" at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and, he is the first hip-hop dance instructor to be employed at N.Y.U.'s Experimental Dance Theater Wing.
Christie Z-Pabon made a name for herself on the DJ battle scene by overseeing as many as 17 DJ battles a year and inducting hip-hop pioneers like GrandMaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa into the Technics/DMC Hall of Fame. With her husband, Jorge "Fabel" Pabon, she co-founded "Tools of War," a grassroots hip-hop company named with the idea that there are many "tools" one can use in battling within hip-hop culture: turntables, microphones, paint, the body and especially the voice. In 2002, she teamed up with the Original Jazzy Jay to launch the King/Queen of the Beat Producer Battle with such judges as Premier, Hank Shocklee, Diamond D and Lord Finesse. At no loss for new battle formats, she created a DJ battle for the 2002 Zulu Anniversary, which did not allow any profanity or derogatory remarks. Christie is frequently commissioned to consult, fact-check and proofread to ensure historical accuracy in books and magazines. She recently completed the first nine-city Vinyl Kombat DJ Battle tour.
The Amherst College Global Sound Project supports members of the music faculty, collaborating with colleagues at other institutions, in developing an approach to the teaching of music understood in the context of global and cultural studies.