February 2020 – Brian Norwood
DJ Brian Norwood was born during the first seedlings of dance music as we know it today were sprouting. In 1971, the Tea Dance at Fire Island’s Blue Whale was settling in as ritual and David Mancuso’s infamous “The Loft” parties in NYC, which are the genesis of the Saint parties, were just getting started. Being born in the music-rich environment of Nashville would be a harbinger of things to come. And being born in that era would greatly impact his career.
In the early 90’s, Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love, would open its arms to Brian. This move to a more urban environment and being within the twinkle of NYC skyscrapers, is an important transition not only in geography, but of musical awakening. In ’93, after attending a seminal Saint-At-Large White Party with all its intendant revelry, he felt an overwhelming drive to cultivate music and learn to mix. Vinyl was still the preferred medium for DJ’s, which gives Brian the unique perspective of being among the younger DJ’s still spinning today who teethed on vinyl. After coming back to Philly from the White Party, he bought his first set of turntables and honed his mixing skills as a bedroom DJ: after nine months he felt ready to move on to a live setting.
In ’94, Brian caught the attention of the organizers for the Blue Ball Recovery Brunch, a soft landing event following the headlining Blue Ball party circuit party. It was at this event that Brian knew his path was the correct one. At the culmination of his set, his mentor DJ Buc was among the first to applaud and everyone rose to their feet in a thundering ovation. The die was cast and Brian would headline this event for the next three years. It is here that he would establish himself as a circuit class DJ and in ’98 received the nod to play the premier Philly event, The Blue Ball. This event segued into a residency at the Philly mega club, Shampoo, of which he held reign from ’98 through 2000.
The new millennium was a decade of self discovery, purging, and enlightenment. His mentor Buc passed away during this time and personal issues separated him from his love of playing to a live audience. He continued to play music when the opportunity arose, but the underground music culture and Brian himself were changing.
In 2010, a move to Chicago was reinvigorating and Brian started a podcast shortly thereafter. It was energizing to see his listenership grow exponentially and it put him on the radar of promoters all over America. The notable gigs he has played are too many to count, but include, Flagging In The Park (San Francisco), Club Cielo (New York City), Pines Party (Fire Island Pines), Masked Leather Ball (Ft. Lauderdale), Epic Maui Journey (Maui), Evolution of a Dancer (New York City) and Sanctuary (Atlanta).
His Sophisticated Morning & Sophisticated Chill podcasts continue to be a major asset to his career and something his fans await with eagerness. These sets are just as their name implies: percolating, hazy, gently rising to an alert state. However, to those unfamiliar with his breadth of music, it would be unfair to characterize him as a morning music only DJ. It is unlikely that you would have heard music and music mixed like this anywhere else. Brian learned this style from his mentor, DJ Buc, and the influence of playing unique, obscure and ethereal songs is unmistakable. This is a true artist that isn’t stuck in a genre, who can play for long sets and adjust to a crowd. This was evident in being selected to play the benchmark event, Pines Party After-party on Fire Island. It is a crowning achievement to be invited to play this event: only the very best are chosen to play for this demanding crowd. Followers of the Pines Party are hardcore dancers and flaggers who pay for a chance to hear DJ’s that are considered the best in the world. The reaction to Brian’s set was overwhelmingly positive.
In closing, it is difficult to express with words something as nuanced as music by a sublime DJ. But to paraphrase an old saying, you know it when you hear it. He is extremely particular about the events that he will spin. It is a near guarantee that if he’s spinning it…it’s going to be major.
Brian’s podcasts can be found HERE
November 2019 – Michael Duretto
He has worked with performers such as “Sunscreem”, “Grace”, “Jennifer Holiday”, “Happy Clappers”, “Vernessa Mitchell”, “Lisa Frazier”, “Jeannie Tracy”, “Lonnie Gordon”, “Pat Hodges” RKM and “Pepper Mashay” to name a few. Through the years he has had the opportunity of headlining with exceptional DJ’s such as Susan Morabito, Warren Gluck, Buc, Abel, Manny Lehman, Phil B, Robbie Leslie, Lydia Prim, Michael Fierman, Mark Tarbox, Neil Lewis, Darrin Arrowood, Roland Belmares, Bryan Pfeifer, and Peter Rauhofer.
Michael’s first CD, EVOLUTION, was nationally released
Michael officially retired from DJing in 2005, but in 2019, he came out of retirement to play in select, special events.
FITD is beyond excited to have his incredible energy and epic music gracing our event on November 2nd.
March 2019 – The one and only DJ Jerry Bonham
Jerry Bonham has a DJ career that spans 40 years, With his start in Minneapolis at THE SALOON to a residency at the ICE PALACE on Fire Island and in NYC in 1979, his roots firmly are grounded in Disco. Jerry has played in most of the major clubs in San Francisco and held residencies at DREAMLAND, PLEASUREDOME, COLOSSUS and SPUNDAE. Globally, Jerry has traveled extensively, playing to crowds in Ibiza, Buenos Aires, Istanbul, London and Peru to name a few. He has productions released on respected labels such as Bedrock, SAW, Vapour and Looq. Jerry has a long pedigree that goes way back to 1976 and his love for music shines through not only in his fantastic sets of authentic Trocadero Disco but also in his contemporary sets, which always have a melodic soulful quality to them.
Luc’s DJ career started on the island of St. Croix in the US virgin island under the guidance of DJ Christopher Keefe. There he spun the monthly Planet Q roving parties from 1990 – 1996. Since then he has played across the country as a fixture while living in Boston and a musical force across Southern California and the world since moving to Palm Springs in 1999, including the Tom of Finland Black parties and the first US DJ to play the Amsterdam White party.
Listen to Luc’s Set by clicking here
Peter began his musical journey early in life while watching his mother teach piano to young music lovers. From that time on, he was drawn to music as a life force and infused it with his Cuban roots. He decided to become a DJ in the late seventies and trained under some of the most well-known club mixers in Los Angeles at that time. In the past thirty years, Peter has played in clubs all over the country and Canada, projecting onto every set that a celebration of life and love defines a great party.