DJ Cassidy is the NYC selector who's played gigs like the 2009 inauguration of Barack Obama, and the wedding of JAY-Z and Beyoncé. Two of the qualities that got him to these prestigious events are his Library of Alexandria-level knowledge of classic Black dance music, and his authentically positive presence behind the boards. Both of those traits, as well as his extensive list of contacts in the music industry, are on display in Pass The Mic, a live collaborative concert shared last Friday.
The 30-minute golden oldies set fits comfortably in the lineage of online concerts that have popped up during quarantine. However, Cassidy takes it to the next level thanks to special guests like members of Earth, Wind & Fire, Kool & The Gang, and many more, all phoned in from across the country for a video conferenced jam session. It's all seamless fun (seriously, not one laggy connection?!) as the musicians perform over some of their own classic songs. Watch it in full above, and read Cassidy's statement on the show below.
For many years, I celebrated my birthday by uniting a multitude of friends and surprising them with iconic performances by legendary artists. This year, I wanted to find a way to revisit that tradition in light of the times. One evening, during the heat of the quarantine, I FaceTimed with my dear friend and mentor, Verdine White of Earth Wind & Fire. While we were catching up, his classic record, “That’s The Way Of The World,” came on my speakers. Hearing that song, while on the phone with Verdine, put a smile on my face and brought me some much-needed calm. I thought about how fortunate I was to have friendships with many of my heroes and how lucky I was to be able to enjoy their music in their company. I wondered if I could find a way to share that special feeling with others, in an effort to honor and uplift the heroes around the world on the frontlines of health, freedom, and justice. I sat at my turntables in my living room and began Zooming with my musical heroes of 1970s and 1980s, literally passing the mic from one home to the next. The result is PASS THE MIC. I hope this virtual mix moves others as much as it has moved me. I am forever grateful to my musical heroes for their decades of hope, inspiration, and soul, and with them, I celebrate all the heroes around the world.