BEIRUT GROOVE COLLECTIVE
FUNK AIN'T NOISE POLLUTION
THE BEIRUT GROOVE COLLECTIVE
Keeping the funk, soul, disco, rare grooves & hiphop alive in Beirut
The Beirut Groove Collective (BGC) was established in 2009 by two of Lebanon's pioneer DJs - Ernesto Chahoud and Rami Obeid aka DJ Stickfiggr with the support of other artists such as Ramsay Short , VJ artist Nadim Saoma, filmaker Helena Forsell and painter/trombonist Tom Young aka Tom Bone . The goal of the BGC was and is simple: to document, promote and preserve the best in African and African-influenced musical traditions - particularly Black American musical strains - jazz, rhythm and blues, soul, funk, rare-groove and hip-hop.
At the time of its founding, Chahoud and Obeid knew that the musical offerings of this type were sparse, and mostly devoted to the more mainstream, commercial varieties of music. Certainly, there was no real appreciation of the rich musical heritage that made up the current fare of R&B and generic rap and jazz varieties played in clubs and on the corporate radio airwaves. Thus, with a little motivation and the help of a group of equally dedicated DJs and music connoisseurs, the BGC began a humble attempt to do something new in Beirut - organizing "house-party" events with a premium on utilizing alternative, community-oriented spaces as a means of drawing parallels to the underground funk and soul parties that used to occur in the major urban centers of America and Africa in the 1970s.
In the summer of 2009, the BGC added another partner to the equation, music journalist/filmmaker and longtime music selector Jackson Allers, aka Brother Jackson. Together with the fourth member of the DJ collective, Ghayyan Al-Amine aka Heavy G, the Beirut Groove Collective has successfully become the Middle-East's premiere stop off for all things funky, soulful and alternative where the African-influenced musical traditions are concerned. To date, they have hosted the likes of top international DJ talent such as turntablists DJ Scandales (Brooklyn, USA) of the Jazz at Lincoln group the Lo Frequency, and Martin Jakobsen aka El Dedo of the Danish DJ collective The Black School (Den Sorte Skole), as well as showcasing local up-and-coming talent like Mudbone, the live soul/hip-hop spin-off group from the Forward Music Label live hip-hop group Fareeq al Atrash.
With 2010 appearances by Ernesto in Paris last fall, the BGC began to travel with their musical philosophy linking with similar musical movements worldwide - all with the aim of breaking down cultural and racial barriers while presenting the best in rare African-influenced sounds.
In 2011, the BGC has decided to expand their performance repertoire and their level of international DJ talent - with planned appearances this year by Eric Coleman of the LA-based film/music team Mochilla, DJ Florian Keller from Germany, DJ Solo from Dubai, LA-based musical tastemaker Carlos Nino from NinjaTune - to name a few.
The ultimate homage to these Black musical traditions will be the hosting of live musical acts such as the arrival of up-and-coming soul superstar, Black Joe Lewis this Spring.