If you have followed Osaka Monaurail, in particular during their time with Marva Whitney or Martha High, you will have come across DJ Pari. Formerly of Germany, he chose the US as his home decades ago and currently resides in Richmond, Virginia. Still looking young and fresh, though. Read what makes him tick below, as part of Our “DJs you should know” series, while you listen to one of his mixes here:
Which style / genre do you mostly play:
Rare Soul and Funk, but I’ve got a bit of a Jazz record habit.
Residency (current or previous):
Soulpower in Richmond and Washington DC (2007-2015)
DJ gig farthest away from your home:
Melbourne, Australia, and Naha, Okinawa, Japan (both with Marva Whitney)
Most memorable DJ gig and why?
In 2012 I was the first DJ to play a full set at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City at the official Curtis Mayfield 70th Birthday Concert. The show was headlined by the Impressions and also featured Mavis Staples, William Bell, The Roots, Meshell Ndegeocello and many more. Playing Curtis’ tunes with the Mayfield family in the front row was a true honor. A close second is a gig at Billboard Live in Los Angeles in 1997 where James Brown celebrated receiving his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Watching Rick James and Dan Aykroyd on the dance floor was quite a trip.
Since when have you been a DJ?
First flexed my skills at college parties in 1990. My first club gig in 1992.
What was your first ever record?
Sign ‘O’ The Times by Prince. I still have it.
Favorite record of all times and why:
A Love Supreme by John Coltrane. I was 19 when I first heard it and it changed my life. This record carries a wide array of meanings for a lot of people, but what moved me most is Trane’s willingness to give all of himself — and ultimately his life — to his art. This is a guy who was in absolute peace with himself and the world around him, and his spiritual maturity has allowed him to find places and create music that very few people before and after him have had access to.
Record that surprised you most and why:
Again, A Love Supreme. Because I did not know that a record could communicate ideas that go way beyond the music, and that’s what gives it so much power.
Record you usually play at all your DJ gigs:
I like to mix it up, but I want my baby back by the Ethics is always in the box because it works when nothing else works, without having to compromise taste.
Vinyl or other media:
Favorite club to play at:
Jazz Cafe in London.
Your favorite DJ:
Daisuke Kuroda from Tokyo. He’s got deep crates, a great taste and he knows how to mix.
Band / Musician you strongly recommend everyone should listen to:
Coltrane and Miles of course. Since I pretty much listen exclusively to Jazz at home, I’d also urge you to get into Lee Morgan, Hank Mobley, Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers, Jackie McLean, Duke Pearson, Cannonball Adderley.