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Jazz & Grooves « SPEC :: Social Planning + Events Committee :: University of Pennsylvania

SPEC Jazz & Grooves organizes major concerts in the fall and spring and often hosts smaller performances. Past performers include Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Medeski Martin & Wood, Branford Marsalis, the Wailers, Miles Davis, the Charlie Hunter Trio, and the Josh Redman Quartet.

Check out jazzandgrooves.com for the latest J&G news.


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kaytranada underachievers final 4.25x5.5




SPEC Jazz and Grooves and SPEC-TRUM will be collaborating this winter on a concert on January 31st, at 9pm in the Rotunda. Artists Kaytranada and the Underachievers will be co-headlining the show. Kaytranada is a Haitian born Canadian DJ, who has already headlined tours across the globe, including in Australia and Europe. He is perhaps best known for his remixes of classic artists like Janet Jackson and TLC, and he is prepping to release a solo album in 2014, where he hopes to further bridge the gap between dance music, hip-hop, and R&B.

The Underachievers are a hip-hop duo from Brooklyn, whose music mixes old school and psychedelic hip hop. Their first mixtape, Indigoism was released in early 2013 to positive reviews from critics. The group has released a second mixtape, music videos, and an iTunes single since then, and has spent most of October and November 2013 on tour with Joey Bada$$. They are preparing to release their debut album early this year. The Underachieves cite artists such as Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, and John Mayer as their musical inspiration.



SPEC-TRUM, has successfully brought in hot, up-and-coming artists consecutively, including Chance the Rapper, Kendrick Lamar, J.Cole, Miguel, Melanie Fiona, and Kanye West, while SPEC Jazz and Grooves has hosted hot artists such as Flume, Atrak, Mount Kimbie, Gigamesh, Badbadnotgood, Autre Nu Veut and more and this semester is no different. You will not be disappointed!

Tickets go on sale on Locust Walk on Monday, January , or you can buy online anytime at: upennspec.ticketleap.com/underachievers-kaytranada .


When: Saturday, February 9th at 10 pm

Where: The Castle (Locust Walk and 36th)

How Much: $5 in advance, $10 day of show. Click here for tickets.

What: We’ve brought plenty of Grooves, now it’s finally time for some Jazz. For our second show of the semester, J&G is thrilled to announce BADBADNOTGOOD supported by Xaphoon Jones and Amtrac.

RSVP to the Facebook event!



This Toronto-based hip-hop jazz trio has had our attention for quite some time now. BBNG‘s raw jazz talent and love for hip-hop is what brought them together at music school to start making some of the most creative and unique sounds. They started out playing covers of Odd Future, MF DOOM, and Gucci Mane– even reciting one of these pieces to their professors, who were not impressed. Tyler the Creator of Odd Future thought otherwise, however, and after posting one of their videos has helped the band achieve widespread recognition for pushing the forefront of modern music. They have released two albums,BBNG and BBNG2, in which they cover the likes of James Blake, Kanye West, and more Odd Future, along with some originals. Download them for free on their website.


Xaphoon Jones

Based right in our City of Brotherly Love, Noah Beresin, better known as Xaphoon Jones, is one half of the alternative hip-hop group Chiddy Bang. The group was formed after Noah met Chidera Anamege at Drexel University in 2008 and by 2010 they had signed a recording contract with EMI. Apart from being Chiddy Bang’s beat producer, Noah works on productions of his own and for other artists. Notably he has recently released the third installment of his mixtape series featuring mixes of Ellie Goulding, Das Racist, and Rick Ross, among many others. Get it for free here.



Amtrac, the solo project of Kentucky’s Caleb Cornett, has been attracting some attention lately with his sonic-pop sound. He ingeniously integrates his own songwriting, producing, and vocals to create mesmerizing, upbeat melodies. His album Came Along has a hypnotic flow that has the listener in a daze at one moment and dancing the next. Cornett is set to tour around the US this spring, including appearances at HARD Miami and SXSW, and will no doubt gain momentum with his unique rhythm.


When: Thursday, January 31st at 9:30 pm
Where: Pilam — 3914 Spruce St.
How Much: Free (Penn ID required)
What: For those of you who were waiting for an excuse to get weird at Pilam, here’s your chance. It’s our first show of the semester and we at Jazz & Grooves are proud to announce a great garage-rock lineup: lo-fi champs Mac DeMarco and Bleeding Rainbow.


Mac DeMarco

Montreal-based indie garage-rock purist Mac DeMarco is our new favorite goofball musician. He refuses to play any guitar other than the shitty one he got for 30 bucks six years ago — when he was sixteen. He also rejects the prospect of using effect pedals to refine his psychedelic sound (which he has dubbed “Jizz-Jazz”). His shows (or “raunchfests”) are known to involve comedy, Viceroy cigarrettes, enthusiasm, and sometimes nudity(?)


Bleeding Rainbow

Philly-based band Bleeding Rainbow (who was called Reading Rainbow until Portlandia star Carrie Brownstein told them she didn’t like the name) is an awesome four-piece that plays shows up and down the east coast. With a sound that’s more distorted and punk than Mac’s, they’ve sold out local venues like Johnny Brenda’s and have gotten shout-outs from two surviving members of Nirvana. Their singer Sarah Everton and their post-grunge vibe give them a unique sound that definitely won’t disappoint.


When: Friday, November 30th from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am
Where: Sigma Alpha Epsilon (39th and Spruce)
How Much: FREE (Penn ID required)
What: For Jazz & Grooves’ second party of the year, we bring you a FREE vinyl-spinning bash with two of hip-hop’s best sample based DJs, RJD2 and Dabrye. It’s Free, it’s at SAE and we’ve got two legendary DJs who crush it live . We’ll be going from 10 pm to 2 am.


You may unknowingly recognize some of his work, as his song “A Beautiful Mine” is featured on the introduction to AMC’s show “Mad Men.” With the release of his debut album Deadringer in 2002, RJD2 changed the face of sample based instrumental hip-hop DJing. While incorporating a cut and paste style that seamlessly blends divergent elements to create soul heavy jams, RJD2 is able to capture a distinct mood in each one of his songs. The DJ has also worked with many prominent rappers.  This show will be one you don’t want to miss as the producer is known for live mixing with four turntables during his performances. Check out his song “Ghostwriter” below.


Dabrye has been putting down electronic influenced instrumental hip-hop beats since his album One/Three in 2001. Integrating elements of glitch-hop and Prefuse 73 style ambient electronic music, Dabryewill surely put down a raucous performance this Friday.


If your looking for more on RJD2, check out this video with excerpts of one of his live performances spliced between a street interview about his performance philosophy.

What: Shut up and Play the Hits free screening

When: Wednesday, 11/14, Movie at 8:30

Where: Harrison Rooftop Lounge

Please arrive early for seating is limited and not guaranteed.

When: Friday, November 16th from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am
Where: The Castle
How Much: Free (Penn ID required)
What: For Jazz & Grooves’ second first show of the year, we’re inviting you to an electronic banger replete with great beats laid down by none other than Belgian EDM artist Aeroplane and Katy Perry’s own DJ Yung Skeeter (aka Skeet Skeet).


Aeroplane is the stage name for Belgian club DJ, Vito de Luca. Aeroplane has collaborated with artists including Au Revoir Simone and Merry Clayton. His disco-inspired remixes include “Williams’s Blood” by Grace Jones and “Paris” by Friendly Fires. He is sure to throw down an amazing mix so be sure to check out his soundcloud for tons of free mixes and tracks.

Yung Skeeter

Yung Skeeter is the pseudonym of Trevor McFedries, formerly known as DJ Skeet Skeet. McFedries has made beats for such artists as Chris Brown and Azealia Banks, and has also commissioned remixes for artists ranging from the Black Eyed Peas to Broken Social Scene. He also opened for Katy Perry on her “California Dreams” tour. You can get lots of his remixes for free on his soundcloud.

When: Friday, November 2rd at 8:00 pm
Where: The Rotunda (40th and Walnut)
How Much: $5 in advance, $10 day of show (limited $15 tickets available to public).
Click here for tickets.

What: Jazz & Grooves’ first show of the year, featuring two talented artists. Opening is New York dream-pop outfit School of Seven Bells. And headlining is Atlas Sound, the solo project of Deerhunter frontman, the one-and-only, Bradford Cox.

Atlas Sound

Atlas Sound is the solo experimental, psychedelic, rock, folk project of musician Bradford Cox, the lead singer of Deerhunter. Cox started using the moniker Atlas Sound at age ten while recording music using a cassette player with two tape decks. Atlas Sound has had three main album releases, the most recent of which, Parallax, has gained widely positive reviews including being placed at #18 on Pitchfork’s top 50 albums of 2011. He has recorded with Panda Bear (of Animal Collective), the Black Lips, and contributed to the soundtrack of the 2009 movie, “Where the Wild Things Are.” Cox’s style is ever changing but he never fails to intrigue and entertain.

Listen: “Sheila”

School of Seven Bells

School of Seven Bells is an electronic pop duo from New York City. Benjamin Curtis and Alejandra Deheza are praised for their interesting songwriting style and mesmerizing live shows. With Curtis’ gentle guitar sounds over jagged beats; silky vocals hide behind grumpy, alien synthesizers, the show is bound to be a wonderful spectacle. Ghostly International raves that their “songs are effortlessly cohesive and insidiously catchy.” The band has received widespread recognition in the UK and has toured with such artists as Interpol, Blonde Redhead, and Bat for Lashes.

Listen: “Half Asleep”


Jazz and Grooves is excited to announce that Sepalcure is going to perform at The Arch‘s last show for a long time on Friday, March 30th. They will be coming with Mux Mool, Machinedrum and Heathered Pearls. Don’t miss these killer artists and your last opportunity to get buck wild in The Arch.

Student tickets are $5 in advance and $10 at the door. There will be a limited amount of public tickets for $15 each. Doors will open at 8:00 and the show will start at 8:30. Be sure to check out music from the artists at jazzandgrooves.com.

S.P.E.C. Jazz and Grooves is proud to present the official launch of www.jazzandgrooves.com as the first ever Philadelphia music and events blog for Penn students. To celebrate we’ll be having a bash headlined by electronic artists Mustard Pimp and Designer Drugs.

Where: The Castle
When: Thursday, March 22nd, 10PM to 2AM
Who: You and anyone with a Penncard
What: Jazz and Grooves brings you two flaming hot artists representing two of the biggest labels of the electronic-dance music scene. For more on the artists, their live shows and their music, check out jazzandgrooves.com.

Click here to buy tickets

Jazz and Grooves is proud to announce that Tycho is coming to The Rotunda on February 3rd. Student tickets are $5 in advance and $10 at the door. A limited number of tickets are available to the public for $15. Doors open at 8:00 and the show starts at 8:30.

If you want to check out some of Tycho’s songs these are a great starting point.
Tycho – Hours [Dive LP – Nov. 2011] by Tycho

Little Dragon – Little Man (Tycho Remix) by Tycho

And you can discover some of Beacon’s great up-and-coming work here
No Body by beaconmusicnyc