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DJ Jazzy Jeff & Z-Trip – DJs and Producers
DJ Jazzy Jeff, aka Jeffrey Allen Townes, is an American DJ, music producer, turntablist and actor perhaps best known for his early career with Will Smith as the hip hop duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. He is also credited with making the "transformer" scratch famous, along with DJ Cash Money. By using a...More
DJ Jazzy Jeff, aka Jeffrey Allen Townes, is an American DJ, music producer, turntablist and actor perhaps best known for his early career with Will Smith as the hip hop duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. He is also credited with making the "transformer" scratch famous, along with DJ Cash Money. By using a fader to cut the sounds in and out quickly it makes a sound similar to those made by the robots in the '80s cartoon classic, The Transformers.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, PA Townes began spinning records at 10 years old. He met Will Smith at a party in 1985 and the two began working together shortly thereafter. In 1986, DJ Jazzy Jeff won the DJ competition at the New Music Seminar and he and Will Smith released Rock the House. Their second album, He's The DJ, I'm the Rapper (Jive, 1988) sold over 2.5 million copies and included their hit single, "Parents Just Don't Understand." That song also won the duo their first Grammy Award in 1989, the first ever given out for Best Rap Performance. As Will Smith transitioned into television and acting, DJ Jazzy Jeff also appeared on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as a recurring character, Jazz. They made two more albums together, 1991's Homebase which contained the massive hit, "Summertime," and earned them their second Grammy Award; and 1993's Code Red (Jive).
After the duo dissolved, Jazzy Jeff launched a production company, A Touch of Jazz, and helped develop artists including Jill Scott and Musiq Soulchild. In 2002, he released a solo album, The Magnificent, and followed it with 2007's The Return of The Magnificent. Both albums featured numerous collaborations with old school and new school artists including CL Smooth, Big Daddy Kane, Pos (De La Soul), Method Man, Rhymefest, J-live, DJ Babu, and Q-Bert among others.
Z-Trip, aka Zach Sciacca, is an American DJ and producer and is widely recognized as a pioneer of the "mashup" movement, often referred to as the "godfather of mash-ups." He has performed to sold out crowds around the world including Electric Daisy, Big Day Out, Bonnaroo, and multiple appearances at Coachella. In 2009 he was voted "America's Best DJ" in an annual DJ Times readers poll. He appears as an avatar in the DJ Hero video game series and has contributed production to several other video game projects including EA Sports MMA (2010), Skate (2007) and XIII Soundtrack (2003). In 2012, Z-Trip launched a new mixer with Rane and Serato called the 62-Z.
The Phoenix, Arizona native began his rise to DJ acclaim with the release of the now legendary mixtape, Uneasy Listening (2001), which he compiled alongside Missouri's well known DJ P and featured hip hop songs mashed up against classic rock anthems in one seanless mix. Despite only releasing 1,000 copies, fans decided to share it over the Internet, garnering Z-Trip a burgeoning fanbase. Uneasy Listening went to the top of Album of the Year lists in Spin, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, Wired and XLR8R. More importantly, it also inadvertently created an entirely new genre of music.
Z-Trip made his major label debut with 2005's Shifting Gears (Hollywood Records). The critcally acclaimed album featured many guest artists including Supernatural, Murs, Lyrics Born, Aceyalone, Mystic, Chester Bennington (Linkin Park), Chuck D (Public Enemy), and Soup and Chali 2na from Jurassic 5. In addition to his solo work, Z-Trip has also produced remixes for Michael Jackson, Daft Punk, Beastie Boys, Nirvana, Kasabian, and Missy Elliot. In 2011, Z-Trip began collaborating with LL Cool J, performing together at South by Southwest and the Hollywood Palladium. They are currently performing on the 2013 Kings of the Mic tour with Ice Cube, Public Enemy, and De La Soul.Less