The Kennedy Center

DJ Spinna


DJ Spinna is something of an anomaly in music.  With a steadfast work ethic, an obsessively extensive vinyl library and the willingness to pursue the full extents of his funk, soul R&B and jazz roots, hip-hop foundation and future in EDM without any restraints.  A cornerstone of hip-hop’s late 90s indie-uprise, Spinna made a first impression on listeners as the musical background of his group The Jigmastas During his time with the group they released an impressive slew of 12” singles on Spinna’s label Beyond Real, which was self-run by Spinna at the time. He also provided the canvas for an array of late 90s lyrical giants including Eminem, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Pharoahe Monch and De La Soul.

Tapped by everyone from Mary J. Blige, to Motown Records for His Michael Jackson remix of “We’re Almost There” brought him to work with Mary J. Blige and Motown Records. His production presence flourished greatly revising  jazz and soul marvels like Donald Byrd, Eddie Kendricks, Betty Carter, Roy Ayers and Al Jarreau. His most memorable remix  was his version of Shaun Escoffery’s “Days Like This”, which transformed the track into a worldwide dance floor anthemand catapulted Spinna into his presence in the soulful house music scene.  These releases resulted in the signing to BBE records in 2002 where Spinna released his cult classic full length production LP Here To There which crossed multiple genres and garnered the attention of music fans worldwide
His  globe-trotting performances have brought him as to Iceland, Croatia, Australia, South Africa, Japan,  England, and throughout the U.S.    Spinna has  collaborated on stage with contemporary luminaries Gilles Peterson, Questlove, Jazzanova, Dimitri from Paris, Joe Claussell, Osunlade, Q-Tip, Jazzy Jeff, Kenny Dope, Keb Darge, DJ Scratch, DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist.

Watch Past Performances

Video 7/9/2015: Beat Sessions: J Dilla

A panel discussion that takes an up-close look at the music and life of James Dewitt Yancey (aka J Dilla) from the unique perspective of fellow music producers, highly-respected DJs, incredible artists, and special guests. Guests include Amp Fiddler, Slum Village, Musiq Soulchild, DJ Spinna, Georgia Anne Muldrow, 9th Wonder and Timothy Anne Burnside (Smithsonian NMAAHC). This program may contain mature themes and strong language. Part of D.C. Hip-Hop Theater Festival and the 10th Annual D.C. Loves Dilla festivities at the Kennedy Center and The Howard Theatre.

DJ Spinna