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DJ Grandmaster Flash spins in Grand Rapids

November 4, 2013
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DJ Grandmaster Flash spins in Grand Rapids
Grandmaster Flash is known for his groundbreaking DJ techniques, which are used throughout the music industry. Photo via

Hip-hop’s pioneering DJ is coming to Grand Rapids on a night that’s been called the biggest bar night of the year.

The Pyramid Scheme said that DJ Grandmaster Flash will headline the venue’s entertainment on Thanksgiving eve. DJ Snax and DJ Psycho will also perform.

Pyramid Scheme owner Tami VandenBerg expects that the show will sell out and encourages people who want to attend the show to get their tickets early.

Tickets for the show are $20 and available online.

Doors will open at 10 p.m., and Grandmaster Flash will take the stage at 11:55 p.m.

“I am thrilled we were able to book Grandmaster Flash on Thanksgiving eve,” VandenBerg said. “I am a huge fan, and I've been studying the history of hip-hop lately, so bringing one of the most influential DJs in hip-hop history to my own venue is quite an honor.

“Grandmaster Flash will be a highlight, because the venue has really embraced hip-hop, and Grand Rapids has a very respectable hip-hop community for such a small city,” VandenBerg said. “This will be a great opportunity to bring us all together and celebrate the hip-hop movement.”

Hall of famer

A hip hop pioneer, Grandmaster Flash and his group, the Furious Five, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.

Grandmaster Flash is known for his groundbreaking DJ techniques: cutting (moving between tracks exactly on the beat), back spinning (manually turning records to repeat brief snippets of sound) and phasing (manipulating turntable speeds).

“In short, creating the basic vocabulary which DJs continue to follow even today,” the Pyramid Scheme website says.

Attracting artists

VandenBerg noted that Pyramid Scheme has worked hard to build a reputation that attracts the caliber of artists like Grandmaster Flash.

“As you can imagine, the music industry is filled with many different kinds of characters, and venues come and go all the time,” VandenBerg said. “To be able to land the best performers for good rates, you need to make sure musicians are speaking very highly of your venue.

“We appreciate our musicians and do our absolute best to make them happy and have a great experience,” added VandenBerg. “West Michigan has also been fantastic to our musicians. We have heard numerous times that Grand Rapids was one of the best stops on various tours.”

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