Archive for March 20, 2010


March 20, 2010


Every eye stared upward towards the DJ booth. No one dared to move a muscle. No one dared to make a sound. A safety pin could be heard crashing on the baby powder dusted floor below throngs of dirty soles. All were consumed, busily frozen in their tracks as if this was judgment day. Obviously, not the latter all were eagerly anticipating Jellybean Benitez to take charge of the musical console. Then it happened. In the blink of an eye the music started, that of a staccato beat escaped from the speakers.

Dada, da-da- da, Dada, da-da-da,” thumped a melodious chord over soft finger snaps used as drums. NYC’s Jellybean Benitez was opening with Quentin Harris’ stellar interpretation of Leila James, “My Joy.” WOW what a double whammy, Jellybean and the favorite, “My Joy” jumping off the party. Already the night was destined for history.

The over capacitated basement could barely take no more standing room as bodies were tightly pressed against every inch within the facility. It wasn’t the walls holding up the people but the people holding up the walls. What a rare treat. Familiar faces that rarely came out were in the house. Tambourines shook, handclaps clapped and feet stomped in wonderful delight. Even the VIP area tightly packed with dancing feet, waving arms and swinging butts held little room to maneuver through. Every ethnicity seemed to be present that could have made the club easily pass for a brochure promoting racial equality within niteclubs. This crowd had no time for drama found at commercial niteclubs. Instead, they were all about the music. As the saying goes, “Ain’t Nothing Like A House Party!”

A House Party is what the doctor ordered. Therefore, Jellybean wasted no time delivering melodic harmonies, spirited vocals and soulful beats to the lovers of dance. One sweat soaked dancer compared the night to a vivid painting of sexually charged reds drenched with eye candy causing the heart to thump at orgasmic speeds to the backdrop of cool blues that rendered the heart useless against rich greens that caused a mental high of clarity. Clearly, Mr. Benitez the hard working visionary pounded the room with artistic vengeance. His artistic footprint left no stone untouched or rock uncovered. There were the highs, the lows, the hard and the soft played. There was a little something for everyone-sound wise-represented in the room. This artistic repertoire disappointed not one soul.

Obviously, the party went down in the history book of house music. Hundreds of individuals showed up and showed out to celebrate Mr. Benitez debut DJ set in the city. The music, the people and the dance all captured the soulful illustration of “getting down” to the beat of the drum. Amazingly, Tambor just kept getting better and better. Certainly, there was no stopping this runaway party train. So what lay next for Tambor? How could Tambor possibly top itself?

Photo: John Crooms

Photography by Carlos J. Bell