DJ MARK FARINA - Mushroom Jazz 6 World Tour
Saturday, January 24
With DJs Mark Farina, Rooz
“I look at my job as a modern day traveling minstrel, to bring new music to as many places as I can, and expose obscure records that, otherwise, might go hidden.” While Mark Farina may be able to sum up his job description in a sentence, there is much more to be written.
Mark developed his musical tastes in Chicago – listening to house music on the radio, living in one of the country’s most primordial breeding grounds for house. Around ’88, while record shopping at Imports, Etc., he met Derrick Carter and a friendship began. “I just ended up there between classes, I ended up buying his picks. He steered me toward the cutting edge House producers of the time.”
“I started playing when I lived with my parents and didn’t have any bills to pay so I could just buy records. My intentions were never to just make money, it’s nice, but it’s kind of turned into a job by accident - it was a hobby that turned into a job.”
As the Acid Jazz boom began, he perfected his sound and fused the latest tracks from the West Coast’s jazzy, organic producers with the more urban sounds he had championed in Chicago. While the predominant musical force in SF was still dark, dubby House and Wicked-style Breaks, the city embraced the downtempo movement with a healthy bunch of live bands and DJs generating the tunes.
Mark Farina, along with partner, and then manager, Patty Ryan-Smith created, the now legendary weekly club, Mushroom Jazz, in 1992. Every Monday night the crowd slowly germinated – from 100 for the first few months to 600-700 two years later. Simultaneously, the Mushroom Jazz tape series evolved – from the first Chicago run of 50 copies each on to the next stage, where 500 copies of several volumes were easily distributed. As time passed, Farina and Patty put their energies into another project, the first Mushroom Jazz interactive CD-ROM. After a three year run, where the club had established a fanatical, cult-like following for Farina and the Mushroom Jazz sound, the club closed its doors and transformed into a CD series and accompanying tours.
Since 1989, Mark Farina has been traveling the globe performing at literally hundreds of shows a year, sometimes DJing both of his preferred styles in two different rooms at the same party. At other events, he’s been known to play extended sets that lasted over eight hours. In his House sets, Mark is known for his uniquely effortless journeys on the jazzy side of Chicago House, mixed up San Fran style, and flawless as always.
This wandering record minstrel has played in front of some fairly amazing backdrops. The ACA-Sound Festival in Acapulco is one example, where the event organizers cleared a huge piece of land and brought in the world’s finest DJs. Farina joined Carl Cox, Moby, the Chemical Brothers and LTJ Bukem in the Mexican paradise.