Friday 20th August
Who’s behind The Showfa? Toni Rossano has been working in various roles within music for the best part of over 25 years. He’s done everything from working for retrospective label Strut Records, to tour managing Grandmaster Flash, releasing Amp Fiddler’s first project with Detroit Diva’s Dames Brown, and performing A&R duties for Chaz Jankel’s (Ian Dury & The Blockheads) album ‘My Occupation’.
In the early noughties, whilst working on ‘Larry Levan’s Live At The Paradise Garage’ compilation album for Strut, he had an accidental meeting with Danny Krivit at a Nicky Siano mid week party in New York. Through this chance meeting Toni would start his love affair with the re-edit culture, knocking up edits under his Ransom Records imprint and releasing obscure left field Disco tracks edits. Not happy with being tied down to one genre he would join forces to start a new project under the guise of Blackbeard. Along with fellow reediteer and remixer Yam Who? they help spear- head a new pirate-soul culture focusing mainly on Hip Hop, R’n’B and New Soul acapellas, reworking them into new structures that would kickstart remixing duties for the likes of Jamiroquai and Jill Scott.
Influenced by the Soul II Soul parties at the Africa Centre in the 80’s, where Jazzie B would fuse a myriad of musical styles, Blackbeard & YamWho? would take this blueprint to begin a successful club night named ‘Uptown Safari’. Here, they would road-test their studio incarnations against productions from the likes of ‘The Neptunes’, Party R’n’B and underground New Soul, Disco, Funk and Broken Beat, fusing all the genres into one of West London’s best party jams of the mid to late noughties.
After the ‘Blackbeard’ years, Toni discovered that his love for all things Afro American from Soul, Disco, Blues, Jazz, House, Techno, R’n’B and Hip Hop was lacking what could be determined as the first ever genre and where it all began - Gospel Music. Looking at the more groove based uplifting side, Toni would discover an endless genre of not only rarities but music that had been forgotten. Being inspired by the amateur church revellers who played and sang not for a profit nature but for the pure spirituality, Toni found a new passion for research and archiving the genre. Now moonlighting as The Showfa and also collaborating with YamWho? as Mass Connection, a remix project, he can be found digging and re-editing the wide spectrum of Gospel music covering Soul, Funk, Jazz, Rhythm N Blues, Disco, Boogie, AOR and House.
As The Showfa / Mass Connection Toni has released edits and Reworks on First Word’s ‘Excursions’ off shoot and Midnight Riot Records, plus on his own imprint Bye Bye Daddy. Also an avid record jock since the mid 90’s, The Showfa can be currently found playing Gospel sets & more featuring his edits and mixes, and covering the left of centre side of Boogie, Disco, Jazz Funk and 2 Step Soul with the likes of London’s Horse Meat Disco, on NTS Radio, Soho Radio & Run Dem Radio & Beyond.