As anyone who's worked in nightlife can tell you, club years wear on you worse than dog years. It takes a special combination of talent and stamina to break into the scene, let alone to stand out or endure. Tonight, April 17, three generations of DJs and musicians will come together at Santos Party House to remember one such talent, Mark Kamins. A DJ at Danceteria and various clubs around New York in the 80's, Kamins also produced Madonna's single "Everybody" and introduced the young artist to Seymour Stein who signed her to Sire records. Kamins was an early champion and avid fan of Latin, World Music, and New Wave artists, working with performers as diverse as Sinead O'Connor, UB40, David Byrne, Karen Finley, Ofra Haza, Fine Young Cannibals, Quando Quango, Underworld, Bow Wow Wow, and the Beastie Boys.
In his final years, Mark was a professor of electronic music at Escuela de la Musica Fermatta in Guadalajara, Mexico where he shared his formula for success, “I need them to have four qualities: they need to be talented, love to entertain people, work hard and have perseverance, and to have a dream and believe in that dream as it is a dream of success.” In the pursuit of his own dream, Mark was uncompromising, often partying as hard as he worked. Teaching gave him a second wind that was sadly cut short when he passed away from a heart attack on February 14th.
In the days since his death, a constant outpouring of stories confirms Mark’s legacy: Kamins encouraged people to approach music adventurously. Coati Mundi, who will be performing tonight with Deee-Lite’s Lady Miss Kier, recalls, meeting Mark at Danceteria. “He was a big fan of Dr. Buzzard’s Savannah Band/Kid Creole and he loved my solo stuff also. He recognized me one day and wanted to pick my brain about how the music was created by the various bands and recordings I had been associated with. I especially loved going when he played cause the music he played was eclectic and enjoyable to listen as well as dance to.”
Others celebrating Mark's life tonight are no-wave funk outfit Konk (who have not reunited since 1986), DJ/producer Jellybean Benitez, Coati Mundi, Stretch Armstrong, Francois K, Jazzy Nice, and Mike Pickering from the Hacienda nightclub in Manchester, England. Also present will be many of Mark's peers from some of New York's most infamous clubs and dance music’s key labels including Save the Robots, Mudd Club, The World, Pyramid, Limelight, Profile Records, Mute Records, and 99 Records. Bridging the generational gap and representing the extent of Mark's influence are DFA's Crystal Ark, Kim Ann Foxman (Hercules & Love Affair), Nomi Ruiz (Jessica 6), Eric Duncan (Rub & Tug), and Midnight Magic. It's no wonder the official title for the evening is "Mark & Cetera: A PowWow of 'Everybody' in Celebration."
The event is open to the public with a donation of $20, the proceeds from which will benefit the Mark Kamins Scholarship Fund in Electronic Music. Everyone attending or honoring Mark's memory is invited to use the hash tag #CelebrateMarkKamins.
Scroll through a video playlist of artists who worked with Mark or will be performing at his tribute. -->