Left: Portrait of Khari Johnson-Ricks, Photography by Nathan Bajar, 2020.
Right: DJ TAH, Performing at Boiler Room NJ, 2019.
During this conversation/listening session PRG’s 5th Artist in Residence, visual artist and DJ Khari Johnson-Ricks will speak with New Jersey based DJ TAH. Throughout the duration of his residency, Khari will use his studio as a living archive to preserve the history of Jersey club and Jersey club dancing; a local vernacular tradition that is 20 years old and has been a creative framework for many young Black musician and artists. Over the years, venues that were the hubs for Jersey club culture in Newark have been shuttered and Khari’s hope is to revitalize and honor this creative subculture by inviting a host of jersey club producers, dancers, and community members to the studio to map the progression of dances over time and talk to people about their experience with the art form. By collecting their stories, he would preserve the trajectory of the subculture and its correlation to Newark’s shifting arts landscape, connecting this local tradition to a lineage of Black radical art movements such as Hip-Hop and House Music.
RSVP required. Zoom details will be sent via email 24 hours before the program.
Khari Johnson-Ricks is an artist and DJ whose work spans a range of audiovisual media and often exist in the public eye. This includes the production of zines, works on paper, performances, murals, and nightlife spaces. Through these media he explores the ways that vernacular ritual practice becomes tradition and how the body carries history through movement. By editing, rediscovering, juxtaposing the movement traditions of Shotokan Karate, Jersey Club, weightlifting and various other sports he highlights the social importance of movement as a non-verbal communication method as well as a community building and mental health tool. Khari holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Montclair State University (2016) and a Master of Fine Arts from Hunter College, City University of New York (2019).
TAH is a 26 year old DJ, producer, sound designer and engineer who has released records on Like That Records, Thread, and Knightwerk Records. Some notable groups he has worked with are the Black owned Halfmoon BK Radio, Boiler Room, and MoMA PS1.