BOSTON – Please join us for the second annual Konocopia event, featuring top Boston DJs on two dance floors at Machine night club. This one-of-a-kind dance party was a sensation in 2012, drawing hundreds to revel in the best music in town and a diverse celebration of the life of Kris Kono, a beloved local DJ.
Proceeds from the event will support a young woman pursuing a career in music. Last year, generous Konocopia donors helped raise $10,000, which we presented to the Berklee College of Music. We were pleased to support a scholarship for graduating senior Lillia Betz, a composer and musician who also studied mixing and production. She is now working on a modern rock opera and composition for film.
Among the talent spinning at Machine on March 30 will be some of Boston’s best deep underground DJs, including Cruzz (28 Degrees/Unity), Bob Diesel(Progressive Black) and HouseHead Pete (H.O.M.E) all members of the BHMC. We’ll showcase Adam Gibbons of Uhuru Afrika, and Machine’s Reggie Johnson. The evening will also highlight popular DJs Maryalice (Boatslip/Venus Rising), Dena Cucci (Dyke Night/Epic), DJ Mocha (Boston Spirit/Mocha DJ Productions) and Gary Carlow (Machine/PTown).
The entire evening will honor the life and music of Kris Kono, who lost a courageous battle with cancer in 2011. She was a physical therapist and a celebrated east coast DJ. Dubbed Boston’s “First Lady of House,” Kris played Montreal's Black & Blue, Miami’s Winter Music Conference and New York City Gay Pride’s Rapture on the Pier. She was resident DJ at Boston Dyke Night for many years, playing Machine and Milky Way, as well as Circuit Girl. Many also knew Kris from Vixen, Lava Bar and Toast. She helped launch the pioneering underground “Club Lucy” in Hartford in the 1980s.
To plan and execute annual non-profit dance events celebrating Kris Kono's life and love of music. Proceeds will be donated in memory of Kris Kono in the form of grants to help further women's education in the field of music.
Meet Reggie Johnson, founder of Konocopia, DJ and a wonderful man who spent many nights in the booth with KK at Machine!!
Q: What will you be playing tonight Reggie?
Reggie: Tonight, for the second year, I'm closing Konocopia in the main room, where I'll serve you healthy portions of soulful house music, with sides of gospel vocals and tribal drums. For dessert, I've remixed several of Kris's favorites as a special treat.
Q: Why are you a Konocopia founder and part of this magnificent fundraiser and tribute?
Reggie: I'm part of Konocopia for so many reasons. First, we go way back to the Lava Bar days in Kenmore Square. More recently, one night after spinning, Kris kind of planted a seed way deep in my mind. She drove me home (actually I was driving), and before she left, she opened the car's trunk and gave me a gift of two CD books -- a total of 800 tracks. She said, "You have no excuse not to start spinning again."
Adam Gibbons, of Uhuru Afrika and Soul Revival, and a great friend of Kris Kono's.
Q: What style music do you play?
DJ Adam Gibbons: "Soulful House Music."
Q: You played Konocopia last year. Why are you a part of this event Adam?
DJ Adam Gibbons: "I am excited to be paying tribute to my colleague and friend Kris Kono through the music that I knew her to love and new music that I know she would be throwing her hands up in the air today. Kris loved soulful, uplifting, inspirational vocals over that deep 4/4 beat laced with melodies."
Q: Give us a Kris memory.
DJ Adam Gibbons: "My favorite memories were just seeing the look of pure bliss on her face when I would drop certain songs from the DJ Booth. If anyone know anything about Kris, it is that she LOVED music. How appropriate is it that we not only get to celebrate her beautiful spirit through music, but that all the proceeds go to furthering her legacy through a scholarship in her name for a woman studying at Berklee College of Music. It is amazing."
Peter Winfrey aka "HouseHeadPete," one of the incredible DJs in our Saturday night lineup.
Q: Tell us what you'll be playing.
HouseHeadPete: "Soulful house vocals, as much as possible. As I did last year, I will be presenting the crowd with vocals that remind me of Kris and her impact on my life, both personally and musically."
Q: What's your connection to Kris Kono, and why are you part of Konocopia?
HouseHeadPete: "It took a good friend, Brother Dre, to put to words the one thing about Kris that I/we will miss most. And that is the Kris Kono HUG! No matter how life was kicking your butt. And no matter what weight you carried on your shoulders, Kris would grab you, PICK YOU UP, shake all the BS out of you, and not let you go 'til it was gone.
Kris would use her love to will all the weight and BS off your shoulders and bring you to her level of love, understanding, and peace. I was truly honored to be asked to be part of Konocopia last year. And I am equally honored this year. And I will try to honor the life of Kris at Konocopia and in my travels through life."
The talented and hilarious Bob Diesel, of the Boston HouseMusic Coalition -- one of our featured DJs this Saturday, March 30th
Q: What will you be playing Saturday night Bob?
DJ Bob Diesel: "I'm playing Deep n' Soulful House Music, Disco Classics, Afro/Cuban sounds and Jazzy vibes in my set."
Q: You're one of the Konocopia founders. Tell us why.
DJ Bob Diesel: "I'm doing this for Kris -- and the woman we're going to sponsor for her future, at Berklee. I know Kris would have jumped at the chance to help anyone, man or woman, for this cause."
Bob has a funny story he tells about Kris, about a friend hearing her play for the first time, back in the day. "You play pretty good for a girl!" the guy said. She sure did.
The amazing and wonderful Cruzz
One week to Konocopia! And you are going to love this amazing man -- DJ Cruzz: resident at 28 Degrees and Unity at the Goodlife, and kindred spirit of Kris Kono.
Q: What's your music like, Jorge?
DJ Cruzz: My style is deep, soulful, vocal, afro, latin house music.
Q: You do a lot for Konocopia. Tell us why.
DJ Cruzz: I'm playing Konocopia because Kris is an inspiration in my sets. I remember when we started doing JPsoul together, and at the beginning of the night I asked her, "So how are we doing this? Should we start mellow and build it up? Play 4 songs each?" Kris said, "Lets just play man -- from here," as she pointed to her heart.
Q: You guys had a special connection.
DJ Cruzz: The last JPsoul we were supposed to play together (April 2011) she couldn't make it because of her health. I remember playing this track I found, called "Set Me Free," and hoping she was ok. Like that song, there are many others that have a Kono meaning behind them."
Meet DJ Mocha, a cool lady and hot DJ -- as well as a close friend of Kris Kono's.
Q: Tell us what you play
DJ Mocha: "Bottom-heavy, infectious, fun music"
Q: Why are you playing Konocopia?
DJ Mocha: "Because I loved Kris Kono and she made dancing fun. I was a big fan of Kris from way back. It was 2004 at Soul Revival. I'd go and dance to her music. One day she saw me in the hallway and she said, 'We need to hang out!' "
Meet Gary Carlow - another great Konocopia dj!
Ten days 'til Konocopia! In case you don't already know him, meet DJ Gary Carlow, part of our fantastic lineup on Saturday, March 30th!
Q: What will you play?
DJ Gary Carlow: "House music all night long! My sound covers many genres of house music, including classic house, disco house, funky house and soulful house - with a focus on melodic instrumentals and uplifting vocals."
Q: Why are you part of Konocopia?
DJ Gary Carlow: "I knew Kris for years and always loved being on her dance floor. She was Boston's own version of Body & Soul, and my set will try to capture that vibe in her memory, with some of the great new music that's out there now."
Meet Dena Cucci - part of the fantastic Konocopia lineup!
Q: What's your music style?
DJ Dena Cucci: "Tribal and vocal house!"
Q: Why are you spinning at Konocopia this year?
DJ Dena Cucci: "I'm playing this party in memory of Kris. She was a great person and a talented DJ -- and she is missed!"
"Kris and I met in a previous life, at least that's what she told me here and there, whenever we ran into each other in the club scene. And to her comment I would agree every time. She would say, ‘We must have met in a previous life, we were either brother and sister, good friends, or we lived in the same neighborhood, because we just get alone so damn well!’
Truth is, in our present time, the time I knew Kris, she was not far off from that previous life assumption. I'm part of this event because she was my friend, because she shared the same passion for house music as me, because like me, she wouldn't mind playing music for 5 people or 500 people. I'm doing this because her life, and passion for the music, needs to be celebrated."
“Kris Kono was an authentically loving, caring, non-ego bound spirit, who truly wanted to work collaboratively and with a philosophy of giving. Music moved her and she was passionate about sharing this love with others. Spinning to a full room each month brought her great joy – joy that she shared selflessly with all those around her.”
--Kristen E Porter, Founder Dyke Night Production
"Kris Kono is the type of person that you would want to know if you were a DJ, or someone who would like to hear great musical taste being played. This night will be monumental because of the many people showing support, and just people who want to be there. It’s not just people coming in the spirit of Kris, but for the spirit of Kris. And also the collective of Boston's best Deep Underground house music DJ's coming together, to not only play the music of Kris Kono -- but to play music that's inspired us, by Kris Kono.”
--Bob Diesel, Boston Housemusic Coalition