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Mark Farina returns to Vail’s Samana Lounge

Daily staff report
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On days off you can find DJ Mark Farina cruising around in his 1968
Special to the Daily |

If you go ...

Who: Mark Farina; opening set by aK.

Where: Samana Lounge 228 Bridge St., Vail.

When: Friday. Doors open at 9 p.m.

Cost: $20 pre-sale or $30 at the door.

More information: Visit http://www.samanalounge.com.

VAIL — Electronic music artist Mark Farina performs at Samana Lounge in Vail tonight.

Not many DJs have been in the game as long as Farina and still continue to be successful, but he is one of the exceptions, according to Samana Lounge promoter Ross Cohen.

“Mark is a fun DJ, always performing with the one goal: to make the crowd dance,” Cohen said.

Modern Day Record Minstrel

Farina is known as a modern-day record minstrel and has entertained crowds globally, playing to more than a million fans per year. As one of the most ubiquitous DJs in dance music, Farina’s known for his unique style of mixing jazz, downtempo and house music, as well as for inventing mushroom jazz, which is West Coast jazzy organic productions combined with East Coast hip-hop and urban beats.

Drawing from his vibrant youth, which included being a trumpet player in marching band, a drummer in a cover band and a guest DJ for Friday nights on WNUR (Chicago), Farina found his passion for the world of vinyl, turntables and nightclubs. At 16, he began his DJ career as a resident at Chicago’s underage mecca, Medusa’s. At the same time, he joined forces with emerging DJs Derrick Carter and Chris Nazuka, then moved into a loft space called Rednail. Rednail became infamous not only for raucous parties but also as the home to the trio’s first productions under the moniker, Symbols & Instruments. Their release, “MOOD,” sold 35,000 copies in the U.S. and U.K. and is credited as “the first ambient house track.”

Farina relocated to San Francisco in 1992. Fans embraced his downtempo style and he started co-hosting a weekly mushroom jazz club night in ’93. In three years, Farina established a following for his mushroom jazz sound, and in 1996, OM Records released the first mixed comp CD, simply titled, “Mushroom Jazz.”

In the Studio

Since then, Farina has released seven volumes of Mushroom Jazz, with 2013 marking the 20th anniversary of the series. When Farina’s not touring the world, headlining festivals including Harbour life (Sydney), Southport Weekender (U.K.), DEMF (Detroit), Coachella (California) and T in the Park (Scotland), then you’re likely to find him in his studio working on new releases or podcasts for his label, Great Lakes Audio.

On days off, he’ll be cruising his ’68 Toronado with his son, Dylan (aka “Little Peanut”), and his Yorkie, Pumpkin.

Local emerging DJ duo aK will open for Farina. Known for their deep tech style of electronic music, aK has been making waves since their inception a few months ago. In just a few short months, the duo has played events in Salt Lake City, Denver, Vail and has recently been asked to perform at the emerging electronic music festival, Altitude Anonymous, hosted at Copper Mountain in June.


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