As the nightclubs that cater to mature crowds continue to prosper through 2012, artists whose careers were at their hottest back in the 1980s and 1990s are reaping benefits, for those performers are still finding current work on stages around Nassau and Suffolk counties.
Many of the old school singers who are scoring gigs at venues like Sugar in Carle Place, Zachary’s in East Meadow and Four Food Studio in Melville also happen to come from the niche musical genre of freestyle. Although it is very possible Long Islanders under 35 may not have a real grasp on what that sound (dance-worthy tracks and ballads, involving sampling and emotional, buoyant vocals) meant to the nightlife scene at one time, the fact is that between 1988 and 1994 almost every Island DJ made sure to play a good amount of the hits generated by such freestyle stars as Stevie B, Lisa Lisa and TKA.
Today it’s electro, pop, hip-hop, mashups and house music making up the dominant beats heard most frequently – but for those who want an almost pure injection of what was, a full lineup of freestyle acts will be appearing at the Pennysaver Amphitheater at Bald Hill in Farmingville on Friday, July 6.
“Freestyle Explosion 2012” will begin at 4 p.m. and run for hours -- starring not only the aforementioned TKA, Lisa Lisa and Stevie B, but other favorites such as George Lamond, Cynthia, Coro, Noel, Fascination and Lisette Melendez, all of whom are slated to appear. In addition, classic hip-hop MC Rob Base is on the bill, as is the Latin-inspired dance duo The Vargas Bros. Tickets range in price from $10.53-$75, and are available online at ticketmaster.com.