Street Party Celebrates Legendary DJ Larry Levan

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The DJs: Joey Llanos, François K & David DePino. Photo: Drew Gurian/Red Bull Content Pool

New York City – Spring finally arrived in Manhattan, as the heavens smiled on King Street this past Sunday for the “Larry Levan Street Party.”

Presented by the Red Bull Music Academy Festival, the event enjoyed perfect weather and drew thousands to the site of the legendary Paradise Garage, the home of the late DJ’s influential residency, which ran from 1977 to 1987. A trio of the Levan’s backup DJs—François K, Joey Llanos and David DePino—spun Garage classics like Peech Boys’ “Don’t Make Me Wait,” Instant Funk’s “I Got My Mind Made Up,” and The Intruders’ “I Always Love My Momma.” (It was, after all, Mothers Day.)

Before the NYPD shut down the procedings a tad earlier than expected, Levan’s favorite diva Jocelyn Brown—vocalist for Inner Life, Cerrone, Musique and others—belted nuggets like “I’m Caught Up (In a One Night Love Affair) and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.”

Additionally, volunteers pushed petitions in an effort to re-name King Street as Larry Levan Way. For one day, at least, the street did bear Levan’s name, and it was loaded with former Garageheads, many of whom brought and proudly displayed their old Paradise Garage membership cards—a few even wore T-shirts showing off that status. And, of course, it seemed as if all the New York dance-music community—from back in the day to the present—was there to soak up the posi-vibes.

The Crowd: King Street became Larry Levan Way. Photo: Drew Gurian/Red Bull Content Pool