World renowned DJ, drummer, electronic musician and producer Jon Kennedy can now officially check Beirut off his list of “Cities to Woo.” And my, how he wooed.

Hailing all the way from Manchester, England, and brought in by the Beirut Groove Collective and Mar Mikhael hotspot Radio Beirut, Kennedy mastered the dance floor of Gemmayzeh’s coolest underground club, Yunkunkun on November 24. Older and classier than most current DJs, Kennedy’s classical roots are apparent in both his DJ mixes and remixes.

Classified under just about every musical genre, Kennedy’s tracks satisfy practically any audience. From funk and old hip hop to trippy psychedelic and deep bass, those on the dance floor had no trouble getting into the distinct vibes of Kennedy’s ensemble.

Kennedy started his music at an early age. “My parents were crazy hippies with a massive record collection,” he said. “When I was eight, I used to listen to the records and look through the sleeves.” Listing one of his all time favorite vinyl’s as War of the Worlds, it’s no surprise Kennedy’s music was described as “an old-London archetype” by Yara Zeitoun, an enthralled jiving listener at Yunkunkun.

Describing himself as a “drummer by trade,” Kennedy’s musical career began as a drummer in a live band. “Moving the band around was difficult,” he said. “So I said, 'f*ck it, I’ll become a DJ.'” Thirteen years down the line, it seems to have worked out spectacularly for him.

What differentiates him from typical DJs, is his infusion of drums and dusty old hip hop with funk. He remixes and mixes old-school hits like, “Jump On It” by the Sugarhill Gang and, unlike others in the same field, adds his own vocals and drums to original tracks.

Dubbed “trip hop” by many for lack of a better word, Kennedy’s music belongs to its own unique genre. With a distinct medley of electronic rock, hip-hop, deep funk, and a heavy beat, the tracks have a way of swaying the audience into feeling just about whatever Kennedy chooses to play.

Unsurprisingly, the Manchester-born musician is a great deal more humble than most DJs. “My greatest musical achievement would have to be for a song to be in my head, and putting it on a record,” he said. “And to be doing a gig and see someone singing along to one of my tracks is just amazing.”

Don’t fret, if you missed his show on Saturday, Kennedy is headed back to Beirut for another gig in May.

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