Music for Everyone and Local DJs Add to Hoboken Spring Arts and Music Festival

A harbinger of warmer weather and outdoor music, the annual Hoboken Spring Arts & Music Festival kicks off with a new look on Sunday, May 19, as local DJ Dugspin closes out the day on the main stage .

While technically not a “headlining act” following the controversy over his previously announced closing act, DJ Dugspin is on the main stage after decades of the baby boomer-friendly rock band occupying the coveted spot. Its appearance would mark a stunning departure from tradition.

The festival made headlines last month when the city council balked at DJ Rekha’s proposed headline spot because of her support for Palestinian politics and her $20,000 fee. (Mayor Bala withdrew the contract before the vote.) DJ Rekha plays Bhangra, a traditional music from India and Pakistan that simultaneously blends hip-hop beats, dancehall rhythms and live percussion.

DJ Dugspin, born Dugleth Sinning, is a lifelong Hoboken native and a popular party DJ throughout Hudson County.

“I consider myself a mixed-performance DJ,” Xin Ning said. “So, I’ll jump from genre to genre depending on the environment and the people in the room. I try not to stay in one genre for too long, I’ll play pop, rock, punk, hip-hop, etc. I try to test Each type and keep it up all night.

Sinning started his DJ career by chance when he was a senior in high school, helping his friend DJ Leverage.

“He went to the bathroom and asked me to play the next song, which I did,” Sinning recalled. “People started coming up and saying, ‘This is my favorite song, thank you.'” It made me feel good.

What can we expect from him at the music festival?

“High-energy music,” Xinning said. “It’s going to be different lengths, different genres, it’s going to have great bass, the rhythm is going to be moving. The energy is going to make everyone dance.

The spring festival is the first major event of the tenure of Cristin Cricco-Powell, who was named Hoboken’s director of cultural affairs in February. Geri Fallo, who has led the department for more than 30 years, announced his retirement last year but remains at City Hall to assist with the transition.

The biannual arts and music festival takes place on Washington Street from the Observer Highway to Seventh Street and features booths representing local artists, merchants, service businesses and food vendors. Two music stages (one at the end of the event) will present a range of mixed music, with local indie rock bands such as Dracu-las (surf garage rock) and Little Hag (fronted by indie singer Avery Mandeville) performing alongside folk bands and local youth people together.

The festival has always paid homage to ethnic music, and this year will include performances by the Lulada Club, an all-female salsa group from New York City; the deeply rooted Ebony Hillbillies, who describe themselves as “the last African American band American String Band; Cajun boogie by the Zydeco Revelators of Hudson County; and reggae by the Brooklynites.

Hoboken teen punk band 3 Dollars, who performed at the 7th Street Stage last year, will kick off the day on the main stage this year. This will be the band’s final appearance for now, with guitarist Dylan Daly replacing Theo Shuttleworth.

Guitarist/vocalist Arthur Pawley, who will be heading to the State University of New Jersey in the fall, noted, “It’s great to be on the main stage and this will be our last pure show indefinitely. But I’m looking to start other local projects, And try to develop on the local scene while 3 Dollars is dormant.

With members still in high school, 3 Dollars is far from the youngest bill on the bill. The Seventh Street Stage lineup includes Bollywood dance by All Saints Bold Dancers from All Saints Anglican Day School and Arya Dance Company students. The Drum Den in Hoboken, owned by Pete Martinez, will showcase two of its young students — Shawn Tang and Joseph Dronet — playing background music Play drums.

“They were all students of our teacher, Noel Sagerman, who was a busy local accompanist,” Martinez noted, referring to his work at two Jersey City venues . “He sometimes held jam sessions at Moore’s Lounge when Wynnard (Harper) was absent, and usually held jazz jam sessions every Monday night at the Brightside Tavern.”

The Seventh Street Stage will also present Hoboken’s own boy band Dream Boys. Brothers Finn Douglas and Jack Casey are the sons of Anne McLaughlin, owner of the Garden Street Performing Arts School in Hoboken. Farlow booked their performance at Sinatra Park last year, noting that both boys have extensive accomplishments in film, television and theater.

Their bio reads: “This dynamic duo will take you on a journey through the songs and stories of Broadway, enjoying Broadway hits and songs from the Great American Songbook.”

In case of bad weather, the rain date will be June 2 (Sunday).

Here is the schedule:

7th street stage

12:15: all saints bold dancers

12:30: Arya Dance Company

12:55: drum then

1:25: dream boy

2:10: Zydeco Enlightenment

3:30: brooklyns

5: ebony redneck

Observer Highway Stage

noon: $3

12:50: damn it

1:35: little witch

2:45: lulada club

4:45: DJ Duggspin

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