Before mp3s and digital music there was only vinyl. The art of DJing involved the labored process of switching the vinyl by hand, while relying only on a knowledge of the tracks as cues. This is how living legend DJ Grandmaster Flash began his career.
For over 40 years he has been spinning. In that time, he has become a pioneer in techniques, like scratching and backspinning, that are considered standard to today’s DJs. He has been honored as the first hip hop and rap artist to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and his single “The Message” received a Hall of Fame Grammy just last year.
And on October 19th the legend will be spinning in Pittsburgh as part of The NEED 50th Anniversary Gala at the August Wilson Center. Celebrating half a century of academic philanthropy and excellence, NEED has helped unlock the keys to the future for thousands of young African-American students in Western Pennsylvania.
NEED is a nationally recognized college access program that has awarded almost 20,000 scholarships and grants totaling over $20 million. NEED places additional focus on mentoring, internships, college advising, financial aid education, and assisting the region’s minority youth by knocking down barriers to higher education.
During the Gala, six honorees will be recognized for their leadership and advocacy: Evan Frazier, Pete Mendes, Goldia Dargan Hodgdon, Rabbi Harold Silver, Mt. Ararat Baptist Church, Dr. Herman Reid, Jr. and Sylvester Pace (posthumously).