Jay, Alex and I have all brought unique musical, creative and organizational strengths to the forming of the Uma Nota event series, but credit is due to Jason “Jay” Sanders, AKA DJ General Eclectic, for acting as the catalyst that brought us to that first raucous affair at the Gladstone back in late June 2007. He dreamed up the initial idea for Uma Nota, including the event name, the original slogan “unity in rhythm on decks and drums” and the idea of “equal stage” for DJs and live acts. And while Uma Nota’s origins also include the Beat Migration events Alex produced with African and Brazilian bands and reggae DJs, it was G.E.’s initial core concepts that helped flesh out the event. So when he proposed we join the heavy percussive sounds of Maracatu and samba-fusion with his vinyl selections, we didn’t have to think about it too much. This is a man you want on your team, and here he was offering the partnership.

Jay had already been killing it as a DJ and visual designer for the mighty Footprints series and a number of other events like Spin Cycle at the We’ave, Freedom Time, Red Beet Lounge Sundays @ Fressen and Atomic Shuffle — while being an integral part of the weekend brunch happenings at XXX Diner on Queen St from 1999 – 2001.

G.E.’s sets on the decks prove that he lives up to his name — a truly eclectic selector. On paper some of the cuts he chooses might not seem to work together, but he creates a context in which they do, and manages to tell a story through his choices. Jay manages to thread together rare descarga grooves, classic ska tunes, revered Fela Kuti Afrobeat numbers and rare James Brown jams … even the odd Nina Simone song. And his flyer and poster design skills were and are nothing short of superb, while on top of that he creates custom visual projections for his events (including the awesome Footprints projections). Put another way: The man knows how to rock a party on so many levels, it’s astounding.

Four years later we’ve produced dozens of events together, and as Alex notes, each of the Uma Nota flyers have become pieces of classic pop art in their own right.

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Uma Nota flyer compilation including flyers from 2008-2011. Can you find the original Uma Nota logo?

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Vibrant and warm, April 2011

This time out, our resident DJ (he’s the only performer who’s played at EVERY SINGLE UMA NOTA to date!) rocks his set on the earlier and then the later timeslots at the Gladstone during our World Funk throwdown. When he’s not on the decks, he’s hooking up the sweet visual projections that are a key environmental component in the vibe we create. And of course, the man (who not everyone knows is of Caribbean lineage) gets his riddim ting pon de dancefloor too … damn son!

This one’s for the General: one of his classic MPB party tunes (Samba Portador da Alegria, by Sapoty da Mangueira) used here in an alternate take of the famous late 90s Brazilian futebol team “airport” spot. A little world citizenry and plenty of fancy foot steppin’ — hats off to you sir!

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