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    Home of LA Dance Music. MXNext Dance Music Lives Here

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Junior Vasquez

todayMarch 11, 2024 1

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Donald Paul Mattern, known by his stage name Junior Vasquez, emerges as a celebrated club DJ and prolific remixer/producer with an illustrious career that has left an indelible mark on the dance music landscape.

Born on August 24, 1949, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Junior Vasquez initially harbored aspirations of becoming a fashion designer. His journey to New York in 1971 saw him briefly attending the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and working as a hairdresser. However, his destiny took a turn when he became enamored with the vibrant nightlife of NYC, particularly the groundbreaking work of DJ Larry Levan at The Paradise Garage.

Adopting the pseudonym “Junior Vasquez,” he ventured into music production in the 1980s. Collaborating with DJ and pop remixer/producer Shep Pettibone, Vasquez co-produced and edited numerous singles for icons like Madonna, Whitney Houston, and Janet Jackson, establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with in the industry.

Vasquez’s earliest underground hits, released under the name “Ellis D,” including the groundbreaking gay house track “Work This Pussy,” showcased his influence on the sound of house music. From 1989 to 1995, he gained prominence and industry influence through his residency at the original Sound Factory, co-founded with Richard Grant. The club’s Sunday morning after-hours parties became legendary, earning Vasquez a dedicated following known as the “Juniorites.”

His influence extended beyond the dance floor as major record labels sought his remix expertise. Vasquez’s collaborations with artists like C+C Music Factory, David Morales, Björk, and Madonna further solidified his position in the music industry.

Vasquez’s association with The House of Xtravaganza and his singles “X” and “Get Your Hands Off My Man” propelled his “factory sound” to greater prominence in the house music scene. After the closure of Sound Factory in 1995, he held residencies at Tunnel, ArenA, and Twilo, each marked by his signature style and cutting-edge DJ setups.

Despite venue closures and changes, Vasquez continued to shape the New York music scene, hosting residencies at clubs like Discothèque, Sound Factory, Pacha, Spirit, and The Roxy. His 2010 residency at club Love in NYC’s West Village, known as Sunday Mass, showcased his enduring appeal.

Beyond his DJ prowess, Vasquez has co-produced albums for renowned artists like John Mellencamp, Lisa Lisa, and Cyndi Lauper. With a career spanning decades, Junior Vasquez remains a dynamic force, leaving an indomitable mark on the world of dance and remix culture.

Written by: AdmX

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