03.03 10:27 P.M. 261 Driggs Avenue, Brooklyn.
Ten years ago, mid-century-obsessed DJ Jonathan Toubin began hosting Soul Clap, a monthly party that gave him a chance to show off his rare Sixties records. For good measure, he added a highly competitive dance-off. The party long ago reached legendary status among New York scenesters, who follow Toubin from venue to venue across the city for a chance to hear his deep collection of soul 45s and win a dancefloor claim to fame. For the party’s tenth anniversary, Toubin gathered some of his heroes to play live, including 76-year-old Irma Thomas, known as the Soul Queen of New Orleans, and Sixties r&b singer Young Jessie, who is now 80. Soul fans, who often dress in vintage garb and have the detail-oriented compulsive- ness of all hardcore nerds, flocked to the event from as far as Tokyo, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. For them, watching these acts, whose recordings they’ve cherished for decades, was miraculous — a dream come true. “I just saw Young Jessie perform, [which] I’d never thought I’d witness live,” said 42-year-old Rex Dart. “And that’s amazing.”
Text by Sophie Weiner; Photography by Luc Kordas for the Village Voice