Jonathan Toubin

Juxtaposing raw, wild, and uncommon original 7-inch vinyl sides by unsung artists on the beat for today’s dance floor, Jonathan Toubin‘s raw passion, humor, showmanship, idiosyncratic approach, and persistent nightly work have carved out a unique space in contemporary culture and influenced scores of DJs and parties everywhere. Though best known for throwing the world’s most popular and prolific touring soul party, the Soul Clap and Dance-Off, and NYC’s biggest and longest-running weekly rock’n’roll dance, Shakin’ All Over Under Sideways Down!, he’s also spent the last decade turning over 2000 gigs at hundreds of nightclubs, art spaces, all-ages warehouses, afterhours, rock concerts, and dozens of major music festivals on five continents – from Bonnaroo to Benicassim. Everyone from Charles Bradley to Mac DeMarco have played at his New York Night Train parties and Toubin has turned platters at live shows by everyone from Jack White to Kendrick Lamar to LCD Soundsystems. The Soul Clap is the only DJ party to have its own entire night at Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night’s Swing and the only DJ party with an entire night of official South By Southwest showcases (currently the conference’s official closing party since 2011). The Night Train’s Soul Proprietor is also the only DJ of his ilk with Burger Records mix cassettes and the first living DJ with compilations on the legendary Norton Records – with five “Souvenirs of the Soul Clap” LPs so far. In addition to over 150 dates worldwide, a city-sponsored outdoor New York Night Train Day at the Seaport Music Festival headlined by The Make-Up, and a 2000-strong Halloween party in a way-out Queens warehouse headlined by Shannon and the Clams, 2017 saw the Soul Clap and Dance-Off celebrate its 10th Anniversary in March with an all-live version of the shindig featuring Irma Thomas, Archie Bell, Joe Bataan, David Johansen, Maxine Brown, King Khan, Young Jessie, Baby Washington, Jon Batiste, Nick Waterhouse, Ural Thomas, and a 12-piece all-star band performing the DJ’s favorite tracks.

“This 45 hoarder made soul music fun again with his Soul Clap & Dance Off parties, where five-hour sets of rare grooves and B-sides provided a fleshy alternative to the club scene’s industrial snarl. Instead of bucking the trends of American pop music for some underground alternative, Toubin has made his name by embracing pop’s connective tissue, tracing the rhythm and blues, soul, and rock and roll of the nineteen-fifties and sixties. (The New Yorker)

Jonathan Toubin was awarded “BEST DJ” in the Village Voice 60th anniversary “BEST OF NYC”: “We might live in an EDM world, but Jonathan Toubin has no truck with today’s musical whims. Since 2007, Toubin’s Soul Clap and Dance-Off has brought throwback pizzazz and retro cool to New York’s late-night underground. Culled from an endless array of long-forgotten Sixties soul singles, Soul Clap is pure musical dynamite, the kind of after-hours party that exposes today’s iTunes-bred, press-play DJs for their relative lack of roots and ingenuity. No fist-bumps or atomic bass drops here; instead, Toubin lovingly crafts five-hour sets that bring lost chestnuts from the likes of Vernon Harrell and the Blendells into clearer focus for a new generation of dance enthusiasts. You can try to put your moves to better use, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find more cathartic, sweatier fun elsewhere in the city.” (The Village Voice)

“Jonathan is pretty much the only DJ we actually like.” (VICE Magazine)

“Particularly chic… one of the most popular spinners in Williamsburg and the founder of the New York Night Train dance parties. His fare is already cleaner and more appreciative of American pop music history than much of the rest.” (New York Times)

“The most-liked man in the soul music scene” (Rolling Stone)


Wendy Waseige