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CENTENNIAL - Rise of the DJ/Disco Weekend

CENTENNIAL - Rise of the DJ/Disco Weekend

The 100 Men Hall concluded its Centennial programming with an eclectic, three-day event that included a tribute to Donna Summer by Anais St. John, a 10-hour dance marathon with prizes featuring four DJs (DJs Dennis Farve, Jesse Loya, Doug Page, and T. Swan) and a concert for the community by Tomar and the FCs. The concert was free as a thank you to the Bay Saint Louis community, who has supported the 100 Men Hall since 2018 when it ushered in a new era.

Watch the official video.

The weekend included the unveiling of an 8-foot artwork commemorating the Rise of the DJ/Disco by artist John Barnes and a commemorative, letterpress poster created by Kennedy Prints. Both works celebrate Bay Saint Louis DJs from their hey day to modern day.

Military Funk by John Barnes

Letterpress Poster by Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr

The Hall’s Centennial year celebration began with June 2022 Ancestors Weekend followed by October’s Chitlin Circuit Weekend and Harlem Renaissance Weekend in February 2023. Each weekend brought more people to the Hall and many for the first time learned about the significance and history of this African American landmark.

The weekends were designed to educate the general public about important eras in the 100 Men Hall’s history and the programming was partially funded by a MS Coast National Heritage grant, as well as matching funds from community partner, Silver Slipper Hotel and Casino. The last weekend – Rise of the DJ/Disco – is important because in 1982 the Hall’s ownership passed from Black to white hands, and it had to do with the passage of the Civil Rights Act as much as changes in society and culture, with the rise of the DJ and the advent of Disco.

The weekend opened with Anais St. John and her accompanying musicians in a Tribute to the Disco Queen, Donna Summer that brought everybody to the dance floor. This sold-out show made the audience beg us to bring Anais back to the Hall (and we did, she returns on November 25th in a Tribute to Tina Turner to honor the iconic singer who passed away May 2023). 

Saturday featured a 10-hour dance marathon with four talented DJs that took us from old school (DJ Dennis Farve) to R&B/Motown (DJ OG aka Jesse Loya) to Disco/Funk (DJ Doug Funnie) all the way to modern Black American Music (DJ T Swan). Patrice Tryman won the first two segments for best dancer, while Barbie Schwartz took the prize for the third segment and the last segment was won by Hubert Lindsey for his full body hip hop. Charlotte Joseph brought home the real Marathon prize having lasted the longest on the dance floor – she clocked in at more than seven hours, runners up were Patrice Tryman and Barbie Schwartz. 

On Sunday, June 18, the Hall set up for a community free outdoor concert. While Tomar and the FCs were on the Tin Shed porch for a sound check the sky opened up (read: pouring rain out of nowhere, Gulf Coast style) and the entire team jumped in and brought the show inside. Their on stage performance was electrifying! So incredible we cannot wait to have them back.

Thanks to so many who helped make this weekend a success:

Ann Madden
Jesse Loya
Sarah Marie Cooksey
Gigi Madden

and our own videographer
Lionel Haynes


All photography and graphic design by Ann Madden
except for the Barnes and Kennedy images,
which were taken by Katrina Niolet


 Yes, we passed a good time.


Photo by Shoofly (Marian Glaser)


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