Here it comes again: The annual March monster known as Miami Music Week (some old-schoolers will still wistfully call it Winter Music Conference – don’t get confused) is almost upon us, bringing big beats and beautiful party people from all across the globe.
Just about every DJ and electronic music act worth its salt is heading for the Magic City, armed with loads of fresh, new music (whether it be vinyl or digital) to move the masses to shake their asses.
We know it can be difficult to discern from the constant thumping emanating from the clubs and hotels which acts are truly worth your while, so here are Miami.com’s 11 DJs You Have to See, with apologies to the dozens who could just as easily have made this list:
1. Danny Tenaglia
Look no further than the Godfather of House to satisfy your need for cutting-edge dance music whose deep bass just might rearrange your insides (yes, this is a good thing). Seeing Danny T perform live is a unique experience, so get ready for a higher level of intensity than you’re used to. He’s infamous for his 16-hour marathon sets – that’s highly doubtful, but we’ll see how long he goes this year. Catch Him At: Space, Mana Wynwood.
Catch Him at 11 p.m. Thursday; $50-$60.
2. Paul Oakenfold
One of the true house-music pioneers, this British DJ helped make the whole scene possible – and yet he’s meant so much more to music in general. As an agent and producer, he helped launch the careers of Happy Mondays, Beastie Boys, Salt-N-Pepa and Run D.M.C. As a DJ, he opened for Madonna and U2 on their world tours. Oakenfold also created the dance-music label Perfecto Records, which is still a giant today in EDM, and created several iconic compilation mixes and artist albums. Catch Him At: E11even, W Miami.
Catch Him at 10 p.m. Tuesday; $40-$60.
3. Damian Lazarus
Want to lose yourself? The owner of the Crosstown Rebels label’s infamous annual party Get Lost is your ticket to blissful oblivion. Lazarus, known as the king of the twisted deep underground house scene, has gathered top DJ talent for a 12th year including Tiga, Guy Gerber, Art Department, Behrouz, DJ Sneak and many more for a full day of weird and wild debauchery. Catch Him At: Get Lost Miami (venue TBD), WALL Miami, Basement.
Catch Him on Saturday at Get Lost Miami (venue TBD); $88.
4. John Digweed
The venerable British progressive house DJ brings his love for forward-thinking electronic music back to the Treehouse for what’s sure to be another epic performance (check out his 2015 3-CD release “Live In South Beach – Bedrock at the Treehouse” for an idea of what to expect). Digweed will also team up with old friend and legendary partner Sasha at the Ultra Music Festival for a serotonin-soaked set. Catch Him At: Treehouse, Ultra.
Catch Him at 10 p.m. Saturday at Treehouse; $40.
5. David Guetta
Grammy-winning French DJ/producer, known as the Godfather of EDM, has crossed over to the mainstream in a big way, producing dance-pop hits such as Kelly Rowland’s “When Love Takes Over,” the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling,” Sia’s “Titanium” and “Hey Mama,” featuring Nicki Minaj, Afrojack and Bebe Rexha. Of course, Guetta’s live performances are more intense and house-driven, as evidenced by his F*ck Me I’m Famous parties in Ibiza. Catch Him At: LIV, Ultra.
Catch Him at 11 p.m. Saturday at LIV; price TBD
6. Above & Beyond
Beloved British progressive house and trance trio, and head of the esteemed Anjunabeats and Anjunadeep labels, returns to its favorite Miami haunt, the hip Wynwood Arts District’s RC Cola Plant, bringing high-energy anthems including “We Are All We Need.” Listen to the weekly show “Group Therapy Radio” for an idea of what might go down. Catch Them At: RC Cola Plant, Ultra, Anjunabeats showcase at The Raleigh Hotel.
Catch Them at 8:30 p.m. Thursday at RC Cola Plant; $75.
One-third of the now-defunct superstar group Swedish House Mafia has made his own name with collaborations with Tove Lo (“Heroes [We Could Be]”) and Calvin Harris (“Under Control”), plus his new single “Falling.” The 25-year-old rising star will headline at Ultra before taking you on a deep, sensual journey at Story late-night. Catch Him At: Ultra, Story
Catch Him at 11 p.m. Friday at STORY; price TBD.
Grammy-winning Russian-German electro-house producer is sure to rock the dance floor with remixes of his crossover hits such as “Clarity” (featuring Foxes), “Break Free” (featuring Ariana Grande), “I Want You to Know” (featuring Selena Gomez), “Stay” (featuring Alessia Cara) and the anthemic “Beautiful Now” (featuring Jon Bellion). Catch Him At: Ultra, E11even.
Catch Him At: 10 p.m. Saturday at E11even; $30-$60.
Whenever and wherever a member of Deep Dish is performing, it’s a good thing. One-half of the legendary D.C. deep-house duo, real name Ali Shirazinia, steps behind the decks solo after branching out with his minimalist and techno-driven label SCI +TEC and working with like-minded artists including Richie Hawtin (Plastikman), Sven Vath, Loco Dice and Underworld. Catch Him At: Heart, Ultra.
Catch Him At: 11 p.m. Thursday at Heart; $30-$40.
10. Claude VonStroke
L.A. house and techno DJ, who heads the ultrahip San Francisco label Dirtybird Records and whose real names is Barclay Macbride Crenshaw (no, really), migrates 3,000 miles southeast to bring The Birdhouse event, featuring Joris Voorn, Skream, Homey Dijon and many more. See why VonStroke was named Am
Catch Him At: 2 p.m. Saturday at the Delano Hotel; $45-$90.
11. Steve Aoki
Miami native who grew up in Newport Beach, Calif., founded the punk, indie rock, hardcore, hip-hop and electronic music label Dim Mak, which he’s showcasing at the RC Cola Plant in Wynwood, with Borgore, Keys N Krates and more on the bill. Aoki’s eclectic taste has led to collaborations with Snoop Dogg, Linkin Park, Weezer lead singer Rivers Cuomo, Fall Out Boy and will.i.am, among others. He’ll also break out his new hit “Just Hold On,” along with One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson, at Ultra. Catch Him At: RC Cola Plant, Ultra.
Catch Him At: 9 p.m. Friday at RC Cola Plant; $75