D.J. Ace (The Brooklyn Original)
Under his stage name, D.J. Ace, he became co-founder of A.R.A.S. Record label, where he has several recordings under the label. He has performed throughout the country, in the field of rap, hip hop, gospel, and jazz music, working with artists including Wu-Tang Clan, DJ Red Alert, Positive K, Doug Harris, Randy Weston, Jeff King, Roland Alexander, Bob Cunningham, James Spaulding, and Stanley Banks. Most notably, he’s one of the original D.Js who organized club “Soul Powers” in 1989, hosting underground parties, featuring local hip hop artists at monthly events, among those including Notorious B.I.G., Vybe Tribe, Much Finesse, and a host of others. After releasing three singles in 1992 and 1995, health issues would stop D.J. Ace’s hip hop career. He would continue his community service, and work through NSP and the youth.
His additional commitment to the youth includes spending time speaking, and working with youth on developing youth leadership skills, speaking at public youth events, planning youth programs for recreational purposes, and consultant to young artists.
Returning back to the stage in 2011, D.J. Ace, released the preview EP, “Make The First Move” in February 2012, featuring his original works from the early 90s, and finally reuniting with previous members of Much Finesse, and releasing the official "Back to the Hip Hop" CD (August 13, 2012), a collection of previous unfinished work, and new material for the new generation of hip hop fans. Continuing with old school roots, the Back To The Hip Hop include collaborations with a live band, guest artists, mixing jazz, R&B grooves and presenting an alternative to today's hip hop music. In 2012, D.J. Ace was honored as a hip hop legend by the Universal Hip Hop Parade, which he also served as Grand Marshall. Currently, he is in the process of completing two books, most recently, working on “Hip Hop History” (Volume 2 – The Brooklyn Bridge), where he share his photography, experiences, and thoughts with stories and history about his work in the hip-hop scene. A follow-up from “PUSH – Hip Hop History” (Volume 1), Ace discusses his Hip Hop career from the late 80’s to the mid 90’s, his current hip hop involvement, as well as the current state of today’s music industry, due to come out in 2015. He also currently producing the next Much Finesse album, “Make The Next Move”, expected to be release in the spring, 2016.
Today, Mr. Winston continues his work through N.S.P. Youth, managing young artists and performers, serving as a church Deacon, a middle school administrator, and advisor to several community based organizations abroad. He also operates as educational director for Educated Voices of Hip Hop, a not-for profit 501 (3)c that hosts workshops on the music business, DJ classes and supplemental programs for youth/young adults. He continues his work as a photographer, producer, and musician beyond the hip hop spectrum. We hope you enjoy the hip-hop experience, as Ace bridges the connections between hip-hop, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
GET THE MUSIC!
One of the mysteries about Much Finesse is knowing who was or who is currently in the group. Under the original name, M.C. Express in 1983, the six kid rappers made their performance debut, June 84, performing in Sugar Hill Restaurant, Brooklyn, The group would expand as far as 19 members as both a rap group and breakdance team. With the evolution of hip hop running through the 80s, the group would transform in the spring 1986 into the anti-drug activist rap group, Much Finesse.
Much Finesse's original six rappers, DJ Ace, Fly Ty. Lady D, Tee, Fred King, and Murdock would debut in Restoration Plaza and continue to the Slave 1 Theatre. They would once again evolve, reducing to three members and take on an additional nine dancers who would compete and perform in over 60 shows through 1988-1989. Known for their song, "That Crack is Wack", their December, 1987 performance at the Apollo Theater would kick off multiple connections as the group would entertain and educate thousands throughout NYC.
Upon joining the international organization, House of Power", Much Finesse original two, DJ Ace and Lady D, with their dancers would continue their hip hop legacy into the 90s. The duo paired together to record "Education" with their fellow HOP members of the "Power Posse". The group would appear in the Hip Hop Against Apartheid video, "Free South Africa" in 1990.
With multiple changes within the group, 1990, DJ Ace would record solo and release the original version of "Corner of the City" in 1990. In 1991, he would record the original "Non-Stop Groove" and "You Can't Get Wit' This" with the hopes of recording the full album, "All Hyped Up". "You Can't Get Wit' This" would be the final recording original members, Ace and Lady D would record together. The final phase of dancers of Much Finesse would continue until 1992.
In 1993, Much Finesse would switch to an all-male team for the first time, with Chris Ashley, and William Smith, III, taking the trio to the stage. The would record and updated version of "Corner of the City" in 1995. With other projects and networking abroad, DJ Ace would fall ill and step down from recording and performing and Much Finesse would end in 1995. As a solo artist, DJ Ace kept his commitment to finish original recordings of "Just Like That" and "Flow With It" in 1996, marking the official end of his recording career. "Flow With It" would introduce the Junior Much Finesse dancer, Aisha "Esha-B" Bingham to the rap scene. Ace would continue to mentor her from 1996 on, and at the same time, creating and developing the "Friends and Strangers" Jazz Band.
With a new generation of rap fans on the horizon, DJ Ace would be asked to return to the stage in 2001, 15 years later, returning to where Much Finesse started, at the Restoration Plaza, as he would premier "Just Like That" to the audience. No producing and promoting other artists, conducting DJ classes, as he continued mentoring up and coming artists in both hip hop and jazz music.
As a sound engineer, DJ Ace began working with producer, Kuson Parson in 2010. After a series of open mic events, DJ Ace was invited to perform with a live band for the first time. On February 22, 2011. DJ Ace made another return to the stage, and was encouraged to return back to completing what was left unfinished.
After reviewing the original recordings from the 90s, DJ Ace set for a plan to reunite old members of Much Finesse to finally complete its long-awaited album, resulting in the 2012 "BACK TO THE HIP HOP". Joining Reverbnation, DJ Ace managed to finalize spring and summer recordings to release the album on August 13, 2012. Material from the album marked reconnections with Much Finesse alumni, Esha-B, and Chris "Illfiga" Ashley, and the relaunch of Much Finesse as a multi-member team with live band combinations to assist with touring and special appearances.
With sideman, Richard Staton, Much Finesse now continues their fifth decade of hip hop connections, entertaining and educating fans abroad.