Masters at Work
Puerto Ricans from New York (Nuyoricans), "Little" Louie Vega and Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez record under the moniker Masters at Work (MAW), producing hip dance music tailored to the underground club scene. MAW represent a new generation of Latinos whose urban culture embraces hip-hop, soul, jazz, and the Latin connection to the African Diaspora. Starting their collaboration in 1991, they are among the most sought-after remixers in dance music, transforming songs by Donna Summer, Michael Jackson, Neneh Cherry, Bjork, Julio Iglesias, and scores more. Manipulating and recording varied musical passages, they borrow from jazz, Salsa, Dancehall reggae, Funk, soul, and African music, usually setting the results to house beats. Perhaps more significant than their work with pop icons is MAW's genre-bending work with Salsa. On records such as Nuyorican Soul, they mix Salsa artists Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, and India with jazz musicians including George Benson and Roy Ayers and hip-hop's DJ Jazzy Jeff. Their compelling music defies borders, demonstrating an expansive vision that ignites the dancefloor.