Sad news whipping through the house music community today: Boyd Jarvis, a pioneer and pivotal figure in the history of music but especially dance music, has died.
Jarvis had been diagnosed with cancer in 2016, after which a number of fundraising vehicles and shows were held. It was announced Jarvis would be undergoing radiation therapy and that the prognosis for his recovery was good.
Related: Show Some Love for Boyd Jarvis.
Jarvis was a pivotal figure in dance music history, revered among the underground for charting the course of the Garage sound and by the mainstream for records with Herbie Hancock, Prince, Madonna and Boy George. He was probably best known in the industry at large for “The Music Got Me,” released by Prelude Records in 1983, though his name is in the liner notes and publishing stamp of probably several hundred records under a plethora of names.
Boyd Jarvis’ most widespread influence may have come however from his slot as co-host on the seminal WBLS with Timmy Regisford. The relationship between these two giants of New York City dance music formed when Regisford heard Jarvis playing his Yamaha CS-15 keyboard at Melon’s and asked if he could overdub Timmy’s audition set for WBLS. Aside from his collaborations with Regisford, Jarvis worked with nearly every producer of note in the city in the 1980s and 1990s, including Francois K, Joe Claussell, Louie Vega, David Morales and so on.
It’s fair to say that New York City club culture – which means global club culture – was guided in large part by the life and music of Boyd Jarvis.
On his Facebook page, Jarvis greeted new visitors with the following poem:
In your dreams in your mind, heart, body and soul – at all times!
Peace And Power
Much love and prosperity to you
And all around you.
Boyd H. Jarvis
If there is any news about funeral arrangements, we will be sure to pass it on. Rest in Peace, Boyd.