The Power Of Music In Our Time
by Steven Reaume
In the early 90’s Jason Huvaere went to his first underground party in The Bankle Building and there began a journey that has culminated in the production of one of the biggest electronic music festivals in the world. His journey of self-discovery went into high gear while living in a loft in 1217 Griswold in Downtown Detroit.
“1217 for me was the roots and foundation for everything. Almost every waking moment was one of discovery, whether it be music, consciousness, or friendship. It all started at 1217.”
When Jason left 1217 he moved to Ferndale and attempted to find his groove and figure out what direction he wanted to take his life. Carlos Slinger of Liquid Sky invited him to New York, then he moved to New Hampshire for a personal hiatus. While there he and Jason Clark developed the outline of what would become Paxahau and headed back to Detroit.
Paxahau’s first project presented itself in the form a website that streamed live DJ sets and 24 hours of ambient music, his preferred genre. “Under 100bpm ambient is my lifeblood”. Jason further honed his craft passing out club flyers and promoting nights at Motor Lounge in Hamtramck. On the night that Motor closed, Paxahau threw their first party at The Works, Paxahau 4. Paxahau has since grown into a promotions powerhouse that, with his partners, Jason Clark, Sam Fotias, and Chuck Flask, produces Movement Festival, The Detroit Jazz Festival, Detroit Restaurant week, and over 45 club events a year.
“Nightlife and music culture is what we are designed to promote and produce.”
Reflecting on what Movement Festival has become, Jason and his crew are challenged to find a balance with the after-hours party scene that has grown around it. Although the parties would not exist without Movement, some are coming to only attend them, pulling resources that the festival needs to exist. One of the solutions has been producing after-parties of their own and sponsoring others. It is a place that Jason always wants to participate.
“We want to continue the legacy of producing really great after-parties. Techno hour doesn’t really start until 3 AM.”
Movement Festival is unique for several reasons according to Jason. Artists have an opportunity to come for 3-4 days and interact with other artists, industry professionals, and music lovers in a way unlike any other. He credits a lot of its success on the historic nature of Hart Plaza and the rich history of electronic music and dance culture in Detroit. All of that combined with their focus on quality bookings and the excellence of Audio Rescue team’s sound production has sustained Movements place in the electronic music scene.
The name Paxahau comes from an old Mayan language. The Mayan civilization was one of the youngest ancient cultures. It translates to “The power of music in our time”. It is a fitting moniker for what Paxahau the brand stands for. The power of what Jason has created will resonate with future generations of artists, promoters, and our culture indefinitely.