Sounds of Summer: DJ Qool Marv's Playlist

He has some serious street cred for being one of the world’s greatest spinners of disco/boogie/funk/soul/house music and is considered the DJ’s DJ. Who are we talking about? DJ Qool Marv and he’s giving us his list of his favorite summertime hits. A little old school and a lot of talent, DJ Marv will also be our resident music man for our Harlem Community Day on June 25th.

We’re dying to know—what’s on your summer playlist?

Sarah Vaughn – “Summertime” (U.F.O. Mix)

Jackie Mitto – “Summer Breeze”

Kool & The Gang – “Summer Madness”

Quincy Jones – “Summer In The City”

Mungo Jerry – “In The Summertime”

Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – “Summertime”

War – “Summer”

Sly & The Family Stone – “Hot Fun In The Summertime”

Lovin’ Spoonful – “Summer In The City”

Sugar Hill Gang – “Hot Hot Summer Day” (Theo Parrish Re-edit)

Nocera – “Summertime, Summertime” What 10 songs make up the soundtrack to your life?

Minnie Ripperton – “Les Fleur”

Buffalo Springfield – “For What It’s Worth”

Public Enemy – “Brothers Are Gonna Work It Out”

NYC Peech Boys – “Life Is Something Special”

The O’Jays – “Let Life Flow”

The Chambers Brothers — “Time Has Come Today”

Stevie Wonder – “Higher Ground”

Isley Brothers – “Live It Up”

Luther Vandross – “Searchin’”

Diana Ross – “Home” (Wiz Soundtrack)

DJ’ing must take a lot out of you. What do you eat before a gig?

When I prepare for a gig, I start the night before by getting a good sleep. When I get up I make juice out of the fruits and veggies in my fridge and my favorite ingredients are pears, bananas, delicious red apples and broccoli. During the afternoon of a work night where I’m privileged to have a meal, I’ll make a huge salad with kale or dandelion as the greens and juicy tomatoes, spicy onions and slices of fruit are constants. I’ll add whatever new veggie that I’m trying out that week to mix the salad up. Essentially I have a raw food afternoon because I am eating for the clean fuel and the nutrients needed to feel light in mind and body while I do my job of mixing music…I love the fish at Red Rooster and Ginny’s and that’s my way of saving the best meal for last too.

What about your favorite thing to eat in NYC?

I enjoy all foods and meat is still a part of my diet. For the last few years, I’ve followed a diet where it’s vegetarian for five days a week and anything on the other two. I never want to say never with food so on my anything days, I’d seek out a great burger & fries combination, saucy pizza, fall apart tacos, chopstick grub like sushi, and even buffalo wings. That stuff seems more delicious when it’s a treat (treat is a much better word than cheat)! For my newfound veggie adventures, I enjoy going to someplace where I once ordered steak and seeing how they’ve adapted to the emerging healthy market by offering their versions of a healthy meal that features the same philosophy towards flavors, presentation and attention to detail that meat dishes would receive. New York City is doing great!

Favorite thing to eat anytime, anywhere?

Grilled shrimp, sautéed deep green veggies, truffle french fries, my Mom’s sweet potato with marshmallow casserole, a bowl of cherries, and anything with chocolate and caramel, preferably gooey.

Let’s do a little “music” association. What is the first song that comes to mind when you think of the following foods:


“Promise of A Fisherman” – Sergio Mendes & Brasil ‘66

Catfish n’ Grits

“Cookout” – King Curtis & The Kingpins


“I Wish” – Stevie Wonder

Anything on the Grill

“Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)” – Bobby Marley

Come listen to DJ Marv's beats at Marcus Garvey Park on June 25th from 3-7pm and we'll see you there!

Photos: Sara Giusti