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Music exec Jae Barber talks DJ Karriem Riggins, Detroit and ‘Juke Joint’

Photo Credit Porsha Monique for Steed Media

Carlos McKinney, Jae Barber, Karriem Riggins

Jae Barber is a music executive and artist manager based out of L.A. and Detroit. He’s from Detroit, of course. He’s a business man who is well versed in the music business. Comparisons have been made that he may be the next Sean “Puffy” Combs. If he plays his cards right, he just may be on his way. He currently manages three of the hottest acts in the game: Seasoned artist DJ Karriem Riggins, who is the drummer for world-renowned jazz pianist Diana Krall and originator of the Juke Joint series; Chris Dave, another influential drummer in the jazz, gospel and hip-hop genres who’s worked with accomplished super star artists such as Adele and D’Angelo and who also has an upcoming album titled Chris Dave and the Drumhedz that is being released through a partnership with Glow365 and Blue Note Records; and he also manages the controversial rapper Elzhi, who is indeed coming out with his highly anticipated album, Lead Poison very soon (that’s a fact, because we heard it from the source himself).

Rolling out got a chance to chat with Barber specifically about his artist DJ Karriem Riggins. They were recently in Detroit where he performed at his self-produced Juke Joint jam session, with special guest Dwele. Check out what Barber had to say about his artist DJ Karriem, the Juke Joint series and what’s coming up next for the two.

Who is DJ Karriem Riggins? DJ Karriem Riggins is an amazing musician, producer, DJ and drummer with a very diverse musical background. His resume is very extensive in the music game, and although we can’t list everything, we’ll touch on the highlights. First and foremost, he’s a Detroit native, so you know his musical roots go deep. He’s a jazz drummer and currently plays for legendary jazz pianist Diana Krall.  He’s a world-renowned DJ and has played in some of the worlds greatest cities. In addition to jazz great Diana Krall, he’s also played for and worked with some other great artists such as Paul McCartney, Kanye West, Erykah Badu, Common, Talib Kwali, Detroit’s own Dwele and the late J. Dilla from Slum Village. To sum it up, Karriem’s résumé gives you an idea of how diverse he is.

What is the Juke Joint series? Juke Joint is a concert series with a creative mix of global music from DJ Karriem Riggins. Karriem blends a variety of genres from all over the world into a unique musical experience. He often plays very rare music and unheard of beats of his own works.   Juke Joint started as a regular jam session, where we started having friends show up and it organically grew into this musical kaleidoscope of various types of music. Karriem simply wanted to get a variety of different people in the room so they can hear his diverse influences from the world. It’s really about his musical selection that keeps people coming  back. It’s not just street, but more eclectic where you can have fun. The Juke Joint tends to have surprise guests too, such as Dwele for the session we did in Detroit over the holidays.

How often does the Juke Joint event occur and in what cities? We try to do our hometown, Detroit, at least four times a year: after Christmas, around Labor Day, and two in the summer. We’ve done New York before, with Quest Love of the Roots as a special surprise guest. We’ve done one in Chicago where Karriem was the headliner and we’ve also done Toronto, Canada and London, England. We try to schedule them around the times he’s travelling and he’s able to take some days off – then we just book the event and do it.

How do you select the special guests in a particular city? They’re usually people that we’ve worked with in the past. Most of the time, it will be someone who is located in the city we’re playing in.

What’s next for Jae, DJ Karriem and the Juke Joint? Karriem has a record coming out named Head Knod Suite on Stones Throw Records later this year. Juke Joint is coming back to Detroit this year, in the March or April timeframe, and I’m continuing to work on Glow365 with my artist alliance, to help save the world of “not so great” music!

Where can our readers find you and DJ Karriem on social media?For myself, I’m JaeBarber on IG, Facebook, and Twitter. For Karriem, his IG is KarriemRiggins1, his FB and Twitter is KarriemRiggins, and you can also find him at

Check out some of the pics from the Juke Joint held over the holidays in Detroit. sound off in the comments and let us know what you think.

Photo gallery cedit Porsha Monique for Steed Media Service where noted, elsewhere Devon Patillo


  1. Devon Patillo on February 4, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    To the staff at Rollingout magazine, Thank you for sharing my photos. Love supporting talent. And most of all, it was a pleasure of meeting you all. Be Bless and continue with your success. Peace

    • Porsha Monique on February 5, 2016 at 5:18 pm

      Hi Devon! It was a pleasure meeting you as well! Much love and success! See you at the next Juke Joint!