David Mancuso, born October 20, 1944, DJ and founder of New York City’s legendary invite-only parties, later known as The Loft, has died. He was 72.


Since the late 60s, Mancuso has been lauded as a selector, but his founding of the Loft on February 14, 1970 placed him at the forefront of New York’s burgeoning underground club scene. Unlike the commercial clubs that existed at the time, Mancuso’s Loft parties were private, providing a space for its members to dance without the threat of police interference. Over the decades of its existence, the Loft, and Mancuso at the center of them, became a hub for New York music, inspiring the many decades of DJs and parties that’d be thrown across the five boroughs in its wake.


The Loft’s success inspired countless more underground venues that became the birthplaces of house music, such as the Paradise Garage and The Gallery. The club was also the headquarters of the New York Record Pool, the first DJ record pool, which he founded with Vince Aletti and Steve D’Acquisto.

A rare interview with Red Bull Music Academy in 2013 credited Mancuso with the inspiring, in part, the rise of DJing as a legitimate art form in its own right, and the Loft’s audiophile approach to live sound no doubt inspired many of the pristine systems that have filled the world’s best clubs ever since.

In 2005, Mancuso was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame.

Classic radio show by DJ Cosmo featuring the legendary David Mancuso who rarely (if ever) gives interviews, giving one a chance to hear first hand how the “Genesis” nightclub/party would become the DNA of every party since, one not to be missed!

Mancuso’s longtime friend and NYC disco legend Nicky Siano broke the news of Mancuso’s passing via Twitter.

Craig Shifty, owner of Kid Recordings, posted to Facebook on Monday (Nov. 14) announcing Mancuso’s death.

“David was more than just a seminal, influential and elusive figure in the development of DJing and NYC underground club culture, he was FAMILY – a friend and mentor,” Shifty wrote. “My heart is broken. He will GREATLY missed but, thankfully, he left the world a lasting vibrant legacy that continues to inspire and influence countless generations of music lovers and clubbers…and what a gift that is!!”

Read a rare Interview to David Mancuso on Red Bull Music Academy Daily: Loft founder David Mancuso

For more on Mancuso, check out Tim Lawrence’s new book, Life And Death On The New York Dance Floor, 1980-83 and Love Saves the Day: A History of American Dance Music Culture, 1970-79.


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