On the Record with Pandemic Pete | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

On the Record with Pandemic Pete

"I still give it my all every month."

Pete Spynda, Pandemic impresario
Pete Spynda, Pandemic impresario

In 2005, Pete Spynda, along with Caulen Kress and Justin Hopper, founded Pandemic, a global-music dance night at the then-new Brillobox. Eight years later Spynda — often known simply as "Pandemic Pete" — is celebrating the biweekly party's eighth anniversary.

Did you think the night would last this long?

No — I think we all just assumed it would last maybe a couple of months, maybe a year.

Why do you think Pandemic has stayed vital?

I don't know! Maybe it's my persistence? I still give it my all every month. Maybe it's because it's new to a lot of people. There are other parties around the city that explore different types of dance music, but I don't think anyone's really exploring the type of music I'm exploring.

Explain the anniversary events.

I've been kind of infatuated with matryoshka dolls, the Russian nesting dolls. I was talking to a friend of mine about having some cast, and having someone decorate them. So I asked twenty-some local artists to do that. I've been talking to some ethnomusicology students from Pitt about raising money for charities in Eastern Europe, to help the Roma people gain some civil rights, so all the proceeds will go to charity. The Carpathian Ensemble from Pitt decided to play as well.

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By Mars Johnson