Tonight is a stacked bill, but its biggest star is the Akai MPC. The "music production center" with its 4x4 grid of sampler pads has long been the iconic tool of hip hop beatmakers, and tonight's performers are all masters of the instrument, both in the studio and live on the stage (AraabMuzik's rapid-fire beat flipping set was a highlight of this year's Decibel Festival). The Red Bull Music Academy-sponsored show goes like this: first, each performer plays a set of their own music, from AraabMuzik's synth-laced hip hop to Jeremy Ellis' future funk to Party Supplies' house flavored fare; next, the three each build and perform a song out of a shared set of samples; finally, the three collaborate to create a new song on the spot. Expect flurries of blurry finger tapping and some truly world-class beat science. ERIC GRANDY

Thu., Nov. 17, 8 p.m., 2011

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