Tribal-house DJ John Howard holds the distinction of being, quite possibly, the most famous DJ that no one's ever heard of. His odd famous-yet-unknown status can be chalked up to his San Franciscan roots. The City by the Bay is notorious for its edgier-than-thou, art-before-business attitude, and Howard, as the quintessential S.F. DJ, is practically honor-bound to stay tightly wrapped in a cloak of anonymity. Which he has, for a decade. Nevertheless, anyone who's ever had a passion for house music has probably heard a set or two by Howard. He's a fixture on the San Francisco house scene; which has remained one of the biggest house scenes in the world since 1993. He's played countless times at legendary parties such as Wicked and Spundae. He also mans the decks at smaller, insiders-only venues such as The Top and The End Up.
Howard's career started in the early '90s. His first residency was at Boogie Buffet. There, he shared the bill with several other house DJs who have since gone on to achieve international recognition: Marques Wyatt, Mark Farina, Jonene Phelps, and more. As San Francisco's obsession with house music grew, Howard and his contemporaries began to play at more and more venues around the city. Out of his small circle of friends formed a half-dozen respected house labels. Phelps started Panhandle Records; DubTribe formed Imperial Dub Recordings. Several local house heads teamed up to form Om Records, which, anchored by groove-fusion group Soulstice, emerged as one of the preeminent dance labels in the country. Howard has participated in projects for many of these labels. Significant releases include the full-length compilation S.F. Sessions II (Om, 2000) and the original track "Spacewalk," which is featured on the third volume of the popular Om Lounge series.
Currently, Howard is involved in several collaborations. He's evolving as a producer and writer, but still continues to play in San Francisco and the rest of the world, making frequent appearances at major clubs in Canada and Europe.