Like most of our DJs, Jesse got involved in music at a young age. But his path into the event world was a bit different from most of our team.
Instead of getting a start at college parties or the wedding industry, Jesse’s musical and technical education began at church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Growing up, he played guitar, bass, and keyboard, which he put to use during the weekly Sunday service. Playing on the worship team (also known as worship band), he developed his musical ear — which would come in handy later in his DJ career.
Jesse also learned sound, lighting, and event production at church, which he was then able to translate into paid work in the secular world. Jesse spent five years working in the Lancaster wedding scene, providing sound and lighting. Spending time around DJs while doing event production allowed him to pick up the skills of the trade. And when he was ready, he started to bring his own DJ and hosting skills to weddings as well.
After five years of doing weddings in Lancaster, we brought him on the team at Maryland’s DJ in 2019. Jesse is great at reading people, which means he can steer the party in the right direction. Watching reactions and tweaking the music to fit is the sign of a great DJ, and it’s a skill that Jesse certainly brings to the table.
We asked Jesse what he loves about weddings, what song he thinks is overplayed, and the best wedding venue around.
Responses have been lightly edited for clarity.
What makes a great DJ?
Reading the crowd and knowing where the party needs to go, and how to get it there. There are regular signs that will clue you in to how people are feeling and a great DJ is ready with tools/tricks to adjust.
What’s your favorite local wedding venue and why?
Potomac View Terrace in downtown Washington, DC. The view of the city and the airplanes landing is awesome.
Note - check out Cito and Kelly’s wedding at Potomac View Terrace!
Photo by Procopio Photography
What’s your favorite thing about weddings?
Weddings are one of the few times we bring our friends and families together for a party. They are an awesome human moment in an otherwise digital world!
If you were getting married this weekend, what would your first dance song be? *
Consider Me by Allen Stone
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen at a wedding?
Mother of the Groom dancing. I can't describe what she was doing, but it was wild!
What’s the best “little kid moment” you’ve seen at a wedding?
Kids getting into the Hummer limo when their parents weren't around.
What's the most unique processional song you've ever played?
What do you think is the most overplayed wedding song?
Uptown Funk. But if everyone's into it, let it rip.
What’s one thing you wish people knew about working as a DJ?
We're watching your guests closely and setting up the energy for each moment. You don't notice a great party vibe when it's there...but you definitely notice when it's not!
When you're not working, what kind of music do you listen to? *
A lot of club music and 90's hip hop to be ready for when I am working. But my three favorites artists are Kanye West, Major Lazer, and Mark Ronson.
To hire Jesse or any of our other talented DJs, let us know a bit about your event by filling out our online form. Talk to you soon!
Tuesday, June 23, 2020