You must be saying to yourself, “Gosh! The band line up is so amazing! What mortals have the courage to DJ during the breaks?” Fear not! We have DJs with a DC connection who can rise to the musical challenge.
Luke Albao. When selecting songs, Luke says he tries to find music that makes him grimace with pleasure. People dance all night when he’s djing, so we don’t question his method.
Jerry Almonte. Jerry Almonte has been dancing, teaching, organizing events and DJ’ing in the DC area since 2001. In addition to posting nonsense on his blog, he loves DJ’ing around DC because the dancers will get down to whatever style and era of jazz and blues (and the more than occasional soul tune) that strikes his fancy on any given night.
Diana Chapin. Diana grew up in dance & music classes and first learned to rock step in her grandparents’ kitchen. She started swing dancing as a teenager in the mid-1990s and soon discovered her two favorite styles in Lindy hop and blues. After years of dancing to great songs and building her own collection, she found the idea of playing music for dancers increasingly irresistible, and started DJing in Baltimore in 2005. Since then, she’s been a DJ, instructor, and organizer for a myriad of Lindy and blues events in Baltimore, including Tuesday Blues, ChileSwing’s and Charm City Swing’s weekly dances, and Hi-De-Hon, as well as for events in neighboring scenes, like D.C.’s Back Room Blues and Red Hot Blues ‘n BBQ. The founder of Nevermore Blues, Diana oversees blues events at the Mobtown Ballroom – she is the organizer behind the Baltimore Blues Summits and Swing, Soul, & Blues Parties, which bring together instructors, DJs, and dancers from up and down the East Coast and across the U.S. As a DJ, Diana loves energizing and inspiring dancers and strives to create sets that have a great flow. A DJ with eclectic tastes, she’s a fan of many styles, but is especially fond of New Orleans jazz, saucy lyrics, and most anything with a killer horn section.
Allen Kerr. Allen has been ravenously collecting music since 2005 and found he has a knack for finding music that delights and inspires dancers. His goal is the keep the energy lively and the dancing fun regardless of the speed of the song. Organizers continue to seek out his skills for major national events such as the International Lindy Hop Championships, Lindy Focus, and All Balboa Weekend. Allen used to spin for the Jam Cellar and Backroom Blues in DC until his move to San Francisco in 2010 where he DJs throughout the region and is Head DJ at The 9:20 Special.
Mike Marcotte. Spinning out of control from Washington D.C., Mike Marcotte began triple-stepping back in 1998. Raised with fond appreciation for music that extended past jazz, in high school he played cello and joined the jazz band playing piano. Improvisation did not come easy, but with encouragement and a good ear, anything seemed possible. Soon after learning the basics, Mike did what a lot of dancers do — play their idea of good music, and by all accounts there was a lot of room for improvement. Thanks to some breaks from Nancy at Zoot’s back in the day, Rayned at k2, the organizers of every DCLX, and Donna and Craig with Virginia State Open there soon was no turning back. Collaborating with Glenn Scales and Jerry Almonte for several years at ALHC prepared him for the rewarding challenge of DJ Coordinator for ILHC and further collaboration with Allen Kerr. Somewhere along the line, Mike developed interest for blues dancing and with his partner, who was also his first instructor, Donna Barker, helped foster the D.C. blues scene into what it is today. So, with all of these different events and tastes, Mike does his best to read the crowd and ride the collective wave of dancers on all around the floor. Looking back, Mike feels honored to be asked back to many events including ILHC, Lindy Focus, DCLX, Philly Lindy Love, Blues Muse, Pitt Stop, Enter the Blues, and many more
Dan Repsch. Dan is a Baltimore resident whose obsession with music has been life-long. He’s taken to DJing because he loves sharing his music, inspiring other dancers, and guiding the energy of a dance. He’s constantly challenging himself to bring new material to his fellow dancers and works hard to offer a variety of music in his sets that stays true to the roots of the dance. He loves all styles of music and his sets tend more toward authentic Jazz and Blues, but he can bring the funk if the dance calls for it.
Paul Roth. Paul Roth has been Lindy Hopping since the Gap “Khakis Swing” commercial in the late 90′s. Please don’t hold that against him. Starting in Baltimore in 2000, he began playing swing music as a DJ for local dances and proceeded to play for gigs in MD, VA, PA, and DC. After helping with the first DCLX in 2001, he came back the following year to DJ for his local scene and began his reputation for playing uptempo vintage songs from the 20′s through the 40′s and covers of the same. He’s played for dances at the World-Famous Jam Cellar since its original location in Virginia and continued when it relocated to DC. Asked how he chooses his music, he replies, “I don’t plan out sets, I only queue up about five songs at a time, I adjust for the crowd, and I try to play songs that make me want to dance!”
Rayned Wiles. Rayned Wiles has been dancing for over 10 years and is a nationally-known DJ with extensive experience national competitions, dance camps, exchanges, swing and blues clubs and special events. “I think the point of DJing is to keep everyone in the room dancing and having a great time through music,” Rayned says. “My music of choice is swing jazz blues. I like Fats Waller’s view that swing is ‘two-thirds rhythm and one-third soul’ and Carmen McRae’s reminder that ‘blues is to jazz what yeast is to bread–without it, it’s flat.’ ” Rayned Djs regularly in the Baltimore/Washington DC area..