Damon grew up listening to jazz and blues music and attended his first music concert was at the Sacramento Jazz Festival & Jubilee at the tender age of eight. He started deejaying in ’96 and has deejayed at jazz clubs, dance events, festivals, and house parties around the world.
Michael Brafford (DJ Mikey B)
Mikey was first introduced to swing dancing in 1997 with the swingin’ sounds of the Mighty, Mighty Bosstones… hey, you gotta start somewhere. He immediately immersed himself in the Neo-Swing Craze. Since that fateful October night in Iowa City, IA, Mikey has traveled the US dancing, studying, competing, performing and teaching swing dance. He absolutely loves introducing new students to lindy hop and swing music, and is delighted to see new dancers catch the jitterbug. Mikey loves spinning his favorite tunes for dancers and hopes they feel as inspired as he does whilst dancing to these great Jazz Artists. Mikey would love to play the piano like Fats Waller and blow the Trumpet like Louis Armstrong. He loves to get down to Big Mama Thornton and swings out hard to Chick Webb. All three Kings are honored in his playlists, and there’s always a place at his table for the Duke and the Count. Mikey has DJ’d for several events around the Midwest including the American Lindy Hop Championships, Heartland Swing Festival, Hawkeye Swing Festival, and is a regular at Rhythm Junction in Minneapolis. He can’t wait to share his passion for swing dancing and swing music with you!
Naomi discovered jazz through her love of swing dancing. Years later, her interest lead her to a prestigious ‘History of Jazz’ internship at the Smithsonian Institution’s American History Museum in Washington DC. She has DJ-ed for social dancers around the world, and enjoys spinning for some of the top competitions out there. She is also proud to have been a founding member of “The Jam Cellar”- Washington’s best dance venue for classic jazz. When she’s not traveling in the name of lindy hop Naomi now lives in Minneapolis where she continues to hunt down the perfect tune.
Melissa Varriano (bio coming soon)
Ginger has spent the last several years helping to cultivate the blues scene in the Twin Cities. She has traveled to Florida, Chicago, Kansas City, DC and Texas to DJ and has competed in a few competitions. While she has spent most of her time playing in MN she finds that dj’ing just strengthens her drive to dance and to become a better blues dancer. Ginger finds that dancers are most comfortable on the dance floor when she plays the music that moves her the most.
Jenny grew up hearing Big Band Swing in her grandparents’ living room, but attending her first swing dance the summer of 2007 endeared her to the dances and music of the era forever. She soon discovered the joy of Lindy hop and Balboa, which propelled her to attend dozens of workshops and national events.
Ed Morales, Katie Bell, John Zimmerman, Kelsey Burns, Alex Fisher, Susan Olson, Adam Baus
Want to DJ?
Joining the RJ DJ team is a short, three step process. First, let us know about you and your interest. Then, do a trial night. Finally, DJ a full night. We go through this process to verify our DJs breadth and depth of music as well as their understanding that DJ is a verb rather than a noun. If you’re interested, please contact the team at an RJ event or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- About You. Please let us know what your background is as a DJ, a dancer, and your musical preferences. Why do you want to DJ? What will you bring to the team? It’s not an interview, per sae – if you just want to “give it a shot for funsies”, we support that too. We’re going to ascertain your length of commitment and experience up to this point.
- When we’re both ready, we’ll schedule a 75 minute trial DJ set. This is your “audition” if you’re looking to become a regular DJ. One of our seasoned veteran DJs will be on hand to provide feedback to RJ on your performance. Keep an eye to the floor, and your selection. You’ll do fine and we can/will talk it over later. We will repeat this phase until we can make a decision to move on or not.
- Finally, after completing the short-set and we’ve agreed that you’re ready for a full night (3 hours is a lot), we’ll schedule you in for a full night at Rhythm Junction. This is your true make it or break it moment. Of course, we don’t want anyone to fail, if you get this far you’re most likely ready.
RJ DJs get paid $20/hour, with the exception of new DJ audition/trial sets (2). These are done gratis as the DJ who is observing you will get paid.