Inner workings of a DJ mind | Talking with John Joven about MezzJelly ’17

It might be September but I’m still feeling the glow from my amazing trip to New York for MezzJelly Blues in July. 


An offer I couldn’t refuse

When Jered Morin first asked me if I wanted to DJ in New York, I kinda thought he was kidding. But Jered never lies, so naturally, I needed to know more.

I turned out that he and Brooke Filsinger were taking MezzJelly Blues to NYC, and I was invited to be on the team. I checked the dates and when I saw I was free I basically said ‘Yes!’ without really knowing how I was going to manage it.

I’m currently the breadwinner for my family, and I work freelance, so my time is money. DJ-ing might seem glamorous, but it never pays any of my ‘real’ bills. It does give me a little ‘pocket money’ for my never-ending music wish-list and anything left over I spend on the fun I have on my weekends away.  

Anyway… budgetary issues notwithstanding, a gig is a gig, and it’s not every day I get asked to fly to the US to DJ, so I knew that come hell or high water, I would do whatever it took to get myself there.

No Pressure

I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the DJ intro on the MezzJelly Blues website:

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DJ Interviews | Annette

Annette Kühnle

Annette, BBE 2015 (Berlin)

If you’ve been blues dancing long enough to have attended a festival somewhere, you’ll likely have been swept off your feet by the wonderful Annette Kühnle: blues dance teacher and DJ from Heidelberg, Germany.

I first met Annette in a dance class where I was bowled over by her incredible energy and ability to coax the maximum amount of blues from each and every single participant. (Including me!)

Later I saw her on the DJ decks, playing the most wonderful music and captivating a whole room of dancers.

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Blues Musicians | Christoffer Johansson

Christoffer Johansson

Christoffer Johansson

One of the pleasures of being a travelling blues dancer and DJ is that I get to listen and dance to some of the best blues musicians in Europe. 

I met and heard Christoffer Johansson for the first time earlier this year at The Blues Garden in Gotebörg. I was simply blown away by his performances. Lucky for me, we were both at Blossom Blues in Zurich in May. Then, just two weeks later, we were in Oslo together at Moose Blues.

Curious to find out more about his musical roots, I persuaded him to sit down for a chat, just half an hour before he was due to play on Saturday night.

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