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Open Format Academy for DJing in Jamaica

Open Format Academy for DJing in Jamaica


One of the things about living in an entertainment destination is, there is always opportunity to be entertained. Most days that mean going to a really hot party where you can enjoy many different types of music. That is called Open Format DJing. In Jamaica we call it Juggling, but that doesn’t really give a good idea of what makes it an art.

Most nights, you go to a party and hear different genres blended and toasted by DJ’s who know how to jump from one song to the next. This is done mostly by just fading out of one song and into the next. As much as it is the order of the day in Jamaica, the rest of the world has moved on to (or back to) DJing being known as an art form. Jamaica has now started it’s journey into making sure the world knows that partying is our ‘bread and butter’ and as such, we celebrate our cutting edge DJ’s who represent fully on the world stage.

Open Format
DJ Smurf

Enter DJ Denvo. Denvo Thombs has been on the scene moving the crowd since the late 90’s. He has seen many iterations of the Jamaican music scene as he has been one of the leaders since winning the Jamaica leg of the Heineken Green Synergy DJing competition in 2004. Years of experience have taught Denvo one thing; there is a need for aspiring DJ’s to openly and easily learn from successful veterans. With that thought, he set out on gathering the knowledge of how to teach DJing from philosophy to practice and now, with some of Jamaica’s top DJ’s, he has started the first step in creating an academy where interested people, can get certified in being a DJ.

Surrounded by Colin Hines, DJ Smurf, DJ Delano, DJ Spinn, Boyd James and Dean Hall, Denvo put on an excellent event. The patrons were able to reason with, and at some times challenge the presenters. Where as challenges might be unwelcome in other arenas, this arena set itself apart from the norm from the very beginning. There was more listening and understanding and open discussion than most ‘panel lead’ events. It was a refreshing change.

Open Format
J. Wray & Nephew Mixologists

The Captain Colin Hines spoke with Good News Jamaica about his approach to the event and how he felt Jamaica would benefit from more of these events.

Open Format
Tanikie McClarthy Allen

The event could not have happened without the interest, trust and investment of J. Wray and Nephew (JWN). Their proven support of Jamaica’s culture over decades goes without saying. Their support for such an out of the box event spoke volumes. Public Affairs and Sustainability Director, Tanikie McClarthy Allen announced even more support for Jamaicas DJs by announcing a lucrative jingles competition for their Party Propa campaign. The winner will earn $50,000 and 2 contracted bookings ($35,000 each) for JWN events.

The rules are as follows;

  1. Submit a 15-30 second drop
  2. Drops must mention all 3 key messages and the campaign name ‘Party Propa’.
  3. Must be submitted on or before March 2, 2019.

The Key messages are as follows:

  1. Get home safe (Taxi, Designated Driver, etc.)
  2. Pair drinking with food (eat before and eat after drinking [alcohol]
  3. Water between drinks (spacing alcoholic drinks with water)
Open Format
Boyd James

At the end of the event, patrons were given the opprtunity to hook up their laptops and have a great time mixing, learning from and teaching each other. It was amazing to hear.

When we caught up with DJ Denvo, he had the following to say.

The event was a great success and is far from being the last, as stated by Denvo in our interview. Just so you know the calibre of DJs that were on display, check out this routine between Denvo and Spinn.


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Charles Hyatt Being positive is a lifestyle and I live everyday loving the fact that I'm living every day. Each time I help someone smile, it reiterates the power of Good. So, I think, talk, eat, drink, Good News.

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