I spent the day at the beach today, and the holidays are as far from my mind as can be. But then I realized, it's only a couple of months till December! Hard to think about the holidays when I'm hanging on to summer for dear life!!!
But, with that said, I've just begun booking December holiday events, so please be sure to get in touch right here at www.djdinaregine.com and reserve your date. I promise you will have the best holiday event ever!!!
In the meantime, I'm hoping for one more beach day!!! Just one!!! 🏖
Below is a little 'Fall Back Friday' shot of me spinning a super-fun holiday party for Google in Tribeca a few years back
Straight from the decks of various Manhattan clubs back in the late 80s-90s, recorded live to cassette, these are a few fun grooves of just about everything from Funk to New Wave, Rock, Motown, Soul and RnB. I've always been an 'open format DJ'... all over the map, and sometimes, in several languages! Keeps things interesting.
I recently found a suitcase filled with cassette tapes with live mixes on them, and figured I'd better upload them to a digital format before the cassettes totally disintegrated! A lot of memories were in that suitcase, that was also filled with thank you notes from customers over the years, written on napkins, paper plates, scrap paper and just about anything that had clear space to write on. It's an amazing thing in life, that a DJ can somehow just know what to play on a particular night, and somehow lift the weight of the world off of someone's shoulders, and free them to have a good time. Truly, being a DJ can be one of the most rewarding gigs in the world just for that reason alone. It's downright magical!
The photograph above (yes, I also spun 45's !!!) was taken downtown NYC at Heartbreak. The celebrity studded Monday nights were off the hook fun, and it never felt like a job. Well... almost never. I had a mad crush on Micky Rourke, and he came most every week to hang, and always dropped by the DJ booth to say hello. He truly was a modern day James Dean at the time. Sigh! On any given Monday night, you might see Cher, or Tom Cruise, or Bruce Willis hanging out in the booth with me. Players from the NY Mets, Rangers, and NY Giants were regulars, and Grace Jones occasionally stirred up a storm. Paul Stanley from KISS was always cutting a rug on Mondays, and just about every top model at the time could be seen striking a pose. There was as much of a party in the tiny little DJ booth as there was on the dance floor! To this day, Cher still gives a shout-out to Heartbreak at every show when she's on tour. Pretty cool. Curator/Promoter Frankie really pulled together a real eclectic Monday at Heartbreak 💔
Anyway, if you feel like bopping around your house this weekend and need a few fun playlists ... here are two links, one on Soundcloud and the other on YouTube. Have a listen to a snippet of a few nights from days gone by. I will be uploading new mixes as I find the time to get to it...
Enter the wayback machine here:
VINTAGE VINYL DJ MIXES on Soundcloud
DJ Dina Regine Vintage Vinyl Mixes- YouTube
Considering how challenging 2020 and 2021 have been, it was a total delight to slip back to the 'other' 20's for an evening of fantasy and fun. This was an event at a private residence in NJ, decorated to the nines. All the guests came in proper 1920s attire, and rocked the vibe.
It was FABulous!!!
This party, which originally was to happen over a year ago, but due to lockdown had to be postponed, was ready to roar, roaring 20s style this past weekend. I pulled out one of my fav vintage Betsey Johnson dresses, and made a headpiece with a few accessories I keep around for events like this. I strung some long crystal beads around my neck, and I was good to go! I curated a playlist of some of my fav vintage grooves from the era to spin, and shared the bill with the fantastic Dandy Wellington band. The Carnarsie Wobblers danced up a storm, and taught their moves to all the guests. Everyone could Charleston by the end of the evening, and looked like they had been doing the moves all their lives! Oh, and did I mention there was a murder mystery happening too? Gangsters and all...
Special thanks to Jayne Doniger and Scarlett Entertainment for bringing me on this event, and I look forward to doing this again soon
Here's a trailer with a few highlights from the evening, photos & videos shot by me & Jayne Doniger
I didn't get around to posting this last summer, but I figure.... better late than never.
This was a feature in the NY Times by Leigh Crandall w/a compilation of tunes from various DJs about top tunes guaranteed to get guests dancing. My two top choices were 'Levels" and
"One More Time" to be added to the ever evolving list of classics to be played at weddings
First Fridays at the guggenheim Museum- a little story
Several years ago I got a call to DJ a little experiment uptown. The Guggenheim Museum wanted to launch a series called 'First Fridays', combining the sounds of choice top DJs to pair with the art. This was to be done on Friday evenings, after museum hours. Art After Dark. I was the DJ for the debut of this project on April 1st 2005. I thought to myself, oh great, a big debut on April Fools Day... gotta laugh sometimes, life can be really funny. My music was to be pared with 'THE EYE OF THE STORM' WORKS IN SITU BY DANIEL BUREN.
Prior to my arriving at the museum, I thought it was to be a massive cocktail party. I wasn't quite prepared to be DJ-ing as a performance artist along with the art opening that evening, but that's how it turned out to be. There were people clustered all around the stage, as tho they were watching a band at a concert. April Fools right there! When I arrived and saw the fabulous big stage that was built for me, I knew it was to be something special. Very special. By the time I was finished with soundcheck, there was a line down 5th avenue to get in to the museum! Word had traveled fast, and unbeknownst to me, there was some serious press coverage for this event, including a full page promo in the Village Voice. I found out all this after the night was over, and perhaps that was a good thing. I did what I do best, and didn't ride the hype.
The one request from the museum to me, was that I made everyone groove & feel good, but not dance. That is something that is a hard task for someone like myself. Somehow, even when I'm playing ambient tracks, someone always wants to 'bust a move'. It's just how it is. But as it was the first night of First Fridays' they were afraid to have too much physical movement around the art. This night was a test. That concept had changed over the years after my debut, but being the first DJ to set the path for the future of this project was a huge responsibility, and I wanted the opening to be a big success. From the feedback I got later that evening ... I rose to the occasion. Hallelujah!!!
When I think back on that night, there were a lot of interesting moments during the course of the evening, some really cool, and a few a bit challenging. I was being filmed for various press outlets, as well as being interviewed for quotes while trying to concentrate on DJ-ing. I can walk and chew gum really well, but, not easy when being the focus of attention during a performance. Then there were those random moments when the whole rotunda burst into dance and I had a mild heart attack trying to scale the vibe back. Of course, the rebel DJ in me loved the fact that I could pull off a dance party, even when not trying. Ha!!! I knew all the security guards by name midway through the evening and they would all burst out laughing at my expressions every time I had to figure a way to make the dancing stop! I also must have chosen a really eclectic playlist that night because I spent a good portion of the evening writing down this song or that song as so many in the crowd wanted to know the tracks I chose to spin. As distracting as it was, it's always a good sign that I'm playing something so interesting, people gotta know what it is. This was years before Shazam!
The one thing a good DJ learns over time, is not only how to read a crowd, but it's to actually read a thought or two in any given moment. As I looked around the room, I realized just who the DJs were, and I could feel a few of these guys thinking 'who is she and why is she there'. That has happened in the past at clubs, but, you do your thing, and when you get it right, you get your due props straight away. No words need to be spoken. Being a female DJ playing hip hop back in the 80s had a few funny moments, however, just give me a few songs... and all doubts about my abilities changed quickly. I have always disliked the fact that so many feel the need to differentiate between male and female DJs. We're all there to do a great job. Period. But halfway through this event, a few young buck DJ wannabees decided climb my stage, gang up on me, and give me hell because I wasn't spinning with vinyl! How pretentious is that!!! There were also a few snarky 'girl DJ' remarks as well thrown in for good measure. Jealousy is a terrible monster, and it can bring the worst out in many. It's OK in life to wish you had a gig someone else has, but it's not OK to shower that anger and jealousy on a DJ when they're in the middle of a performance. I might also add, that these guys were all early 20s, and probably still in school when I was spinning vinyl at all the big clubs in town! They knew nothing about me, yet they felt it their right to judge, riding a high horse they hadn't earned the right to ride upon. Even when you've paid your dues, it doesn't give you a free pass to be rude, and in this case...dumb and rude. I don't exactly remember my response, but I know it was good as they all froze in their tracks before I cocked my head and waved to one of my pals ... 'SECURITY'! And away they went, gone gone gone. Perhaps those boys learned some manners down the road. One can only hope. I think a lot has changed since 2005, and hopefully the whole Female DJ/Male DJ nonsense has faded. I know it still exists, but I also know things have changed a lot from the days I was still a puppy DJ. There are so many women rocking the decks these days, and many are FABulous! Props! And I might add, doesn't matter if you're spinning analog vinyl, or digital via Serato (or the like), the skill is in in the mind, heart & gut, combined with technique (no train wrecks please) when it comes to being a great DJ. Magic can happen on what you choose to make magic with.
The evening was a huge success and the museum was packed wall to wall, floor to floor. We had no idea that this little idea would blow up to be one of the most successful promotions the Guggenheim Museum ever did, and the series ran for years featuring some of the most amazing DJs from all over the world.
I'm thrilled to have been the first DJ to kick the party off!
Special thanks to the Guggenheim for trusting me with their newborn series, and calling me later that year to DJ their International GALA at the Four Seasons in NYC (designed by the fabulous David Monn), an event that was a 'who's who' in the art and entertainment world! But that affair will have to be another blog! 🎧
"Welcome to First Friday, an evening art viewing and cocktail party at the Guggenheim Museum, where schmoozing and boozing to the loungey vibes of DJ Dina Regine in the famous Frank Lloyd Wright-designed rotunda on opening night took precedence over actually walking up the ramp to view the collection!" -
NYU Livewire News Service
People tend to mostly focus on the reception for weddings when it comes to music, but I encourage couples to think outside the box when curating the music flow from pre-ceremony, to the first dance. It makes a huge difference when you get a little creative! Setting up a gorgeous half hour of music as a backdrop (played low) as guests are arriving is a wonderful way to greet everyone. It's a far better greeting than silence!
The three songs you choose for processional (family and bride) and recessional (bride & groom) should be personal to you. There are no rules, only what makes you happy, and what feels right. The song you choose as a recessional will in a way, set the tone for the rest of the evening sometimes. I've DJ-ed weddings where the song the bride and groom have chosen to walk off to was so cinematic, the guests went wild, like an encore at a Broadway play! That's how exciting it can be. Have fun with it, pick a really upbeat track that resonates with you, the choices are endless! There's something to fit everyone's vibe.
Here are some of my photos that I took, while DJ-ing my weddings in this little 30 second trailer. The music is Andrew Loog Oldham's song 'The Last Time' (which you may recognize as the loop used in The Verve's 'Bittersweet Symphony'). It's also a song I've used on a few occasions for the bride's entrance. Goosebumps!
What makes a great wedding? Creating a little journey from pre-ceremony, to a packed dance-floor of happy party people at the end of the night. That's how ya do it!
A custom mix before a ceremony really sets the mood as guests arrive to hear you say 'I do', and a cool choice of music for the actual ceremony is so important to set the stage for the vibe you want to create around your big moment. Each portion of your wedding should have your signature. Be creative, & think outside the box. Have fun!
Here's a few photos from a super-fun wedding I did for an absolutely awesome couple (with equally awesome family and friends)
sound-systems for each tent and outdoor ceremony provided by Eli Gold
So great to do a little guest spot backing up the fabulous Darryl DMC McDaniels (RUN DMC) last week, as well as kicking a killer 70s-80s disco jam for a super fun crowd, under a tent, on a dock of the bay. Oh, and did I mention Gloria Gaynor stopped by to sing a few... yep it was a great way to start off the season. Hello summer!
Get in touch for any last minute private or corporate events,
it's time to kick up our heels again!
Darryl McDaniels and I (above) Gloria Gaynor (below)
It's beginning to look a lot like 'normal', everywhere I go (at least here in the NYC area). I'm now booking both outdoor/indoor summer/fall #events #weddings now! Cocktail parties, Private Events, Corporate launches, and of course, Weddings.
For weddings, from your ceremony to reception, I'll curate a perfect & fun night for you, start to finish. There's still a few August and September dates open, so get in touch ASAP!
We've waited a long time to get back to what we do... so let's do it people!
#fbf I just came across this photo from early 2019 spinning a guest spot at Rumpus Room NYC, and thought to myself, it feels like forever since I've rocked a room. Way too long!!! I'm praying this pandemic is coming to an end soon, and I look forward to doing my little guest spots at various clubs in-between doing my wedding and event work. Hope to see you all real soon!
I'm currently booking weddings for this summer and fall, so please reach out and say hey!
Stay safe, stay healthy, and have a great weekend! 🖤
Last year, I was nominated by the poet Puma Perl for an Acker Award in the category of musician, and lo and behold... I got the award! The awards recognize artists, writers, musicians, and those who enliven the downtown arts scene here in NYC. For those of you that aren't familiar with all that I do aside from DJ-ing, have a look at the mini bio below.
Due to the pandemic, the award ceremonies were cancelled, and all of the winners had a quiet celebration in our minds. That was the way it was for a lot of things in the past year. But the Acker Awards are now doing a little catch up and did a program for what was to happen last year, and there will be a celebration at some point down the road for us all. But for now, this is a little clip of the list of winners, and the bio they attached for my category. Pretty cool!
A little #TBT for today, kicking back to when I got a call from Richard Gere's organization 'Healing The Divide' to DJ at Lincoln Center for this massive charity. Every so often a gig comes along that is a bit mind blowing, but this event...just wow. For those of you who know me, you know I'm a huge Tom Waits fan. Literally impossible to ever get a ticket when he plays (which is rare), so this was very special for me. It was the first time I ever got to see him perform. Even more special since I had to go on right after his performance, and make sure I kept every single person in the audience there for a few hours for the after-party to hopefully donate to this very worthy cause. I recently met Elvis Costello (who was at that party) and he told me I had the hard job that night...making sure the donations kept rolling in! I played a very eclectic set of world music, and it was the perfect soundtrack for the evening. Good vibes and a lot of love all over Lincoln Center! From what I heard after the fact, it was a very successful evening, and I got a beautiful 'thank you' letter from Healing the Divide. The Dalai Lama was super inspirational and I'm so glad I had a chance to be a part of this magical evening (which was also recorded for a live album).
All in all, one of those gigs you never forget.
Throwing back to one of the many events I DJ-ed at Metronome NYC back in the day. Here I am (back in my curly hair days), with the fabulous Deborah Cox hanging in my DJ booth with me.
I'm happy to let you all know that I am now booking for Summer/Fall wedding season. It will be great getting back into the groove again, literally! Stay safe and get in touch! 🖤
As yesterday was World DJ Day, it got me thinking & missing what I do; So, a little shout out to myself and all my DJ buddies out there is in order. It's been a long tough year for us all, and we're ready to get out there and make some magic happen again soon !!!
Here's a few shots of me at work over the years,
Italy, NYC, St. Barts & New Orleans.
Hello 2021, I'm ready for ya!
I hope everyone is hanging in during this rough spell we all find ourselves in. No one could possible prepare for, or imagine how life could change so quickly.
Every year, I DJ the Dance This Way benefit for the Felix Organization, and we raise a lot of money to send foster kids to Camp Felix where they not only have fun, but they learn life skills to help them navigate the world. I also get to DJ for Darryl McDaniels from RUN DMC and that is a huge thrill for me too. But this year, unfortunately the event can't take place due to our lockdown and social distancing. Instead, the Felix Organization will be holding a virtual online fundraiser telethon style, Friday evening, May 1st at 8pm on Facebook. This year, I won't be DJ-ing, but instead I will be singing one of my songs from my home. Please join us, and if you can ... donate!
Big love to you all, and please stay safe 💜
Felix Organization link: https://www.thefelixorganization.org/
To wake up and have your heart broken, and then realize, it's the beginning of what may be something we all are going to have to get used to is painful. Really painful. Thinking of friends as casualties, is not the way I thought life would be. Alan is the third friend in a week's time to leave us, and I'm getting notified every day about so many friends that are struggling with this vicious virus.
Alan Merrill was a sweetheart in every way, and a super talented musician and songwriter (for those of you who don't know Alan, he wrote 'I Love Rock'n'Roll and was a massive rockstar in Europe and Japan with the band the Arrows). I loved that he loved to do shows, and it didn't matter where he was playing. He would treat a gig at the Garden on Avenue B the same as if he was playing Madison Sq. Garden. He loved to play & create music. We hit it off instantly, talked for hours and did many gigs over the years together. He used to love taking pics with me cause he said we both had big apple cheeks and we looked cute together. He was a hard man not to adore, and I will really miss his smile. I send love to his family and bandmates. Farewell Alan.
I send love to all of you, please stay as safe as you can, and be well 💜🌹
Ten years ago this week, still with a head of curls (before I fell in love with Keratin!!!), DJ-ing at Eden Rock St Barths for a super-fun wedding. I've spun there a few times and I have to say that the island is my favorite, the beach is stunning, and the locals are so cool and chill. St. Barths... I love you 💜
Oh, if you are planning a wedding in St. Barths and need a DJ ... holla!!!
These photos by Brian Dorsey are from a feature in NY Magazine Weddings.
Welcome to my virtual loft party, make yourself at home. I'll put on the kettle, pour a few, and order a pizza. I've many tales to tell, some fun stories, and lots of helpful hints to share to help ignite your imagination when planning a party, grand event or wedding. Stay tuned!