2019, as every year we live had it's ups and downs, and a lot of in-betweens. But in DJ land, I had a blast. I decided to start doing a few guest spots at clubs again, and it's been a lot of fun spinning a variety of jams from throwbacks to all the contemporary movers and shakers now (hello Lizzo!!!). It's also been great meeting new people, and getting to rock their nights. Then there were the beautiful weddings. Nothing like spending an evening with people who are all in a good mood all night. It's all about the love!
A Few Highlights...
I DJ-ed a couple of fantastic corporate events last year, including a massive ribbon cutting ceremony for Citibank at their new headquarters downtown. I called it an intimate cocktail party for well over 15oo people. Then there was The Felix Organization 'Dance This Way' charity that I do every year, and I'm happy to say we raised an insane amount of money to send foster kids to camp last summer. I not only got to DJ the dance marathon, but I was so jazzed to be asked by Darryl McDaniels DMC (RUN DMC) to spin for his performance. Yep, yours truly, for a few moments... being IN THE BAND! That was a massive for me, and I will be doing it again this year. Stay tuned! Last November, I got a call to DJ for Stevie Van Zandt's first annual Rock and Roll Forever Foundation Gala. This year Steve was honored for his commitment to arts education, and it was a beautiful thing. It was a star studded evening with DJ performances by myself and music by Southside Johnny w/special guests, hosted by Drew Carey. Superfun night. Last, I shared a bill as a DJ with Stevie Wonder. Need I say more...
In my non DJ world I've been writing up a storm, and I've been performing all my new songs all over town. I'm very close now to begin recording my next album 'Astoria' and I'm beyond excited. My band is amazing and I'm beyond blessed to have them all making what I do sound so awesome. These guys & gals have worked with everyone from David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson, Bill Frisell, Rosanne Cash & the Rolling Stones... and they play with me! I'm a lucky gal. There was a wonderful feature article written about my show at LOLA in the Aquarian last year as well (scroll back a few blogs to read).
In other news, I sang at a benefit for Alzheimers backed by members of Blondie and The Patti Smith Group (we raised a lot of money that night), at The Bowery Electric. I had a blast singing some backup vocals on the Circle Line's 'Rocking The River' cruise with my buddies James Maddock and Willie Nile, and experienced what it was like to truly 'rock the boat'. In my world of photography, I got news that a photograph I took when I was a teenager, was picked by Led Zeppelin for their first ever official coffee table book, and another of my photos of Grammy Winning composer Maria Schneider was chosen for a book on Jazz artists.
365 days, and no time to get bored. Or sleep! Hello 2020, I'm ready for ya!!! Cheers everyone!
I've been lucky through the years to get to DJ some pretty fabulous parties, but none came close to my excitement getting to DJ for the guitar player of my hands down favorite band The Rolling Stones. Keith Richards has been my personal music hero for as long as I can remember, and that's a long time. Back when I was just a puppy DJ starting out, Keith and his wife Patti came by Heartbreak, a hot club that I was DJ-ing at the time (the same club that Cher gives a shout-out to every night at her shows). Keith spent a real long time in the DJ booth with me telling me tales, and basically DJ-ing along side me. I might add that his instincts were spot on picking some great old Soul/Motown & vintage Rock 'n' Roll songs to play to keep that dance floor going too! He was so generous with sharing his stories, and I loved the way his eyes twinkled like a teenager. I suppose it's true that when you do what you love, you stay young. Keith Richards is one of the sweetest down to earth artists I've met to this day. Plus, he's cool. Some people try to be cool, Keith is cool. Period. Not to mention, he is a walking encyclopedia of music history. No joke! Anyway, shortly after that meeting, I was asked to DJ Keith's surprise 50th birthday party. That was 26 years ago today! Phew, time flies don't it! It was a star studded event, however the one thing I remember the most was Keith's joy in having all his friends and family gathered together to celebrate not only his birthday, but his wedding anniversary as well. He nicknamed me 'Baby Sounds' that night too. Not sure exactly what he meant but it was endearing and sweet.
Today Keith Richards turns 76, and the man still inspires me. Happy Birthday Keef and cheers to many many more. Oh yeah, and Happy Anniversary to Keith and Patti too 🌹
Above new clip I believe was from the NY Post
Below photo was taken by me at the Apollo Theater a few years back
It's that time of the year again! Please get in touch if you would like to have me DJ your holiday event, and I promise to make it one to remember! Don't wait till the last minute as I'm booking events now.
I've flown all over the country rocking the holidays over the years, and would love to make your party a really fun one too. Be it having me DJ for the whole night or co-billed with a band or for an after-party, all combinations are possible. I have worked for some of the largest companies & biggest celebrities, shared the bill with artists like Elton John, Stevie Wonder, & The Beach Boys, and have worked venues like The Met, Guggenheim, Lincoln Center, Cipriani, & Gotham for larger events (just to give you an idea). But I'm also just as comfy DJ-ing cozy home parties and corporate events at various spaces and hotels. Full sound-systems are available as well if needed. Let me put together a package for a party to remember for this 2019 season.
Cheers & Happy Holidays!
This past year I've been doing a bunch of guest spots at various dance-floors around town, & It's been fun getting to spin clubs again in between all my private event & wedding work.
Variety is the spice of life I say!
This Saturday, November 16th, I'll be spinning some vintage grooves from the 60s-90s at the superfun Ethyl's uptown on 2nd Avenue and 85th Street. It'll be a Soul Groovin', Hip Hop moving, New Wave jamming, Disco slamming, Rockin' Rollin', booty shaking good time. Go Go Dancers all night, fun crowd, and delicious late night eats make Ethyl's a real fun destination. The party starts at 10pm. Here's the view from my DJ booth!
When I'm not spinning music from other artists .... I'm writing and performing my own works. Right now I'm in pre-production and hope to begin recording my next album 'Astoria' before years end.
Thanks to Charley Crespo for this wonderful review of our show at LOLA on the Lower East Side last Friday night opening for Steve Conte. I'm blessed with these wonderful musicians,
who make time for me when they're not on the road, and they really made the night magical;
Tony Scherr - guitar (Bill Frisell Trio, Sex Mob, Norah Jones, Feist), Mark Plati- bass (David Bowie),
G. Wiz- drums (Norah Jones, Cabin Down Below, Twilight Singers),
Charley Giordano- accordion (Bruce Springsteen), Michelle Casillas -vocals (Ursa Minor)
and guest singer James Maddock.
Seems fitting to get this review today on Bruce Springsteen's birthday, the guy who told me to put together my own band back when I was first starting out. SO GLAD I LISTENED TO THE BOSS!
All in all, it was a packed club with good vibes all round. That's all I need!
Link to article below:
Some events just shine and this event was fantastic. Ribbon cutting ceremony to kick off Citibank's new massive main headquarters downtown NYC. An intimate cocktail party for a thousand or so guests! Here's the view from my DJ booth
Every year I DJ the 'Dance This Way' fundraiser for the Felix Organization, and all money raised enables a lot of lucky foster kids to get to go to Camp Felix. We held the event at the fabulous Rumi Event Space in NYC, and raised almost $300,000!!! This year, not only did I DJ the dance party, I also got to DJ a performance with Darryl McDaniels (RUN DMC) and his son on Walk This Way, and It's Tricky! All in all, it was a truly fun night and this summer there will be a lot of happy kids at Camp Felix. See you all next year!
I just wanted to take a moment and wish all of you a happy Memorial Day, and thank all those in service that made it possible for us to enjoy what we enjoy in life. The photo of me and the boys was taken in my DJ booth at Rumpus room a couple of years ago at a party I was DJ-ing, and the second shot I took last week (Fleet Week) in Times Square. Nice to see so many women in service now!
Cheers to the start of a beautiful summer!
Last night at The Bowery Electric I was invited to be a part of a really wonderful benefit Derek Cruz curated, raising money for Dementia. Good vibes for a good cause. I also had the pleasure of singing one of my favorite Bob Dylan songs 'It Ain't Me Babe' as a duet with my good friend James Maddock, backed by an all star band w/members from The Patti Smith Group and Blondie (Clem Burke, Matt Katz-Bohen, & Tony Shanahan). Here's a little clip from the show.
When Cesar and Bruce contacted me to DJ their wedding, they had a definite idea of how they wanted the night to play out. It was to be grand like a Broadway production from the ceremony to the last dance, and that it was! Both were huge theater fans and together we incorporated the vibe of their favorite plays into the theme of the evening which was held at the fabulous Hudson Theater. The first dance was beautifully choreographed w/dancers galore. This was truly one of the most fantastic weddings I have ever DJ-ed, and so happy to be a part of it. The guests were thrilled!
I hope everyone had a beautiful holiday, and a belated Happy New Year to you all!
While 2018 was a really challenging year on many levels, I was graced with several really standout experiences over the past 12 months. Here's a few of them...
In photo collage below; me DJ-ing at The Bowery Electric (photo Jini Sachse), Performing w/Mark Plati, and w/Charlie Giordano, me with the official Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin Book (I have a photo in it), photo by Karen Fleisch, who also designed the awesome Victorian coat I'm wearing, and last, the Cover of my latest single with The Rousers 'Take A Ride To The Lower East Side'
My DJ year: First off, I DJ-ed a number of guest spots at Rumpus Room, The Bowery Electric, Berlin, and Coney Island Baby. Even though my private work keeps me busy, it’s always good to hit the clubs every so often to keep the vibe fresh. All the weddings I DJ-ed last year were gorgeous, and my couples were lovely to work with. The corporate and private events were pretty special as well, and I even got to share the bill as a DJ with one of my all time favs, Stevie Wonder. Now, that’s special! Flying down to North Carolina to DJ the Black and White Ball for the Mint Museum was a blast, and one of the curators Tweeted “she turned a black tie event into a house party”! There were many sweaty gowns, and tuxedos at the end of the night from all the dancing; it was incredible. Do I have to say how happy that makes me? Very happy! DJ-ing the annual Felix Organization 'Dance This Way' benefit was a huge success this year, and we raised a lot of money that will be used to send many foster children to Camp Felix. Sharing the stage yet again with Felix co-founder Darryl McDaniels from RUN DMC is always a blast. I will always love his rhyme for me that he Tweeted last year "Dina Dina, ain't none meaner, she rocks the house, I know cause I seen her". On another note, NY Magazine included my thoughts in their latest wedding issue ‘NY Weddings’, which included a list of songs about fire for a ‘weddings by a fire’ theme. I love that NY Magazine has invited me to be a part of so many features over the years, and have continued to keep me in their sources as a top DJ in this town for events. One last thing, and this is always a bonus… a few clients have now become new friends. I love when that happens.
Everything else: My single with The Rousers ‘Take A Ride To The Lower East Side’ had it’s debut, opening Paul Cavalconte’s ‘Cavalcade’ show on WFUV, kicking off an hour of LES themed songs (do check out the video on YouTube). The single I recorded with hit songwriter Bruce Sudano (who was also a producer on the Broadway play ‘Summer’ about his wife Donna Summer) also had its video debut. We also got to do a live-stream concert for Paste Magazine/Day Trotter, which was pretty awesome. Bruce wrote a beautiful duet, and I was thrilled to be asked to sing on it. I also recorded a duet with Cody Mellville for his album ‘Bonds Eye’ as well last year, and the reviews were fantastic! Huffington Post said "Dina Regine’s delicious voice reflects lush sensual colors that counterbalance Melville’s soaring tenor". WTSR 91.3fm dedicated a whole hour to my music, and a live on-air interview, and Little Steven’s Underground Garage on Sirius XM is still playing a couple of tunes from my last album ‘Right On, Alright’ on a regular basis. For me, few things compare to the rush of turning on the radio and hearing my song come on. Gotta turn the volume way up! Last October, Lynn Cappiello at MNPR Magazine wrote a fantastic feature article about my DJ-ing, songwriting/performing, & photography. Speaking of photography, I hit the jackpot this year when a photo I took, as a teen of Jimmy Page was included in the first official Led Zeppelin book, curated by the band, and put out by Reel Art Press. This gorgeous book will definitely be a future collector item. The publishers had me take a photo of myself holding the book for the Zeppelin book site… that was fun! Btw, my Flickr site where I showcase most of my photography surpassed a million hits, how cool is that!!! A million is such a wonderful number. Seriously it is!!! In 2018, I was also fortunate to be included in quite a few, packed house, really fun shows, slinging my guitar and singing my heart out. I’ve been test driving a lot of my new material for the next album ‘Astoria’, which I will be doing a crowd-funding campaign for next month. After the heartbreak of losing my long-time friend and bass player Tim Luntzel to ALS last year, I’ve joined forces with Mark Plati who will be playing bass on my next record. Mark was David Bowie’s music supervisor as well as guitar & bass player in his touring band. He also mixed and co-produced a few of Bowie’s records, and I’m so lucky to have him playing with me when he’s not touring! I also wrote a new Christmas song 'I'm Coming Home For Christmas', which I debuted at The Treehouse in December with Charlie Giordano (Bruce Springsteen Band) on accordion. It went over so well I think I will be recording it for a holiday single later this year.
So here we all are at the top of 2019, and I’m feeling optimistic that this is going to be a pretty cool year for me, and hopefully you too! Stay tuned!
Last week, I had the most awesome experience. AWESOME! I had the opportunity to go back to my high school, St Jean Baptiste, and give a lecture with a Q&A about music, art, DJ-ing, and life as an artist to these amazing creative beautiful girls in the very same auditorium where I got my start as a teenager. A lot of ground was covered in this lecture and the energy in the room was just beautiful. I feel blessed to have had the chance to share my stories with these girls, and perhaps be a bit of help as they move forward with their art and life. I have no doubt that these young ladies will be making some serious noise in the years to come with whatever road they choose to take with their creativity.
A little throwback Thursday. Several years ago I got asked to DJ a little experiment that the Guggenheim wanted to do called 'First Fridays', combining the sounds of choice DJs to pair with the art, after museum hours. I was the DJ for the debut. By the time I was finished with soundcheck, there was a line down 5th avenue to get in. The evening was a huge success and the museum was packed. We had no idea that this little idea would blow up to be one of the most successful promotions the museum ever did, and I'm thrilled to have been the first DJ to kick the party off!
"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
Over the years NY Magazine has featured a lot of events I've worked at, as well as embracing my DJ opinion on various articles they've done. In the latest Fall/Winter issue they have a special on weddings by a fire, and everything 'fire' to amp up the theme. Here's my list of 'fire' songs!
#WBW, and a Halloween one too! Throwing back to the late 80s, Details Magazine feature about the night Anita Sarko and I DJ-ed Cher's star studded, over the top, FABulous Halloween costume ball and perfume launch at Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager's Century Paramount Hotel.
It was quite a night of nonstop dancing!!!
In photos Debbie Harry, Sylvester Stalone, Christopher Reeves, Billy Crystal, Bob Mackie, Haoui Montaug, Rob Camilletti, Liza Minelli Halston BetseyJohnson, Jim Matus, Gloria Steinem, Mort Zuckerman, Toni C. Other guests, included Bianca Jagger, Debra Winger, Scavullo, & Francis Ford Coppola.
Wonderful article about me, my project with The Rousers, and the new single 'Take A Ride To The Lower East Side' in MNPR Magazine.
Article: Lynn Cappiello:
"Take A Ride With Dina Regine'
As many of you know, aside from DJ-ing, I also am a musician/songwriter and I've been putting out records on my own label DivaDiva Music for the last 15 or so years. Recently, I teamed up with The Rousers here in NY to record a side project of mine just for fun. We recorded two songs, and the first of that duo 'Take A Ride To The Lower East Side' is officially out today. Paul Cavalconte gave the song it's on air debut a few weeks back, opening his show Cavalcade on WFUV. Pretty cool! The song is officially available on Amazon, CD Baby, and iTunes for purchase. And you can also check out the fun video I made (photographed/filmed and edited) as well. Have a great weekend!
#TBT, the 80s: 3 Turntables and a Microphone 🎤
My first long term DJ residency at Heartbreak NYC. The beginning of my accidental career as a DJ. Put the kettle on ☕️ … I’ve got a little story.
I was really young when I had my first record deal in Europe, but It fell apart and died as soon as it began, due to personal/executive changes at the wrong time at the record label. Life. But at least the record labels in Europe didn't have a problem with a woman slinging a Fender Stratocaster guitar, fronting an all guy band, & singing Rock. However, I was told it was a big problem here in the states, the labels didn’t want to know. I was fed up with hearing the same story over and over, It was a boys club, and they never were going to let me in. I was thinking perhaps I'd move to London, start fresh, see what happens. At least the vibe over there was more open minded toward women. I was waitressing at the time, trying to keep a band together, and not loose my vision as an artist. It was the toughest time in my life.
Anyway, I would fly as a courier, a cool little setup back then where you only bring your carry on luggage and transport the check in bags for various companies, hoping that what you were transporting wouldn't land you in jail. Joke. But seriously, it was through a legit situation and my friend Ronnie hooked me up. I flew for free. London for free! Done deal. Ronnie told me that there was another guy who was in the music business who also flew back and forth a few times a month doing the courier thing, and perhaps we should talk. Never know. She had no idea what he did, but she gave me his number in London.
I got to London, and through various hook-ups, met with many top executives in London. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough recorded material with me to win people over, and as my band was in NY, no way to show them what I could do on-stage live. So, I didn't wind up landing a new record deal. But oddly, every meeting I went on, I got tons of very positive encouraging advice, as well as an abundance of new vinyl, and a few test pressings of records that would soon become massive hits. I didn’t know it at the time, but those little presents would serve me well in just a few months down the road. But in the moment, all I knew was rejection. My mission wasn’t turning out as planned, and I tried not to get discouraged.
The last number I dialed (yes dialed.... there were still rotary phones back then) was this courier guy (who's name I forget). He was working with a band in London, who not long after talking to him, blew up with a huge hit record. ‘Come On Eileen’. Anyway, he tells me straight off “I need to have someone DJ two weeks a month at this private club called Joanna's in NY, and cover my shift when I'm in London”. Joanna's was an upscale private club in the Flatiron district, off 5th Avenue, and you needed a membership to go there. The membership wasn't cheap either. The kind of place where you made a hundred dollar tip to play a song. I thought to myself, well, he wants to pay me to play records….hell yeah! I had no idea about DJ life, I spent all my days hanging in clubs with live music, never gave much thought to DJs or what they did. I went back to NYC with my box of records, showed up at Joanna’s with no idea what to do…and winged it. I also had all these ‘fresh cuts’ thanks to all the record companies, so I appeared cooler than I was… I had the goods. I made more tips than salary in the few months I worked there. But the music vibe there was very Euro, and at that time, all I wanted to do was play 60’s Rock, Funk, & Soul. James Brown in particular, he was my higher power when it came to dancing, but James Brown didn’t fly at Joanna’s, so I knew my lifespan there would be short. I had a plan.
My neighbor down the road was a beautiful woman named Sharon Lee, and she looked like Marilyn Monroe. Sharon was the head DJ at this club called Heartbreak. The music there was awesome. From 50s rockabilly to Motown/Soul and 80s new cuts and the beginnings of cross-over Hip Hop. Heartbreak was a 50s diner that truckers ate at before starting their shifts at 6am. But at night it was transformed into this magical spot, in particular on Sundays and Mondays. After my shifts at Joanna’s, and pretty much every night, I went to Heartbreak and trained with Sharon, and learned the tricks of the trade. She taught me how to manipulate a room playing anything from the Blue Danube Waltz to the Stray Cats. I already was a bit of a musicologist, but through her… I learned how to make my knowledge work for me. Sharon was a genius, and taught me to be fearless, and how to mess with a packed dance floor to get the reactions I wanted. She had more tricks up her sleeve than any magician. I learned from her, and pulled out all the stops every night. Tom Finn was the other DJ there, who was a teen rockstar prior to his DJ life, playing bass for hit band The Left Banke (‘Walk Away Renee’). Tom skooled me on all the 50s music that I wasn’t familiar with. The deep cuts. As it turned out, I had a knack for shaking things up real good.
Within a year, I took over the legendary Monday Nights at Heartbreak, promoted by Frankie Scinlaro as well as a few other nights during the week. Every night was packed wall to wall, thousands of people walked through that door in search of a fun night. The place was so packed that most people never saw the DJ booth, and many assumed I was a guy. Once I was on a plane flying home from LA and overhead two women talking about how fantastic a DJ I was, however they had no idea what I looked like. I remained a fly in the way listening and it was hilarious. But it was all about the music, not me. I didn't promote myself as DJs do these days, few of the major DJs working the big clubs did. I went to work ... and I rocked the house. That's all I cared about. When I came home, I worked on writing my own music for my own projects. I really kept it separate. Just from that job alone, I can turn on the TV at any time now, click through the channels and in no time see someone who hung at Heartbreak that I knew. Pretty crazy. From that job alone, I'm still a working DJ, it's still my 9-5 job, 9pm-5am that is! People go on and on about Studio 54, but let me tell you, that little diner downtown had quite the life. One of the main reasons celebrities, politicians and athletes loved hanging there, was that no cameras were allowed. People could just let it all hang out sans fear of seeing it on Page 6 the next day. A freedom that doesn’t exist anymore. All the gossip rags would try to bribe all of us for info and no one ever gave in. Some things in life were more important than money back then, and privacy was cherished.
On any given Monday night, my DJ booth would be filled with interesting characters. There was no VIP room, there was a kitchen in the back, or the DJ booth. That was as VIP as it got. Cher, Bruce Willis, Micky Rourke, Rob Lowe & all the Brat Pack, were regulars. The NY Giants came every week after practice to get their funk on, and I was friends with many of the Mets and the Rangers as well. If a major band was in town, they hung there. The guys from KISS, and a lot of artists who lived in NY made Heartbreak their home back then. I remember nights with Roger Taylor from Queen telling me wonderful stories, while I kept the dance floor going. Steve Jordan once brought my hero Keith Richards in and Keith asked to meet ME after hearing me spin, and then he spent a few hours spinning with me. That meeting led to his wife Patti Hansen hiring me to DJ his surprise birthday party years later. Sick! I remember hanging with Patrick Swayze, who confided in me about a dancing movie he was about to make, and how he was excited about a song he wrote that might wind up in that movie. Dirty Dancing! Oh the stories… I could go on and on (and still never betray anyone’s secrets). It was surreal what my life was like during my residency at Heartbreak. It was the most fun job, and opportunities and gigs till present themselves to me because of my time well spent there. My first private corporate gig was for Nike at the closing party at the Olympics in LA., and they scouted me at Heartbreak. It was that gig that later gave me the idea (and confidence), of starting my own private event business. I never did make it to MTV at it’s peak as a rockstar, but I did as a DJ at Heartbreak, and I was more than fine with that. But, even though I could go on and on about the celebrities & fun stories that were born at this special club, the coolest part about my residency at Heartbreak was that I developed friendships that are still going strong. People that I love and will forever love. It’s a beautiful thing. It also was the beginning of my career as a DJ, a career that I never planned on having. A career that has kept a roof over my head, and food on the table for decades. A wonderful accidental career.
Life can be funny sometimes, you make one phone call and everything changes. If the opportunity ever arises, just say yes to something off the wall, and watch magic happen. The end.
#WBW: "The DJ plays my song and I feel alright" ... and that's what kinda happened last October on this night when I was guest DJ-ing at Rumpus Room NYC on the L.E.S. Instant party!
Miley Cyrus 'Party In The USA'
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!