Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ambient DJ Meets the "Queen of Freestyle"

This past Saturday, at a private party in Franklin Lakes, NJ, our DJ Greg Nice (Greg Lambiase) had the good fortune of sharing the stage with freestyle legend Judy Torres as a DJ and band alternated sets.  Judy Torres, often referred to as the "Queen of Freestyle" is a Puerto Rican singer who grew up in the Bronx.  Interestingly, this was not Greg Nice's first encounter with Judy Torres - the two met briefly at the 2010 DJ Times International DJ Expo  in Atlantic City at the Promo Only party!

Judy was energetic, friendly and complimented Greg Nice on his mixing.  What an awesome compliment, and perhaps that is why Greg is beaming in the photo below!  

Judy Torres and DJ Greg Nice

DJ Greg Nice is no stranger to the freestyle genre, as evidenced by his post on freestyle from earlier this year:  (he had rated Come Into My Arms at #11 in his Top 20 Freestyle Tracks of All-Time!).  Greg Nice's other favorite tracks are No Reason To Cry, and Faithfully.

To catch up with Judy, check out her website  at  , or friend her on Facebook or Twitter

To book DJ Greg Nice for your next private party, contact us at 

Gig Log - Wendy & Matt, Surf City Yacht Club

Earlier this month, I traveled to Long Beach Island to perform at the wedding of Wendy & Matt.  Wendy, from her childhood days, had always dreamed of having a beach wedding at LBI.  I was pleasantly surprised to have a smooth and uneventful journey to LBI.  The widening of the Garden State Parkway south of Toms River kept traffic flowing smoothly, and I arrived very early (note: for weddings, I build in large buffers to avoid being late).

The couple exchanged vows along the waterfront of the Surf City Yacht Club.  The bride processed down the aisle to a beautiful version of "Can't Help Falling in Love" by the Vitamin String Quartet.  For those unfamiliar, the Vitamin String Quartet perform elegant, classical versions of the popular American songbook and even pop music!  Their recordings are an excellent way for couples to mix-and-match modern and classical elements.

The downstairs of the Surf City Yacht Club had a leisurely, summertime beach club feel to it.  The reception was help upstairs in the Warren Room with its high ceiling, abundant windows with views of Barnegat Bay, and access to a large adjacent deck for getting fresh air (and viewing the sunset later on!)

Wendy and Matt shared their first dance to the Etta James classic "At Last."  Despite being a smaller group of 75 guests, the dancefloor was fully engaged for much of the evening with a group of funloving folks of diverse musical tastes - ranging from oldies to Lady Gaga!  The best dance set came in the final hour in 90s Throwback Fashion!

Key Tracks:

Theme From Indiana Jones - Grand Entrance of Bride and Groom
If You Wanna Be Happy for the Rest of Your Life - Jimmy Soul
Why Do Fools Fall in Love? Frankie Lymon
Unchained Melody - The Righteous Brothers
Can't Help Falling in Love - Elvis Presley
Show Me Love - Robin S.
It Takes Two - Rob Base and EZ Rock
Jump Around - House of Pain
Frank Sinatra - Love and Marriage (cakecutting)
Milkshake - Kelis (garter removal)
Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison (of interest, a guest dedicated this song to his wife who was sporting a black eye (got popped with a broom handle) and asked me to dedicate the song as "Black Eyed Girl"... it was a fun group, so the request was honored!)

To learn more about Ambient DJs' award-winning wedding DJ services, please visit us on the web at !

Gig Log - Jeanny & Darren, Mansion at Voorhees

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of performing at Jeanny and Darren's wedding reception at the Mansion at Voorhees.  The couple were married onsite in pleasant June weather conditions.  Cocktail hour followed immediately thereafter in the atrium attached to the Crystal Vanderbilt Ballroom, where guests enjoyed a delicious spread of food selections.   

I served as both DJ and Emcee, and brought in the bridal party to Katrina & the Waves' upbeat "Walking on Sunshine.  Darren and Jeanny then enjoyed their first dance to Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are."  The bride then danced to her father with "Stealing Cinderella" by Chuck Wicks, followed by the groom dancing with his mother to the Beatles' "In My Life." I took extra care not to confuse the groom's first name "Darren" with his brothers' "Derek" and "Drew"!

With numerous food courses (soup, salad, intermezzo, entree), the guests were too busy eating to hit the dancefloor until after dinner!  However, the dancing kicked in hard after dinner, with the newlyweds' friends and colleagues in particular having a blast dancing to a variety of modern fare and dance classics!  The bride and groom also spent a fair amount of time on the dancefloor, attracting additional dancers.  The final track of the evening was Journey's "Don't Stop Believing."

The service at the Mansion at Voorhees was friendly and efficient, with a highly experienced staff.  Photographer Adrienne Ingram from Element Photography ( and Videographer Chris Ingram from New Legends Videography ( were friendly and easy to work with.

Jeanny and Darren exchange vows
Ambient DJs' Upscale DJ Booth
The Happy Couple!
Dance Floor Fun Late in the Evening!
Key Tracks:
Cupid Shuffle - Cupid
Party in the U.S.A. - Miley Cyrus
Hey Ya!  - Outkast
Alcohol - Brad Paisley
We No Speak Americano - Yolanda f. DCup
Don't Wanna Go Home - Jason Derulo

To learn more about our wedding DJ services, please visit us on the web at

Preferred Partner Profile - Live Music Consulting (LMC)

Brides and event planners seeking live music options for their celebrations now have a valuable tool at their disposal - a company called Live Music Consulting (LMC).  Founder and lead consultant, Dan Wions, is an accomplished French Hornist and cocktail pianist.  Based in Central New Jersey, LMC provides consulting services on a national and international basis.

LMC Owner and Lead Consultant Dan Wions
As per their website:

Live Music Consulting exists to promote the uplifting, enriching, and inspiring effects of quality live music. LMC acts as the liaison between appreciative patrons and the most talented musicians in their area. Through this service, we aim to preserve the sensitivity, dynamics, and spontaneity embodied by the art of live performance. Finding the right musician doesn’t get any easier and best of all it is absolutely free.

In other words, a client or event planner can receive expert advice and recommendations at no charge!  In the LMC business model, a very reasonable commission is paid from the musician to LMC if the end-client books the event.

Whether seeking an awesome wedding band, a jazz trio for cocktail hour, a string quartet for a wedding ceremony or something more exotic like a Swiss Alpenhorn player, LMC can guide you to appropriate entertainment!

Live Music Consulting also offers integrated live music-DJ combinations.  Clients can have the best of both worlds using alternating DJ and live musician sets; or, in some cases, the DJ and musician perform together!  Ambient DJ Service is proud to be on LMC's roster of performers!  

To learn more about Live Music Consulting, visit their website at  or follow them on Facebook at

Story Regarding the Late Salsa Queen, Celia Cruz

This past Sunday, while providing musical entertainment at a birthday party in Cresskill, NJ, something unusual happened.  First, I don't typically ask what clients do for a living.  Of course I'm curious, as many of our northern NJ clients in particular seem to be very well off!

Late in the afternoon, I decided to play a Latin set.  I led with Celia Cruz's "La Vida Es Un Carnaval," one of my favorite salsa tracks.  The father sprung to life and was clearly happy to hear the song.  Later, he stopped by the DJ table and shared the information that he was Celia Cruz's personal physician during her final years.  He then translated some of the Spanish lyrics into English.... "Ay, there's no need to cry, because life is a carnival, It's more beautiful to live singing. Oh, Ay, there's no need to cry, For life is a carnival, And your pains go away by singing.

Thanks Dr. Manny for sharing that wonderful story, and this song is dedicated to you!

To learn more about continuing Celia Cruz's mission, visit the Celia Cruz Foundation at 

For a list of  Celia's hottest salsa tracks, visit

Friday, June 24, 2011

Photos from the Field - June 2011

The month of June for a mobile DJ is the equivalent of tax season for an accountant!  Accordingly, our blog activity has diminished this past month.  However, I'm taking a moment to post a few cool photos from the field!

DJ Greg Nice poses with a happy Kim and Shane at the Smithville Inn
Dropping in with DJ Greg Nice at his recent set at Eve Ultra Lounge
The Wow Factor of an Intelligent Lighting Show
Matt and Wendy take their vows waterside on LBI
House Party - DJ Gregg towards the end of 8 hour continuous dance set!
Lots of Elementary School Sendoff Parties this June... keep em' busy with hula hoops!
Our friend, event planner, Heather Sconza, from All the Rave Events, scooping ice cream at a charity event benefiting Wounded Warriors (
Yesenia and her Entourage, after a high energy Sweet 16 Dance Party!
Our DJ Gregg posing with "Justin Bieber" from Beauty & the Beast

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thoughts on Turning 40, and a "Feel Good 40" Playlist

Today I celebrate my milestone 40th birthday.  I am only mildly sentimental - yet thought that I would share a few thoughts and memories on this special day.  And of course, I have listed some tracks for my birthday mix CD!
Celebrating 40 years of Pleasure and Pain at a Surprise Birthday Party!
On a daily and weekly basis, the wheels of progress grind slowly.  Yet looking back, I accomplished a great deal in my twenties, as well as in my thirties.  Now at forty, I realize that fifty is closer than 21 and that I'm starting to get old.  Darn it! I confess that I recently spotted a few gray hairs on various parts of my body, and that some of the hair on my head is simply vanishing!

My twenties were a time of rapid professional development in the arena of high finance.  I traveled the world on Merrill Lynch's dime and had the opportunity to study in Japan and work in the Philippines as a stock jockey.  These were prosperous and adventurous times.

In my thirties, I began paying less importance to the corporate life, and built a family with my wife Charlotte.  The birth of my sons Zachary and Maxwell were two of the best days of my life.  Their innocence, energy and enthusiasm have re-awakened these same qualities in me.

In my early thirties, I was confronted with a major and life-threatening health challenge.  I was not certain that I would see 35 years old, let alone 40.  I am grateful to God and a skilled and caring medical staff at NYU for getting me over this hurdle.

In my thirties, I also began following my true passion of music, at first DJ'ing parties as a hobby, and later launching Ambient DJ Service as a professional mobile DJ service.  Little did I know at the time that my services would grow to be in high demand, stoked by a combination of passion, some talent and hard work. In 2007, I began expanding the business from a single operator (me) to include other music mixologists such as DJ Iron Mike Bacon, DJ Spinz, DJ Nadine and the flamboyant DJ Greg Nice.

In late 2009, I escaped the shackles of corporate America and have since been engaged as an entrepreneur in the fields of DJ entertainment and business brokerage.  In a landscape of 9%-10% unemployment in America and many families struggling, my business ventures are performing well.  Long-term success is not assured, and I must continue to work hard to grab my slice of the American dream while avoiding the potential pitfalls. 

On this momentous day - I'd like to give some shout-outs, to those who have inspired, encouraged and outright helped me:  my mom and dad, my wife, my brother Corey, my sister Heidi, my Grandma Dot (Rest in Peace), my extended family, Dr. Russell Berman, Dr. Anna Pavlick, Ernie Watts (my first boss at Merrill who gave this rookie a shot), Anthony Tan (who encouraged me to go international), to my long-term friends Gregg W. and Mike Z., to DJ Spinz, to DJ Iron Mike, to DJ Struggler, to DJ Greg Nice, to all of my Ambient DJ staff past and present, to the NJDJN for inspiration, to DJ Times Magazine for their inspiration and support, to Steve Rosen at Sunbelt for his encouragement and support.  In the words of R.E.M., "it's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine."  Well forty isn't the end of the world, and I feel fine... very fine!

To all of the corporate back biters who tried to sabotage me (no names mentioned), I am blowing a giant raspberry your way! 

Here's a short list of victorious tracks to commemorate this special day!  I'm not much of a lyrics person, and selected them based on how the songs make me feel. Thanks to everybody who took the time to wish me happy birthday in-person or by Facebook message.  It means a lot!

DJ Jagged's Feel Good 40 List

1) Good Life - Inner City (dance)
2) Big Fun - Inner City (dance)
3) Love is The Answer - Cerrone vs Liquid Liquid (dance)
4) Last Night a DJ Saved My Life - Indeep (funky party jam)
5) Have a Cigar - Pink Floyd (rock)
6) What I Got - Sublime (reggae/ska)
7) Roadhouse Blues - The Doors (rock)
8) Don't Want to Go Home - Jason DeRulo (dance)
9) Go DJ (Disco Fries RMX) - Clinton Sparks (dance)
10) Party Rock - LMFAO (dance)
11) Thirty Something - Jay-Z (hip hop)
12) Grove Street Party - Waka Flocka Flame (hip hop)
13) No Hands - Waka Flocka Flame (hip hop)
14) Roc Boys - Jay-Z (hip hop)
15) Aston Martin Music - Rick Ross (hip hop)
16) Fantastic Voyage - Coolio (party jam)
17) White Lines - Grandmaster Flash (old skool)
18) Planet Rock - Afrika Bambataa (old skool)
19) Kiss on My List - Hall & Oates (80s)
20) Need You Tonight - INXS (80s)
21) What is Love - Haddaway (90s)
22) More Today Than Yesterday - Spiral Starecase (60s pop)
23) Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now - McFadden & Whitehead (R&B)
24) Carbonated - Mt. Kimbi (dubstep)
25) Stereo Love - Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina (house)
26) Coma Cat - Tensnake (house)
27) Hello - Martin Solveig w/Dragonette (dance)
28) Enlightenment - Francois K. (house)
29) Electric Feel - MGMT (alternative)
30) I Can't Help It - Michael Jackson (disco)
31) The Way You Make Me Feel - Michael Jackson (disco)
32) Don't Look Any Further - Dennis Edwards (RNB)
33) Jammin' - Bob Marley (reggae)
34) Happy Birthday - Stevie Wonder (Motown)
35) Knock on Wood - Eddie Floyd (funk)
36) I Get Lifted - K.C. and the Sunshine Band (disco)
37)  That's The Way I Like It - K.C. and the Sunshine Band (disco)
38) Freedom 90 - George Michael (dance)
39) The Best is Yet to Come - Frank Sinatra (crooners)
40) Forever Young - Alphaville (80s)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Our Preferred Vendors List - 2011

During the course of our work, we occasionally encounter exceptional vendors.  To maximize the success of your event, consider engaging any of these professionals.  They are passionate about their crafts, and will do an outstanding job!


All the Rave Events by Heather - (Heather Sconza)

Natalie Diener Weddings and Events - (Natalie Diener)

As You Wish Weddings and Events - (Nicole Montenat)

Above and Beyond Party Planning - (Adele Leonard)


Joseph K. Brown Photography - (Joseph Brown)

Al Ojeda Photography - (Ida Ochoteco)

Michelle Jonne Photography - (Michelle Jonne)

Kyo Morishima Photography - (Kyo Morishima)

JPG Photography - (Joseph Gidjunis) (Philadelphia)

Wendy G. Photography - (Wendy Johnson) (New York City)


Envisioned Video - (Len LaPenna) (Philadelphia/Central NJ)

Parasol Video Productions - (Tara Schott) (Central NJ)

Celeste Studios - (Janice Celeste) (Northern NJ/NY)


Eggsotic Events - (Egils Matisse)


Sweet Booths (photo and videobooth), (Anna Wang)


A-1 Limousine - (Joshua Turchin)

Action Limousine - (John Garrabrant)


GreatLooks4Less Salon - (Denise Taylor)


A Cake Dream - (Sabrina Kuratana)

Fine Art of Cakes - (Elena Shumskaya)


Creative Custom Card Boxes - (Marni Gold)

Favors by Dorinda - (Dorinda Duclos)

Total Party - (Dori Pomerantz)


Celia Milton (Wedding Minister/Officiant) -

Weddings on Wheels - (Rvd. Debbie Kalinowski)

Reverend April Beer -


Live Music Consulting - (Dan Wions)

Elegant Moods (piano and guitar) - (Charlie Frantz)

St. Peters Brass (trumpets, brass quartets/quintets) - (John Luckenbill)

Shrewsbury Strings - (Tony Gizzi)

John Donovan (DCI World Champion, Party Percussionist) - (John Donovan)

Tony Soprano impersonator (!) - (Donald Metzger)


Unique Invitations - (Deborah Burman Carasso)


Monday Morning Flowers - (Georgianne Vinicombe)

Narcissus Florals - (Kenneth Malagiere)


R. Mario Fine Clothing - (Robert Conte) (mens formalwear)

Thurin Atelier - (Jean-Ralph) (wedding dresses)


Olde York Country Club - (Tom Pender)

The Nassau Inn - (Marianne Bilski)

The Inn at Lambertville Station - (Marielle Wolf)

The Grounds for Sculpture - (Roxanne Klett)

The Windsor Ballroom - (Tara DiBianca)

The Stone House at Stirling Ridge - (Rebecca Ciraco)


Main Street Caterers - (Teri Lands)

Feastivities Events - (Meryl Snow)


Images by Cheryl (Boudoir Photo Shoots/Albums) - (Cheryl)


Rane's Exclusively Yours Dental (cosmetic dentistry, Plainsboro, NJ) -

Dr. Sandra Gatt (plastic surgeon based in Central NJ), p 732.274.1500


Jennifer Reid   jenreid.09 at gmail dot com


Michael Amoroso   mamoroso at gmail dot com