Another MultiCultural Wedding: DJ for Filipino-Italian Wedding

One of the joys of living and performing in the NYC/NJ/Philly Region is the opportunity to work as a professional DJ with Multicultural Weddings. I received a request for a quote from a young lady whose sister is getting married in November. It is a small wedding at View Of The Hudson in Piermont, NY.  She has the honor of both being her sister and Maid of Honor and is required to find and secure a professional DJ for her sister’s wedding.  We exchanged several emails before having a fun and informative conversation via the phone.


It turns out she is from a Filipino family and her sister’s fiancé is Italian. My Mom’s family is Italian and I grew up eating mostly Italian food from an excellent cook that has spoiled me for life.


I love to DJ Multi-Cultural Weddings. They are so much fun and always have a few interesting twists to add spice and variety to any event.  This one should be no exception. I too am from a Multi-Cultural family and it provided some unique and peculiar traditions when both sides of the family gathered together. I know many professional DJs flinch when presented with cultures they are not originally from; I do not understand this. I look forward to these events and the new experiences they offer. In the past year I have performed at about ten weddings with Brides and Grooms of different races, cultures or continents. I learn something new at every one of them and meet great people. Glad I am here in New Jersey where this kind of wedding is commonplace.


DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & NY DJ

Music, Dance and Culture As A Professional DJ

It does not happen often, but every now and then I have to really dig into my experience as a professional DJ to figure out how to make things work at an event.  Most recently, it was due to some cultural differences that I did not take into account and fortunately was helped by some of the guests to understand and find an effective solution.

Even though I have lived and traveled through a large section of Eastern and Central Asia, I still view how an event is supposed to go in the USA from an American perspective. This is not necessarily a bad thing but can be a blind-spot when not taking into account cultural differences. If I was in South Korea or Uzbekistan, I would not think twice about ASSUMING the way we do it here is the way it is done there. But being here in the USA, my vision is not as wide and expansive at times since it is my home.  I ASSUMED that the order of events that are typical for an American social event were the same everywhere, big mistake. I know better. I ASSUMED that there is some time before dinner for people to mingle and settle, dinner, cake/coffee/tea and then everybody is ready to let go and dance till they are cleaning the tables and folding chairs. This is not the case everywhere.

The event I was providing professional DJ services for was a high school graduation party for an American Punjabi family. The event was at an Indian Restaurant and they followed Indian traditional order of social events.  The dancing for events is between the appetizers and the main meal, not after the main meal. I did not know this, I do now!

Again, if not for the willing guests who showed me the way, I am afraid the party would not have been the success it was. I am grateful they took the time to explain to me how this works and what to do. They even shared with me what music to play when!

The lesson learned for me is an old lesson relived: Don’t make ASSUMPTIONS, especially with cultural differences.


DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & NY DJ 

Good DJs Love Diversity

On Friday night I had another professional DJ gig at Buskers in Hoboken. I like being there since the crowd is fun and friendly. As a professional DJ, the part that I like best is the diversity of requests and the opportunity to play music from all over the musical spectrum, like all good DJs.


When does a professional DJ get to play Hall & Oats, The White Stripes, The Cure, Madonna, Britney Spears, Chumawumba, Kanye West, Cee Lo Green, Black Eyed Peas, Frank Sinatra and of course Rihanna?


I appreciate diversity of music, people, foods and lifestyles. This is one of the benefits of being  New York and New Jersey professional DJ. We get to play all kinds of music if we are willing to step outside of the norm and be open to life and all the great talented artists we have!  I think New York and New Jersey professional DJs are fortunate to have such diverse people at most gigs. I can not imagine what it would be like to only listen to or play one style of music all the time. Glad I do not have to find out:)




DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & NY DJ

Professional DJs Moving Music Beyond Borders

There was a young man named Chris recording some of his most recent piano compositions in our studio this morning. I was and still am blown away by his force and grace at the keyboard. He reminded me in some ways of George Winston in his ability to transition from and to forceful, very intense and soft, gentle caresses of the keys seamlessly. An exceptional Professional DJ can create bridges between cultures through music. This is what a Multicultural DJ does.

One of the great things that music can offer us is a means to break and go beyond borders and limitations that are created individually or socially.  I think about when I was a kid. My family was not the most culturally aware or respectful but when it came to music, there were no barriers or prejudices. At night my parents could be listening to Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole, Beethoven, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Fiddler on the Roof, Rossini’s William Tell Overture (which I thought was The Lone Ranger theme), Santana and Hugh Masekela.

For me, it was The Beatles, Motown, Carole King, Cat Stevens, Beach Boys, Santana, Steppenwolf, Simon and Garfunkel, Elton John, Sly and The Family Stone, Bill Withers, Jimi Hendrix and The Byrds. I am sure there were others but those were the ones that owned my turntable during my early childhood. Of course, that all changed when I reached my teens.

Today music from Brooklyn, Jersey, LA, Texas, Mali, Mexico, Cuba, Turkey, Spain, Korea, Japan, Tibet, Indonesia, India, Philly, Detroit, UK, Italia, The Middle East, Africa in general, Jamaica, Hawaii, Ireland are all regular guests in my bedroom these days with other ‘friends’ visiting from time to time.

Music can do this. It is amazing to me how easy and painlessly music can expand our vision of what is possible between people, cultures and sound.  Turn on your radio and briefly flip through several different stations that you do not regularly listen to and enjoy the diversity and creativity that you will experience. Music can do that and more.


DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & NY DJ