After ten years of friendship and three years of working side-by-side, disc jockeys Mark Senior Jr. and Josh Venditti are launching their own entertainment business, with a goal of providing better services to their clients and their colleagues.
The two plan May 1 to introduce JAM Event DJs, a wedding and event entertainment service based in the city that will book and source local DJs to perform at functions and afford, they believe, a higher level of peace of mind to their customers.
With nearly 30 years of collective industry experience, Senior and Venditti felt it was time to combine their talents and build a business that would allow them to further their careers.
“There are a million DJs nowadays focused on making a quick buck, not [on] the customer, where they will back out. We provide a contract, and have additional team members to guarantee your event is covered,” Senior said.
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“We’re here to provide quality service to people from people that care about what they’re doing and not just trying to take customers’ money,” Venditti said.
They got the idea to form this DJ conglomerate from working for a company in Plymouth. They saw how well they did on the South Shore and wanted to replicate that. Given their expansive list of contacts in Worcester, Senior and Venditti see a path to success here.
Senior added, “Due to demand, we decided to team up because it makes our weddings and larger events run smoothly, and is an insurance that your DJ is booked.”
For the past three years, the pair has booked weddings and other events together as a means of expanding their customer base and earning extra income even when one of them couldn’t work.
With the start of this partnership (JAM= Josh and Mark), Senior and Venditti will we corralling other area DJs — including Eric “Dee J E-Class” Gourene, Matt “DJ Matty J” Jacobs, and Robert “DJ Bobby J” Jachimczyk — to expand their reach through the city and Worcester County.
“We’re going to have a lot of guys working with us and we’re going to try to get them into as many places and at as many functions as possible in the area,” Senior said.
Steve Minor, aka “DJ Blackout,” said he would not be joining JAM because he likes to find work on his own and keep whatever money he makes to himself.
“They’re friends of mine,” Minor said. “I respect what they do, but I don’t want to split money with anyone else. Any event that I do, I set my own prices accordingly and I don’t have to split it with anyone.”
In addition to providing DJ services, the company plans to offer photo booths and uplighting services. As part of their booking services, for which Senior will be the frontman, the firm will work with local vendors to provide photography, event planning, flowers, cakes and formalwear.
Venditti said he and Senior are also skilled at editing custom videos for events.
“I think that’s something that a lot of guys don’t have that we do have. Some guys have plenty of music and videos. Not too many people have the ability to have the videos, photo booths and lighting,” Venditti said.
Most DJs are — sort of essentially — one-man bands. Indeed, Minor concurs not many have access to that type of equipment.
“I’m assuming it’s not cheap, but it’s a package deal. For a guy like me that doesn’t have the uplighting and the photo booth, I have to direct my clients to other businesses that can offer them.
“When you’re charging for the DJ at a certain price, it could get expensive bringing these other things on. When there’s one company that has all of this stuff, it doesn’t add so much cost,” Minor said.
JAM’s plan is to focus more on weddings, and corporate and school functions, but won’t pass up on opportunities to play to smaller crowds at bars and clubs.
“I like going to parties and seeing the kids dancing with their grandparents,” Venditti said. “We’re not going to say no to gigs, but I would rather do weddings, 50th birthday parties, and events like that.
With Senior assuming a more administrative role in addition to applying his turntable talents, Venditti will be the primary DJ for large functions and would be responsible for setting up equipment and handling the music at events.
Venditti, known as “DJ Soup,” is from Leicester and a graduate of Worcester Technical High School. “We want to provide quality work for people and a level of professionalism that you would only get from DJs with years of experience.”
He said he got started in the DJ business 15 years ago when he would DJ small parties for his friends.
“The girls would all be yelling at me for not playing enough girly songs and the guys would be asking for Beastie Boys and Korn, so I had to learn to keep everyone happy,” Venditti said.
Senior, 32, a Burncoat Senior High School graduate, goes by the name of “DJ M” when performing.
Senior credits Conte Sound of Worcester for showing him the ropes of the entertainment business. Senior and his brother Jay started in the business working for Conte Sound, which Senior holds in high regard.
“We were looking for something out in this area. We wanted our own version of what Festive Events offers on the South Shore. We found the need to establish our company in Worcester, where we have provided music for countless events, and bars and nightclubs during the week,” Senior said.
JAM’s wedding packages start at $1,000. Photo booth pricing starts at $650, and uplighting services start at $400. A four-hour package that includes a DJ, photo booth, uplighting and monogram is listed at $2,000.
More than their price points, though, the duo believe the organization of a group of like-minded entertainers (who no longer have to worry about booking their own gigs or having prime photo-booth contacts) will be a powerful lure for customers and coworkers alike.
JAM said it has already booked former NFL linebacker and Shrewsbury high school standout Shawn Loiseau’s wedding at Mechanics Hall in July.
Venditti said of JAM, “There will be a level of professionalism that you would only get from years of doing this.”