• March Gig Updates and Other Fun Things…

    March isn’t the craziest month gig wise, but I’m keeping busy behind the scenes. I two Saturdays off for family obligations, and one completely free, which is always a nice way to feel human again. Over the course of a year, I probably work 49 out of 52 Saturdays. And speaking of Saturdays, I’ll be back at Brass Union on Saturday 3/24 and Good Life on Saturday 3/31. More on that later.

    Having a lighter gig load gives me a great opportunity to hit the reset button. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to work every single night, but having some time to breathe between gigs helps the sanity level. That’s where I can start digging for new tracks and tackling macro projects, like crate organization or practicing scratches. I also feel a less of an urgency to listen to music for DJ-related purposes. I can just let it flow, rather than scrub to the hook of a track to make sure it stacks up for the dance floor. Naturally, it’s in times like these where I’ll find that gem that I haven’t heard anyone else play around here: one that I can get away with spinning even on the most basic nights and feel warm inside, one that I’ll never get tired of hearing and always know the right time/place to drop it.

    When knocking out a bunch of gigs in a row, there’s always the temptation to fall into familiar routines. After a while you get a good sense of what works in certain situations and have your weapons lined up. Some of the most unfulfilling nights are when I go this route. I’ll even ask myself, “Are you really going to do that again?” as I’m doing the cut. It may work perfectly for the night, but I can feel my brain oozing with frustration for the lack of creativity. That said, if I give those particular cuts a rest, there is always a time weeks, months, or years down the line when it feels fresh again. Song fatigue is a real thing.

    I look forward to a month dedicated to discovery and re-upping my creative energy. I am fortunate to be able to work so much. I realize it’s kind of ridiculous to consider 16 gigs a slow month, but when you love what you do, sometimes the biggest challenge is knowing when to chill out.

    Gig Updates!!! 

    My newest weekly residency has been going strong into its seventh month now. Every Monday at the Milky Way in JP I get the privilege of spinning for dinner service. I set up in a cozy corner and just vibe out for two hours. Usually I’ll freestyle throughout my entire library and try to work on mixing in key. It’s amazing what genres can be connected when mixing harmonically. I do take risks on this night, but I also realize that I’m not the show. I can’t be too flashy or command too much attention because, after all, people are eating their dinner. My goal is to give ’em an experience that appeases the subconscious, and if they want to actively tune in, that’s just a bonus.

    On 3/31, I’ll be back at Fresh Produce,  the legendary last-Saturday celebration of all things hip-hop and reggae at Good Life Bar, soon to turn 12. DJ esq. and I will be going B2B for four hours. He is one of my favorite DJs and a total beast, which is just another reason to practice my cuts this month!




  • Check out Brass Union’s March DJ Schedule

    Any month that has five Fridays and Five Saturdays  is fine by me. Check out the full Brass Union DJ schedule below (curated by your’s truly). I’ll have my shot on the decks on Saturday 3/24. As always there’s never a cover!

  • Check out Brass Union’s February DJ Schedule

    Brass Union is one of my favorite places to DJ and hang, and it’s a honor to be able to curate the DJ schedule. I am proud to say I’ve never once played “Despacito” there. It’s a fun spot because you get a little more leeway to be yourself than in other weekend venues. There’s a still a responsibility to keep it relatable and danceable, but the overall vibe of the place rewards the well-timed risk, whether it’s a ’90s alt-rock chestnut, a classic house record committed to the back of our brains, or a dope Fleetwood Mac remix. Stuff like that would never fly on a Saturday night at most venues, but for some reason it all works in the mix at Brass Union. It’s an amazing feeling to lay some 116 – 120 BPM sweetness on ’em and let it ride for a while without falling off a cliff.

    I’m excited to get some old friends back on the decks this month, and look forward to taking the controls myself on Saturday, February 10. Check out the full schedule below (click on the image to zoom in).

    Brass DJ Poster FEB 18-3



  • February gig updates and other fun things

    Fresh from a week off in Costa Rica, I’m excited to get back to work. February may be a short month, but it’s busy one in the world of DJ J-Wall. In addition to my regular spots – Mondays at the Milky Way, Thursdays at The Druid, & Fridays at Foundry on Elm – I’ll be making the rounds at some of my favorite weekend haunts. Also it’s a busy one for summer planning, mainly booking weddings. If you know someone getting married that needs DJ, holla!

    Here are some of the month’s highlights.

    Saturday, Feb 10 – Brass Union (Union Square, Somerville) 10 PM to 2 AM – Music: Totally open format but danceable. This is where I can be myself and (mostly) get away with it. 

    Sunday, Feb 11 – Galentine’s Brunch at City Tap Boston (Seaport Area, Boston) 11 AM to 3 PM – Music: All female artists! Lots of ’90s and early ’00s vibes. 

    Saturday, Feb 17 – Good Life (Downtown Crossing, Boston) 10 PM to 2 AM with DJ ABD upstairs – Music: Throwbacks, New and Old Hip Hop & Party Jams, Trap, Reggae/Dancehall 

    Saturday, Feb 24 – Aeronaut Brewing Co. (Union Square, Somerville) 8 PM to Midnight – Music: Rock, funk, throwbacks and party jams, pretty much anything is possible. 

    For a full list of gigs be sure to check out my dates page. 

    Also, I’ve set a personal goal to make it to Bikram Yoga in Harvard Square at least 10 times this month. I’ve been practicing regularly since November and have noticed positive results in every aspect of life and work. More on the yoga later (maybe a new blog post?)

    Pura Vida!


  • January Gigs: Fresh Produce at Good Life with Frank White

    I’m excited to swing back through Good Life Bar on Saturday 1/27 to spin at Fresh Produce. Me and the godfather himself DJ Frank White will be taking you through all eras of hip-hop, reggae, and trap downstairs, while DJs Knife and Malcom X will be doing their thang upstairs. Fresh Produce is one of my favorite parties to spin in the city and Frank White is one of my favorite DJs to see … so this one should be a lethal combo.

    Saturday, January 27 – 10 PM to 2 AM 

    GOOD LIFE, 28 Kingston St, Boston, MA

    Fresh Produce with DJs Malcom X, Knife, Frank White, and J-Wall 



  • Here’s Brass Union’s January DJ Schedule

    We are kicking off 2018 right at Brass Union. Month after month I love seeing all these names on one poster. There are so many different styles and generations represented. It goes to show that there is more than one way to get the job done effectively. I am excited to be doing not one, but two Saturdays this month (1/6 and 1/20). My sets at Brass are diverse as it gets without losing the dance-floor. I’ll spin everything from The Killers to Eminem, Drake to Ace of Base, Daft Punk to Third Eye Blind …. you get the picture. 

    Check out the full schedule below. As always there’s never a cover.


    Brass DJ Poster JAN 18-2

  • Check out J-Wall’s New Year’s Eve Plans

    The New Year’s holiday is always a big one for us working DJs. I’ve been lucky to have the opportunity to keep it low-key and spin at a spot that feels just like home, The Druid Pub. This will be my fourth New Year’s Eve party there. We do it a little different than the typical Thursday set-up, too. First they rip every table and chair out at the start of the night. And then to maximize the size of the dance floor (and to ensure the safety of my gear), I set up shop in the front window area. It’s an awesome perspective because I literally can see every single person who walks through the door.

    Usually for big nights at The Druid, the classic party jams fare well. Expect a lot of hip-hop throwbacks, nu and vintage disco, ’80s jams, and some indie rock anthems. After midnight anything is possible. Last year I did a classic house set, something I don’t always get a chance to do, and it went over nicely.

    The 12/31 Druid hit is sandwiched nicely between a couple of sure shots. On Saturday 12/30, DJ ABD and myself will be downstairs at Good Life, and then for your New Year’s Day hangover needs, I’ll be spinning a Onesie Brunch at City Tap in the Seaport area. I totally just snagged a Narwhal onesie from Amazon for that gig. It might get wild. 

    Check out my full New Year’s weekend schedule below and click through for more info.

    Saturday 12/30/17 – Downstairs at Good Life (with DJ ABD) – 10 PM to 2 AM 

    Sunday 12/31/17 – New Year’s Eve Party at The Druid Pub – 10 PM to 2 AM – $5 cover

    Monday 1/1/18 – Onesie Brunch at City Tap Boston – 11 AM to 3 PM 

    Have a safe and happy holiday!






  • Check out Brass Union’s December DJ Schedule

    I always enjoy putting together the monthly schedule for Brass Union. It’s a trip to see so many talented names on one poster. I’d like to give a special shout to DJ Axel Foley, who’ll be back on Saturday 12/30. Foley was the first ever DJ to spin at Brass and has been a huge influence of mine over the years. Seeing him spin with the band Dub Apocalypse years ago made me want to be a DJ. Check out the full schedule below. I’ll be there on Saturday 12/23!

    Brass DJ Poster DEC 17-2

  • The #theworkingDJ blog: Volume 1.0

    It’s been almost a year and a half since I left my bar-managing job and went after the DJ thing full time.  I am happy to report that I am still here, working at something I love everyday, and business is growing. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to work with awesome bar owners, corporate clients, brides and grooms, and general music lovers in Boston who keep me consistently busy. It helps to have a website, but word of mouth is still king. Chances are you or someone you know needs a DJ for an event … so don’t forget about your boy DJ J-Wall! 

    I am also thankful that the DJ community in Boston is rich with generous and talented professionals willing to discuss trade secrets, share music/equipment, and even trade gigs.  In this field, your coworkers are technically your competitors. I gravitate to the ones who see it as a collective effort. Together we can all raise the bar.

    This has been a landmark year for me as a DJ. I’ve spun parties in new venues I could never imagine playing (Royale, Paradise Rock Club, City Hall Plaza) and have shared nights with DJs I idolize. I also feel like my musical IQ is rising and I’m more confident about bringing new genres into the mix. I’ll admit that I used to hate on some of the stuff I spin now, but once I got to see  how these tracks work for a dance floor I was hooked. I’d like to think I can find redeeming qualities in even some of the most basic of genres. At the core, to me,  it always needs to be funky and interesting to make the cut, and if the original sucks, you never know: there might just be a dope remix out there.

    All of this makes me want to double down in 2018. I am always striving to get better, both as a DJ and as a business owner. And one of my biggest goals is to start a more in-depth dialogue with you. There are so many things that go into being a working DJ. Surprisingly, a lot of those are tedious tasks that aren’t glamorous at all, but the payoff is what makes it worth it. My job is to interact with a crowd, but rarely do I get to talk about what goes into it. A lot of DJs will say the DJ booth is one of the loneliest places in the room (please don’t take that as an invite to come up and request “Despacito” or whatever pop song it is you’ve heard 15 times already that day). The silence after gigs is when a lot of thinking happens, good and bad. I am looking forward to using this blog to cultivate some of those thoughts.

    In a given week, I may DJ in front of a crowd for only 15 to 20 hours total, but so much more happens outside that window to make those hours as effective I can. Time spent practicing goes just as far as following the charts, digging for cool edits, marking cue points and loops, checking out new venues and nights, and building new business. The thought that people are giving me the power to curate the vibe of their businesses or special events is something I take seriously. 

    Music is always around me, so there’s really no turning off my working brain. My favorite DJs all tell a story when they perform. And my favorite records to play are the ones with which I associate a vivid memory. There are so many to pull from, too. Hearing that Fleetwood Mac live record on the way home from the Cape in the back of my parents’ car, for instance, all salty from hours in ocean, or that Janet cassette I “borrowed” from my sister when she was at dance class (the same one I’d never admit to liking when my hockey friends were around), or Get Rich or Die Trying on repeat through the rattle of Pontiac factory speakers on the my first day driving solo with my license. When I play records for people, my only hope is it sparks similar memories for them. – JW

    Stay tuned for more from The Working DJ! 

  • Check out Brass Union’s November DJ Schedule

    I always love the diversity in the DJ schedule at Brass Union. You have everything from all-vinyl soul & funk nights to open format hip-hop, party jams, and indie dance nights. There’s a lot going on week to week, yet somehow it all works, which is a testament to the open-minded clientele in Somerville.

    I am excited to welcome back DJ Leah V (11/4) and DJ Evaredy (11/18) on proper weekend nights. Also DJ Big Bear (CCLCTV Boston a.k.a. the folks behind The Wave) will making his Thursday debut on 11/9. And don’t forget, your’s truly will be on the decks on Saturday, November 11. Check out the full schedule below.

    Brass Union DJ Nov 17