Meet Classic Collective DJs!
With over 20 years of experience, this group of rad DJs will really keep your feet moving. Classic Collective DJs loves music as much as we do, and we had a great time jamming to their beats at our Baltimore vendor social. Their music killed it on the dance floor and went perfectly with our Fresh-Prince inspired theme. Keep reading to find out more about this awesome team!
When did you decide you wanted to open your own company?
The love of music drove us to the natural progression of wanting to play music for others. I knew when I went to a dance in high school and started talking to the DJ (who ended up being my mailman). I got the idea to start my business.
How did you come up with the name of your business?
Back in the day when smooth Jazz and Kenny G’s music was the norm for DJs to play at weddings during cocktails and dinner, I was playing classic artists like Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Michael Buble, Sade, Marvin Gaye, Van Morrison, Barry White instead of ‘filler music’. The name came from that but we’re finding it really doesn’t do justice to the breadth of knowledge we have on all types of music. We can be playing deep house music in a club on a Friday night, play a top 40 Sweet 16 party on Saturday afternoon and a swanky wedding that evening… and we’re able to specifically deliver the perfect music for each event. Few other DJs have the experience and knowledge of so many genres of music. We re-branded recently from Classic DJs to Classic Collective DJs to reflect our expansion and in another year we will simply be known as The Collective DJs.
Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about your business?
I began turning my passion for music into a creative art form over 20 years ago. I played music for my own high school parties, dances, class reunions and then played at clubs, weddings and corporate functions and many other events as I gained more experience. I would recommend this path to anyone else who is looking into becoming a DJ. You can buy all the best dj equipment in the world, but you need to practise using it at actual events. In our case, we are now routinely sought by socialites, audiophiles and other music lovers all over who are looking for a special music format to create a phenomenal impression and make their event buzz.
I personally have played music for celebrities Bruce Willis, Dorothy Hamill, Barry Levinson, Olivia Newton-John, Charlie Sheen, Anna Faris, Josh Charles, Tim Allen, John Waters, Rocker Mark Coyne, 60’s music icons John Sebastian & Donovan, Simpson’s cartoonist Matt Groening, The Orioles and the Ravens, NFL star, Tyrell “T.O.” Owens, Drs. Ben Carson and Patch Adams, Governors Erlich & O’Malley, Baltimore’s Mayors, famed Rock-N-Roll photographer Amalie Rothschild and US Forces Commanding General, Ray Odierno. I was also considered as a fill-in DJ for the “Ellen show” in Hollywood back in 2007. In addition, our team works with many other music lovers every year to plan the perfect music format for their wonderful events. Having played for music loving couples, seasoned audiophiles as well as celebrity events for high profile clients, the theme is constant, we love music and we are very good at what we do. We’ve played an incredibly versatile mix of music at weddings, corporate events, film festivals, clubs, pubs, fashion shows, schools and colleges, The Hard Rock Cafe® as well as Disney’s® Pleasure Island. Our work in the states has taken us as far north as scenic Vermont all the way down to sunny Florida to provide our clients with a passion for many genres of music delivered in an expert and unique format.
Rather than getting into the DJ business to be the big shot and center of attention, we always put the emphasis on great music for our clients rather than on us as performers. We don’t dominate an event with our presence but instead compliment the party with a stellar soundtrack.
Any info on your team you’d like to share?
DJ Leni K.: Leni K has been a professional DJ for over 20 years and has played for thousands of people in that time. In addition to being able to play multiple music genres for pretty much any crowd, Leni’s love of great music allows him to format the precise music for his audience. The end result is a great party that is talked about long after it ends.
Leni is one of only 150 DJ’s in the nation to receive the honor of being invited to provide his input as a weekly Billboard Reporter for their National Dance music chart. He is given new music and reports his expert opinion to the music labels, which in turn contributes to the National Dance music chart. If you’ve heard a great top 40 or Pop dance song, chances are Leni had his hands on it several months before you ever heard it. One of only 3 DJs in Baltimore who played at the dance club voted Best In Baltimore in 2015.
Whether you need Classic artists for a cool, hipster cocktail hour, Disco or Retro favorites to jump start the party or recurrent and new Indie, Pop, R&B or Club hits to get your groove on, Leni has it covered and can create the perfect mix for your event.
DJ Vinny Kuhmeion Schram: Vinny has long been a force with which to be reckoned in his many years (15+) playing every type of music. You’ll not find someone who is more passionate about music, film and life in general. One of just a few DJs who can stake the claim of playing up and down the east coast for tens of thousands and rocking them all with his amazing music. He, along with 2 other DJs in the collective have the honor of playing at the place recently voted the best dance club in Baltimore. Vinny is known for his infections energy when it comes to music and is the consummate professional when he’s working.
When you talk to Vinny, you’ll quickly see his breadth of knowledge of all music and soon realize that he really knows his stuff in terms of the how and why of many genres music. He’s done it all and is ready to wow your guests!
DJ Ryan Middleton: Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, DJ Ryan Middleton has been spinning music since the age of 17. Ryan describes himself as a “”musical junkie.” He began his DJ career by making tapes for his friends. Then during his sophomore year at Towson University, Ryan landed an internship at WXYV in Baltimore, continued to grow his music collection and the rest is history. “I was mixing on the air six days a week for about 4 years”. In 1996 WXYV changed music
formats, and Ryan moved on to WPGC playing live on their weekend mix shows for several years.
DJ Ryan Middleton has played at top clubs in the Baltimore & Washington area and traveled to the west coast to move his crowds. He currently spins at Artful Gourmet Bistro, Club Pulse and at Ruth Chris on Pier V during the summer for 1st Wednesdays
DJ Bill Irwin: Bill was always the guy playing the music on a lengthy road trip or for parties at friends’ houses. He really immersed himself in music dating back to the ’70’s & 80s with his love of retro sounds spanning all genres. He began dabbling as a DJ for his friends after high school and eventually started playing other events such as clubs and private parties. Bill graduated from Towson University with a degree in Mass Communications and a concentration in Radio Broadcasting. He has been a DJ for 16 years and played for 12 years at the iconic Depot club as well as guest spots at the Ottobar and other clubs in Baltimore.
Born and raised in Maryland, Bill understands the dynamics of the area and knows how to move a crowd with his music.
Is there anything you’d like our readers to know about you and your team personally?
We have been described as Professional DJs, Music Experts, Nice Guys, Cool Dads, Animal Lovers, Snappy Dressers, Funny Dudes.
What is your favorite part about what you do?
No doubt, seeing the reaction on the floor from the music we are playing is what drives us. Although we probably know what the crowd reaction will be before we even play the song, since we’ve done it so many times, it never gets old. It’s kind of addictive.
Do you have a favorite story related to your business?
So many. The power of music is formidable. Packed dance floors are the norm for us. When you see crowds of people letting loose and having a great time, it’s magic. For every event we play, we try to work in a few standout songs that punctuate the party and no doubt leaves the guests with great memories tied to that song and event for a long time. Any songs that cause people to ask you what it was, or you see them identifying the song (called ‘trainspotting’) with the music recognition apps, like Shazam on their smartphone, means you’re making an impression and doing something great.
Do you have a favorite type of event?
Any event where people are really enjoying the music. It’s great when people understand that we are not just playing a list of random songs but creating a unique vibe for every event we play. When people get it and appreciate it, that’s a great feeling. The right music, at the right time, at the right volume.
Want to be a Participating Vendor? Click here!