JESSE DE LA PEÑA (DJ, Host, Radio Producer, Event Promoter, Music Producer, Tastemaker & Music Curator)
A name synonymous with Chicago’s music scene for over 30 years. Known for pushing musical boundaries and taking his audience on a journey. Spinning records since 1985, his roots can be traced to Chicago’s early B-Boy / Hip Hop scene (The Break-Dancing and Graffiti Art movement). Jesse helped lay the foundation for Chicago’s vibrant Hip-Hop scene through his weekly Hip Hop Club night “The Blue Groove Lounge” 1994-2003. The event showcased both national and local performers and DJs weekly. One of the nation’s longest running Hip Hop events. You just never knew who you might see hanging out or performing.
Seamlessly bridging different musical genres, fusing Jazz, Funk, Soul, Reggae, Hip Hop, Rock, New Wave, Disco, House, Latin, World and Classic Dance music into a unique style of his own.
In the early 90’s Jesse started experimenting with various local musicians while working at Chicago’s Smart Bar, These improvised Jam Sessions grew into the Grammy nominated band: “Liquid Soul”, a ten-piece, Acid Jazz ensemble co founded by Jesse and guitarist Tommy Kline. The group enjoyed success both locally and at the national level. Liquid Soul was invited to play the Inaugural Parade and 21st Century Ball during the 53rd Presidential Inauguration.
Nominated “Best Club DJ” by various Chicago publications: The Chicago Sun Times, Chicago Tribune, New City, UR Chicago, the Reader and City Search.
Through New York’s Giant Step and the Groove Academy, JESSE has appeared at New York Clubs: Irving Plaza, S.O.B., Tramps, Wetlands, the Supper Club and various parties along with N.Y. favorites: DJ Spinna, Jazzy Nice, DJ Smash, Bobitto, Tony Touch & Rich Medina. He has also been a feature guest DJ at various LA parties including: Brass, Chocolate Bar & The Do over.
Jesse has been featured in TV commercials and print ads for: McDonald’s (Mc Wake Up Call), Mid West Stereo, Sure Microphone, Gemini Mixers and the Illinois Lottery’s “Players have more fun” campaign. Also featured in Independent film: “Sketches”.
Jesse is the host and producer of Vocalo Radio 91.1fm’s “5 O’Clock Mix” and the “Friday Night DJ Series”. He’s the founder of the “Quest 4 The Best” DJ Competition. The winners were selected to be members of “Vocalo DJ Collective” made up of some of the country’s top DJs & Turntablists. He also created the “Know Chicago” music series and curates special music programming that highlights artists that are meaningful to the Urban Alternative experience. Vocalo Radio is the sister station of WBEZ 91.5fm (Chicago’s NPR Affiliate) Chicago Public Media
A Tribe Called Quest, Sting (Madison Square Garden), Arrested Development, Beatnuts, Ben Harper, Black Sheep, Bon Jovi, Bootsy Collins, Maceo Parker, Ronnie Jordan, Chaka Kahn, Charlie Hunter Trio, Common, Goo Goo Dolls, Grand Master Flash, James Brown, Jamiroquai, Jennifer Lopez, John Legend, Lee Quinones, Les Nubians, Life House, Liz Fair, Massive Attack, Mix Master Mike, Mos Def, Pharcyde, Roy Ayers, Schooly D, Soul Coughing, Sugar Hill Gang, Talib Kweli, Three Doors Down, Tina Marie, WAR, Wyclef Jean & more.
Contact Jesse at: email@example.com