Exploration #8 was an inspiring day, celebrated with well known DJ-John Landry aka DJ Jon Spade!
John has been around music his whole life. Starting at an early age, singing in the choir, his vocal talents landed him a spot in the prestigious St. Michael’s Choir School in Toronto where he studied voice and piano with the Toronto Conservatory of Music.
Fast forward a few years — Jon had intended pursuing an acting and stage career, having performed in theater and music productions in the early 80’s. But that was short lived once he stepped behind the DJ set up at a now long forgotten roller rink at the height of the rollerskating fad.
“It happened quite by accident. I used to bug the DJ all the time, not to make requests but to know what it was he was playing…” This of course was well before the advent of the internet and music recognition software like Shazam. “So, one night that DJ essentially said” “” Listen, since you like music so much, you should step up here and play some”” and the rest was history.
That DJ would spend about 10 minutes showing Jon how the system worked, pointed to the big stack of vinyl on the counter and left him to his own devices. It wasn’t pretty — those first moments in his career but as a quick study, he would soon be blending music together effortlessly.
-Taken from John’s website, read more here
John shared his musical journey with us which provoked several fabulous questions. One of the most moving moments of Awakening Passions occurred…When John was asked to explain the importance of his passion and music in his life, he fell quiet…In that moment, as his eyes became misty, we were able to see how important music is to John. He spoke from heart about the importance of following your passion, even when others try to steer you away or suggest it might not be worth the investment, he talked about how music connects him to people and we saw in this moment how lucky he is-to live his life full of love and passion.
After our many questions, John got us up and moving. In seconds, our classroom transformed into a dance floor!
Throughout the remainder of of our time, John worked with small groups and coached us on some of his equipment. We all got to lay down some tracks and as M put it “let the beats drop!”
Before our day ended, word got around that John had a few tricks up his sleeve….without much prompting, we cleared the dance floor and he showcased us his dance skills! He even gave us a quick lesson, it was a pretty good way to end our time together.
After one final dance party, we thanked John and ended with a final group picture. It was a FANTASTIC day, full of so much love, laughter, beats and killer dance moves.