Go beyond the preferred vendors list on the Cornucopia Cruise Line


Hurricane Productions transformed the Cornucopia Cruise Line in Perth Amboy and Hoboken to a nightclub destination for Sweet 16s in NJ.

Club-style lighting, custom graphics, 'Name in Lights,' and other distinct entertainment features brought the NJ-based cruise line to life with a dinner cruise around NJ and NY harbors.

Aside from incredible food and service, the Cornucopia provided a unique setting for a Sweet 16s.

But you need to go beyond the Cornucopia's 'preferred vendor list' to find a DJ entertainment company like Hurricane Productions.

Hurricane does not mass produce its product. Instead, the company specializes in customizing Sweet 16s and Weddings for its clients.

Some clientele associate cruise lines in NJ with cheesy entertainment and the 'Chicken Dance.' Hurricane Productions offers young professionals with entertainment experience to help create an environment based on your musical preference.

Working on a cruise ship provides challenges for a mobile DJ company - especially one with a reputation for high-end productions like Hurricane Productions.

From loading equipment on a the dock, to adjusting its setup to a cruise-style format, Hurricane Productions has experience with building its setup and entertainment in variety of NJ venues.

And for those parents out there that are worried about power or electrical issues on a boat - Hurricane Productions provided a lighting technician to operate its club-style atmosphere throughout the evening.

You can keep current with all Hurricane Productions events on a daily basis at facebook.com/hurricanesocial


Sterling Gardens Sweet 16

Event Innovation at Hurricane Productions  gives clients a different perspective on DJ entertainment.

Clients won't find Hurricane Productions on the  Sterling Gardens 'preferred vendors' list. But that doesn't mean clients don't have a choice when it comes to DJ entertainment.

Hurricane Productions hosts many events at Sterling Gardens throughout the year. From weddings to Sweet 16s, Sterling Gardens provides Hurricane Productions a unique space to create an unparalleled entertainment experience for its clients.

The above 'point of view' video shows a Sweet 16 at Sterling Gardens that put new twists on the traditional Sweet 16 in terms of music and design.

Hurricane Productions provided uplighting, music videos, its trademark 'Name in Lights' graphic and LED dance stages at the event. Hurricane also provided video and photography services and created a custom photo montage for the family.

Hurricane provides entertainment that includes an emcee, DJ, dancers and a lighting technician. All the lighting is specifically designed for each individual event. None of Hurricane's lightscaping is ever duplicated for another client.

The plasma screens are also an important part to customizing your event. You can pick from a customized set of graphics created for your event. Each graphic is designed 'in-house' for use exclusively at your event.

Photo montages are also another entertainment option that adds value to an event.

Jessica and Nicolle's Sweet 16 are the most recent examples of events hosted by Hurricane Productions at Sterling Gardens.

Jessica's Sweet 16 photo album
Nicolle's Sweet 16

You can view all recent events from Hurricane Productions on its Facebook page located at facebook.com/hurricanesocial

Park Avenue Bistro hosts Sweet 16 with Hurricane Productions

Park Avenue Bistro in Freehold, NJ hosted Justina's Sweet 16. With the help of Hurricane Productions, the venue created a memorable evening for Justina and her family.

The benefits of booking your event with Park Avenue Bistro is that the venue already installed intelligent lighting, uplighting, and high-definition LCD screens for use with your DJ company.

The difference between using Hurricane Productions or other DJ entertainment at the Park Avenue Bistro is that Hurricane includes custom name graphics for the screens and also adds an electrician-certified lighting technician to each event. These personalized touches add 'next-level' professionalism to any Hurricane Productions event.

Hurricane's creative professionals design a signature graphic for each event. The company's lighting technicians control the lighting in the entire room. They can set the uplighting to specific colors and control the intelligent lighting to spotlight special dances and create a club-like atmosphere on the dance floor.

Although the Park Avenue Bistro offers a 'house' DJ company to its potential clients, you always have a choice when it comes to DJ entertainment. Hurricane Productions offers a high energy product with exclusive features.

Hurricane's philosophy is to book just one event per evening - shifting the company's complete attention to your event on that given date.

Check Hurricane Productions' Facebook for recent photos and videos. You can now check Hurricane's availability and receive a free price quote via Facebook. Just click the 'Availability' tab on facebook.com/hurricanesocial

Hurricane Productions is 'Event Innovation.' Learn more about Hurricane Productions at facebook.com/hurricanesocial and HurricaneProductions.com

Book review: 'Running Your Multi-Op' by Michael Walter

Open any American history book and before you get to the chapter about the American Revolution, you'll be introduced to a pamphlet entitled 'Common Sense,' written by Thomas Paine.

Although Mike Walter of Elite Entertainment would blush at his book, 'Running Your Multi-Op,' being compared to a literary work that helped shape the core values leading up to the American Revolution, his book evokes the same type of education for the DJ industry through scenario-driven theories and value-based life lessons.

Now before the comparison gets too far out of hand (DJs, don't go to war over this book), as you read you'll find yourself creating a mental checklist of your own DJ experiences.

Also, if you're not a note-taker or highlighter, I suggest you change your ways for this book. Walter doesn't lose you with anecdotes, he teaches you with them. But you need to make sure you note those sections for future quick reference.

'Running Your Multi-Op,' isn't meant to to jog your imagination or paint creative scenes in your head. Walter makes you feel like he's having a conversation with you about your specific DJ company. It may initially seem designed to be a self-help book but it's not. And that's a good thing.

Walter writes like he speaks. He admits that he writes in a matter-of-fact style. You'll quickly catch on but don't expect his words to always be pleasant. There will be parts of the book that evoke those DJ memories that haunt you or he'll make you second-guess the way you've structured your company.

It's refreshing that he addresses his ego a number of times. Walter is a successful business owner and concedes that he enjoys the attention he gets from hearing his voice on a microphone in front of large groups of people. This isn't a turn-off. In fact, it helps the reader continue to turn the pages.

He is self-aware about the way the industry perceives him but also how his staff does/will perceive him. This separation of self creates a sense of authority in his words.

If you've had lunch with Walter or listened to him speak at previous DJ Expos around the country, you're already familiar with some of his stories. He visits his Music Mixer training philosophies, introduces you to Phil - a former groom turned Elite emcee, and also educates you about what he calls his atypical beginnings in the DJ industry via Star DJs and his partnership turned purchase of Elite Entertainment.

If you're a Millenial (read the book for his definition) you will have a constant tug-of-war with some of Walter's theories about your work ethic or how you tackle the 'real world' on a daily basis.

It stings at times but he offers advantages and disadvantages of the Millenial generation and even admits to some of the pitfalls of his own generation.

Before you jump to conclusions about another elder hating on the younger generation, Walter makes it clear that Millenials need him and he needs Millenials. Common sense, remember?

The book is broken up into three different sections - 'Finding Talent,' 'Cloning Yourself,' and 'Running Your Multi-Op."

I suggest you don't read this book is one seating. I tried it and failed.

At less than 150 pages I'd generally categorize it as a quick read, but it's not. You need to digest each section. Don't move on until you're ready because you can quickly become overwhelmed by your own ideas and miss out on Walter's points of emphasis.

The only knock on the book is that I couldn't read it on my iPad. But for those of you who prefer to listen to Walter than to read him, you can download his book on tape and listen to it in the car or on a morning run.

This is a must-read from a must-meet person in the DJ industry. If you haven't purchased the book already, it would benefit you to do so before you watch and listen to Walter deliver his 'Running Your Multi-Op' seminar at this year's DJ Times DJ Expo next month in Atlantic City, NJ.

After reading (or listening) to the book, whether you're a single-op, multi-op, or a DJ by trade, you'll be inspired to change your bad habits and maybe even start your own personal or professional DJ revolution.

You can learn more about the book and purchase it online at www.MikeWalterTraining.com or www.TrainingYourNextGreatDJ.com

About the book reviewer:
Vincent Anthony Velasquez is the co-owner of Hurricane Productions DJ Entertainment. He is also a reporter for the Star-Ledger in Newark, NJ. Velasquez covers sports with a focus in Rutgers football, high school sports and minor league baseball. He also shoots and edits video for the Ledger's NJ.com website.

DJ Times article deems Hurricane Productions 'New Media Gurus'

DJ Times - the leading industry publication in DJ entertainment - recently profiled Hurricane Productions in the April edition of its monthly magazine.

The article tells the story about an upstart Hurricane Productions and how the company used the internet and social media to propel itself within the industry and within its market in just a few short years.

The article also launches awareness about Hurricane Productions' social media seminar at the International DJ Expo in Atlantic City this summer.

Click here to view the full article

"We've been at the forefront of internet marketing and are excited to share some of our successes with our peers," said Hurricane co-owner Vincent Velasquez. "There is no better way to solidify yourself as the authority in what you do then to actually put it on display and hopefully teach people some new things."

Hurricane Productions will also compete in this year's 'DJ of the Year' competition hosted by Michael Walter from Elite Entertainment.

The company, owned by Velasquez and Strato Doumanis, will also launch a new website to coincide with the seminar and 'DJ of the Year' competition.

The site will be content driven with influences from Hurricane Productions social media pages such as facebook.com/hurricanesocial

Hurricane Productions prides itself on original content. The company produces all of its content - pictures, videos and web. This gives Hurricane a wealth of multimedia to choose from when developing the new site.

"The goal of the new site will be to set the standard of what a content-driven site should look and feel like," said Doumanis. "We want our clients to easily navigate from our social media pages to our website and we want it all to feel like one."

You can view DJ Times as a digital entity online at DJTimes.com, download its smart phone app or subscribe to the publication.

Sweet 16 Testimonial - PNC Reception Center, Holmdel NJ

Although Hurricane Productions' website is filled with video testimonials, some clients opt to send e-mails and thank you letters expressing their gratitude.

Raaga’s family was in a bind. They originally booked a reputable DJ company to entertain her Sweet 16 at PNC Reception Center but when the company overbooked themselves for that evening, they released Raaga’s party within six weeks of the event.

Raaga’s mom called Hurricane Productions and not only did owners Vincent and Strato help save the event but Hurricane upped the ante on the other DJ company.

"I don't and will never understand why DJ companies in our area try to overbook themselves," said Hurricane Productions owner Vincent Anthony Velasquez. "Maybe they're worried that the business will come to us. And in this case it did. If you see what we did for Raaga and her family, I'd be worried too."

Here's what Madhavi wrote to Hurricane Productions via e-mail after the Sweet 16:

Dear Vincent, Strato and Hurricane Productions crew:

Thank you for doing an amazing job with my daughter Raaga's Sweet 16 party. Hurricane Productions made Raaga's vision for her Sweet 16 party a reality and made her dream come true. We are extremely happy with the high energy you brought to the party. Your energy matched Raaga's and the party turned to be a tremendous success.

I do not think a single guest left the party without telling us how great the party was, and how awesome the DJ entertainment was. It has been 2 weeks since the party, and I still hear how cool the MC, the DJ, and the dancers were, and how much fun they had at the party from everybody who attended the party. Even the Dean of the Upper School remarked to us that the chatter in the upper school for a long time was about the awesome music, dancers, and DJ entertainment at Raaga's Sweet 16. You were professional, courteous, and the nicest young people we've ever had the pleasure of working with.

We had initially booked with [Competing Company] located in Marlboro, NJ, but they overbooked the date and bailed on us six weeks before the party, leaving us in a lurch. We were desperate to find a good DJ company as time was running out.

Finding your company was a blessing in disguise for us. You made it easy for us and addressed our every wish and concern with unparalleled professionalism. I do not think there are enough good superlative adjectives in the dictionary for us to describe your DJ services, and how happy we are with your services. I hope you continue to grow, and wish you continued success in future.

Madhavi Agraharam

Top 10 Hurricane Productions events from 2010

As Hurricane Productions readies itself to entertain a full slate of 2011 events, the company compiled a portfolio of its top 10 events from 2010.

Hurricane Productions introduced uplighting and production into its entertainment packages, enhanced its 'Next-Day' Facebook photo album feature, and perfected family montages and video production in 2010. The year also saw some original Hurricane Productions clients from its start in 2003 come back around for more events - this time for their younger childrens' proms, Sweet 16s and weddings.

Although all the parties and events from 2010 will hold a special place in Hurricane Productions' history, these are the 10 events that told the best stories about the clients, the company, and helped set the stage for a successful 2011.

10. DJ competition at Rutgers University

When: December 9, 2010
Where: College Ave. Student Center
The story: Talented DJ and Producer Eugene Veltman (Jenaux) rallied his fraternity to raise money for the upcoming 2011 Rutgers Dance Marathon. He did so by convincing top DJs from Rutgers University to compete in a friendly mix-based event. Featuring house, top 40 and hip hop, DJ EV, DJ Tonic, Ravi B and DJ Dave Kim rocked the Multipurpose Room at the College Avenue Student Center. Hurricane and Red Bull sponsored the event and Hurricane Productions' DJs Strato Doumanis and Eddie 'DJ N9NE' Romani served as the judges. DJ EV walked away as the champ and will be one of four DJs featured at Club DM 2011.
Click here for the photo gallery

9. Four former Sweet 16ers bring Hurricane to DJ their high school prom

When: April 23, 2010
Where: Grand Marquis in Old Bridge, NJ
The story: Samantha Ortner from Brick, NJ and her family hired Hurricane Productions to entertain her Sweet 16 at the Stone Pony in late 2008. Chelsea and Carly Gleason kicked off Hurricane Productions' 2009 season with their Sweet 16 in January and Ali Jordan celebrated her Sweet 16 at Spano's at White Sands in March 2009. What else do all of these girls have in common? They go to the same high school and serve on the student council. So when it was time to pick a DJ for their prom, they immediately called Hurricane Productions.

Brick Memorial Prom 2010 photo gallery
Samantha's Sweet 16 photo album
Chelsea and Carly's Sweet 16 photo gallery
Ali Jordan's Sweet 16 photo album

8. Sarah's traditional Sweet 16 features choreographed dances and ceremonies

When: October 3, 2010
Where: The Manor in West Orange, NJ
The story: When it came to planning a traditional Filipino Sweet 16, the Bacani family searched for a DJ company that would listen to their needs. Simply put, Sarah's guest list was split between her high school friends and her family. She wanted all of her friends to dance with all of her family members and needed a DJ who could handle playing traditional Filipino music and top 40 hits.

Hurricane Productions owner Strato Doumanis compiled a format for the event and helped guide the Bacani family down the path to a successful event. Sarah's Sweet 16 included a traditional choreographed waltz, dedication dances, a photo montage, a traditional Filipino dance called the ‘jota,’ and a candle and rose ceremony.

Read more about the Bacani's traditional Sweet 16
Sarah's Sweet 16 photo album

7. Donald Trump shows up to Nicole's Sweet 16
When: October 1, 2010
Where:Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, NJ
The story: Donald Trump walked through the doors of his golf club in Bedminster, NJ and before you now it, he grabbed a pen and signed the welcome board at Nicole's Sweet 16. The visit was unexpected since Trump rarely visits his golf club, but he was in attendance that evening because a number of his high-roller members gathered for a banquet in the adjoining room. Trump stopped in, checked out the party and posed for some photos with our Sweet 16 guest of honor and her family.

Nicole's Sweet 16 photo album

6. A night on the red carpet with Veronica Kole

When: August 26, 2010
Where: Eagle Oaks Golf Country Club in Farmingdale, NJ
The story: Veronica Kole is and up and coming pop singer and at the age of 16, she wanted to throw a Hollywood-style Sweet 16 for her friends. Decked out with her 'name in lights', red carpet with paparazzi, uplighting, video screens and production, she impressed her hometown 'fans' with her party and a duet performance with pop singer Brenda K. Starr.

The event was a quasi-Sweet 16/album release party as Veronica performed and partied all night long. Watch the video to see more from her party.

Veronica Kole's Sweet 16 photo gallery

5. The Gleasons come back to Hurricane - this time for a wedding

When: September 4, 2010
Where: American Legion in Toms River, NJ
The story: Remember Carly and Chelsea Gleason from our No. 9 event of 2010? Their older sister, Ashley, got engaged earlier in year and called Hurricane to book her wedding in September. Ashley and Andrew got married on the beach during Labor Day weekend and then celebrated their reception at the American Legion in Toms River.

This is what's cool about Ashley and Andrew's wedding: They threw a huge party and a low-cost venue so that they didn't have to cut any of their friends and family from their guest list. Instead, they budgeted their party for great DJ entertainment and food.

In order to 'dress-up' the rather plain venue, Hurricane Productions transformed the room with uplighting. Watch the video to see the transformation. This wedding is a true example of how DJ entertainment really makes the difference in your celebration.

4. Rutgers University Dance Marathon raises over $378,000

When: 32-hour non-stop event from March 27 - 28
Where: College Avenue Gymnasium at Rutgers University
The story: In its third year entertaining Rutgers Dance Marathon, Hurricane Productions accomplished so much in advancing the event and helping it raise money for the Embrace Kids Foundation. Dance Marathon is a feel-good event centered around over 1,000 student volunteers who commit themselves to raising money and awareness for the children with cancer and blood disorders.

Hurricane Productions trained six DJs and five emcees to entertain their peers. The company helped produce DM's original 'line dance' song that is taught to all of the students throughout 32 hours and also filmed and produced a music video to go along with the dance.

Watch the Rutgers Dance Marathon 2010 Line Dance Video

DM 2010 photo album

3. Donny and Gina's Wedding

When: October 30, 2010
Where: The Palace at Somerset Park
The story: When Donny and Gina met Vincent and Strato in 2006 they immediately said "when we get married, you're DJing our wedding." Donny owns D&D Catering located out of the Mercer County Boathouse at Mercer County Park. He met Vincent and Strato back in 2006 during a busy season of Sweet 16s and Hurricane Productions worked at the Boathouse a number of times from 2006-2008. When Donny and Gina got engaged in late 2009 they called Vincent and booked Hurricane for their wedding. The wedding consultations took place at their household and Donny cooked Hurricane full dinners upon their arrivals (Donny is a caterer at heart). Donny, Gina, Strato and Vincent formed a strong friendship during the planning process and it showed at the wedding.

The wedding accented all the best features at the Palace including full ballroom uplighting, video production and a party percussionist. Hurricane also provided music for the afterparty located at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Somerset. To top it all off, Vincent created custom designed and edited DVDs of their photo montage that Donny and Gina gave to their parents as Christmas gifts.

Hurricane Productions' 2011 Wedding Portfolio

2. Hurricane saves Sweet 16 from cancellation

When: November 20, 2010
Where: Robert Meyner Reception Center at PNC Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ
The story: Raaga's family was in a bind. They booked a reputable DJ company to entertain her Sweet 16 earlier in 2010 but when the company booked seven other events that evening, the company released Raaga's party within six weeks of the event. Raaga's mom called Hurricane Productions and not only did they save the event but Hurricane upped the ante on the other DJ company.

This event marked Hurricane's most impressive production of 2010. Hurricane Productions designed uplighting for the entire ballroom - completely transforming PNC's reception center. Hurricane created a photo montage and video presentation (using Raaga's family VHS tapes to compile the footage) and put Raaga's 'Name in Lights' using the same font color and design as her Sweet 16 invitations.

Here's what Raaga's mom had to say in an email after the party:

"Finding your company was a blessing in disguise for us. You made it easy for us and addressed our every wish and concern with unparalleled professionalism. I do not think there are enough good superlative adjectives in the dictionary for us to describe your DJ services, and how happy we are with your services. I hope you continue to grow, and wish you continued success in future."

View the entire production from Raaga's Sweet photo gallery

1. Amanda and Brendan's Wedding

When: August 27, 2010
Where: Hyatt Regency in Jersey City, NJ
The story: Brendan Prunty and Hurricane Productions owner Vincent Velasquez worked together at the Star-Ledger and NJ.com since 2006. Vincent, a college intern, and Brendan, fresh out of college, became friends while they worked together as Rutgers football reporters. While on the job, Brendan would share stories about Amanda (his girlfriend turned fiance) and Vincent would finish up work on college football Saturdays to head to a DJ gig. When Brendan got engaged he called Vincent and asked if he would emcee his and Amanda's wedding. Hurricane Productions put together a beautiful celebration at the Hyatt Regency overlooking New York City that included uplighting under the sweetheart table, a photo montage, party percussionist and video production.

This wedding holds a special place in the history of Hurricane Productions because it marks the first crossover of Vincent's full-time job as a sports reporter and his passion as an emcee and host for Hurricane Productions. Just like Donny and Gina, Brendan and Amanda are not just clients but friends. Their stories about their weddings are ones to not just to share with clients but with friends and family alike.

Hurricane Productions' 2011 Wedding Portfolio

Honorable Mentions:

Andrea and Shane's Wedding at the Thayer Hotel in West Point, NY:

Hurricane Productions and its crew traveled to West Point to provide DJ entertainment, uplighting and a party percussionist for an eloquent military wedding. Andrea and Shane found Hurricane Productions through a mutual friend from Vincent's college days at Rutgers University.

dome room at grand marquis in old bridge, nj

Mally's Sweet 16 at the Grand Marquis in Old Bridge, NJ:

Sweet 16 in early 2010 featured Hurricane's first full room uplighting design. Mally wanted a blue color scheme for her Cinderella-themed party. Hurricane Productions decorated the walls and her head table with uplighting and design in the Grand Marquis' Dome Room.

Read more and watch a video from Mally's Sweet 16

Traditional Filipino Sweet 16 - Rose Ceremony and Choreography

Hurricane Productions and The Manor located in West Orange, NJ teamed together to create the perfect setting for a traditional Sweet 16.

Any DJ company can provide the newest music and young entertainers but Hurricane Productions also pays attention to the details.

The Bacani family and their daughter, Sarah, came to Hurricane Productions seeking advice as to how to format a Filipino Sweet 16. Half of the guests were native speaking and had a strong sense of tradition while the other half of the guests were Sarah's school friends.

The family envisioned a night where all of the guests would be up and dancing together but they worried that it wouldn't be possible.

After an in-home consultation with the family, Hurricane Productions created a seamless format and program for the Sweet 16 that kept all guests happy and engaged.

Sarah and her Sweet 16 court were eloquently introduced into the ballroom and the performed a traditional choreographed waltz. Sarah invited her father out to the dance floor for a special dedication dance. Right after dinner guests were treated to a photo montage documenting Sarah's life and then her Sweet 16 court returned to the dance floor for a traditional Filipino dance called the 'jota.'

Sarah delivered a beautiful Sweet 16 candle ceremony set to dedication music and then danced with her close relatives as they handed her 16 roses to commemorate her Sweet 16.

Despite all of the formal events of the Sweet 16, Sarah and her family still danced the night away. The Manor and its staff assisted Hurricane Productions with timing all of the ceremonies and had meals available right way for guests during cocktail hour through three separate courses.

The Bacani family even had a last minute request just three days before the party. They needed a videographer and photographer and Hurricane Productions was able to provide them with those services.

After the party, Hurricane Productions immediately posted all the photos on Facebook and uploaded a video (which you can see above) by the end of the weekend.

Within two weeks after the Sweet 16, Hurricane Productions mailed the Bacani family a DVD with all of the photos and video clips.

During the Sweet 16 Hurricane Productions provided video screens, spotlight intelligent lighting, music videos and more.

You can learn more about Hurricane Productions on its facebook page located at facebook.com/hurricanesocial


Rutgers Dance Marathon 2010 Line Dance Video

Rutgers University Dance Marathon Line Dance 2010

It's time for Rutgers Dance Marathon and for the third straight year, Hurricane Productions is involved with entertaining over 1,000 students at the College Ave Gymnasium.

Strato Doumanis of Hurricane Productions edited the line dance music mix. Hurricane Productions also filmed and edited the line dance music video. The video and the dance are performed once and hour, totaling 32 performances.

Strato, DJ N9NE, and Vincent Velasquez trained a group of student emcees and DJs to work alongside Hurricane Productions for the entire 32-hour event.

Pictures and video will be available at facebook.com/hurricanesocial

About Rutgers Dance Marathon:

Rutgers University Dance Marathon is a 32-hour, student-run philanthropic event to raise money and increase awareness for the Embrace Kids Foundation, a non-profit organization that aids the non-medical needs of children with cancer and blood disorders.

Awesome Sweet 16 at Sterling Gardens in Matawan NJ

Sterling Gardens gives Hurricane Productions a creative space to design Sweet 16 and Wedding DJ entertainment.

Go beyond the 'preferred vendors' list at Sterling Gardens. You won't find Hurricane Productions on the venues 'preferred vendors' list of advertisers.

The Red Bank-based DJ entertainment company allows its prospective clients to have a choice when they shop for entertainment companies.

The day after the party a recent Sweet 16, Gloria - the mother of the Sweet 16 celebrant, sent us this email regarding our performance quality at her daughter's Sweet Sixteen:

Thank you so much for a great job! I had no doubt that you would make Erica's night the best it could be. I received so many compliments from the adults at the party about you and your company.


My older daughter remembers you from [St. John Vianney High School] and had only the nicest things to say about you, Thank you again for everything, as I told you when we met that I have never planned a party like this before and with your experience and help it made it possible for me to enjoy my daughter's special night.


I am enjoying the photos on facebook!
Thank you once again. --Gloria Gutierrez

You can stay current with recent Hurricane Productions' events by visiting the company's Facebook page at facebook.com/hurricanesocial


2009 Archive: Vincent Velasquez comments on Hurricane's 6th anniversary

Hurricane Productions New Jersey Wedding

I will say this about our six-year anniversary - These first five years of Hurricane Productions have been nothing more or less than research and development.

We've been able to learn about the DJ entertainment business in terms of what we like and what we want to change. All the while, we graduated high school and I recently graduated Rutgers University.

So here is my statement:  I don't believe that we've truly competed with our real competitors up to this point. Today is when we start.

Read more

Will the iPod Ever Replace the DJ?

Did the turntable replace the DJ? Then why should the iPod pose any more of a threat? Both are tools in which DJs use to orchestrate the perfect party. Whether you are throwing a Sweet 16 party or celebrating your wedding day, a good DJ will know what to play and when to play it. The DJs at Hurricane Productions entertainment in New Jersey specialize in finding the perfect balance between music genres and tempos for all events including Weddings, Sweet 16s, and more.

There are countless situations where a good DJ needs to make important decisions throughout any event. Decisions about song choice, volume level, guest requests, equipment failure, timing issues, and so on. If apple releases and iPod that can do all that, we're all in trouble.

The simple truth is that iPods CAN NOT fulfill all the abilities that a seasoned DJ possesses. However, some still argue that the iPod poses a true threat to the mobile Disc Jockey. For the most part, these people do not know what they're talking about and won't understand until they really try running an entire party off of an iPod.

The major negatives in attempting to replace your DJ with an iPod are as follows:

  • iPod will not mix your music for you!
    That's right! You'll have to listen to every second of every song on your playlist. That is, unless you run behind your makeshift booth and abruptly end the song by pressing the next song button.
  • iPod will not make good choices!
    A simple click of the shuffle button has very little chance of running a successful music set. And what happens if you accidentally added "Loving You is Easy Cuz You're Beautiful" to your dance playlist? How embarrassing . . .
  • iPod has no concept of flow or party rhythm.
    DJs are born with a 6th sense for music flow and rhythm. I don't think iPods ship with that feature.
  • Volume, volume, volume.
    Did you know that all songs are not recorded at the same volume level? Your iPod may try to compensate for this variability with its Volume Check function but this function is less than reliable, ESPECIALLY if you have pirated / stolen music on your iPod. The dirty people that rip original CDs don't care about your Sweet 16 and that Flo Rida is now bumping at half the volume the previous song was.
  • Feedback anyone?
    Without someone manning audio levels you can run into some real challenges if you plan on hosting a speech or toast at your engagement. The only thing worse than feedback is a bad DJ and with using an iPod you risk the chance of having both occur.
  • VALUE!
    If you STILL feel like an iPod is a viable solution to your party's entertainment needs then it must be a money issue. Please take a step back and think about what you will need to rent in order to supply your iPod with the necessary sound reinforcement. High quality audio equipment can cost as much as $500-$700 per day.Most DJ companies will supply experienced individuals to run your party, as well as all the equipment, for under a thousand dollars. Take a look at Hurricane Productions Super Sweet 16 Package for an idea of what true DJ entertainment value is all about. This package includes 3 staff members, web photo package, lighting show, high quality sound system and tons more. Your iPod certainly can't do all that.

For now the iPod will remain nothing more than a music storage tool and private music player. Not a DJ replacement device.

Check out Hurricane Productions LLC, an affordable DJ entertainment company based out of New Jersey that focuses on continuely adding value to their already fantastic product.

Related Content from other excellent entertainment companies:

<a href="http://www.discjockey.org/iPod.html"  title="iPod Wedding Guide"><B>iPod Wedding Guide</B></a> - Fourth Estate Audio shows you the pro's and con's of putting on an iPod wedding reception.<BR>

iPod Wedding Guide - Fourth Estate Audio (Chicago) shows you the pro's and con's of putting on an iPod wedding reception.

What to ask when hiring a DJ (Weddings Sweet 16s and more)

Planning a large scale party is not an easy process, especially if you've never planned one before. There are many different aspects of the engagement that must be taken care of such as which caterer to use, which venue to use, and of course choosing an entertainment company. Don't let all of this scare you though! Planning and executing successful party is a rewarding endeavor and the planning process can be made much easier with the help of qualified entertainment professionals. The professionals at Hurricane Productions DJ Entertainment, in New Jersey, hosts over one hundred events and parties per year and part of what makes them stand out for other DJ companies is dedication they have to their clients. Planning and entertaining such a large variety of events makes the DJ one of the most knowledgeable party-planning resources you have at your disposal.

So ask your DJ for help! It is their job to make your party run smoothly and they can offer great advice on ALL aspects of your engagement. Just remember one thing, not all DJs are created equally. The term "qualified entertainment professional" is an important one when picking a great DJ for your event. So how do you go about picking your qualified entertainment professionals? Well if you're in New Jersey, check out Hurricane Productions LLC for starters otherwise the following Q & A might be good to take a look at. Asking your DJ the right questions shows the dj company that you are serious and knowledgeable about the event you are planning while also weeding out the less-qualified entertainment options.

What to ask when hiring a DJ:

Is your DJ insured?
This is one of the most important questions to ask your potential DJ. Most upscale venues require the entertainment company to provide them with an insurance certificate or proof of insurance. This a is a particularly volatile situation because many venues will wait to ask the DJ for proof of insurance until there is only one week left (or less) before the event. That's right, after you've signed all your contracts and sent out all your deposits your venue could easily deny your DJ access to your hall at the last minute so make sure you ask this question. Hurricane Productions is fully insured.

Does your entertainment company use clean music / music edited for

Make sure you know where your DJ is getting his/her music from. There are many companies that offer legal, professional grade music (such as PromoOnly) that supply DJs with songs suitable for public radio and songs that are totally censored for unacceptable language. The last thing you want to do is offend your guests with dirty lyrics. Hurricane Productions LLC is 100% clean.

Who are the DJ's that show up to our event?
If possible, request to meet with (or at least speak to) the ACTUAL DJs that will be at your specific event. Details will often get lost if there is a middle-man between you and your DJ such as a sales associate. Hurricane Productions will always put you in direct contact with the DJ(s) supplied for your event. For the majority of Hurricane parties, the person you deal with throughout the entire planning process IS your actual DJ.

How many entertainers are included in the service?
It is highly recommended that you have at least two people at your event responsible for entertainment. This usually implies one person on the microphone motivating guests and organizing the flow of the party (master of ceremonies) and a person in charge of the music / sound system (disc jockey). Hurricane Productions sends a 2-man crew minimum to all events and will be as interactive as you want them to be.

Does your DJ use professional equipment, with multiple amplifiers and sub-woofer(s)?

There is a difference between the audio equipment you have at home and the equipment a professional DJ uses. Professional audio equipment is built to handle the abuse of taking the equipment on the road each weekend. Make sure your prospective choices use only professional equipment to ensure the music sounds as good as possible for your guests' enjoyment. There are a multitude of professional audio brands out there but a few of the popular high-quality companies include: QSC, JBL, Cerwin Vega!, Mackie. A strong sound system should include at least two satellite speakers (tripod speakers) and one sub woofer each having their own separate amplifier. The audio professionals at Hurricane Productions adjust their sound system differently for each hall and venue to ensure peak acoustic performance.

Can your DJ provide backup equipment and personal in case of emergency?
Even professional equipment can fail on occasion, so it is important to know whether your DJ has spare equipment available to them, ON SITE. Any number of circumstances may arise between the time you book your DJ and the date of your event. It is important to know if your DJ company has a backup plan in case of a problem, no matter how unlikely it is to occur. Hurricane Productions brings backup equipment to each and every event and has NEVER experienced a problem they could not fix on site, EVER.

What happens if it rains for our outdoor party?
Always coordinate a rain-date with your DJs so you don't find yourself without entertainment once the sun comes back out. Also, read your DJ contract thoroughly for any hidden fees. Some DJ companies will charge you extra for rain cancellations even after deciding on a suitable rain-date.

Can your DJ provide a written contract?
It is extremely important to have your booking confirmed in writing. All terms of the agreement should be in writing to avoid any complications at a later date. Typical retainer (deposit) should be at least 10-20% and no more than 50% of the total contract rate.

What do I as the client need to physically provide the DJ with?
It is important to make sure that you know what to provide. Most DJs request the following:

* One Sturdy Table for Equipment (6 Ft Preferred).

* Tablecloth / Table Skirt.

* Access to Two Electrical Outlets.

How long does it take you to set up?
This time will vary greatly on the size of the package you choose but generally most packages should take between 1 and 3 hours to set up. Hurricane Productions offers four main packages to choose from. Hurricane's smallest package (simple package) can be set up in 45 minutes where as their largest package (Hurricane Productions package) can take closer to 3 hours to set up.

Is your DJ willing to discuss musical selections ahead of time, and is he or she willing to play requests, particularly if they are suitable for dancing?
Professional DJs cannot possibly know everything there is to know about your specific musical preferences and entertainment needs without discussion. Your DJ should be willing to listen to your ideas and suggestions. They should make themselves available prior to your engagement (either by telephone or in person) to discuss music selections and other aspects of entertainment planning. Special requests should never be a problem and your DJ should be willing to play them for you. Hurricane Productions meets with all clients in-person and most of the time it will be with the actual DJ whom will be performing at that party. Click here to see Hurricane Productions' entire entertainment staff.

Do I really need a lighting package?

The need for a lighting package will depend on what your event is, and especially what time of day your event is taking place. If you event is during the day with a lot of windows a lighting package will make no difference. If this is not the case we suggest purchasing at least a simple lighting package. Many guests often do not like to be seen in full lighting while dancing. The DJ lighting will allow you to bring down the house lights while also motivating people to dance simply because the lighting enhances the entire party experience. Hurricane Productions uses professional intelligent DJ lighting which responds to the beat of the music.

Take your time when picking a DJ entertainment company to work with. Chances are you are planning a very special day so do it right. Remember, all DJs are not created equally; the more questions you ask the more confident you can be that you are making the right choice. It's up to you to make sure you get the entertainment quality you deserve.

Check out HurricaneProductions.com for more information about a great DJ entertainment company in Monmouth County New Jersey.

Hurricane Productions to provide entertainment for Chi Psi 500


New Jersey's leading DJ company, Hurricane Productions, continues its commitment to the Rutgers University community by providing entertainment for the 2008 Chi Psi 500.

The event, which will take place on Livingston Campus at noon Sunday October 12, 2008 raises money for the ALS Association.

Hurricane Productions entertains three philanthropic events at Rutgers University. Best know for it's involvement with Rutgers Dance Marathon, Hurricane Productions is the official DJ company for the Chi Psi 500 and Sigma Chi Derby Days.

About Chi Psi 500:

The Chi Psi 500 Push-Kart race started in 2006, when the Brothers of Chi Psi at Rutgers decided to honor a Chi Psi alumnus who passed away from ALS (commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease).

Since then, the event has raised thousands of dollars for the ALS Association and has united the Rutgers Community in the fight against the disease.

2008 Archive: Hurricane co-founder Vincent Velasquez reflects on the company's five-year anniversary

Robert Padovano, Vincent Velasquez, Guido Santiago - 2012

Hurricane Productions has done so much for me.

It has given me the ability to enjoy college life and work a second job that I love just as much as DJ entertainment. But most of all, its given the the opportunity to reach out to so many different people in so many different places.

We've been all over New Jersey. We've entertained in Philadelphia, Atlantic City, New York, and Brooklyn. Our videos and music have been seen and heard all over this great country and even in the Netherlands. I've gotten phone calls from companies in Cleveland, Los Angeles, Phoenix and emails from people overseas. And all of this is from a company that worked its first party in a backyard in Morganville, NJ five years ago today.

I'll never forget that party - an eighth grade graduation for a friend's sister. Strato and I worked three days straight beforehand building a small music library and making sure my dad's speakers and amplifier set from the 1980s still had some juice in them. My dad drove us to the party (we were 16 years old) and we played music for four hours. Strato liked changing the CDs in our two five-disc changers and I fell in love with talking on the microphone. Strato became a DJ, I became an MC.

We didn't charge that family any money, but afterwards the mom came to us and handed me an envelope with a tip. I took half and Strato took half. Boom. A 50-50 partnership was born.

Last night Strato and I looked back on our entire collections of emails and reminisced about all the gigs and jobs we worked and all the different people in our lives.

On the entertainment side, we just keep growing. Everyday we make improvements to our product. Strato and I brainstorm and make things happen. Our talents are so diverse but at the same time, it is the secret ingredient that many have tried to copy and/or discover on their own.

We work long hours, but it is expected because we own and operate the company. But on top of that, we have to make it to your event energetic and fun. I've never complained about any event we've worked. Even one I showed up to with pink eye and a dent on my front bumper after a car accident!

In 2004 and 2005, we worked at a day camp in Manalapan and taught kids how to DJ on our amateur system. Every Friday the entire camp would gather in a large pavilion and listen to Strato play the Cha Cha Slide and watch me teach them new instructional dances. It was taxing work. Especially since another DJ company, a more experienced one, worked larger events for the camp. We were constantly criticized and put under a microscope.

Peers of ours would talk behind our backs and laugh every time we mentioned DJing. Even our own families doubted the company would survive once we entered college.

But here we are, five years later. And still working hard, still making a difference in people's lives. I don't know if many people are able to fathom how much of a responsibility it is on us to be accountable for family memories. Ten years from now, a Sweet 16 girls is going to look back on her video and remember how much fun she had. A bride and groom will always remember their first dance. All of that is captured in photos and video and Hurricane Productions is a huge part of making all of those memories happen in time.

Every party is unique to me and my passion for entertainment keeps each party fresh and new. I could work 52 weeks straight and entertain the same type of event, but it will always be different. Each week I'm greeted into a new family and make new personal connections.

It has not always been easy. We've gone through some hard times in our personal lives and in our family lives. Still, DJing and entertainment is always a release for me. I'll never forget having to wake up on a Friday morning to bury my grandmother in Brooklyn and then rush back to New Jersey to work a wedding. I was just 17-years old. I'll never forget going through a rough breakup with an ex-girlfriend and the next day having to work an engagement party for a young, happy couple. Sometimes we forget, myself included, that we are people too and we need the entertainment just as much as our clients.

One thing that really stuck out to me was the amount of charity and volunteer work we've done over the past five years. In year one and two, 2003 and 2004, we volunteered our small PA system to the Keansburg Library so that they could cut the red tape in front of their new building in style. And how did they celebrate? We played music and danced into the night.

We also entertained our high school's fundraisers for little or no money. We introduced varsity sports teams into the gymnasium for pep rallies, and provided music for two Walk-a-Thons.

Working for the Knights of Columbus in Sayreville in 2004-2006 always sticks out in my mind. We helped a man named Tom, a guy in his mid-forties in the National Guard, put together dances for his "Squires," or in layman's terms -- teenagers interested in the KOC. In early 2006 we found out Tom was deployed to Arizona and then to Iraq. We haven't heard from him since, but we hope the work we did for him touched the individuals he aimed to please.

This past year we donated our entire staff's weekend in the first week of April (and DJ companies know how valuable a Spring weekend can be) to Rutgers Dance Marathon. DM is a 32-hour event that raises money for the Embrace Kids Foundation in New Brunswick, NJ. Embrace Kids serves families with children that have blood and cancer disorders. This year, DM raised over $320,000. And thanks to contributions from our clients, we were able to make a $630.00 donation. Better yet, we're already signed on for next year.

Helping Dance Marathon and the Embrace Kids Foundation is a true sign of our company's maturity. We've gone from using a PA system for opening a public library to touching the lives of so many families in need in a critical time in their lives. Both are so important in their respective ways, but I get emotional thinking that we've grown so quickly to be able to staff a 32-hour, non-stop event.

Like my recently deceased grandfather said "Show me who your friends are, and I'll show you who you are."

The reason I mention that is because Hurricane Productions is not just Strato and myself. It is Ashley Best, Jon Brooks, Samantha Cella, DJ LaLima, Kyle Gries, Ed Romani, and Alex Rosenkranz. These are the people, no matter how big or small their roles are, that make this company work and work very well.

And even some of the people who came before them, like the Doctor of Style, Mike Mendez, have contributed to this company.

But most importantly, we have been able to grow these last five years because of the dedication our clients show us. We have so many repeat customers and return business. So many of our clients have become friends that constantly keep in contact with us. Their continued business is much appreciated. They trust us, and in return, we trust them tenfold.

We've labeled our company as "The business of building great entertainment." But I would argue, we're in the business of building great and everlasting relationships.

Thank you for the past five years and cheers to many more,
Vincent Velasquez
Co-Founder, Co-Owner, Master of Ceremonies

Sweet 16 Candle Lighting Honoree Order

One of the most important parts of a young lady's Sweet 16 is her candle ceremony. Despite it's importance, it does not have to be the most stressful part of planning. The task of assigning family and friends to each of 16 candles may seem like a monumental feat, but once you start and complete candle one you'll be amazed at how easily the remaining candles fall into place. The following are some helpful tips and general guidelines to make candle lighting preparation easier.

The guest of honor may light a memory candle for deceased relative(s). Typically, this is announced by the Guest of Honor, and is done either before the first candle is announced, or before the parents' candle is announced. Alternatively, one of the candles on the cake can be lit as a memory candle—this would be announced at the time of that candle.

It is important to make an organized list which includes the names of people who will be coming to the cake. Write the names as the Guest of Honor calls them (like "Aunt Rose and Uncle Bob," etc.). The usual order for candle lighting is:

(the following is just a guideline to help you with the ceremony, by no means must the ceremony be arranged in this order)

1. Grandparents

2. Aunts

3. Uncles

4. Cousins

5. Older relatives

6. Younger relatives

7. Friends of parents

8. Friends of Guest of Honor

9. Parents

10. Siblings

11. Guest of Honor

The usual number of candles is 17 (16 for age, one for good luck). Try to group relatives and friends together to keep the amount of candles to this number as best as possible. You can have interesting tidbits of information announced as the individuals come up to light the candles.

You will also need to choose music to be played while people come up and light the candles. You can have one piece of music serve as background to all of the candles, or you may want to match a specific song to each person or group of people lighting the candle. The total ceremony takes about 15-20 minutes.


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