Meet Local Entertainers DJ Jeff and Michelle Currie
By Mike Monopoli
Could it be instinct? As long as we can remember, humans have gathered to share music and dance. Conducive to socializing and romance, this ancient ritual has evolved over time. From a campfire and drums to spectacular nightclubs, there’s something inside us that makes us want to move to a beat. Certainly this is apparent in the GLBT community, where just about every social event centers around music.
DJ Jeff Poirier is a mild mannered dentist by day, but when he leaves his practice in Fitchburg he’s got music on his mind. Humble and soft spoken, it took a little prodding to get Jeff to share what he and many others feel is unique about him. “I don’t just play records out of the box like many DJs do, I mix and produce original tracks” he says. Getting his influence from DJs such as Victor Calderone, Peter Rauhofer and Junior Vasquez, Jeff got his start in 1996 playing at a club called Sisters in Philadelphia. Quickly recognized for his mixing talents, he began getting offers to play in clubs throughout New England, NYC, Washington DC and Miami. “I never needed to promote myself,” says Jeff, “I simply shared some of my tracks with other DJ friends and that’s all it took.”
Jeff was flattered to be playing in the same venues that featured the most famous international DJs. He was invited to DJ at Club XL in NYC for New Year’s Eve 2004 and also played at Rise, a Boston area after-hours club. “My style went over well,” recalls Jeff. “They had their fill of divas and vocals and were looking for the pounding beats of dark tribal and house music.” And luckily, those just happen to be Jeff’s personal favorites. “I’m there for the crowd, not for myself,” he says, adding that “Sometimes it takes a more popular tune to get them to the floor, once they’re out there you can mix in something new. A lot of people like something familiar that they know the words to.”
After a little more coaxing, Jeff admitted to being proud of his CD single “Take Me (uh huh)” and the fact that Junior Vasquez played his remix of Christina Aguilera’s “Fighter” on his radio show at NYC’s dance music station, WKTU. “I love being a dentist, but this gives me a creative outlet,” says Jeff. When asked what drives him, he replied, “I create remixes in a way that would make me run to the floor if I were in the club.”
If you prefer a more intimate setting for your dose of music, check out singer/pianist Michelle Currie. Nominated in 2005 for the Independent Reviewers of New England award for best female cabaret performer, Michelle plays every other Sunday at the MB Lounge on Grafton Street. Newly refurbished by owners Marc Guinette and Scott Hurley, the MB provides the perfect atmosphere for Michelle’s style.
Growing up in Worcester, Michelle was active in the theatre at a young age. She was encouraged by her parents, both actors and singers themselves. She became involved with the Worcester County Light Opera Company, The Shrewsbury Players and The Northborough Players. “I started professionally about twenty years ago,” says Michelle. “The first job I landed lasted eleven years.”
Michelle enjoys the intimate nature of the piano bar and direct contact with the audience. “I come in here and all I do is smile,” Michelle says of the MB, “I’m here to have a great time, it’s like a piece of home.” Michelle chuckles when I mention a comparison to Liza Minelli and Bette Milder. “I’m very, very flattered. But they’re superstars…I’m just doing what I love.” Michelle also appears at Lombardo’s in Marlboro and various other venues throughout New England. “I owe my success to all the people who come in to hang out with me, my job is all about them,” says the gracious and personable performer. “That’s what makes my time here really fun, the people. I don’t do it alone, it’s all about the patrons. They’re what make it really cook.”
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