DJ Jerry Ferrer
Born a music junkie in New York’s infamous Spanish Harlem, DJ Jerry Ferrer savors the recollection of growing up surrounded by live Latin, Reggae & Calypso music in the streets around him. Passing up the usual assortment of toys as a toddler, Jerry preferred to spin the covers of his Mom’s cooking pots (DJ Jerry mentions that a Santeria Witch Doctor once told him that his spirit was entranced by two spinning silver wheels).
At the age of five, while being babysat by his Teen Cousin, DJ Jerry recalls how he understood which records to play for her and her friends by looking at the label art on the 45s, so when the shades went down and the red light came on, he knew exactly which jams to play.
Influenced by his Dad’s Spanish guitar playing and great collection of 78 RPM discs, his Mom’s devotion to the old Latin classics playing on AM radio every Sunday, and his Sister’s love of R&B and fusion, how could DJ Jerry not venture into all things MUSIC. “I remember as a kid, listening to records over and over again, every time I would focus on a single instrument, bass, piano, horns, etc., until I knew the whole arrangement inside out!” , “I didn’t realize till later that I had inadvertently learned how to arrange music by doing that”. Hearing family friend Angela Bofil dissect the vocal harmonies of soul groups such as the Stylistics and Delfonics was another revelation that didn’t sink in until he started arranging music and realized he could put together harmonies with ease.
In 1973, DJ Jerry started mixing vinyl by hard wiring two turntables together and learning to silently drop and pickup the needle in the grooves. By 1978, after playing at all the neighborhood parties and surviving a string of social clubs and firetraps all over Harlem and the South Bronx, DJ Jerry was doing stints as house DJ at many Latin Discos such as the Chez Sensual and Epiphany’s which finally led to gigs at some of the hottest Clubs of the time.
In the early eighties, DJ Jerry teamed up with the late, great Emcee Eddie Loose Moose Gonzalez and was doing mobile gigs all over The New York and New Jersey area. It was at that point that DJ Jerry started creating sophisticated Master Mixes for his gigs and for radio stations in New York City such as the original 92 WKTU. “I thought I couldn’t afford a reel to reel tape deck to do the work on, so I learned to splice segments together using the pause button on a pair of old cassette decks and used them to do dubs”.
In the late eighties, DJ Jerry teamed up with Harlem’s DJ Bob Moss. Together, they produced the House Anthem “Baby let me love you for tonight” sung by the artist “Kariya”. Asked about his inspiration for the track, DJ Jerry says “I wrote this song after having been at this club called THE WORLD. I was upstairs in the V.I.P. area hanging out with some record industry people and was introduced to some very hot, gorgeous young ladies who were looking for record deals. One of those young ladies - - -I remember thinking “so this is a Jeep Freak!”, she was offering to give me the most incredible night for a chance to get a record deal. I don’t remember all the B.S. she hit me with, but I’ll never forget the feral look in her eyes when she hit me with the line “let me love you for the night”, I couldn’t get that out of my head and the rest is history. We were originally tasked by Sleeping Bag Records to produce a Latin Freestyle track for Kariya but DJ Bob had the brilliant idea to do the B-Side as a House track. I’m a big fan of Vince Montana and all the SalSoul and MFSB stuff, and I had delusions of grandeur in wanting to put together this big fat orchestrated track. I wanted to get a smooth groove going like MFSB’s great “Love is the message” break. I think I got that feel in my Rhodes piano riff and was working on this big orchestra arrangement when it hit me that what I really needed to do was spotlight Kariya’s amazing voice, not my feeble arranging skills. DJ Bob had discovered Kariya at an Appollo amateur night and worked tirelessly to get her signed. This small, little lady had the most incredible vocal power and the sweetest tone. Anyway, I stripped the arrangement down to the bare essentials to let her voice shine. I feel we coaxed an incredible vocal performance out of Kariya, she actually made my cheesy lyrics sound grand”.
–Jennifer Henneborn 1991
Thanks to Jennifer for letting me use excerpts from her article on me.
So here I am, still writing music, still spinning trax. I'll be dropping some new trax soon-stay in touch.
Here for you to check out is a mix I did for 92 WKTU New York's Paco's Supermix Show. An unreleased track I did with Kariya with a little orchestration on it. A little Master Mix I did of all the early hip hop Rap work of the 70's & early 80's. And a little smooth R-N-B mix I did for my own relaxation.
Thanks to all of you out there for keeping "Let me love you for the night" alive with all your hot remixes and covers!!! Keep on Jammin!
Best wishes always-DJ Jerry
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