Making you dance until your feet bleed since 2005

Toast and Jam (cropped)

We are Toast & Jam

Welcome to the Toast & Jam Blog! We are a women-owned, music obsessed DJ company based in Chicago, Illinois. I am Mary Nisi and I started this company with a passion for music and a big idea of how we could make weddings unembarrassing and frankly, dope as hell.

by Mary Nisi

I started the company with three kickass women DJs, Mary, Kate and Rachel, and then our token male, Dustin, came on board followed by Kristen shortly after.

Fun fact: I used to do a lot of improv back in the day (you can’t live in Chicago for very long before you find yourself “yes-and-ing” someone on a black box stage ). I was in a car with some fellow improvisers on our way to a corn maze, as you do. I was like, ‘I’m starting a DJ company and we can probably come up with something before we get to the pumpkin launcher’.... A few hundred miles, and a couple of false starts later (there were like 7 seconds where we were almost called “Beauty and the Beat” but that seemed like too much pressure), Toast & Jam was born.

We started small and scrappy like the A-Team - you had to know where to find us. I worked out of my house, having company meetings around my dinner table with a home-cooked meal on the table while sussing out what happened at a new venue that could be better the next time we are there, or what really is the most epic song to follow up whatever song is slaying at the time. Then we moved to a studio space in Wicker Park (it may have been the practice space in the 90s for Liz Phair and The Smashing dropping is still cool, right?). In 2017 I bought the building that housed Pitchfork Media in Logan Square and incidentally started another business in there with all the space - a coworking biz called Ampersand, and now you could call me a serial entrepreneur.

The thing that sets us apart from most DJs is that we care, like we REALLY care.

From a small but mighty team of 5 to our current count of 25, a lot of things have changed but a lot has stayed the same. We have DJed countless weddings (currently we do about 700 each year) and special events. We do events large, small, private, corporate...I have DJed for President Barack Obama – twice, so we are basically best friends now...

The thing that sets us apart from most DJs is that we care, like we REALLY care. From the typical things a dj should care about - being good on the mic and having the right edit of the first dance song - to all of the other things that make a couple’s wedding go smoothly (I’ve grabbed a lot of knives in the kitchen for the cake cutting, bustled a lot of dresses...I once had to put pants on a drunk groomsman and prop him up for introductions...) We’re a super close group and we’ve all got each other’s back.

I once had a cable break before a wedding. I knew Kate and Rachel, two of my star DJs, were working nearby so I called to see if they had an extra – and they did (always be prepared!). I literally drove by their venue, rolled down the window and they smoothly threw the satellite cable into my passenger window and I kept driving. Now that’s effing teamwork.

We care about communication (all of my DJs can write in full-non-emoji-sentences) and we all work together to make sure our clients are the most satisfied they can be. Not to mention, we’re super confident in our dancefloor-packing capabilities. We know what works but we also love a good challenge. Give us all of your weird stuff and we will find a way to fit it in.

Peace out and stay tuned for more behind the scenes stories. If you have any questions you’re dying to know the answers to, let us know!

If a Toast & Jam event is for you, you should totally