Making you dance until your feet bleed since 2005

Let’s Get to Know Each Other.

You and Your DJ: Down Since Day One

Unlike with other DJ companies, Toast & Jam clients have a dedicated DJ from Day One – the DJ you first meet with is the DJ who deejays your wedding. Your wedding is a big deal - too big a deal to have a relative stranger just walk in and press play on any ol’ playlist, and then struggle with the pronunciations of your wedding party’s names because they were handed the list the morning of your wedding (yikes!). Our clients get a DJ whom they trust and who understands what they want for their wedding. We like getting to know our clients and we think it makes us better at our job (which is to help make your event awesome).

We Are Totally Team Players

We’re not just human iPods – we also work alongside your other vendors to help orchestrate all the critical moments of your big day and stick to your timeline. For example, we would never start toasts when you’re off in the photobooth, or let your photographer miss your first dance. Our DJs collaborate with caterers, photographers and planners to produce a beautifully soundtracked event that keeps people dancing and having a good time

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DJ Mary Nisi (she / her)

Founder/DJ

DJ Mary Nisi (she / her)

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Pronouns: she / her

Fed up with the cheesy antics and shameless self-promotion of typical wedding disc jockeys, Mary Nisi founded Toast and Jam in 2005 based on the idea that her clients and guests should be entertained, not overshadowed. Music-obsessed since childhood, Mary got her start in community radio and began DJing events when a listener called the request line and asked if she would DJ their wedding. Since then, the company has provided the soundtrack to thousands of weddings and events in Chicago and beyond, most notably for Barack & Michelle Obama, Valerie Jarrett, Laura Jarrett, Vince Vaughn, and this one afterparty for every important NASCAR driver who were all very amused by the fact that she didn’t know who any of them were. She is a founding member of the Chicago Independent Radio Project (CHIRP) and currently hosts "The Noonday Underground" on Mondays from noon to 3pm on CHIRPradio.org. She’s DJed at numerous spots around Chicago including The Whistler, Cole’s Danny's (RIP!), Schuba's, The Burlington, Delilah's and Smashing Time, the legendary Saturday night dance party at The Hideout, as well as abroad at All Tomorrow's Parties, the celebrated music festival in Camber Sands, England. A graduate of DePaul University and a native of Omaha, Nebraska, Mary has been featured on NPR's All Things Considered, Chicago Public Radio, Ignite Talks, CS Brides, The Knot, Wedding Wire, The Atlantic, Chicago Tribune, Brides Chicago, Martha Stewart Weddings, Logan Squarist, and Block Club Chicago. In 2017 Mary bought the old Pitchfork Media building in Logan Square to house the T&J offices and decided to convert the rest of the space in Ampersand Cowork, a very baller shared work and event space that routinely comes in second place as the Best Coworking Space according to the Chicago Reader (whomp whomp). When she’s not tending to one of her businesses, you may find Mary hosting a function on the building’s 2,000 square-foot rooftop deck. She co- founded one such event, a recurring pop-up called Ladies of Logan, to showcase the neighborhood’s outstanding crop of female entrepreneurs. Mary fills the rest of her time with beekeeping in her Logan Square backyard, sewing in the basement, downhill skiing, watching Jeopardy!, and bicycling around the neighborhood with her husband, John, and son Sebastian.

Norah

DJ Norah (she / her)

Business Manager / DJ

DJ Norah (she / her)

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DJ Norah is a jack of all creative trades. She deejayed clubs and played keyboard in a band called Headache City before she found her musical calling with Toast & Jam. She once ran a craft fair and later worked at a chic modern furniture store (she has a soft spot for mid-century modern pieces and dreams of someday owning a Saarinen Womb Chair). Her most recent creative passion has been making elaborate costumes for her two kids - she's turned her daughter into David Bowie, Colonel Sanders and Steve Martin from “The Jerk”, among others. Last Halloween, the whole family went as Ghostbusters characters, and this year, Norah will transform her brood into the cast of Golden Girls. Norah’s just as creative with her dancefloor playlists as she is with her costume concepts. She is taking care of business M-F, in charge of scheduling, client services and lots of other important stuff. When not running the office or DJing events, she loves to sit in her backyard and hang out with her EIGHT pet chickens. She promises her love for her chickens won't result in the dreaded Chicken Dance!

Kyle

DJ Kyle (HEHIM)

Photobooth Manager/DJ

DJ Kyle (HE / HIM)

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Pronouns: HE / HIM

Everyone, meet Kyle. Born and raised in the NW Suburbs, Kyle learned to DJ the old fashioned way, by sneaking into his dad’s record collection and commandeering his Technics. Nowadays, Kyle appreciates the flexibility that modern technology provides, but is always and forever a vinyl nerd, having been an avid record collector since the age of 12. His tastes are all over the place, from sunshine pop like the Beach Boys, to soul & disco like Chaka Kahn and of course, Classic Chicago House (Frankie Knuckles, anyone?), but his biggest (well, shortest, technically) musical hero is the one, the only Purple One, Prince. While Kyle was in band in high school, seeing Derick Carter & Mark Farina DJ at West Fest one year changed his focus to DJing and upping his crate digging game, he was so inspired by the vibe and energy of the dancing crowd. Kyle also loves cooking, comics, movies, and basketball, but his main passion is DJing and it shows.

Alli

DJ Alli (she / her)

DJ Alli (she / her)

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DJ Alli knows how to bring the party. She spends her free time working as part of CHIRP's Live Event team. This requires Alli to be something of a local music expert so that she can book and curate the best local band showcases in the city. Her other party trick (being an excellent DJ…duh) came from her background in radio: she majored in Radio Communications at Columbia College, and worked in programming for CBS Radio for years. You can currently hear Alli on CHIRP every Tuesday from 3-6pm. When this party queen needs to trade rock & roll for real R&R, she enjoys spending time with her family Irish Setters, Rauri and Owen, working in her backyard garden, and canning apple sauce and borscht with her husband, Will.

Chris

DJ Chris (he / him)

DJ Chris (he / him)

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Chris’s parents met at a club in St. Charles, Missouri. His dad played trombone and tuba in a band; his mom is an Elvis purist who would later lead family pilgrimages to Graceland every couple of years, so clearly music is in Chris’s DNA. He started writing songs as a kid and joined his first band in high school. He moved to Chicago to study film and art at Columbia College, and has since become an important contributor to our music community, playing with several bands, pursuing his own songwriting project Judson Claiborne, and most recently working on a podcast opera called The Fruit Stare, named for the foraging habits of orangutans (look it up). During the school year, Chris works as a teaching artist with CPS, helping third- through eighth-graders make theater and performance art about social issues they care about. During the summer months, he’s finding harmony working in his garden in Albany Park.

Dave Temp Shot

DJ Dave (He/Him + They/Them)

DJ Dave (He/Him + They/Them)

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Growing up a hockey playing kid in the NW 'burbs of Chicago, Dave heard Nirvana on 120 Minutes and traded his skates for a guitar and dove headfirst into the Chicago punk scene. After finishing at Columbia College, he moved to NYC to start a band. He first DJed a psych night with a band mate and fell in love with it, leading to gigs spinning at bars and clubs all over NYC. Lover of all genres, Dave's sets run the gamut from funk to punk, soul to psych, hip-hop to whatever feels right. One night a couple who loved what he was playing asked if he'd DJ their wedding. He agreed, and had an absolute blast being a part of their special day. Originally an all vinyl DJ, he lost most of his collection in Superstorm Sandy, so he went digital and discovered a new means of expression. Now that Dave is back in Chicago, he's continuing his musical journey both behind the drums in the Bollywood rock band Do the Needful, behind the decks at bars and clubs all over town, and here at Toast and Jam, where he loves creating memorable musical experiences.

Dezi Headshot

DJ Dezi (they / them)

DJ Dezi (they / them)

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Hailing from the Southwest suburbs of Chicago, Dezi was drawn to the arts from the start. One of their earliest and fondest memories was when their grandpa would let them play hooky from gymnastics in order to play on the playground and drink pop instead. (Yes, they call it pop. They're from Chicago!) After a very short-lived toddler gymnastics career, they discovered their true love - music. Dezi started playing the violin at age 8 and, soon after, picked up the piano and guitar. They moved to the city in 2013 to pursue a Music Composition degree from Columbia College Chicago and play in local bands. Through making friends in the Chicago music scene, they found Toast & Jam! Dezi loves curating good vibes and helping clients showcase their uniqueness and celebrate their love through music. When Dezi isn't busy being the party king, they are hard at work developing their daily practice of Muay Thai, a Thai Kickboxing art also known as "the science of 8 limbs." They have big dreams of fighting competitively and visiting Thailand to learn from the masters. After getting their b*tt kicked during a hard training session, Dezi likes to kick back and relax with their rescue cat Margo or try to teach themself K Pop dances. Key word- try.

Dustin bw

DJ Dustin (he / him)

DJ Dustin (he / him)

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If you’ve been to Chicago in the past two decades, you've probably seen or heard DJ Dustin somewhere -- be it DJing, hosting a radio show, or peddling records at local fairs and events. Obsessive record collecting as a teenager led him down the path of music journalism (Magnet, Dusted, MTV2, Stop Smiling), then to hosting a radio show and DJing. Dustin regularly DJs in Chicago bars like the Whistler, Coles and the Owl. A veteran of the local record label scene, Dustin spent years at the archival reissue label The Numero Group, and also ran his own record labels Plustapes and Addenda. In 2015, he was nominated for a GRAMMY (Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package) an A2IM Award (Creative Packaging) and won an AIM award (UK) for his work on the Numero release, Cities of Darskcorch. If you're a voracious fan of cult television, you may recognize Dustin and his wife Morgan from their viral YouTube videos about Game of Thrones, Avatar The Last Airbender, Star Wars, the Marvel universe and more. In the few instances when he has free time, Dustin enjoys watching far too much television, playing board games and indulging his (even) more nerdy interests by collecting comic books and vintage synthesizers.

Fallon

DJ Fallon (she / her)

DJ Fallon (she / her)

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Fallon started playing piano at the ripe old age of 4. But her musical talent would soon become a musical obsession or, more accurately, an obsession with musicals. Fallon first got bit by the Broadway bug in high school when she saw the Frank Sinatra musical “Come Fly With Me.” She’s since seen dozens more in both Chicago and New York, including Waitress, Mean Girls, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Kinky Boots, Carousel, Spam-A-Lot, Book of Mormon and Hamilton four times (including with Lin Manuel Miranda and the original cast). While she’d love to be a Broadway musician someday, for now she keeps very busy playing saxophone, clarinet, keys and bass as a freelance musician and with the band Impulsive Hearts. Fallon lives in Edgewater with her two pets Willow and Thea (who are CATS, obviously).

Jenna

DJ Jenna (she / her)

DJ Jenna (she / her)

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Jenna was a Girl Scout as a kid and even though she hung up her sash back in high school, it seems she’s still racking up merit badges. Having been born in England, studied abroad in Japan, and traveled to Morocco, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and Bulgaria, among others, Jenna’s solidly earned her International Relations badge. She got her Social Sciences badge with her BA from Gustavus Adolphus College and her Master’s from University of Chicago. In her job as a policy analyst at a non-profit think tank, Jenna studies the impact of government programs on children and families (that could count for a lot of badges but we’re leaning toward “Think Tank Badge”…because it sounds cool). When she’s not at her day job, Jenna utilizes her General Knowledge and Geography badges at pub trivia, her Team Sports badge playing in the Chicago Media 16-inch softball league, her Vinyl badge as a radio DJ and one of the organizers of the CHIRP Radio Record Fair, and of course her Badass DJ badge with Toast & Jam.

Karissa

DJ Karissa (she/her + they/them)

DJ Karissa (she/her + they/them)

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Karissa is a polymath--artist, musician, DJ, record label maven, pet parent to Roo Roo the rescue pittie, and all-around human dynamo. Growing up in the verdant hills of west/central Massachusetts, she started collecting albums from age 13 and now has a vast library she loves to share, be it spinning wax at bars and turning folks onto music she's discovered, or crafting the perfect soundtrack for celebrations at Toast and Jam. Karissa’s a literal dyed in the wool artist, with a degree in textile design from the Art Institute of Chicago, where she had a radio show named Turn On Tune In Drop Out that specialized in psychedelic music throughout the ages. All this makes a lot of sense when you learn Karissa has the unusual and very cool gift of synesthesia. She can see music and taste colors! Rad! When she's not rocking the dancefloor, you can catch her rocking behind the drums in the band Les Strychnine.


Kate

DJ Kate (she / her)

DJ Kate (she / her)

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DJ Kate cut her DJ teeth spinning records at the Rollerworld Roller Rink in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and she spent more than ten years in radio as a DJ on WIDR in Kalamazoo and WPHS in Detroit. She was the longtime co-host of Kate & Rachel's Old Style Show on WLUW in Chicago. Although Kate has a particular passion for punk, soul, and psych, her depth of knowledge and deep down love of music make her DJ sessions pop. Kate is also an avid pinball enthusiast. She plays in local leagues and tournaments and even has her own collection of machines at home. She’s also one of the founding memebers of the Chicago chapter of Belles and Chimes, a women-only league. On the rare occasion that she isn't DJing or pinballing, she enjoys playing hockey.

Marjorie

DJ Marjorie (they / them)

DJ Marjorie (they / them)

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Marjorie grew up in Central Florida roaming the world’s largest covered flea market (where their dad ran a shop) and hanging out with snakes and gators at small swimming holes. With a childhood spent around old stuff and reptiles, it’s no surprise that they developed a tiny obsession with dinosaurs in their adulthood. During a five-month road trip around the country, Marjorie visited multiple dinosaur attractions in the American West, including more than four vintage dinosaur parks in South Dakota alone. Their grown-up gap year also took them through other natural wonders including a solar eclipse in Southern Illinois, the Great Smoky Mountains, the leaves changing in Maine, and California’s Pacific coast, among others. After returning from their car voyage of self-discovery, Marjorie, a stand-up comedian, started High Tea Variety Hour, a monthly show featuring POC, LGBTQIA and female comedy acts, burlesque performers and music. They currently live in Portage Park with their Australian Shepherd mix Storm and their cat Rizzo.

Maureen Updated

DJ Maureen (she / her)

DJ Maureen (she / her)

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Multi-instrumentalist and gifted chef, DJ Maureen is as comfortable behind the decks blending songs into a harmonious set as she is working the line blending flavors into a harmonious dish. While cooking is her bread and butter, music is her toast and jam (ha!). Descended from generations of music teachers, she's a classically trained pianist who can also play the bassoon, French horn, trombone, flute, guitar--and is working on the sax. Coming up in the DIY scene in Athens, Ohio, Maureen helped start the collective Young Camelot that booked bands and threw awesome parties; hospitality and music are constants in her life to this day. While raging dance floors are a thrill for her, nothing touches her quite like watching an old couple share a slow dance.

Mike Updated

DJ Mike (he / him)

DJ Mike (he / him)

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DJ Mike is ten years a Chicagoan by way of New York and Florida, and carries with him all the trappings of living in several of the strangest places in the US. As a reformed art school graduate, he's run bars and restaurants, worked as a freelance writer, had a brief stint in motorsports, and currently moonlights as a craft brewer at one of the country's best craft breweries (Hint: it's in Chicago). Mike DJs all over town, honing his skills playing vinyl-only sets at bars and clubs (Ludlow, Slippery Slope, The Owl, Sportsman's), and using them to bring flavor and style to weddings and private parties. Ask him about his favorite record stores, recent finds, and what he can play for you!

Rachel

DJ Rachel (she / her)

DJ Rachel (she / her)

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DJ Rachel's musical expertise ranges from opera to reggae, but she got a soft spot for the 60s and 70s jams she spins as co-host on Kate & Rachel's Old Style Show, a popular late night program on Chicago's WLUW 88.7FM. She also enjoys spinning her vintage vinyl at places such as The Whistler and Beauty Bar. Rachel earned her Bachelor's of Music Degree in vocal performance, and dawn-lights as a cantor in Chicago and Wilmette. Rachel has been with Toast & Jam for over a decade and adores her job as a dance-floor connoisseur. Never one to limit herself creatively, Rachel has wrestled for KPOWW (Kalamazoo Precinct of Women's Wrestlers) and helped to choreograph the Miss Kalamazoo County Beauty Pageant. When she is not spending money on records, dancing her pants off, or playing guitar in her band Squish, Rachel enjoys racquetball, chicken-raising, and dessert.

DJ Tabitha

DJ Tabitha (she / her)

DJ Tabitha (she / her)

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DJ Tabitha loves music. But she doesn’t just talk the talk, she walks the walk. Literally - she played tuba for competitive marching bands in high school and college. Born in Iowa Falls, Iowa, Tabitha taught herself to play piano on an old upright that her mom, who grew up on a farm, had traded a cow for decades earlier (true story!). Tabitha studied Music Education at Illinois State University before transferring to Columbia College, where she received a degree in Music Business. Today she works for the Steans Music Institute at Ravinia and for the Lyric Opera of Chicago. She also plays in The Reading Band and loves going to hear music at Grant Park, The Gallery Cabaret and La Villa Italian Restaurant, where every Friday they have a guy who covers pop songs on his accordion (awesome).

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

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