Today we are thrilled to shout out about the amazing team at John Ross Music and Production. These talented folks are both incredible musicians/vocalists as well as DJs. Yes, they can do both! They really are the perfect resource for couples who want some live music AND traditional DJ services on their wedding day. John Ross heads up this team and currently has 6 awesome musicians to choose from. You can see photos, bios, and samples songs from each musician on their website!
Besides their sheer talent, we just love how invested they are in their clients. They take great care to partner with their clients to ensure their music selection supports their overall wedding day vision. This team cares, and delivers top notch service throughout the time they spend working with their clients. If you are looking for your wedding day music provider, look no further! We asked owner & musician John Ross a few questions…check out what he had to say.
Photo credit: Stark Photography
Where are you originally from? And how long have you been in Portland?
I grew up in Salem, OR and moved to PDX in 1998 for college. I’ve lived here ever since!
What is your favorite thing about Portland?
I like the culture: music, shows, food, beer, wine, and the proximity to the beach & mountains
What is your favorite spot or thing to do in Portland?
I love the Montavilla neighborhood, home of my favorite restaurant / bar, The Observatory.
How long have you been working as a professional wedding musician/DJ?
What people/training/experiences/opportunities led you to this career path?
I studied music in college and gained experience putting together timelines and creating flow while working at various churches during and after college. As a musician, friends would routinely ask me to perform music at their weddings – usually during the ceremony, cocktail hour, or dinner. I noticed a trend where about the time I’d be wrapping up there would be a wedding DJ arriving and setting up all the same gear I was leaving with. When I stayed for the remainder of these weddings the DJ’s performance and professionalism often left something to be desired. I began to wonder what would happen if I just stuck around and took care of all the music and sound for the whole day. The next time a friend asked if I could help with music at their wedding I said, “Yes, but you’ve got to let me do the whole thing.” I had a great experience and our unique approach to wedding music was officially born.
Photo credit: Becerra Photography
How would you describe the importance of your role & why do you feel a couple should hire a professional (DJ) for their wedding day?
Most couples know a friend or family member who plays an instrument or dabbles in DJing. Often they consider asking those folks to take care of the music and sound at their wedding. What some couples don’t realize is that the key components of the job have little to do with musical expertise or operating a cross-fader. Your DJ is responsible for providing all the sound gear for the day and making sure everyone can hear your officiant, vows, announcements and toasts. Your DJ is also the voice of your event, directing your guests from one location to the next and making sure everyone knows what’s happening and what’s coming next. We take pride in expertly delivering these intangibles in a fun and professional manner.
What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is hearing feedback from happy clients. We make a habit of going the extra mile for our couples and when everyone on our team nails their part of the process the end result is a fantastic experience for our clients and their guests. The phone calls, letters and emails we receive reinforce how important our work can be and inspire us to keep up the good work.
What do you find most challenging about your specific line of work or weddings in general?
We work a wide variety of weddings: from backyards to fancy museums, from tight budgets to crazy galas, and from a huge team of professional vendors to being the sole professional on site. This creates some unique challenges and the opportunity to adjust our approach from wedding to wedding. We often take more initiative to keep things moving, etc. when other vendors aren’t present. We also know how to work smoothly with other professionals when timelines need to be adjusted in the moment to make the best decisions for our client and their guests.
Photo credit: Devin Jenkins
Do you work solo or do you have a studio and/or team?
Our team includes 6 different musician/DJs and a full-time Administrator.
What do you attribute to your success as a wedding (fill in blank)? What do you think makes you stand apart from others in your field?
We’ve been successful for a few reasons. First, we offer a unique combination of products: live music, DJ service and all the necessary sound gear from 1 vendor. Second, our team is super talented and passionate: we really love what we do and it shows. Third, we emphasize customer service at every stage of our process. We want our clients to feel like we’ve gone above and beyond to create happy and lasting memories from their big day.
At what point in the wedding planning process should clients hire you?
We recommend booking about a year prior to the wedding date. This ensures clients will get their 1st or 2nd favorite musician/DJ from our team. We usually have someone available at 4-6 months out but at that point it’s often just one or two people to choose from.
Where do you draw inspiration? Are there any current trends you are excited about?
We’re inspired by other professionals in the Portland market who are doing great work and prioritizing guest-experience. We’ve networked with and learned a lot from our coordinator, photographer, officiant and DJ friends. We’re also inspired by the musicians we love. Everyone on our team enjoys going out and hearing live music and many of us are regularly creating our own original solo music. Our clients are often drawn to a specific musician on our team when they hear their original music in person or online.
What is the most important thing that couples should ask someone in your profession before hiring them?
Can you guarantee it will really be you – in person – on-site the day of the wedding? I’ve been surprised by how many DJ companies book couples but don’t assign a DJ to the event until later in the process. Knowing who the face and voice of your event will be seems like an important detail to us.
Photo credit: Bryan Rupp Photography
What is your best advice for wedding clients?
Don’t be afraid to let your personality show in your music selections. Most of your guests aren’t coming because they love weddings, they’re coming because they love you!
Anything else you’d like couples to know about you?
We’d love to meet them! Check out our website to learn more about our unique approach then contact us with your date to see which musician/DJs are available.
Thanks John! And thank you all for taking the time to get to know more about this wonderful company. They really do a wonderful job and we hope you will check them out for your wedding. We know you will not be disappointed!
Check our recent blog post that gives you a list of questions you should ask your DJ before hiring them.Trust us, you want a professional for this important role! https://artofweddingspdx.com/tips-advice/questons-to-ask-when-hiring-a-dj/
Main blog post image photo credit: Cari Nolte