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Posted on: April 12, 2018

Scratch DJ Academy’s New Location in Downtown Hollywood Celebrates Grand Opening

Scratch DJ Academy recently relocated its South Florida center to Downtown Hollywood, and celebrated its grand opening March 22 with guest speakers and performances, and more than 100 guests, including DJs and producers from all over the country, Hollywood city officials and members of the local business community.

Scratch DJ Academy, a leader in DJ and music production education, opened its South Florida learning center 14 years ago in Miami. Founded in 2002 in New York City by the late Jam Master Jay of Run DMC, Scratch has taught more 500,000 aspiring DJs and producers worldwide. Other Scratch academies are in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago and Atlanta.

The move north to a more central location was prompted by increasing interest from Broward and Palm Beach County residents.

“Scratch has been a major part of the culture here in South Florida for 14 years,” said Jamie Keogh, Scratch Hollywood’s academy director and an academy instructor who’s professionally known as DJ Immortal. “Some of the best DJs in town have started at Scratch.”

The new Downtown Hollywood location at 2017 Harrison Street, which opened its doors in November, celebrated its grand opening in conjunction with the 13th annual Scratch Summit, a networking event featuring guest speakers and performers. 

“We had some of the best DJs in the world perform, including DJ Brace, DJ Ease and Buck Rodgers,” Keogh said. “Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy and City Commissioner Kevin Biederman also were both here celebrating with us. Mayor Levy even jumped on the turntables and dropped some beats.”

Scratch DJ Academy offers a variety of options for aspiring DJs and DJ producers. The Accelerated Program, for beginner students who want to become a working DJ producer in a condensed timeframe, meets three times a week for 15 weeks. The Part-Time Program includes training in a variety of mixing, scratching and music production techniques and meets twice a week for an average of six months.

“It’s like a real school, with hands-on instruction, assignments and graduations,” Keogh said.

Scratch’s other offerings are the Level 1 course, which teaches the fundamentals of DJing; private lessons for beginner enthusiasts to experienced DJs; and for youngsters ages 10 and older, a twice-weekly after school class and interactive five-day summer camps.

Scratch Hollywood utilizes state-of-the-art gear and instructors who are well-established professional DJs, including John Gregory (DJ SomeJerk), Joseph Luis Vargas (DJ Bounce), Phil Carafiello (DJ Fielo), JuanCarlos Noguera (DJ Kace) and Scott Koltun (DJ Knockers).

Those looking to book a skilled DJ can do so through Scratch’s website.

“We’re the only DJ service with our own in-house training,” Keogh said. “A lot of our students end up working for Scratch events when they graduate.”

The Downtown Hollywood center hosts Scratch events at the 1,100-square-foot facility, which is also available for birthday parties, workshops and other private events. 

Keogh said Downtown Hollywood’s designation as an arts, music and entertainment district certainly factored into the decision to relocate Scratch’s South Florida academy there.

“Our business goes hand in hand with art and music. There’s a lot going on here,” Keogh said, citing the downtown art galleries, outdoor murals and events. “Downtown Hollywood’s cool. We like the vibes here. We like the neighborhood here. It’s the creative environment that we were looking for.”

For more information on Scratch DJ Academy, call 754-757-0015 or visit www.scratch.com.

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