Morrell Bunbury and Chad Ste. Marie specialize in fun.
Last October, they opened JAZ Entertainment on Kingman Street. And not to worry: that is not a misspelling on their storefront sign. “JAZ” is an acronym built with the first names of Morrell’s daughters: Jazz-Lynn, Aryana, and Zoey.
“If you’re curious, and the door’s open, come on in,” Morrell said recently, while seated at JAZ with Chad.
JAZ Entertainment is a traveling party service that can provide DJs, a photo booth, and other fun concessions, all listed on JAZ Entertainment’s Web site. Clients can order a custom package, or choose one item from the JAZ Entertainment menu to enhance any occasion, from a wedding to a birthday party or a business gathering.
“We can do anything to add to your party,” Chad said.
“And if we don’t have it, and you want it,” Morrell added, “we’ll try to get it.” JAZ Entertainment is unique, because it is the rare DJ service with an actual storefront. Morrell and Chad thought it would be beneficial to provide a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere in which to meet with clients, prior to their events. It’s worked.
“People feel a lot more comfortable when they can come down to meet you, rather than contact someone on the phone and then write a check,” Chad said.
Having a downtown presence has also been good for business. JAZ Entertainment is the scheduled DJ for this winter’s Father Daughter Gala, in St. Albans, and Morrell has been known to bring his equipment to One Federal restaurant, when needed. JAZ Entertainment is also in talks for regular work at the St. Albans Historical Museum and the American Legion post in St. Albans Town.
JAZ Entertainment will also be at the Franklin County Rotary Home Show later this winter.
“That’s going to give us a lot of exposure,” Morrell said.
Morrell has been a member of the Vermont National Air Guard since 2003, with a total of 18 years of military service, so JAZ Entertainment offers a generous military discount: up to 20 percent. He and Chad provide the services through JAZ, but they do subcontract help if necessary.
“I just love music,” Morrell said. “Music is what grooves people.” Morrell, 36, moved to New York City from his native Guyana, when he was in middle school, to live with his father. Morrell’s uncle, DJ Sam Stone, worked privately for large, extravagant parties in the Big Apple, with an 18-speaker wall of sound; he let Morrell spin his first record – Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” – when Morrell was just 13.
Morrell joined the U.S. Army when he graduated from high school, because he wanted to leave Queens. He came to Vermont in 1999 and never left.
Chad, 30, is a Swanton native and 2001 graduate of Missisquoi Valley Union High School (MVU). He has worked in marketing for Costco, in Colchester, and recently switched to part-time there, to focus more on JAZ Entertainment.
Morrell and Chad met last July, after Chad responded to a Craigslist ad that Morrell posted, looking for a DJ. They both had worked as DJs for years and clicked instantly.
Their future goals for JAZ Entertainment are to make their business name known, and keep their prices fair.
“There are DJ services out there robbing people,” Morrell said, “and they don’t even provide the same services we do. We’re here to take over. That’s it.” And as their business motto says: “Don’t party without us.”