In 2001 our whole family seemed to be in a time of transition - maybe you've been there too. Luke had a young family and wasn't completely satisfied with his job in New York City, Daniel had just graduated college, Jonathan was about to graduate college, and our parents had just gotten divorced. We were questioning a lot of things and looking for what to do next; but in all of the questioning we knew we loved music and working together as a family.
We grew up in a musical household. Our parents were amateur musicians, and we were surrounded by music at home. Luke and Daniel got music degrees, were writing and performing together, and promoted concerts locally in Northern New Jersey for a time. And then our dad had moved to Northern Virginia and heard about a businessman who started a concert venue/recording studio/music store/CD store/book store/music lesson school called Jammin Java. The original owner had done all the buildout but had left the day-to-day in the hands of inexperienced managers. The business was failing, and he was looking for someone to revive it or else he'd have to close it down. We naively thought this would be a cool "day job" to support ourselves while we pursued music. It was much more than that - it was an all-consuming beast! If you are a small business owner you know what we mean. We inherited a lot that was good from the previous owner but also some not-so-good stuff: a catchy but silly name, an "un-hip" location in a strip mall in the 'burbs, and monthly rent that would be more appropriate for a Fifth Avenue retail giant than a fledgling nightclub. In hindsight, I'm not sure we would have taken on this challenge were it not for the blinders of youthful enthusiasm and naïveté. But we're glad we did! In the early stages, there was no room for much of anything else of consequence in our lives - relationships, hobbies, vacations, or our own music. And so after a few years of unrelenting tension, Luke couldn't deny his desire to focus more on his music and family and took a part-time role in Jammin Java. Jonathan and Daniel threw themselves whole-heartedly into the business while Luke toured and put out a handful of critically acclaimed records. In the intervening years, we each thankfully settled into our individual "callings" within Jammin Java. Daniel books all the concerts and events, Jonathan runs the operations, and Luke handles marketing and outreach. The brothers' skill sets complement each other nicely. Jammin Java found it's unique identity as well. Year after year, Pollstar Magazine recognizes the club as one of the Top 100 Venues in the world according to ticket sales, and we sell the most tickets of any club our size anywhere. We also have the most active children's music concert series of any nightclub around. Countless national publications have featured Jammin Java too, including Paste Magazine who named us one of the "Top 40 Music Venues" in the country. We have also built an incredible network of support from an international community of artists, fans, managers and agents who love what we do here. In the life of Jammin Java, as in our own lives over the past twelve years, there have been times of extreme struggle and near-devastation, false starts, detours and proud moments and triumphs. We made it through September 11th and the fallout, sniper attacks, a few blizzards and hurricanes, Presidential elections, and so much more, and we always find ourselves returning to what drew us to Jammin Java in the first place - music, family and community.
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