Industry Weekly

[Evolution]

Blend DJ Institute can put you behind the decks

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Owner and founder Andrew Benna focuses on serving the Las Vegas DJ community.
Photo: Mona Shield-Payne

Think of Blend: The DJ Institute as a one-stop shop for electronic music producers. “I consider myself a jack of all trades,” says owner and founder Andrew Benna, who heads up a team well-versed in everything from DJing to producing to repairing turntables.

Benna, a hip-hop and electronic guru, has been DJing for 25 years, starting in San Francisco before moving to Vegas. Today he’s a resident DJ for Heart Bar at Planet Hollywood and 3535 at the Linq. But his “heart and soul,” he says, is at Blend. “I couldn’t do it by myself, he says. “We have a bunch of people that wear different hats and do different things.”

The school offers beginner, intermediate and advanced courses, all series of six one-hour lessons. “Just like guitar or piano, if you don’t practice you’re not going to excel.”

Blend also sells new and used gear and can assist with repairs, production and marketing. “I’ve got a guy that concentrates on [buying and selling] vinyl,” Benna says. The shop focuses on rare and old school hip-hop, but has a little bit of everything. “There’s a lot of hip-hop parents who want their kids to learn how to DJ,” he says, but Benna can turn anyone into a turntable hero—from doctors to insurance agents and senior citizens. “I just had a 72-year-old student two days ago,” he says, later adding, “We really try to focus on serving the DJ community. That’s our main purpose.” Blend: The DJ Institute, 5165 S. Fort Apache Road #175, 702-550-4492.

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Leslie Ventura is a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly and Industry Weekly. She’s picked the brains of rock stars ...

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