Hi and Welcome! Thanks for stopping by my page!
Guess you are here because you want to know a little “about me.” This, to be honest, has been the toughest part of creating a website, lol.
I mean, what could people possibly want to really know, doesn’t my name say it all? I mean, I am the Ska Kid after all. But how did I get started? Where does my name come from? Well, here is a little insight into who Jess The Ska Kid is:
It all began back when I was a teenager. I began going to local all ages shows and was exposed to the local ska and punk scene in Kenosha. I remember going home from my first show at the Woman’s Club, after having heard, Worm Tongue, If all Else Fails, Best Foot Forward and Lucky Boys Confusion, and staying up all night practicing the ska, so that I would know how to dance at the next show. I continued going to shows throughout my teenage years.
In my later teenage years I worked Kemper Center Haunted House, which was run by the Teen Task Force, put on by volunteers of all walks of life, most of which loved metal music. I remember showing up and starting to hang and be friends with those that participated in Haunted House, all of which hated ska, but liked me and thus dubbed me “the ska kid.”
When I started at UW-Parkside in September of 2005 I joined their radio station, at the time it was 101.7 FM WIPZ, and the ska kid finally had a voice over the air waves. I started at the station as a DJ and then was voted onto the E-board as a DJ Representative and worked my way up to being Station Manager. While involved with the station I put together several shows, which included The Drastics, Deal’s Gone Bad, The Green Room Rockers and The Invaders. I ended my initial run in 2008, shortly before graduating.
In 2015 I re-joined the station, now 88.5 FM WIPZ, as just an alumni DJ and again started booking and promoting local shows. While at the station I weekly had a different band on the show to interview and play live. Acts included:
Frank Lenfesty from Pistofficer
Frank and Mike from HumbUg
We Are One
Carly Ravnikar from All our Fans are Cats
This is not an inclusive list and if you’d like to see more, check out the Jess the Ska Kid page on Facebook.
As well as doing my own radio show, I have assisted with booking within the community, as well as, assisting bands by connecting them to other’s out of state to coordinate tours and such.
In August of 2015 I MCed Midwest Ska Fest in Chicago and assisted with promoting the return of Skappleton.
In 2016 my partner and I launched Ska Chord Productions as we were getting contacted regularly to assist with booking shows, merch and flyers.
In April of 2016 we were asked to submit art work to be featured in a movie that was begin made by a film student in New York.
This past summer, 2017, I DJed Bark for Life, assisted with Punks on the Pier and hosted a benefit for Punk Piknik, which raised $160 for the annual event held Labor Day weekend.
In September of 2017 WIPZ and I parted ways, however, this wasn’t the end of me as I don’t like begin told no and when presented with an obstacle, figure out a new approach.
The Jess the Ska Kid show is now a live Facebook broadcast weekly on Thursday nights, which can be viewed by liking and following the Jess the Ska Kid Facebook page. You can also view our adventures by watching on YouTube as our videos are also available there. The format of the show is the same, interview and live performance by any artist who would like to join us.
Overall, music is life. I play sax and have played with Humbug, Republicans on Welfare, Donoma and Battle Hats. I have played numerous shows, have booked events and continue to connect folks with music in some form or fashion.
Many thanks to all that encourage, assist and promote me. I am really made up of a wonderful team that supports my ambitious endeavors.
Remember all, you can get it if you really want, but you must try-Desmond Dekker