Montréal-born John “JB” Britton (DJ Johnny Calzone) has been DJing for almost 20 years. Growing up in a household where the record player or the radio was always on, his love affair with music started early. His father was an avid record collector and took pride in his music collection. John yearned to have a collection all his own.
At the age of 9, John purchased his first album — Dream Police by Cheap Trick, which he still owns. At 10, he started working, and that meant money in his pocket for weekly outings to record stores to buy albums. By his mid-teens, John’s collection of albums numbered in the hundreds.
John’s passion for music continued to grow, and he started playing drums. While out one night at a bar that played ska, punk rock, reggae, and old-school soul, he met some guys who asked him to join their ska band as a percussion player. John agreed, and the band, Me, Mom & Morgentaler, gained a following in Montréal and beyond. John spent the next eight years touring with the band, playing bars and clubs and eventually larger venues and festivals all across the continent.
In 2002, John’s friend asked him to DJ a party. John had never DJed before, so he hesitated, but his friend insisted. He knew John was a music nerd who could cater to a diverse goup of people by playing both old and new music in a wide variety of styles. The party was a huge success.
That one gig led to another, and another, and within that same year, John was DJing at two bars and a trendy clothing store four times a week. Contacts he made at these gigs invited him to play parties all over the city, and he even did an opening slot for the Washington D.C. duo Thievery Corporation.
In 2003, John moved to Toronto and started DJing at the now-defunct Andy Poolhall in Little Italy, a standing gig for five years. Since then, John has been playing parties, weddings, corporate and gallery events, and even a benefit gala for Toronto City Hall workers. Over the years, John has done over 500 DJ gigs, not counting residencies. He continues to add to his music collection and he regularly attends shows and concerts.