DJ Rene Sanchez Jr. ready to mix up a good time at Citrus Festival

July 11, 2014
Santa Paula News

The 47th Annual Kiwanis Club Citrus Festival is coming to Harding Park July 18-19-20 as is Rene Sanchez Jr. who is ready to mix up a good time and donating his DJ services to the community fundraiser.

Sanchez will play Friday and Saturday at the festival from 5 to 7 p.m. the opening act to a variety of great entertainment including Hip Street Band and Ray Carrion & the Latin Allstars Friday and Juano & Friends and The Grove Live Band Saturday.

Sanchez will not play Sunday when the bands start playing at 2 p.m. with a lineup ranging from Lizette Rubio and Nueva Imajen to Banda Aspilleros and Groupo Brynis, among others. 

This year the festival is even offering a special package for concert-goers who enjoy all the entertainment.

Sanchez is himself a one-man band: “I play English and Spanish, from the newest to Big Band swing music. I really enjoy playing everything,” and a family event such as the Citrus Festival calls upon his DJ talents.

“This type of celebration has a really diverse crowd,” with musical tastes running from Motown, new music, oldies, disco, and rock ‘n’ roll, “just everything... and I do everything!”

The festival opens Friday July 18 at 5 p.m. and closes at 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday have the same closing time although the fun will begin at noon both days.

Admission is only $5 for adults, $2 for kids 10 and younger. 

Sanchez, a 22-year-old city native and 2010 Santa Paula High School graduate, said he became a DJ when he was about 13 years old with his father’s friendships with musicians and DJs sparked his interest.

Sanchez and his father, Rene Sanchez Sr. “Would go by the house of Steve Perez,” and also visit with Larry Villa, both Santa Paula residents and widely renowned DJs that had worked at popular stations including KMIX, Q104.7 and 103.3 The Vibe, among others.

Young Sanchez, already a music lover, found himself drawn to the records and equipment: “It fascinated me... so one day I asked my dad if I could get some equipment and we did.”

A career was born: Sanchez not only started appearing as a DJ at various venues but “Dad and I set up shop,” in a storage area outside their home and “Started our own radio station, KMIX... you never really hear what you want on the radio so we just did our own station,” a mixture of music and talk radio that highlighted the community and promoted local fundraisers.

After about 18 months “We didn’t have the time anymore” and the station was silenced.

Said Sanchez, “We had a lot of fun, played everything from A to Z and had our speakers and guests... when we weren’t playing music it was for people that wanted to get their word out. The station was a spur of the moment type thing... and there’s a very strong chance we’ll revive it one day,” especially as Sanchez sees his next career step as being an FM radio DJ. 

Sanchez’s own musical tastes vary: “Honestly,” he noted, “I don’t have a favorite genre... I love everything but I was brought up by my dad on older music,” including a lot of the Motown sound.

“But anything that’s real good, anything with a good beat and a positive message,” is what he likes best along with electronic dance music AKA EDM.

The customer is always musically right and Sanchez plays at weddings, school dances, birthdays, anniversaries, “Really, anybody that calls,” are for hire jobs he has added the music to.

But for nonprofits, such as the Citrus Festival, Relay for Life, Fillmore’s May Festival, health fairs, and others - Sanchez provides his services, “The complete package, lighting, music and sound system,” for free.

He spends 80 percent of his time working as an independent DJ and 20 percent working for After Hours Productions, owned by Jaime Rangel.

Sanchez is looking forward to his Kiwanis Club Citrus Festival gigs: “It’s going to be fun,” providing the music and patter that goes with it to his hometown, especially using the latest technology, that “Literally, lets me carry hundreds of thousands of songs with me at any time.”

Nowadays the turntable - available by request - holds a dummy record that for scratch sound effects is synchronized to the computer and CD.

The Serato program allows the computer and electronic equipment to “All talk to each other, I just manipulate from the CD player back to the computer,” after its been fed in, including adding scratch for those who want it.

Sanchez enjoys what he does, especially for nonprofits, “I’m always in for it... you get as much as you give,” he noted.

With his music and patter, Sanchez is living up to the recognition bestowed upon him by his SPHS senior year classmates: “I was the loudest in school, Most Vocal... they invented that just for me!”

This year being offered is special Concert VIP Passes, which include admission to the festival, two drinks (beer, wine, water or soda) and reserved concert seating, all for only $25 per person. Limited passes are available (cash or check only) at the Santa Paula Times, 120 Davis St. 

Remember, carnival ride tickets are a separate cost.

For more information about Sanchez’s DJ services call 805-760-7036. His mixes can be heard online at

To learn more about the 47th Annual Kiwanis Club Citrus Festival, visit - and be sure to Like them on Facebook!

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