By Samantha White
Motor City Pride is celebrating a milestone this year as it returns to Detroit, where it all began 25 years ago. The festival is spreading its wings not only with a new space in Hart Plaza but with a new sound that promises to be bigger and better, with more musical acts, genres and dancing digs.
DJ Jace, born Jason Misleh, is at the forefront of the plans for this year’s music lineup. The resident DJ for Friday’s Pride nights at Necto in Ann Arbor, where he also lives, Jace has been playing there for six years now; he celebrated his 10th anniversary as a DJ last year.
And he can’t contain his excitement for this year’s Pride. “This year’s Pride appeals to all demographics of the gay community,” he says. “This will be the first year with national acts. There was one small dance area previously and one DJ and one small stage. This year there is more space for acts of different genres like pop, hip-hop and country.”
One of those acts includes Jace himself, who will play at 6:30 p.m. June 4 in the Underground Dance Area at Hart Plaza.
“I definitely have some tricks up my sleeve,” he teases.
Jace launched his DJing career in 2000, inspired by Joe Bermudez, whose versatile mixing appeals to a wide-range of different audiences and clubs.
This year he adds event planner to his list of accomplishments, taking a lead role in planning the Pride entertainment.
While he’s excited about the new entertainment, he does admit it’s a letdown that there are some naysayers who, in spite of the possibilities, don’t want Pride downtown.
“It’s sad that there are some people in our community who feel that way. Most people don’t complain how ‘unsafe’ the city is when they are going to the casino or the Detroit Electronic Music Festival,” he says, noting some of the other festivities and venues that are often frequented by suburbanites.
But, Jace says, this is a growth opportunity for the gay community.
“You have to fight for what you believe in and that’s how you get change,” Jace says.
And Jace is doing just that, as he continues to turn the tables, if you will, in our very own community.
For more information on Motor City Pride’s 2011 entertainment line-up, visit http://www.motorcitypride.org.