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Cocktail Piano or Jazz Piano

Cocktail Piano or Jazz Piano

You’re having a classy event, perhaps a corporate holiday party or a cocktail hour for your wedding reception. You call up a company like mine and you tell the entertainment planner that you want a piano player to play background music during your cocktail hour, something “jazzy”. Most profession piano entertainers are able to play in the style of jazz to varying degrees, without actually being a legit jazz pianist. To many clients, Frank Sinatra and Michael Buble are jazz, and those are the melodies they want to hear. Maybe they want to hear some lite FM melodies sprinkled in. […]

Dueling Piano Shows – recent trends

When rock ‘n roll dueling pianos began in earnest in the late ’80’s, it quickly took the format of 4 pianists rotating through the stage every hour in teams of 2. Each team would play through request slips written down by the audience for an hour, and then the second team would relieve them, continuing to keep the energy at a fever pitch while the first team got a break. There were no drums, originally and certainly no other instruments on stage. Many comedy bits and audience call downs were created and perfected, including common ones such as the guy […]

Incorporating Dueling Pianos into your Wedding Reception

Last week a bride reached out to me. She had seen Dueling Piano shows in NYC and in Boston, and wanted to know how to incorporate the format into her reception. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I sent her some video of a wedding show we had just done the week before… (click on link below) Wedding Reception with Dueling Pianos A good dueling piano show in the context of a wedding includes dancing, lots of audience interaction, comedy and music, all the while keeping the focus of the event squarely on the bride and groom and […]

30th Birthday Party Song Ideas

A while back I did a post about what songs people were requesting for their 40th Birthday parties. I’m not a DJ, but I do take requests with my Dueling Piano show, and so I do know what people are asking for. It seems that right around the time people hit their “tweens” and through their adolescence folks start to take more of an interest in the music they listen to. If they have an older sibling, it might begin earlier. Perhaps it’s during this time that we humans begin to develop our own identity, separate from that of our […]

What kind of electric piano should we buy for our piano bar?

A close friend of mine who has been playing only acoustic pianos in piano bars for the past 12 years has been invited to open up a new piano bar and the owners wanted to buy an electric piano to put inside a piano shell for him. Since most dueling piano shows are done on electric stage pianos, he asked for my opinion. I have no association with any of the brands mentioned here. For what it’s worth, here’s my opus: I would go with the Yamahas. They have a good piano sound, and are sturdy. The best would be […]

Unique Entertainment Idea: Silent Disco

Imagine walking into what you think will be a kick-ass party, and as you walk towards the door, you’re wondering why everything is strangely quiet. You think you are in the wrong place, but as you enter, you see scores of people dancing and having fun, but there’s no music coming out of any speakers. Most everyone has headsets on except for a few people that have set them aside to talk. The host hands you your headsets, shows you your volume control and tells you that you can choose between 2 channels, each with different music. There is a […]

What drives the cost of my private event entertainment?

Let’s say you’re throwing a private party for your spouse’s 40th birthday, or perhaps you are considering entertainment for a Gala Fundraising Dinner for your nonprofit organization. Maybe you saw a Dueling Piano show or a really good party band on your vacation to NYC last month and you want them to entertain for your special event. The things that you see are great entertainment. But it’s the things you don’t see that the professional event entertainer is probably going to base his price on. Here’s 8 that you should be aware of before you contact your entertainment provider for […]

Unique event spaces in Manhattan

New York City is one of the event capitals of the world, and because of how precious real estate is, especially in Manhattan, many cool places serve double duty both as their original function (i.e. Library, Museum) and as event spaces that can be rented out. You’ve already figured out your unique event entertainment (New York, NY Dueling Pianos, of course!) Now, here’s 5 unique spaces on the island of Manhattan to consider if you are seeking something different than a standard hotel or convention space for your corporate event, wedding, or gala fundraiser. The iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building of […]

Looking for entertainment venues

Planning a special event is exciting- and more than a little rough on the nerves. For the love of God, you never want your event to be remembered for the ‘AWFUL (insert venue, entertainment, food, atmosphere)’ You’ve already found great entertainment. But finding the right entertainment venue is one of the more traditionally vexing aspects of party planning. In the interests of making that process a little less fraught, here’s a few tips to help you make the best decision. Consider the season. You may have the absolute perfect venue in mind, but if it’s most charming features can only […]

Corporate Events: Dueling Pianos and Tip Jars

I don’t normally put tip jars on my pianos or ask for tips when I do a corporate gig. I think it’s generally inappropriate to charge thousands of dollars to a client and pedal tips from their guests.  And we are quite capable of putting on an engaging show without using the tip mechanism. But…tips do add a very interesting element to the dueling piano format, as you can see on some of our demos. Let’s say someone gives us a request for Piano Man along with $5. If someone hates that song, they can stop it immediately with $6 […]