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Free Entertainment For Fundraisers

Free Entertainment For Fundraisers

I often receive calls or emails from charities looking for entertainment for their fundraisers. Many times this is accompanied by a request for us to donate our services. While I don’t mind being asked, it’s rare that I can accommodate such requests since I’m a relatively small business and my expenses running a NYC-based business are not cheap. One thing I do to mitigate the charity’s costs is to auction off song requests. We do the normal song battles and tip wars that are typical to dueling pianos in which the guests can stop and start (and re-stop and re-start) […]

How much does a good wedding band cost?

My cousin got married last year in Philly, and she hired one of my favorite wedding bands. It was a 10 piece orchestra, with horns, 3 singers and a full rhythm section. They were simply amazing. This band has been voted Best Wedding Band for several years running by The Knot, Wedding Wire and NBC. As a professional wedding entertainer myself I couldn’t help asking my cousin how much she paid. She admitted to paying about $10,000. So then I got to wondering what other traditional wedding entertainment charges to play a reception. I went on to GigMasters, and asked […]

Nonrefundable Deposits and Event Cancellations

When you enter into a contract with your entertainment provider, whether it’s a wedding band, a magician or a DJ, you normally will be expected to provide some kind of nonrefundable deposit along with your signature to secure the date. The amount may vary, but a 50% deposit is fairly common. If you’re a bride, or just planning a party and this is first time you’ve ever bought entertainment services, this can be a scary thing. What if the event gets cancelled? What if someone dies the week before? What if it rains on our outdoor beach birthday party? Do […]

10 Unique Entertainment Ideas for Cool Events

Everyone wants their event or party to be memorable, and using unique entertainment ideas is simply the best way for folks to remember your event. The more unique, the more lasting the impression. So in continuing the tradition of our Events Entertainment Blog, here are 10 more cool and different ways to wow your guests: Hire a 60 second novelist. He will ask the attendees some questions about themselvesBook the 60 second novelist.┬áHe comes with his own table and a manual typewriter and asks guests a few questions to get a sense of who they are, and he types out […]

GigMasters and other one-stop shopping for entertainment

When you’re shopping around for the music for your wedding reception or corporate party, you often find yourself directed to an online clearinghouse of bands and musicians. These one-stop private entertainment sites like Gig Masters (Gig Salad and Gig Mama are other similar brands) are great places to begin a search and get a basic price point for what you’re seeking. Many entertainers start out use listing services like Gig Masters because they offer a fair amount of exposure to many potential clients. It forces these performers to keep their price competitive because of the direct competition with other vendors […]

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 […]