Peter & the Master Keys’ music is the perfect blend of cool sophistication and rootsy soul. Specializing in American jazz and blues from the 30’s through 60’s (with a dash of rock n’ roll thrown into the mix), they pay homage to an earlier era of live music when real musicians played real instruments with finesse and feeling to connect to the audience.  Their fun and classic vibe is at once throwback and timely and has brought them to a range of venues from the chic downtown jazz cellar, The Django and edgy Sleep no More, to Sotheby's and Yale Club in the Upper East Side.  With three horns (trumpet, tenor sax, baritone sax) and a robust rhythm section (keys, guitar, upright bass, drums), you might even call them a “little” big band!

Whether you need music for a mellow cocktail hour or a high-energy dance party—or maybe even both—Peter & the Master Keys fits the bill. Throughout New York City and beyond, we’ve played countless weddings, events, private parties, and concerts at venues ranging from the prestigious to the informal. So if you’re looking to liven up your next party or event with the most swingin’ band around, look no further than Peter & the Master Keys.

Contact us at petermaness@gmail.com or click below to book the band through Gigmasters.

Other bands: quartets, trios, female vocalists

A variety of bands for various needs

The full 7-piece band is amazing for larger events like festivals, wedding receptions or corporate events but many times it can be more than what you need or over budget, which is why there are options for smaller groups. The quartet is the most popular (upright bass/voice, sax, guitar, and drums). It has a wide range of material from American songbook to blues, rock 'n roll, and even 60's surf rock all tailored to the client's preferences and the mood of the party. This is perfect for cocktail hours, backyard parties, community events, and smaller venues. The trio has the same effect but has a smaller physical and sonic footprint since it loses the drums or sax. It's ideal for parties where the music is intended to be in the background. 

Sometimes people want a female vocalist, and I happen to work with some of the best in the world, several of whom are making names for themselves on the international jazz scene. If that is what you are looking for, let me know and I can happily accommodate you. 

Here are some videos featuring the talented Vanessa Perea with the group along with videos of the quartet and trio playing American songbook standards.


Weddings

Hiring live music for your wedding celebration can be one of the most rewarding decisions you’ll make as you plan your big night but there are so many New York City wedding bands to choose from that the options can be daunting. Here are a few tips for choosing a great one. 

First, you need to decide on the aesthetic of your wedding if you haven’t already. Is it glamorous,  super casual, sporty, country, quaint/charming…? That will go a long way in helping you to decide what kind of band to go for. If you’re getting married in a fancy New York ballroom then plaid table cloths and a country band won’t work obviously. They would go great, however, in a barn. Of course, you should hire a band that will play the music you want to hear but it’s worth noting if  the band is congruent with everything else. 

If you are looking for the best wedding bands in New York City then you have many options. There are many good “top 40 bands” around. They will typically play some jazz for cocktail hour (though the quality can vary greatly since many are primarily pop musicians) then play a motown medley and then move on through the decades to the latest pop hits and invariably end with a Bruno Mars song! 

This is a great option for many people but not everyone. First of all, maybe you don’t really want to hear Bruno Mars or Rhianna.  A wedding band in New York City will usually play that material but it often leaves relatives over 40 in the cold. And lastly, they all start to sound the same and maybe you want your wedding band to be different.

Peter & the Master Keys is one of the best wedding bands in NYC because we are a bit different.  We play classic American songbook jazz that is quintessentially New York and if you want, we can also play timeless blues, soul and RnB from the artists like Ray Charles, Fats Domino, and Chuck Berry.  You get the class and sophistication of having a swinging little big band at your reception and you get a band that plays great party music for dancing that won’t leave anyone out in the cold. Best of all, instead of a band just like all the other wedding bands you can have one that is fun and unique. 
 

 peter maness of peter & the master keys, a great band for wedding receptions in New York city.

Peter Maness

New York City-based upright bassist, bandleader, & singer of jazz and blues

Peter grew up in North Carolina surrounded by great music: his father’s classical record collection, and the blues and bluegrass music that has always been a part of the Carolinas' cultural history. Peter received degrees in both music and Spanish, later teaching high school Spanish for two years. In 2006 he moved to New York City, where he has since played upright bass in various early jazz bands all across the city, and where he has also allowed himself to follow another one of his passions: singing and playing jazz, blues and rock n' roll.

Playing the triple role of bandleader, singer, and bassist, he channels and pays tribute to 1950's blues greats like Ray Charles, Johnny 'Guitar' Watson and others with an excitement and verve that is palpable. Now, with the creation of his own seven-piece mini big band Peter & the Master Keys, which performs Peter's original horn arrangements of 1950's jazz and blues songs, New York has taken notice. His band performs in distinguished venues around the city such as Sotheby's, the Manderley Bar at The McKittrick Hotel (home of 'Sleep No More') and others, and sells out shows at historic concert halls like the Coe House on Long Island. The Master keys have also become popular as a jazz band for wedding receptions and cocktail hours, having performed at New York's finest venues like the Yale Club and Harold Pratt House.