Rooftop season!

Peter & the Master Keys quartet on the roof of the Hotel Kimpton Eventi

Peter & the Master Keys quartet on the roof of the Hotel Kimpton Eventi

Rooftop season is here and for all of you who were hibernating, well it’s safe to come outside and enjoy the beautiful weather!

The quartet had the pleasure of playing for Ralph Lauren’s VPs as they sipped cocktails after a long day worth of meetings and workshops at the Hotel Kimpton Eventi in NYC. I can tell we are doing our job when folks are unconsciously tapping their toes and swaying as they chat with their colleagues! Mission accomplished.

Looking forward to another wonderful Spring and Summer in NYC!

Summer Weddings in New York City(Guest Post)

Getting married in New York City can be something special, or just genuinely romantic. In New York City, you can host a big grand wedding, or something small and intimate, and the summertime can be a great time of year to have your big day happen. There are endless vendors and venues to choose from in New York, many of which you can find through TheRing.org.

Cocktail hour at the Bryant Park Grill

Cocktail hour at the Bryant Park Grill

Couples love getting married in NYC because of the fantastic photo opportunities, such as snapping some pics around countless backdrops. There can be some small hurdles to overcome when getting married in the city, but the result does seem to be worth it.

For any summer wedding in New York City, you certainly need to come up with a reasonable budget. Hosting a wedding in the city will not be cheap, and you should expect to pay quite a bit. But, late summer weddings with large guest lists are popular within the city. However, it is always possible to do a wedding in the city on any budget; it will all depend on how creative you get. There is always something happening within New York City, and when you start to choose a summer venue, you will undoubtedly want to make sure your guests can get to where they are going.  

During the summer in New York City, July is the hottest month, and you will certainly feel the heat. It's why later summer weddings are a favorite. But, if you love the warmth and want something casual, a July wedding could be your thing. The weather can be unpredictable in the city, even during the summer with rain, so it would be a good idea to have a back-up plan in the event the weather changes.

When you start to search for venues for a summer wedding in NYC, it doesn't matter what part of the city you are getting married in; there are countless venues. There is a venue for every style of wedding, and this is what does make it such a great place to have a wedding. There are vast and grand locations, small and intimate settings, restaurants that host ceremonies and receptions. There are also many outdoor spaces, which are perfect for summer weddings. Rooftop and waterfront venues are popular for couples looking for something intimate with a small number of guests, where you can still have the same catering with in-house services. 

Peter & the Master Keys playing on the rooftop of the Starret Lehigh building

Peter & the Master Keys playing on the rooftop of the Starret Lehigh building

Peak wedding season in New York City does tend to be around September, October, and November, but the summer months are a close second. There are numerous ways to accommodate guests in the summer months, and transportation within the city is quite good.  New York City has no shortage of entertainment, which could turn into a mini vacation for your guests, especially those who have never been there before.

Summer weddings can be so much fun, and there are many different vendors to help you plan any style of wedding. It can be quite an experience for your guests because New York City never fails as being a fun place to visit. If you want to plan a summer wedding in New York City, you will want to start the planning process well in advance and book vendors right away, once you have decided on your budget. Summertime weddings are always an enjoyable experience, and being in a vibrant and busy city can add something special to your wedding.     



      

TIME 100 Gala

View from the stage at the TIME 100 gala 2019

View from the stage at the TIME 100 gala 2019

What do Taylor Swift, Martha Stewart, Jimmy Fallon, Nancy Pelosi, and yours truly all have in common? We were all present at the TIME 100, Time magazine’s annual event honoring the world’s 100 most influential entertainers and world leaders of the year!

Of course I can’t count myself as a member of that lofty rank just yet but I did have the pleasure of playing for them with my ace quartet and creating an upbeat, classy vibe as they mingled and sipped Johnny Walker outside of the Appel room at the Time Warner building at Columbus Circle. Empire Entertainment was running the show and their crack AV team had the sound of the band perfectly filling the space. It was such a pleasure to look out from the stage and see the guests enjoying the great mix of upbeat jazz, blues, mambo and even surf rock that we played for them and at one point, Yalitza Aparicio, the star of Roma stopped by the stage to dance with her small entourage.

Afterwards, I couldn’t resist accepting a well-deserved scotch on the rocks and wandering around a bit just to see who I could see. I’m not much of a celebrity gawker but it was fun to see Remi Malek, Martha Stewart, Gayle King, Nancy Pelosi, Hasan Minhaj, Julianne Moore, Yalitzia, Fallon, as well as probably quite a few I didn’t recognize. I’m a bit bummed I didn’t see the Rock, though! Haha.

It’s always a pleasure to play for people and to find the right kind of music to create a great vibe for everyone. There’s something about a live band like Peter & the Master Keys that creates a mood in a way that piped in music never can and that’s why Empire Entertainment knew that it was worth it for an event like this.

Peter & the Master Keys quartet perform at the TIME 100 gala at the Time Warner building

Peter & the Master Keys quartet perform at the TIME 100 gala at the Time Warner building

The Raderman brothers (drums, guitar) with S

The Raderman brothers (drums, guitar) with S

First video from the Django!

Here it is, folks! So when we played the Django a couple of weeks back I had my brother shoot some video. He’s a fantastic photographer and videographer and I brought him up from NC just for that purpose (and also to hang out with him in the city)!

This is the first teaser trailer that he edited to our recording of “Barefootin”. It shows how much fun we’re having at the Django with the great crowd who showed up and danced enthusiastically! We’re looking forward to more of these and hopefully playing parties for some of you in the near future as well!

Once again at the Django! Feb 1st

Peter & the Master Keys at the Django in New York’s Roxy Hotel

Peter & the Master Keys at the Django in New York’s Roxy Hotel

I’m thrilled to bring my full 7 piece band back to the Django on February 1st from 10pm-1am. Last time was so much fun and truly a thrill to have some of the best musicians I know backing me up as I sing arrangements fo classic jazz, blues, and soul.

This time, I’m excited to add a couple of new arrangements of popular songs that the audience will be sure to recognize. I’ve enjoyed unearthing some great gems from the past and performing them, and now I’m looking to expand that with repertoire that might be more familiar to people’s ears done in a throwback style with excellent musicianship to back it up!

I hope you can join us this time around if you couldn’t last time. We’ll be playing music for lovers and especially for dancers. Also, the Django is a truly beautiful space and an excellent date night. Check it out here: The Django. Friday night will be busy so reservations are strongly encouraged!

New Year's Eve 2019

It’s been a great year for Peter & the Master Keys and I’d like to invite you to a great party in the West Village for New Year’s Eve! It’s at White Oak Tavern, which features excellent pub fare in a beautiful antique wood bar. The theme is Mad Men so folks are encouraged to wear their mini-skirts and skinny ties! I’ve also collected my favorite jazz and classic pop from that era to play for everyone. The best part is that they have waived the cover of $125 per person so it is free to get in and party with us!

Peter and the Master Keys will be performing New Year’s Eve at White Oak Tavern in New York City. Sponsored by Jim Beam and Old Overholt.

Peter and the Master Keys will be performing New Year’s Eve at White Oak Tavern in New York City. Sponsored by Jim Beam and Old Overholt.

Holiday videos are here!

I just wanted to share the first of the batch of three holiday videos that I’m releasing this year. I got together with the core of the band plus our friend, Vanessa Perea to make a little impromptu recording of some holiday classics to share with prospective clients. I think they turned out rather well! If you or someone you know is looking to spice up their holiday party with great live jazz music, please let me know!


We're big in Germany!

So about a month ago I got a call asking if I’d like to film a music video for an up-and-coming German music star. He’s like the Michael Buble of Germany you could say and he needed a band to appear in his breakthrough music video that was to be shot in NYC.

Well it sounded like it was worth a laugh at least and well, it was a paid gig on a Monday afternoon so what the heck! Turns out that the singer, Daniel has a nice voice and was cool to work with. We pantomimed his song probably 30 times over an hour or more in Terra Blues, a blues club on Bleeker street.

From all that footage we got a total of about 5 seconds in this music video haha! I must say the production is excellent though. It’s like a love story and it features NYC so predominantly that I almost wonder if the city’s tourism board was in on it! Anyway, check it out for yourself. It’s fun and pop-y and even a bit of an earworm even though I have no idea what he’s saying. Seems like he has some muscle behind him so I’ll look forward to hearing more from him in the future!Book jazz band for wedding reception for great environments.

If you want to fast forward, we appear at 1:09,1:27,1:43 and 2:12

One night only at the Django, October 6th 2018

Peter & the Master Keys live jazz at the Django in New York

Peter & the Master Keys live jazz at the Django in New York

It’s not often that we have a public gig to showcase what we can do with the full 7 piece band. I’d like to invite you to come to the Django on October 6th 2018 at 10:30pm-1:30am. It’s a beautiful French cellar inspired venue in the Roxy hotel down in Tribeca with incredible hand-crafted cocktails.

A bit more about the venue: “Descend into The Django and you’ll feel like you’ve entered another world. The subterranean jazz club, with its vaulted ceilings and exposed brick walls, was modeled after the boites of Paris. The venue consists of two cocktail bars, open dining space and a stage for live performances.”

I hope to see you there especially if you are interested in seeing what the band can do as a jazz band for a wedding reception or holiday event. You’ll find that we can do much more than that!

Reservations strongly recommended.

Now featuring jazz vocalist Vanessa Perea

I'm really proud of the musicians I work with.  Over the past few years we've developed a reputation for versatility and excellence. That means that when someone really wants to hear traditional New Orleans style jazz, or Gatsby era jazz, the Master Keys happens to have on hand the best young players in that scene, many of whom have toured extensively with the world famous Hot Sardines.  Similarly with blues and vintage RnB, the band really excels with authentic 3 horn arrangements and players like Sam Raderman on guitar who embody the tradition of blues pioneers like T-bone Walker.

As versatile as we are sometimes people want to hear an exceptional female vocalist and that's something that I just can't do! That's why I'm pleased to announce that the acclaimed jazz singer, Vanessa Perea will be joining us on special occasions.  She is a master of the American Songbook and an all-around great performer and I think she'll be a great fit for cocktail hours and private events. Really, Vanessa with the Master Keys is a sure bet. I could listen to her sing for days and I think you'll agree as well!  BTW make sure you check out her fantastic duets with the Ladybugs. Book best Wedding Bands in New York City!!!

New photos from a jazz wedding reception at the Darien Community Association

We had a blast playing for Dan and Anna at the Darien Community Association this past May and I just got photos back to prove it!  Lacey Gabrielle is an amazing photographer and she was nice enough to share some of the photos she took.  Up til now I didn't have professional photos of the band playing a wedding with folks dancing in the foreground even though we've done a ton of weddings in the last year.  These look great but it's hard to capture the excitement of a live jazz wedding band at the reception! Of course we also played some great old rock 'n roll and throwback RnB like Ray Charles and Fats Domino when the time was right. 

The aunts love it! This jazz wedding band makes sure that folks are dancing.

The aunts love it! This jazz wedding band makes sure that folks are dancing.

The Master Keys is more than a great jazz wedding band. We also play a ton of great old RnB for dancing.

The Master Keys is more than a great jazz wedding band. We also play a ton of great old RnB for dancing.

New Residency at the Rum House cocktail bar

The Rum House in Times square, NYC. Definitely the coolest bar in the area. Home to some of the best cocktails around.

The Rum House in Times square, NYC. Definitely the coolest bar in the area. Home to some of the best cocktails around.

I'm pleased to announce a new residency at the Rum House, definitely the coolest bar in Times Sq. Not that there is much competition but it's kind of the only place I like to go around there. The cocktails are inventive and top notch and the decor is old school New York. Of course I'm also a big fan of the music programming. Some of the best young jazz musicians in New York play here and it's a treat to hear them with an excellent rum cocktail in hand.  It's also a great place to meet with people. Just last week I had a young couple who were interested in hiring the Master Keys to play their wedding cocktail hour and reception. While I only play with a trio here and not the full 7-piece band, it's still a good opportunity to see what I do!

Whether to hire a band or DJ for a wedding reception

I was having this conversation recently with a client that has booked the band for various events showcasing luxury brands. She said something that stuck with me and that was this: Most people these days go to an after party after the wedding reception. The old folks go home and the kids go out to party somewhere. What kind of music do you think is happening at the after party? There is most likely a DJ. So isn't it kind of lame to dance to a DJ at your reception and then dance to a DJ at the after party? Why not have a great jazz band for your wedding reception or any kind of band really (I consider my band to be a party band). That way not only do you get variety but you get something unique and special. The Master Keys often make special big band arrangements of couples' first dance requests. How often do you experience that at other peoples' weddings? Then there was the time that we made a big band arrangement of an Elvis song that the groom knocked out of the park! When you hire a great band for your wedding reception like the Master Keys, not only will you have a great time but you'll have a one-of-a-kind hand-crafted experience. AND your grandparents, aunts and uncles who hate hip hop will have a blast!

Then you can go to the club!

 

The best jazz band for wedding reception, Peter & the Master Keys

Getting into real estate

So... I'm getting into real estate. No, really. I've been getting into really expensive real estate. They let me in and when I'm finished with the gig, they let me leave. har har...

Anyway, I've been thrilled to link up with some great companies that either sell real estate or partner with other companies to create a luxury experience around a high-end product (Hennessy). They've found that nothing elevates the vibe of an event like excellent musicians joyfully creating a great feeling in the room. Guests can feel it and comment about it making the event. Everyone has heard DJs countless times and real music is fresh to our ears again. It really is a special thing and it shows good taste too!

In these photos we are in the Penthouse at Manhattan View and 70 Vestry.

So, if you're looking to hire a wedding band in New York city, NY or just looking for a great jazz band for hire to make your event special, look no further!

the wedding band at Manhattan view
Want to hire a wedding band in New York city, NY? Look no further
The Jazz wedding band at 70 Vestry in Tribeca, NY

Hennessy tasting at the new Zaha Hadid condos

This is another installment in the series, "Peter & the Master Keys" in amazing places. I was asked recently to play for a Hennessy tasting at a brand new building on the west side of Manhattan where there has been a lot of development lately. I was familiar with this building, 520 W 28th because I often play at the Mckittrick Hotel (home of Sleep no More) right across the street. It looks like a silver space ship with beautiful curved lines and I had admired it as it went up. So of course I was thrilled to play for a Hennessy tasting in one of the show apartments that was going for a cool $15 million. I can't quite afford it yet but it was fun to enjoy it for a bit as we played some nice jazz standards for the guests.

The new and improved trailer is here!

I'm pleased to announce that the new trailer for the band is here! The previous one, filmed by my brother, Alex Maness, had served me well but after two years and some personnel changes it was time for another edition. As I said in the last post, we recorded it in the Relic Room in Chelsea, which boasts a lot of great vintage gear and microphones that we were able to use. We only had a couple of hours but we knocked out 5 full songs and 5 partial songs. If you've never recorded before, let me tell you that is a lot in a very short time! A testament to the professionalism of the band. As of now we have a sweet trailer that you can see here that features a few songs. In the works is another trailer and a couple of videos that highlight entire songs that I think showcase the band well. Thanks for reading and I hope to see you soon!

Video shoot- behind the scenes

This past weekend Peter & the Master Keys had a very successful video shoot at the Relic Room, a fantastic recording studio that also happens to look great on film.  I've been working on a new promo reel for the band and got Aaron Rockers to shoot footage and edit.

Behind the scenes, the talented Mai Comeros shot this footage that you see here. You can tell that there is a great feeling in the room when this group gets together and that comes through in the music. I can't wait to share the video with you!

 

First wedding of the year at the Yale Club in New York City!

This weekend was another high-water mark for Peter & the Master Keys.  We kicked off the new year with a magical wedding at the prestigious Yale Club in New York City! 

First, the band played some beautiful arrangements of Bach and Chopin for the ceremony in the library. Then we quickly made our way up to the glassed-in roof deck where we played jazz standards for the cocktail hour.

Of course, the most exciting part was the reception.  The newlyweds had their first dance to my arrangement of "I've Just Seen a Face" by the Beatles. Instead of the usual tempo, we slowed it down so that it was closer to the feel of "You Send Me" by Sam Cooke. Soon after the guests flooded the dance floor and we all had a fantastic night of music and dancing. It makes such a huge difference when folks come with the intention of celebrating. These guys certainly did and I'm glad I thought of grabbing my phone to capture this hilarious moment. Enjoy!

In the lap of luxury...

Coe House Historic Museum

That's where the band and I found ourselves this past Friday the 13th as we ventured to Long Island to play at the Coe House Historic Museum.  It was our second time playing at the beautiful Gatsby era mansion turned museum as we had been invited back to kick off the "All star series".  What an honor! We played for a capacity crowd of almost 100 people in the grand living room, which was the size of a ballroom. It's a real treat to play for a crowd of people who are actively listening. Thanks to all who came out to support live music! Here's a photo I couldn't resist taking after the show:

Peter and the Master Keys

We've also been busy with other endeavors like playing for a third time at the residence of the Pakistani ambassador to the U.N. and at the prestigious Joe's Pub.  I've also been busy booking the band for holiday parties so if you're interested, let me know!

Lastly, I'd like to share a fun photo with you. We were asked to play for a first year birthday party this past weekend and the mom specifically asked me if I could bring drums because her son was obsessed. Sure enough, Jonah was fascinated the whole time and even cried when he was pulled away. Watch out, mom!

Alex Raderman, drums