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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
It's been a while since Peter & the Master Keys has needed a proper logo. It's been on the to-do list for quite a long while and so I'm pleased to have finally scratched it off.
Through my musician friend network I was lucky enough to get connected to Eric Kelly, who does great work for bands and businesses along with being a musician himself.
It was an interesting foray into a world that I wasn't that familiar with before. After hours of scouring the web for cool fonts and design ideas and lots of back and forth with Eric, we finally settled on something that is cool and represents the band well. The next thing to do will be to print the design on a custom bass drum head for my drummer!
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:
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!
I'm pleased to announce that I have a new residency performing at the Arlo Hotel SoHo. Drop by Wednesdays this month and you can hear me and my ace trio performing in this beautiful modern lounge from 6-9. I have on board my indefatigable sax player, Nick Myers and my new friend Adrian DiMatteo, who is a fantastic guitarist as well as singer. I love turning the mic over to him since he has an amazing voice and does some material that I love but don't sing yet like Bill Withers. Hope to see you there!
Well, it's not easy. As the Royal Princess pulled out from the dock in Weehawken, NJ into the Hudson river, we were rocking and swaying so much with the wakes from other boats that it was quite difficult to stand and play upright bass. Fortunately, once we got underway things smoothed out and we were OK. This gig was for a pre-Indian wedding and you can see the older crowd was really getting into it. I'd like to thank NY Boat Charter for the video. Enjoy!
Rooftop season may be drawing to a close but here's a little secret for you: there is about a month left and, once it starts to get a little chilly, the folks at PHD Terrace have a very nice enclosure that they erect over the roof to keep the party going through the winter.
I've been playing this weekly gig with the great Nick Palumbo for over 6 months now and it keeps getting better. We've been playing classic Rock 'n Roll from the 50s and 60s with some Italian songs thrown in to create a vibe for the Italian themed event.
If you haven't been, PHD Terrace is a beautiful rooftop space in midtown Manhattan and epitomizes the kind of classy nightlife that many people seek out in the Big Apple. We hope to see you there one day!
We're in the big leagues now. Ivy, that is. The band was invited to play for the incoming class of graduate students at Columbia University this past Monday and we happily bestowed them with bluesy wisdom as they gnoshed on Columbia branded cupcakes and blue (school colors) champagne! What a great crowd of bright-eyed PHDs to be, all eager to meet one another and get to know some of their professors.
You can't see it in these photos but we played for a crowd of about 1,500 people under a huge tent covering most of Low Plaza.
Thanks again to the folks at Columbia for making this possible!
Don't hate me because I'm beautiful! Just kidding. This amazing photo by Alex Nero appeared in the online Vogue Magazine this week along with a great article about a huge immersive party called 'You Are So Lucky' that I was part of a couple weeks back. It was really a sight to behold, everyone was decked out in their finest regalia, be it forest nymph face paint or Egyptian head dress. I was playing in a room curated by the event producer, Shanghai Mermaid, with the fabulous singer, Megg Farrell. This experience was just one facet of a huge immersive experience that took over the grounds of an historic mansion in Yonkers for 5,000 guests! You can read all about it and see more photos here.
"I like New York in June..." Well it's shaping up to be a beautiful spring in the big city and the Master Keys have been doing more and more gigs on rooftops all over town. Here's a couple of shots from the Starret Le-High building in Chelsea. We played there last week for a building wide rooftop event where they screened the classic film, An Affair to Remember. Later on in the evening we were treated to a beautiful sunset over the Hudson river!
This past Saturday was one of those perfect NYC weather days and we were fortunate to be invited to play a birthday party on a beautiful private rooftop in SOHO, New York. There's nothing like playing for gracious hosts with a talented band on a beautiful spring day in the city!
We had an amazing time at Blooming Hill farm this past weekend in upstate NY! The bride had requested Hava Nagila, a traditional song played at Jewish weddings, but then got a little shy and changed her mind. Fortunately, a friend or two of hers assured us that it would go over well and boy did it ever! Make sure you watch till the end.
We celebrated the music of the great Chuck Berry this past Monday at the Wayland in New York's East Village. It was a great chance to bring together many fantastic musicians and have a lot of fun with the music. I think we had about a dozen folks stop by in addition to the smokin' house band of Eric Finland, Erik Blicker, Alex Raderman and yours truly. Somehow I have to find out how to have another great party like this again. In the meantime, check out my main man, Nick Palumbo doing Johnny B. Goode!
New York is well known for it's vibrant theater scene yet there is much more going on than meets the eye. There is a thriving underground that can be witnessed at small theaters, warehouses and even parties across the 5 boroughs. I've been lucky enough to be part of the immersive theater production of "Sleep no More" at the Mckittrick Hotel for a few years now as a part of the house band. We play in a beautiful bar at the nexus of all the activity where guests can repose and take a break from the madness surrounding them. That's about all I can say because it's very hush-hush but it's a great experience if you haven't been yet!