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!
Roll over, Beethoven! I'm excited to announce that I'll be hosting a Chuck Berry tribute this coming April 10th at the Wayland in Manhattan's East Village from 9-12.
I already have a dozen guests lined up to sing and play guitar on Chuck Berry's hits and also some 'deep cuts' that don't get played all that often. Some of these folks are old friends and musicians I've already worked with a lot and some I'll be meeting for the first time. I'm sure that many more great musician friends will swing by with their instruments to sit-in as well.
Please stop by and enjoy the night with us!
Every second and fourth Monday of the month, Peter and the Master Keys performs at the Wayland in the East Village of New York. On these nights I perform with a quartet rather than the sextet and have different guests with me all the time. Sometimes I'm featuring a great guitarist and other times one of my favorite organists. It's also an opportunity to workshop new songs like some of the Ray Charles songs I've been working on. Tonight, I'll be playing with some old friends: Erik Blicker- an amazing guitarist as well as engineer and entrepreneur; Nicholas Myers- a fantastic jazz and blues tenor sax man; and Alex Raderman- one of New York's most in-demand drummers.
We're psyched to be returning to Sixty 5 on Main, Nyack's most exciting new entertainment venue, restaurant, and lounge on Saturday, March 18th, from 9:00pm-12:00am. It's a beautiful space with a dedicated stage and nice lighting - the whole works! I'll be playing a lot of great tunes from the 50's with my friend and frequent collaborator, Nick Palumbo, who knows more songs from that era than anyone. Also joining us will be another Nick - Nicholas Myers, who plays a mean saxophone and knows how to get that old-school rock n' roll sound. Watch out for a rousing rendition of Tequila!
Yesterday we played at a veritable Gatsby-era mansion in Long Island. The Coe Hall mansion is essentially a castle built by a gilded-age industrialist, which now is home to arts and concert series. We were thrilled to learn that all 150 seats had sold out! And what a great audience we had; all enthusiastic listeners and with a great sense of humor to boot (they laughed at all my jokes).
The band played an inspired set for the crowd and we were rewarded by a very gratifying standing ovation! Afterwards, we were pleased to meet many of the folks who came up to speak with us. Hopefully, we'll be playing here and other places like it again soon.
Working in New York City as a professional bassist and bandleader is a study in contrasts; one night I'm playing blues at a restaurant, another I'm playing New Orleans jazz at a seedy bar, and then I find myself playing in the Upper East Side of Manhattan playing for a select group of UN ambassadors and dignitaries!
It was an honor to play for the Pakistani ambassador to the U.N., Dr. Lodhi, last night. She was extremely gracious and engaging the whole night as she hosted us in Pakistan's beautiful townhouse. I wasn't sure what to expect; would we just be playing background music? But Dr. Lodhi and her guests were surprisingly attentive listeners and, as the night wore on, they turned out to be terrific dancers as well. It's not a night I'll forget soon!