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!
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!
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!
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.