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!
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!
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!
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!