So how does this hard earned versatility translate into gigs?
In this past year, clients have hired us for a number of themed events that put our skill and commitment to the test. We played a show at Greenburgh Public Library where we put together a 90 minute set of songs from 1963 (to celebrate the library’s 50th anniversary) the set included covers of Martha and the Vandellas, Johnny Cash, The Drifters, Leslie Gore, The Ronnettes, Bob Dylan, and the Beatles. This was concert presentation that included some story telling, song histories, and some history of the period, and great renditions of wonderful classics. During our post-show "meet and greet," our audience members had a chance to reveal to us some of their own memories we helped evoke.
We played a couple Gatsby themed fundraising events this year as well. Dolled up in tuxes, gowns, and spats we played music from the era in the early parts of the evening (beginning with a cocktail hour that featured some great stride piano renditions of 20’s and 30’s music) and then morphed into dance music that included Motown, Big Band, contemporary, and some ballads for the couples. We traveled to Lancaster PA to play a sock hop party, where we dressed the part again, and gave a rollicking show that included 50’s and 60’s rock n roll, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, and some of that 1963 material.
In the summer we were called on to play the Hyatt Dialogue (for the 12th time) where we performed hits from the 70’s for an international crowd of travel agents and event planners that included tunes from Fleetwood Mac, Elton John and Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, and, of course, plenty of Disco. Other themes we have done for the Hyatt have been 1920’s, country, Big Band, and Classic Rock.
Of course, when we play a wedding or an anniversary, we are thinking about the whole crowd—the couple, of course, sets the tone with their taste in music, but there are a lot of people to please, the young crowd, the extended family, folks from different parts of the country and overseas. We have our repertoire of ethnic music that includes horas, polkas, and Italian (Donna sings in several languages). Our New Year’s Eve gig at the Four Seasons caters to a largely international crowd, and we know how to please them as well.
We have traveled this year to Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, the Finger Lakes Region in New York, Connecticut, and still do plenty of playing in New York and New Jersey. When you get around like that, you better be versatile.