Author Archives: Dan

Piano Music Show Dan Gillogly and Flip Schultz team up for some “Make A Song” time.

View Piano Music Show “Make A Song” Video

Music and comedy walk hand in hand down the primrose path to your door. Knock Knock. I said KNOCK KNOCK!

No. It’s better than that. Use comedy and music to develop your message to your clients, your sales team, your mother’s next door neighbor’s friend. That’s how versatile it is.

Here is the first in a series of videos we have produced for you. This is the art of improvisation on your stage. Give us some tiny bits of information and let us take it from there.

Clean comedy and music for your event.

www.PianoMusicShow.com

Call us today for more info 773 527 7417

 

Great Piano Player Chuck Leavell Honored

I just wanted to pop this up here and say congratulations to one of my favorite piano players Chuck Leavell.

He has been holding the chair in The Rolling Stones for going on 35 years now. I first got hip to him when he played piano on the first Allman Brothers record after Duane died. Chuck’s piano solos, particularly the one on ‘Jessica’ remains and always will be a true classic.

Congratulations to Chuck Leavell on your induction into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.

http://www.al.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2016/02/chuck_leavell.html

Chuck Leavell: Pianist Extraordinaire

Life As A Cruise Ship Piano Entertainer

The kids on the cruise ship are hilarious. They are very antsy and energetic. Like, constantly. But mostly right after a meal. They can’t understand how grown ups just want sit back and talk and relax after a good bite. Kids got to get up and run around. They got to do things.

This is especially so when the child has been fed a very steady diet of soft serve ice cream. It can’t be beat. They don’t want anything but french fries and ice cream. Who can blame them? If I didn’t have repercussions from eating like that I would do it all the time. It’s hypnotizing to think about. Donuts and ice cream. No veggies. No rice cakes. Just ice cream. Mmmmmmmm … mesmerizing.

I saw one little tyke this AM who didn’t look any older than 2 years old. I don’t even think he had been walking for more than a month or two. He was holding his Mom’s hand as they were walking along the pool deck to go to the buffet.

It was as if he could smell the ice cream 50 meters away because once he realized where they were going, he just looked up at his Mom as if to say, “Can’t you move any faster Lady?” I mean he was pulling on her limb as if he wasn’t going to stand for the delay in the proceedings and if she didn’t get with the program, he was going to have to release of her of her duties so he could get on over to the ice cream! “Let’s get on with it!” 2 years old.

His poor mother knew exactly what was going on and was not going to release him until he got something nutritious in him first. But she looked utterly defeated. She knew she should not have brought this kid with them on this trip. She thought she was going to catch up on her sleep. She thought she was going to relax. But Nooooo. This 2 year old needed ice cream and immediately after he was going to run around. Probably where danger existed in the form of swimming pools and slippery floors.

I can’t say I miss those days. I’m only working on this cruise ship as an entertainer because our kids are grown up and out of high school now. This is my time to sit back and watch all those parents deal with saying no to ice cream.

Life For A Cruise Ship Entertainer

No one is really out on the ship today. It has been windy and cloudy all day. Last night the ship was really pitching. I don’t know if the stabilizers were on or not. But there was a lot of swaying going on as passengers walked to and fro. Even sleeping had its challenges. I was worried I might fall out of the bed.

I have nothing to compare it to except for that Category 5 Hurricane that came along last September. Then we had what were reported as 40 foot waves. But its hard to tell when you’re 7 stories up. So I needed to go down to the 2nd deck where the crew mess hall was located. This storm appears to have 20 foot waves? Still cant really tell.

No need to. The ship is quiet. People are laying low. The decks are empty.

It’s so ‘cold’ today that you can tell who the Floridians are on the ship. They’re dressed like Chicagoans would dress in the Autumn. Chicagoans are dressed in sandals and shorts.

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Life On The Road For A Piano Playing Musical Comedian

piano_musical_comedianI’m back home in Chicago after what seems like an endless amount of time on the road, out of the country and doing some truly amazing live music gigs. I played with some very talented musicians, shared the stage with some absolutely hilarious stand ups and some mind boggling good magicians.

I’ve played dueling pianos shows, piano bars, concerts in theaters and cabarets.

The audiences were smart. I got to try out some new material and they were very gracious when the bits didn’t always connect for a home run.

Now I am back home in my new studio in my Chicago apartment. I had only lived here for a few weeks before I left. I don’t even know if this place is my home. So there was one way to find out.

Take the sheets off the recording gear and start writing something. First night home I stayed up until 630 AM just fooling around and playing some new ideas. It feels great.

I don’t know if this is my home yet or not, but I’m going to make it my own …. because wherever you are, there you are!

New Years Entertainment

This year’s holiday party season has come to a close. It was a very interesting and varied schedule of private parties and company events.

I didn’t have many offers for NYE gigs this year. I had some bar gigs offered. I had a couple of restaurant gigs. But since Amber’s birthday is on New Year’s Day, I like to take something new and memorable. Not that I have anything against restaurant gigs. I’ve just played my share of them so much over the years, that I know they are kind of quiet and low key. Most people who go out to a restaurant on New Year’s Eve are there to celebrate early and be home by 1030.

Those that do go out to a bar are looking for a raucous time. It’s a rare night out for those folks who don’t usually go out all that often. Those of us in the business call New Year’s Eve ‘Amateur Night’ for all the reasons you can guess.

But this year I was rewarded for holding out for an interesting gig. I got a call for a private house party through an agent friend of mine. It was going to require a bit of travel. But the weather has been so mild this year that I thought it would be fun to take a road trip to the eastern part of the USA.

Our hostess had bought her childhood home in Malone, NY – a small town in upstate New York – about 30 miles from the Canadian border. The shortest distance to her home town was through the lovely country of Canada. We left in enough time to avoid a storm which smacked everyone pretty good with some sleet. But we were counting on the Canadians’ extensive experience in snow removal techniques to remain safe and unscathed. We were correct.

Not only were the roads clear and dry, there were fewer pot holes in the entire province of Ontario than there were down my entire Chicago street where I live.

piano music canada, We were able to stop in Toronto for the night and heard some stellar jazz cats ringing it at an open session. Even tho I am an alum of The Second City, I have never been up to our sister city of Toronto. Very international feel to it all. And people seemed very chill, relaxed and easy going.

I wondered why that is …

Do you suppose it’s because there is less of a chance of getting shot or mugged? Or do you suppose it’s because Canadians don’t fear losing their homes and their life savings if they get sick or injured?

piano music montreal On the return trip we made it a point to visit Old Montreal. Well worth the effort if you’ve never been. It was an easy trip from Malone, NY. Kind of like a trip to Milwaukee for most Chicagoans. Except there was less cheese and more class.

There’s way more to this story of this year’s new Year’s Eve party celebration. So tune in again later to hear more.

Exquisite Piano Music at A Corporate Event was a Shared Experience

I met some wonderful people today. I was on a corporate gig. It was daytime. The sun was still up. These people all had gainful employment at this corporation. It was a fascinating day.

Holiday FairThere was a band and a high school choir and me playing piano music in between. An eclectic blend of styles and sounds.

The band is a resident church band. JDB Ensemble. I will need to give them a call to see where they are at these days. Soulful. Spiritual. Exquisite. Live music with a 4 piece band and 2 singers. Looking great and sounding great.

I also shared the stage with North Chicago H.S. Choir. They were teen agers and they sang a capella. (which is a musical term which means “with no computers’) What got me about them was their choir director. A young woman with superior energy. She was their leader and it showed. They reflected her source. Smiling. Swinging. Sweet.

As I watched from the wings, I thought of the importance of music in our lives. How did this church band get started? One of the musicians and I were talking backstage before the gig. He said something to the effect of “The only time cerebral should enter into the equation is when we’re learning the music. Not when we’re playing or performing it.”

So true!

The youngsters were certainly having fun. It was not only a day out of school. But they were getting a chance to just be kids and to sing. Kudos to their teacher and their administrators for keeping music alive in their lives.

They may not grow up to be professional musicians. They may not grow up to be big stars. They may not ever sing another note for the rest of their long and healthy lives. (Highly unlikely) But they have a chance to learn music and to perform in public. And no one can ever take that away from them. Ever.

Nor will the employees who were in attendance at this Holiday corporate event ever be able to undo this experience. Live music with real musicians. Real music sung by a choir. Real experiences from the other side through the universal language that we all crave and desire.

Live Band Dueling Pianos

So we played a dueling pianos show last night at Bar Louie’s up in Mil-Town (a.k.a. Milwaukee), Chicago’s largest suburb in Wisconsin and I must say that, once again, we had a great time. Go figure. People in Wisconsin are always way too easy to get along with.

I was with the great Ted Oliver across from me. And he had invited some local musicians he’s been jamming with from a band called C.I.A. Which is short for Caught In The Act I think.

Anyway, they were realllllyy good. Stan and Mark were on sax and trumpet while Tom came up and shredded his vocal chords on some Chicago and Journey and various and sundry hits. They’re wives and friends were there and I must say, it might go down as one of the highlights of my year.

There are always one or twon gigs which stand out as highlights of the year for me. This one would go in the Top 5 for me for 2015, that’s for sure. These guys were exceptional. They’re energy was infectious for me and Ted and for everyone in attendance. I played and sang differently because they were there.

You see, there is something about live music that is completely disarming for most people. When we play dueling pianos we can get people dancing and singing along. But when we added those horns, people were downright defenseless against the power of live music.

I would like to think it is us. I know we’re the ones behind the instruments. We’re the ones on the mics cracking jokes and imploring folks to sing along.

But it is the power of the music that makes it work. It is the universal language of music that is coming into your soul and creating joy and beauty and memories that will last your entire lifetime. Maybe beyond.

Will these musicians remember on their death bed the long days working that senseless day job? Or will they remember with fondness and a great sense of fulfillment the nights of playing music in front of people who truly enjoyed it too?

Let us create memories for you at your next get together. It would be an honor. Especially if you’re in Mil-Town or the surrounding ‘burbs.

All American Dueling Pianos. Creating Lifelong Memories One Song At A Time. 773-527-7417

Yes and …. CFD Saves Historic Second City Theater !

The Second City theater was creatively saved by CFD yesterday. Amazing! I don’t how I would have felt if they brave firefighters of Chicago had not been able keep the water out of our historic theater.

But they did it! Kudos to the Chicago Fire Department. Many thanks. CFD Saves The Day!

So many memories for me inside those walls. The offices were largely destroyed. But both theaters were saved! Those offices used to be apartments where we would “hang out” at after the bars closed. A major part of my history as well as the entire Old Town neighborhood.