Category Archives: corporate entertainment

Music is the international language that everyone understands

First, let me ask you what makes for a successful corporate event, product rollout or trade show?

It’s when people in the audience are engaged, enjoying themselves, having fun and participating in the evening’s entertainment!

It’s when people are not fidgeting, checking emails or leaving their seats – and the room, in search of something better.

So what is the key to having a successful event?

It’s having the right entertainment. It’s having an expert on stage, connecting with your audience.

That’s what I do best.                         team building

I’ve been playing piano and entertaining a crowd of people for most of my adult life, and my love of doing that while bringing people together has never diminished.

For years I’ve been doing all types of corporate events, and one of the keys to my success is that I incorporate live music into the entertainment.

 

Music is the universal language. Everyone loves to sing, listen to and enjoy music.

Everyone!

That’s why it helps me provide attendees with a wonderful experience, one that is engaging, exciting, inviting and most importantly, memorable.

Music is a powerful tool when it’s used to touch other people. And I know how to use it effectively!

I’d love to talk to you about your company’s next event. Please give me a call at 773-527-7417.

The Artist’s Way and Creativity

Last week I talked about The Artist Way. As one part of The Artist’s Way exercises that I use to stay so creative and productive all the time is Journaling.

It’s a pretty simple tool. I’ve been journaling pretty much every morning now for … I don’t know …. maybe ten years now. In that time I have written countless blog posts, newsletters for subscriber lists, sales letters and other marketing materials for my music business. I also use it to stay fresh on stage with my improv comedy. But I am constantly writing songs, lyrics, piano pieces, for my CDs and for other artists, podcasts, plays, stories …. I mean the list goes on and on. It seems to be a never ending font of available source of creative energy.

I credit it, in major part to, writing in my journal everyday.

I think of it as ‘cleaning the pipes’, if you will. A data dump from the chatter of useless thoughts that get in the way when I am trying to write for a deadline for a corporate event or for an advertising piece.

What I do, what is suggested in Julia Cameron seminal book, The Artist’s Way, is to write 3 pages long hand in a notebook every morning right after waking up. Boom.

I can write about anything. I can write jibberish. Mukka Lukkah Whukkah Bukkah Blabber Dab fest swing set.

I can complain. “Oh my horrible hang nail.” “I need a haircut.” “When am I gonna get a new car?” Anything.

It can be dreams. Ambitions. Goals.

It can be Mantras or prayers. Or affirmations.

I think of it as transmitting to the universe. Clearing the way to work things out that I am thinking about.

Everyone talks about being positive all the time. I find that next too impossible. Sometimes I need to whine a little bit. The daily journal is a good place to do it. Plus, once I got into the routine of constantly writing every morning, I found that on the days that I didn’t get to it, I really missed it. So I would do it in the afternoon when I got a break.

It is suggested to get a notebook. But sometimes I write on my lap top or on my ipad if that’s what I have available. But its not the same. I can tell by my hand writing what kind of mood I am in or what I am feeling even if the words don’t exactly communicate it all.

I know some folks keep a really nice journal book. They maybe have a nice leather bound cover that they swap out new notebooks in as they get filled up. I like to go with the Standard College Ruled 1 Subject Notebook. Spiral bound.

Sometimes I splurge a little on nice pencils. But I prefer the mechanical pencils with the .09 lead. I press down on the page pretty hard some mornings when I get going and I’m in my zone. I like the different colors and feel of the pencils in my hand. I’ll put a link at the bottom of this page so you can see what I’m talking about.

So look at this book by Julia Cameron if you want to develop your creativity. It is excellent. It’s not just for musicians or artists necessarily. She talks in the book about people from every different occupation benefiting from these activities. Anyone can use them to enhance their creativity. Try it. I’ve had mind boggling good results. You will too.

Oh … BTW … this is an affiliate link. When you get your book through this link, I do get a small percentage. It won’t cost you anything extra. And since it is through Amazon, you can donate a portion of your sale price to go to a charity of your choice. Pretty cool if you ask me.

Artist’sWayByJuliaCameron

MechanicalPencils.09Lead

CollegeRuledNotebook

LeatherCoveredJournal

To learn more about how I can provide unique and memorable music and comedy at your event, call Amber at (773) 527-7417.
Check out some of my other projects.

I always love the feedback!

All the best,

Dan

How do you know so many words to so many songs?

One question I get asked all the time is “How do you know so many words to so many songs?”

Long answer? I’ve been doing this for so long it comes to me pretty easily. But not before some long years and months putting in the hours.

It wasn’t always like this. I studied. A lot. I went to college for music AND I played with some stellar musicians and entertainers along the way. I learned from them as well.

It’s also a combination of physical memory combined with an emotional memory.

Many times I will be on stage singing a song and I’ll be in the middle of the first verse and silently ask myself what are the words to the second verse? But then I calm myself down and say well I’m not on the second verse yet so I don’t have to know them. So then I get to the chorus with everybody singing along and here comes the second verse and sometimes I don’t remember what the second verse is while I’m singing the chorus. But when I finally get to the second verse, my memory banks kick in and I’m right there.

Another trick is if I can start off with the opening line of a song, I can usually get it after that. But if for some reason I stop in the middle of a song to crack a joke with someone in attendance, a song like Devil Went Down To Georgia or Baby Got Back, I need to go back to the beginning of the verse to get back on track.

It also helps if I can read the lips of someone singing along. Really! I can see them mouthing the words and I think, “Oh yeah. That’s the correct version.”
To learn more about how I can provide unique and memorable music and comedy at your event, call Amber at (773) 527-7417.

Check out some of my other projects.
MyCDLink
MyChildrensBook
MyPodcast
I always love the feedback!

All the best,

Dan

Company Event Entertainment Just Got Easier

So I want to talk about all the company event entertainment coming up that we have on tap for everyone, now that I know you all like my new logo,

As you know the Holiday season is upon us. If you’re not sure, then just turn on your TV or your radio> It’s okay. It’s safe to do so now that the elections are over and done with. When you do, you will see a semblance of Christmas ads already in full swing. I guess advertisers are getting a good rate now that the politicians are out of the way.

company event entertainment with live music and comedy

Company Event Entertainment

We have a wide variety of live music acts available for your company Christmas party again this year. Most importantly — it is very affordable when you go with one of the great piano players we have on board. Namely Me. Dan Gillogly. Okay … so it ain’t bragging if you can do it. But as much fun as you guys have, it is more fun for me. I’d love to hear from you so we can get things rolling.

We had another fantastic night of entertainment last Saturday night. People came together singing songs that everyone knew the words to and laughing along with all the improvised comedy and having a great time listening to live music as their entertainment.

Your party planning never got easier. Just pick up the phone and call Amber at +1 773-527-7417. We may still have your date available. It’s hard to say. There’s always one way to find out. If you’re the one in charge of finding great entertainment for company event this year, give her a call. I can GUARANTEE  you will have fun! You guys will be talking about the great laughs for months — possibly years after the superior night of live music and comedy entertainment at your company event.

More On Chicago Mayoral Election Results 2015

Hi There and Welcome to Another Installment The Piano Bench Blog Cast:
Chicago Mayoral Election Results  

Today’s broadcast comes in the form of some more great piano music and comedy. Our topic? Chicago mayoral election results. I certainly hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed writing and recording.

Chicago politics has no shortage of great comedy material. So tune in regularly.
And be sure to contact me, Dan, for your custom written music and comedy for your client appreciation night, your corporate event or hospital visit.

Warm Weather Means Chicago Dueling Pianos At Navy Pier

Chicago Dueling Pianos at Navy Pier must mean …
The warm weather is here?

It’s the first warm day of spring here in Chicago. I think we may be close to 70º. I took my walk outdoors today instead of on the treadmill like I usually do. I saw the robins out in earnest. The smell of BBQ was prevalent throughout the entire neighborhood. A sure sign that Chicagoans are ready for the warm weather to appear and the snow blowers and salt to disappear.

Dueling pianos, entertainment for events,

Chicago Dueling Pianos Show

We are down at Navy Pier tonight for a dueling pianos show at a corporate event. Entertaining in front of several thousand people. We’ve got the traditional dueling pianos fun; sing along, dance along, laugh along live music entertainment. Yet tonight we have added a new wrinkle. We’ve added a drummer to the festivities.

That’s one of the reasons why Chicago Dueling Pianos are one of the most versatile party ideas. 

We can take your requests so that you get to decide which music you want to hear. But we can add a full band, or just a drummer like we’re doing tonight. We can add a featured vocalist. It just gives the extra added dimension to our regular piano music entertainment for events. chicago dueling pianos 

So after we do load in and sound check, I think I’m going to go for an additional walk down around Navy Pier and enjoy this beautiful weather. You never know how long it is going to last. Because you know what they say, If you don’t like the weather in Chicago, wait 5 minutes. It’ll change.

Call us for your live music entertainment at your next corporate event, charity events or backyard BBQ. We love BBQ! HeckFire … we’ll c’mon by before it hits 80º. We’re not picky. Live music and comedy goes with every kind of weather. So does Chicago Dueling Pianos for that matter … 

What can we say? We’re Chicagoans! Give us a call. 773-527-7414

We can GUARANTEE … You Will Look Good B’cuz We Sound Good!

Alcohol with Your Piano Music Entertainment? Aghast!

Alcohol was invented so the Irish would not rule the world.” – Irish Proverb

When I’m out playing piano music in public, many folks ask me questions that are quite similar. They range in similarities like, “What do you do during the day for work?” and “What does your wife think of what you do for a living?”; things like that. I would love to write an entire blog post about each of those questions.

But in honor of the great St. Patrick’s Day coming up this week, I would like dedicate this holiday blog post to the patron saint of Ireland with a post about alcohol.

Alcohol is the great social lubricant.” – Also Irish Proverb

A couple of questions I get asked all the time would be:

  1. Where are you playing that we can go see you?” I don’t play out in bars all that often. But when I do, I like Dos Equis …. oooppppss Sorry. I do play out public sometimes when the schedule opens up. But for the most part I like to concentrate on company events and corporate gigs. They’re not as easy to perform at as a bar gig. They require a little more finesse and a whole lot more restraint. Certainly neither of my two favorite things to do in the whole world; restraint and finesse that is.I like the raucousness of a bar gig or restaurant. People cutting loose, cracking jokes, laughing at things that are not normally funny in polite company. But isn’t that the point of going out drinking with your friends? No need to be polite.At company events and corporate functions where we are providing live music entertainment, people tend to hold back a bit because they have a level of decorum they need to uphold in the course of daily commerce. No sweat. People want to keep their jobs.

    For when the wine is in, the wit is out.” – Thomas Beacon

    But that brings us to the next question I get a lot:

  2. Do you think that we need to serve alcohol at our event to be able to get people to sing louder?The answer is a resounding, “No!”“How so?” you ask.I answer thusly.Have you ever heard a room full of kids sing loudly?Of course you have.

    Well they can certainly get pretty loud. And I don’t think ALL of them have been drinking. Do you?

    You answered “No. Probably not ALL of them Dan.”

    So I repeat myself. No. You do not need to serve alcohol at your company event to be able to get people to sing along loudly.

    Does it help?

    Hell yeah!

    It also helps if you’ve got the winning lottery ticket in your pocket. But it’s not going to solve all your problems.

    You will need to hire a professional entertainer (like me, for instance) who knows the tried and true formula for a successful evening of piano music entertainment. Someone who knows how to get people interacting knowing that they won’t be embarrassed come Monday morning around the water cooler, or feel like they’re the only on who knows how to have fun after hours. No.

    If you are not going to serve alcohol at your event, then might I make my professional recommendation that before you start your party, make sure the sun has gone down and that you just gave them all raises.

    But No, you do not need alcohol to be served in order to have a good time with live music entertainment for events at your company party.

Thanks for playing along and I’m certainly glad you’ve decided to read this far. Maybe you would indeed like to go a bit further. Give me a call at 1 773 527 7417 to see how affordable live piano music can be at your event.

Happy St Patty’s Day one and all! 

The whole world is about three drinks behind.” – Humphrey Bogart

piano music entertainment and green beer celebrations

Happy St Patty’s Day

You Call It Piano Music Entertainment. Your Soul Calls It Thirst Quencher

You Call It Piano Music Entertainment
Your Soul Calls It Thirst Quencher

It was one of those gigs where I was so happy I took piano lessons as a kid, I had stuck with it as and adult and, most importantly, remained a professional so that I could witness what I am about to tell you.

No one thinks they really need live music. Most importantly the ‘Bean Counters’ who sit around in their office and don’t realize that music truly is the universal language that we all understand.

That’s okay. We all have a job to do.

My job today is to let you know how important
live music and comedy can be for your soul.

It’s like Gatorade after a 60 minute workout. It’s like scratching an itch in a hard to reach place. It’s like a hug and a kiss from a loved one who has returned from a long trip.
Here’s the story …

piano music entertainment

Sing Like No One Can Hear You

This guy was your typical office worker who didn’t have anything else going on his life except to be an office worker. He was kinda grumpy. He had no sense of humor. He had no friends. So he was the guy that made everyone feel a little uncomfortable.

He wore the weird shirt that didn’t appear to coordinate with his tie – or anything else that he wore for that matter. And his hair was always a little bit messy. He didn’t talk much because, well, he liked to be quiet.

Let’s call him ‘Ralph’.

What nobody knew about ‘Ralph’ was he had watched his Mom die of cancer when he was 10 back in 1969. As you can imagine it was horrible.

She was a single Mom. He was an only child. They were not members of a church so there was no support network of any kind. After she died he went to live with an aunt he had never met, in a state he had never been to, with an ‘uncle’ who wasn’t married to his aunt. They had no other kids either. His aunt was nice enough and all. But let’s just say ‘nurturing’ was not a concept she knew much about.

School was also a little rough for Ralph in this small rural town of about 4000 people. They were nice and everything. But having come from a large city school, he felt lost and way behind the other kids.

He wasn’t very coordinated or even remotely interested in sports. He just didn’t get the importance of all that running around and throwing balls and stuff. No one had ever showed him how and he didn’t have any allegiance to one team or another. So, seriously. Like, what’s the point?

The thing about his new school tho, was they had a choir as part of their curriculum. He had no idea how it would change his life.

Choir allowed Ralph to be around other people – especially girls. It allowed him to comfortably shift into his changing voice as puberty set in. It allowed him to express his emotions which ran so deep and so pensive at such a vulnerable and tenuous time of his life.

He stayed with choir all through middle school and high school. He didn’t excel at singing. He was never a featured soloist or anything. He just really enjoyed it for reasons that a growing young man could simply not explain.

But that’s where it ended. College was not in the picture for Ralph. He went to work and learned finance. He was actually pretty good at analysis. He eventually learned accounting with a small local firm that had hired him right out of high school.

In 89 that small local firm was bought out by a much larger one which then grew into a multi-billion dollar corporation through the 90s. He was a good and consistent employee. He was promoted regularly but never to management. He got transferred back to his hometown city in 98 where he just slipped easily into the anonymity of the hustle and bustle. He lives there to this day.

He never married. He never joined a church or a community choir. He doesn’t do much of anything in the way of outside activities. He likes going to the movies. But he feels too shy to search for anything. No one ever gave him permission.

Until one night in February his company event consisted of a large Holiday Party featuring piano music entertainment.

‘Ralph’ was sitting alone, kind of in the background. I don’t think he was eating much off the buffet. I didn’t notice his beverage of choice. But I did notice he was alone.

When I perform I never call anyone out. I never embarrass anyone. What I use is a technique I call “A Saucer of Milk”. It’s like when you want to call a cat over. You don’t yell or command. You just lay out a saucer of milk. If you want what we have to offer, (and your soul knows you do), then you’ll be over in time.

This story is getting a little long. So I am going to finish this tomorrow.

In the meantime, thanks for listening and let me know when you want to have great live music and comedy in the form of piano music entertainment and interactive, sing along fun that brings people together and creates life long memories for everyone in attendance.

Vicki Update: Live Music Gig Transportation

Just a quick update on Vicki my lovely cargo van for pulling gear to out live music gig. She is all better now. It was the ignition that needed to be replaced. But my mechanic Scott was so spectacular at going the extra mile, we also wound having to swap out the fuse box. Apparently, in that model of Chevy Express Van, the fuse box is under the master cylinder and gets all corroded and wet throughout the years.

So he had to pull that out and replace it with all new fuses after cleaning it out.

So here’s to safe travels to tonight’s corporate entertainment event in Chicago.

Car Trouble After A Live Music Gig

Right after I finished another live music gig:

It happened. I don’t like to admit that it happened to me.

But it did.

It’s not like it hasn’t happened before.

It’s just that it hasn’t happened in a long, long time.

Car Trouble. Yup. My truck didn’t start after the gig.

Thankfully it happened after the gig and not on the way to the gig.

I was finished. All done. All loaded and ready to go and boom. Then it happened.

Put the key in.

Turn the ignition.

Nothing.

Don’t you hate that?

It used to happen all the time. You know, like, 30 years ago. When I was a college student and I relied on $50 cars to get me through the winter.

Now it hasn’t happened in ooohhh I don’t know probably 15 years? Maybe longer.

I bought this truck because I needed reliable transportation for our gigs.

Playing live music is expensive.

You’ve got to keep the gear working in all kinds of weather here in Chicago. digital music equipment is fragile. You’ve got to have reliable transportation. And when the cold winds blow, you know the odds rise up against us.

So you stay on top of things. I replaced the battery before the beginning of this winter. I always carry a pair of jumper cables, just in case.

I’ve been trained by The Boy Scouts. Be prepared.

I have a blanket in the back of the truck. I don’t know if I have flairs but I think they’re back there by the spare tire as well. I replaced all 4 tires on her before last winter’s party season. Snow tires. That way I wouldn’t dependent on that spare tire or a tire jack that could get fussy. 

Good thing. Last year was a snowy one. We’re not as snowy this year. But we’re sure getting a lot of cold weather. What’dya expect? It’s winter. 

Here is a picture of our beloved cargo van on the back of the tow truck.

car trouble, cargo van, happened, happens, mechanic,

Not A Sight One Likes To See

This ole girl has been great. We named this van Vicki. My girls called it ‘The Man Van’. The boys said it looked like it belonged on an episode of Law and Order: SVU. My accountant loves it because it has no windows so I guess that means it’s a solid write off.

I love her. Vicki. Yes I always name my vehicles after girls. We figured that one out when we were teenagers. They’re prettier that way. And we all know every girl, like every vehicle, has an inherent beauty to it that must be named.

So let’s see what’s up with Vicki. I’ll let you know. My mechanic is awesome. I can give you his name if you want it.

He’s always been great. Because he never charges that much. He is always fair on what he charges and because I have another big corporate event coming up this Thursday. He said Vicki will be back up and running again by then. Phew!

Maybe its something simple like a starter. Oh well . . . . . it happens. At least it happened after the gig.