Category Archives: dueling pianos chicago

Entertainment that leaves people wanting more…

Did you ever hear one of the attendees leave one of your corporate events saying, “wow…that was amazing!”

I’ve been fortunate enough to have event planners tell me that is exactly what they’ve heard people say, and honestly, they’ve said it themselves.But how do you get to that point? How do you create a corporate event that leaves people “wowed?” For me, it’s a collaborative process with the client.

I’ll create that one special song, or develop that one memorable moment or special entertainment experience that has people clapping their hands and tapping their feet.

Whatever the event, I’ll create customized songs that fit in with a strong brand presence, or key elements of a new product launch or trade show theme, or find a way to honor that someone special.

When you hire me, here’s what you get:  a seasoned professional who has built a reputation of making events an overwhelming success, filled with lasting memories for everyone.

Isn’t that what you want when hiring a lead entertainer?

Of course it is. And I know corporate entertainment! It’s a unique niche, and it’s what I specialize in!

I work hand-in-hand with you to make sure the content, the music and the comedy is in line with your goals, your company and your audience.

There’ll be no surprises, no red flags, no questionable content – nothing that will embarrass you or anyone in your company.

Once we decide on “the line,” I won’t cross it. So you can rest assured that everything will go according to the plan we develop together.

Sound like the professional entertainment you’re looking for?

Let’s talk about it!

I encourage you to give me a call at 773-527-7417. I’m here to answer any questions you may have, discuss the process or check available dates.

Tea Drinkers Don’t Suck

They just sip. And that’s why I don’t like tea.

I’m going to say something here that’s going to piss a lot of people off. I don’t care. It needs to be said. 

comedy, entertainment for events, piano music, comedy music,

Tea Drinkers Don’t Suck

If I’m going to have something to drink – I want to drink it. You can’t drink tea. You have to sip it. And that’s what infuriates me.

You can’t drink tea. It takes forever. I wish it didn’t.

I have things to do. I have people to be. I don’t want to waste my time sipping tea. Give me something to drink. There I’ve said it. I like to swallow.

You have to wait for it to cool down to sip it or you’ll burn the crap out of the roof of your mouth. Who wants a burned mouth? Not “It”.

It’s fine for my wife. She likes tea. No I take that back.

She loves tea. She drinks it all day long and she says it makes life simple and more enjoyable. She says tea lets you think about things before you react to them.

So since she knows so much more about so many more things than I do, I decided to join her at the tea store on one of our dates. Chicago has some great tea stores. There’s this one over on Broadway in Chicago. You can buy tea in bulk and it smells really good in there too.

But when we get home and she makes the tea, it tastes funky. Not like anything “good” funky. I tried to like it but I couldn’t.

comedy, entertainment for events, piano music, comedy music,

Don’t Drink This

To me it tastes like dish water that has been soaking the skillet that you broiled that salmon in last night.

At best it resembles a baby diaper bin at a day care center for children that suffer from inferiority complexes.

Once I had a sip of my wife’s tea and I thought I was drinking hair dye that got poured into the Ganges River and strained through a gym sock that had been left in the bottom of my gym bag from last Thursday.

Who wants to drink that?

I don’t. Not me. Go look for crazy somewhere else. Please.

How Does A Piano Player Learn So Many New Songs?

Learning new songs is part and parcel of our daily existence as a piano player who plays live music regularly. The challenge is sifting through all the new music and finding what works and what doesn’t work.

In my opinion most of the Pop and Country music these days has become homogenized. For those of you that didn’t grow up in the 60s ‘homogenized’ is not a sexual connotation. It means that everything is made the same. Some might say made to the same standard of quality. But I think what has happened is that most of the popular songs have the same chord changes and a drought of tasty melodies. I know there are some great and talented songwriters out there. But by the time their tune gets to the producer and to the recording process, there are changes that get made to make the song palatable. Axis of Awesome did this comedy music bit that has become a perfect example of what I’m taking about  

That’s okay by me. I don’t mind. I just know, as a writer, there are so many possibilities harmonically and melodically speaking, that there is no excuse for this. Even if a song were to have one ‘mystery chord’ in there somewhere, it would go a long way. It could be laziness. It could be ignorance.

But I think what has happened is when people like something, the creators replicate it because they know it’s a winning formula. This is true in every successful business. The music business is no different.

I think Adele has had some good success with adding tasty chords into her songs. Bruno Mars is copying many of the greats that came before him. They are both quite open about the fact that they are standing the shoulders of the giants who came before them.

My job is a piano player is to interpret what is out there and make it my own. For example, I don’t use massive amounts of music production techniques at our performances. I know some players use backing tracks and drum machines, even at dueling pianos shows. That’s cool. I never found it all that inspiring. As a piano player who works a lot I find I get inspiration from the people who are listening. I like that kind of energy rather than a technical energy.

The idea is that then the piano player turns the song into something of his own. Since we are all standing on the shoulders of the great ones who came before us, the only thing left for us to do is to personalize it.

That’s one of the things I learned early on as I was an aspiring musician learning to become a professional piano player. I used to think “Who is the best piano player?”. But then I realized it’s all one magic trick. Once you learn that one trick everything else after that is about adding the personality you were born with or that you are willing to let shine through.

So when I learn a new One Direction song or something from Jason Aldean, it doesn’t matter to me that all the same chords sequences are being used over and over again. I try to find the essence of the tune and make it my own. Sometimes I get it right, other times I need to keep learning.

When Was The Last Time You Had A Good Laugh? Dueling Pianos Music and Comedy

Another beautiful frosty day in November here in Chicago. We had another successful corporate event last night. It was a dueling pianos show in Peoria IL courtesy of Central Illinois Dueling Pianos. Thank you very much Andrew

We entertained a whole bunch of government officials. Some newly elected. Some newly un-elected. And of course all of their staff. We had a lot of laughs.

I love that part of our job as a musician, as an entertainer for an event.

music and comedy, comedy music, event, entertainer, comedian, musician,

When Was The Last Time You Had A Good Laugh?

Getting people to laugh. Sometimes we’re just improvising. Sometimes they’re routines that we have been doing for years. But the thing about dueling pianos is we are always going to have something different.

It’s because of the audience. Every audience, tho similar, is different. Different requests. Different celebrations. Just different.

But we know you’re going to have fun. We know we’re going to get you to where you want to go. You want to have fun and you need to laugh. We just have to organize the deck chairs, if you will. Alphabetize the chaos.

We had that rolling laughter last night. That interactive banter that keys off of people in the audience and their responses. A quality dueling piano show allows for that to happen. It’s so flexible.

I feel like the laughter is the key. I have always been looking for that laugh. As long as I can remember. Its a key component of what I do. Getting people to laugh.

One of the ways to do it is to be able to laugh at myself. That right there is probably the top way to get others’ to join me in laughter. I don’t take this whole music and comedy thing too seriously. I know, comedy is a serious business and all. But I just don’t take myself too seriously.

I hope you don’t either. And don’t take it too personally either. We’re all human. We’re all really kind of the same – for the most part. We all do and think the same stupid stuff. So it’s okay to laugh at yourself sometimes. It lightens the load we have to carry.

I think I read something somewhere about how laughter releases a chemical into our systems that keeps us young. I hope that’s true. Because there are times when I absolutely crave hearing laughter and having a good laugh – at myself most of all.

I hope you have a great Holiday season. We are busy busy busy again. Yet there are still a few dates open. I’d love to help you laugh some night too. Call me and we’ll see what we can do.

How do you make that corporate event a memorable one?

Event planners often have some “go-to” ideas when it comes to hiring a headline act for their big corporate event.

Maybe it’s a magician, or a cover band, or an impersonator.

There’s just one problem with all of those types of acts: they’re not improvisational.

And not only is the audience not connecting with the entertainment, (they’re just sitting and watching), they’re not connecting with each other.

Unfortunately, that means it’s not going to be a memorable event.

Think about it: would you rather watch a magician perform some tricks, or watch an entertainer that has your colleagues laughing, singing and having a terrific time?

The more you can make the entertainment memorable, and the more you can forge an emotional connection with your audience, the more meaningful the experience becomes.

It’s not just my opinion; it’s the opinion of “experts” as well. Take a look at this article and you’ll see what I mean.

Speaking of making your event a more personal experience, check out this  article too.

What I offer is a one-two-three entertainment punch: music, comedy and improv.

Working together, those two unique talents helps to ensure that the event experience invites, embraces, engages and delights the audience.

They’ll walk away with happy, lasting memories of having had a wonderful time for themselves as well as with their colleagues.

That’s exactly what you want to happen!

And whether you’re planning for a product rollout, sales seminar, trade show or other type of company event, I deliver an interactive entertainment experience that has your audience clamoring for more.

Sound exciting? You bet it does. And the best way to see how it fits into your overall strategy is to talk about it.

How about giving me a call me at your convenience? You can reach me at 773-527-7417.

Comedy — How Am I Supposed To Do This with Music?

So I was thinking the other day. I know that’s a bad habit. But I do it anyway. Comedy

The thing is, I find myself thinking more and more all the time about this and thinking about that but it doesn’t stop me or slow me down at all.

You’d think I’d be done by now. But No-o-o-o-o-o!!!

I keep doing it all the time. Sometimes I don’t even notice I’m doing it. It just happens. Without my knowledge.

Thinking that is.

Thinking about things I’ve already thought about and things that I think I should think about in case something I was just thinking about should happen to come true. It’s ridiculous really and there appears to be no end in sight. None.

So I came up with a possible solution. Something I think might work (damn it I did it again). I don’t know if it will work or not.

Anyway, here it is. I think I should think about the things I want to think about and nothing else. Comedy works. Music is fun. Sports are a little annoying but whatever. 

What do you think?

(Crap!) Now I’m going to think about your thoughts which could be worse than being stuck on my own.

Well, have at it.

As you long as you don’t respond with “Let me think about it”.

We’ve got enough of that going on around here.

Need some custom written comedy and music for your next corporate event? Give me a call. I will think about it. But when I’m done, I’ll have some excellent live music and comedy all ready for you that will improve employee production, increase their profit potential and deliver your message and mission statement faster, more efficiently and completely legally.

Music and comedy. The most fun you can have with your mouth in public!

Did You Hear What Stephen Hawking Said About One Direction?

It’s nearly impossible to believe this guy Stephen Hawking could be any smarter. Seriously!

It was amazing how astute our biggest brain in this universe came up with this. Was he thinking about it before he spoke? Or did he come up with the answer before he was even asked.

Stephen Hawking, arguably the biggest brain in our known galaxy, was asked a question about fav rave boy band One Direction and the new direction their lead singer was taking. IOW,

What are the cosmological effects of Zayn Malik leaving boy band One Direction?

See what he said here:

 

http://glogleemusic.tumblr.com/post/118122779623/stephen-hawking-was-recently-asked-about-one

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.

Dueling Pianos FundRaising Entertainment

We are getting ready to go on at a cancer fundraising event. Great benefit here in the SW Suburbs of Chicago. fundraising entertainment With dueling pianos is a great idea if you’re looking to raise money for your charity.

Charity event entertainment

They have a bunch of great items to give away at he silent auction. Do you see that Blackhawks jersey from Shaw. That’s pretty cool. I would bid on that.