Category Archives: fundraiser entertainment

Can You Really Effectively Do Fundraising For Your Church With Just A Piano Player?

It’s always interesting when I get a call to do some fundraising for your church or school from someone who wants me to play piano music at their charity event. But they think the piano can only be relegated to background music.

It’s true we can offer some beautiful ambiance.

But there is so much more to what I bring to the table. What I offer for your fund raiser entertainment is to bring people together. But if I am also going to be the background piano player first, then I need to bring them in differently than if I am your headliner entertainment.

That’s exactly what I was able to do here for this church fund raiser. Check this out …

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Thank YOU!!!

You’re Welcome! 

It’s always a pleasure to help raise funds for churches and schools. I never get tired of it.

We have a wonderful community here in Chicago. A real mixture of people and cultures and needs. St Nicolai has been around for 125 years now. Think about what that means. All the different changes this community has seen over the decades. From working class families to immigrants to 2nd, 3rd and now 4th generations of people living and working ad dying in the City of Chicago.

I’ve been living and working in Chicago as a musician since 1981. I grew up in the suburbs. I came down here to U of I as it was called back then. Now our kids have grown up here and call these neighbors their friends too.

I’ve known Dave Antieau for a long time. He’s been the pastor at St. Nicolai’s for several years now. He started off as one of my piano students back when I was teaching full time.

His wife is a wonderful woman who is just as active in the community as David is. They’ve seen me perform live music at a mutual friend’s wedding. It’s all the same thing for us.

Bring people together with the power of music and
create great memories. Let us do the same for you and your fundraising efforts.

Call now 773-527-7417 

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Addicted To Having Fun? Musicians Are Too.

We know how you feel. We are musicians first and humans second.

Celestial beings who landed here on a lark thinking, “Well maybe these people want to party too!”

If you want to liven up your party, then call a musician.

If you want to get people dancing quicker than a one legged man with his shoe on fire, call a musician.

If you want your friends to tell everybody what a great time you had at your party this year, call a musician.

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Really! Live Music makes Your Party Really Live!

Really! We know that Live Music makes a party really live!

I  have seen it over and over again. We show up. No one knows us. But you know everybody there. They’re your friends, your family, the people in your life who matter most. We understand. No one really says anything to us. We set up our gear. Do a quick sound check. Go to the bathroom. Use your best hand towels. Then we start playing. Not loud at first. Not too fast either. Not unless we are at a concert. We just ease on in under the conversation. We watch. We watch for the smile. Then the hod bob. Maybe it’s a shoulder thrust going on. Someone laughs cuz they see someone else going for it too. Next thing you know the whole party gets going. People move in closer to the band or nearer the piano music the later the party goes. Next thing you knpw it’s 3 hours later and you don’t know where the time went.

Sound good to you? If you’re like us, you want to have some at your party. Entertainers make this all come together. So Call today. You’ll be glad you did.

+1 773-527-7417

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I could have been in the Olympics but I’d rather be here

Olympics Rant

You know I qualified for the Olympics again this year. But I decided not to go. It wouldn’t be fair to the other athletes. I would have won all the medals especially on Track &Field. I mean that would be selfish of me.

Oh this sarcasm doesn’t look too good in print. Honestly, I’m surprised at how much of an expert I’ve become in sports I don’t know anything about. I was watching the platform divers last night and I had no idea how dangerous that sport could be. Those divers hit the water at 30+ mph. One wrong move and Ouch!

Olympics Day 3 - Diving

Then there’s me from my recliner in my living room looking to relax and I can only think there is not enough tape in the world to protect my wrists from hitting the water the wrong way. Then I find myself becoming VERY opinionated about the Splash Meter. When I used to watch this sport on the Wide World of Sports years ago, I don’t remember having it so easy. Yet here I sit with a beverage and a meter to gauge how much liquid should be acceptable in my life when it comes to platform divers.

You should have heard me last week during 2 man kayaking!

 

Little Rock Fundraiser Ideas with Dueling Pianos

Need Fundraiser ideas? Check out how this group did it.

Quick batch of gigs this weekend. Tonight we’re in Little Rock AR for a fundraiser event benefitting Camp Aldersgate. Great group of patrons too. What they’re doing at the camp is creating life changing experiences for for kids win special needs.

Camp  Aldersgate can always use your support. Common ground for extraordinary people.Dueling pianos, fundraising ideas,

The Power of Live Music Entertainment Will Astound You!

The Power of Live Music Entertainment
will literally astound you!

Edison said …

“If we all did the things we are capable of doing we would literally astound ourselves.”

The power of music is astounding! I get to see it every night I am playing piano music live in a corporate event or at a club date. I can see it whether I am entertaining in a country club or at a fund raiser.

Yes I can play piano and yes I can sing. But the music isn’t mine. It belongs to all of us and my job is to provide the vehicle for you to climb in and take a ride;

A Magic Carpet Ride.

Ride Sally Ride.

Baby You Can Drive My Car.

The tricky part is letting you know you need it before you know you want it.

So I am here to tell you want it. You need it. You crave live music entertainment and you’re going to be talking about what an astounding time you had last night tomorrow morning and for the rest of your life.

You will remember your event for years to come and maybe even beyond. It won’t because of the bean dip. It won’t be that really funny story Uncle Funky tells every party ever year every time you get guys get together.

It’s going to be the live music you shared. It’s going to be the dancing and the singing and the great memories you’ve created together with me behind the piano or with my band.

I’m not making this up. The music is telling you this is true.
You know how I know?
Let me ask you a question:

Do you remember where you were when you got your first kiss?

Of course you do.

Now what was your favorite song from that time period?

See? You knew instantly.

That’s the power of music.

That song (or songs) that was playing on the radio or on the 8 track player in the car you were in at the time, ingrained your emotional happiness. It became the soundtrack to your life.

That’s the power of music.

It transcends everything that was going on at the time. You don’t remember what you ate for breakfast the morning of your first kiss. But you remember the song that was your favorite.

So call me and let’s create some more great memories with live music entertainment.

I am Dan and I am the PianoMan and I would be honored if you would let me create those moments with you and your friends and family that will last a lifetime.

Live Music Entertainment is Astounding!

Call 773-527-7417

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Piano Music Will Raise Funds. Really!

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Live Music Creates Astounding Memories!

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.

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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!

6 Reasons Why Piano Music Makes One of The Best Fundraising Ideas Of All Time

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Piano Music Will Raise Funds. Really!

Live sing along piano music goes down in history as one of the all time great fundraising ideas and is a great choice for your next charity fund raiser event.

1. We are affordable with structured rates to fit every budget. We offer discounts for charity event entertainment packages that benefit children such as after school programs, athletic associations and most especially religious groups.

2. We can involve everyone in your audience because it spans every demographic; kids, tweeners, teens, millennials, young families, retirees on up to grandparents.

Even the people who don’t get to joining in with the sing along or the dancing will have a good time watching all their friends and co-workers get up and be all silly.

3. A VERY versatile live music entertainment choice. We can add a band or maybe hust a drummer, we can feature ‘guest’ singers from your group, we can create a karaoke event. Sound versatile to you too?

4. The piano player can take your requests. You get to set the pace of the show. If you don’t like the song one of these wonderful performers are playing, make a request and change the song. It’s fun when you’re in charge.

5. The very best reason you’re getting is live music entertainment played by a real musician in real time. Too many acts play with recorded music these days. And why not? The technology is there and it sounds so good. But because we’re actually playing piano and singing live for you, you get to hear us make mistakes and screw up the words and laugh at ourselves for doing it. Not bad huh,? 

Try us. You’ll see why live piano music makes one of the All Time Great Fundraising Ideas to come around since forever. 

773-527-7417

oh wait … did I say 6 Reasons? Yes. I did. Reason #6 … IT’S FUN!!!

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.

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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.

Now I’m Going To Entertain You with A Story …

… about how to drive in a snow storm in Chicago. 

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Chicago Snow Storm Stories

So we got smacked with another snow storm here in Chicago this week.

Typical. It’s Chicago. It’s February. Go figure.

So why the hell don’t people know how to drive in this stuff? I mean – Seriously! Is it because we don’t have a foot of snow very often anymore? Are we just out of practice? It’s like Heeey C’mon already.

I remember getting a lot of snow when I was younger. Even in my early 20’s I had to be able to navigate city streets with all of the other citizens.

It was Par For The Course. Modus Operandi. Another Day in The Neighborhood.

When I was still a student of music at U of I in Chicago, as it was called back then, I lived in Wicker Park. My rent for a 2 bedroom was $150 a month. For those of you out of town, I can tell you now Wicker Park is one of those great neighborhoods where you now will not be able to find a 2 bedroom for less than $1500 these days – if that.

I had an old Chevy Suburban. Great truck. 8 cylinder. Rear wheel drive. Heavy. Moved everything and everywhere. Awesome truck.

Wicker Park was a barrio back then. Gangs? Yeah no problem. Ghettos? Yeah sure, whatever. Rat hole apartment and scum bag landlords? Heeeey it’s Chicago. Whatever.

I remember getting going after digging out of my parking spot, not daring to stop, zipping through one of those unplowed alleys on questionable snow tires I got from that discount tire shop on Division to get to the unplowed side street to get out to Damen Ave when I encounter another vehicle driving in my direction.

Now I had lived in Wicker Park about a year and a half at the time. I knew my neighbors. All upstanding citizens to be sure and they were kind enough to inform me, in true Chicago tradition, “Heeey, we’re all okay over here. It’s those people across the alley/across the street/ north of Milwaukee Ave/fill in the blank you gotta worry about … “

So in other words, I knew how to fill in the blanks, I knew where the boundaries were drawn and I knew who was on who’s side. I knew I had a guy and I knew the other guy had a guy so it’s all kopesthetic, right?

So like I said, I’m zipping along on my snow tires in my Chevy Suburban and I realize I’m in that ‘other’ neighborhood and I see this guy coming at me in his beater and we both know not to stop in the snow or we’re both getting stuck.

So what do we do?

We keep going.

That’s what we do.

C’mon it’s Chicago.

Sliding along, spinning our wheels but moving forward and as we miraculously pass each other safely we both look out our rolled down windows and we both started laughing. We were passing by so close we could have reached out and High Fived each other but we didn’t dare take our hands off the wheel at that particular moment.

As we finally fish tailed past each other our tail ends decided to dish out that High Five. It was a Love Tap. A Cheek Kiss.

Maybe it was that I didn’t want to stop knowing I wasn’t going to be protected in that neighborhood. Maybe it was him who didn’t want to get out and check it out for possibly very similar reasons. Add to that neither one of us were driving a brand Audi or anything.

So I looked out my side mirror and I saw him wave an “okay” as I was doing the same back to him.

No harm. No foul. No big deal driving in Chicago snowstorms.

Come visit some time and we’ll go for a drive. And maybe we’ll play some great live music together. Or if you’re not a musician and you’d rather just listen, we’re okay with that too. Either we’ll entertain you with tails and songs.

Heeey. Chicago. Go figure.

How Do You Spell Mardi Gras Dueling Pianos?

Mardi Gras.
God’s gift to help us get through the winter.

Wait. That can’t be right.

Mardi Gras is a pagan Holiday. designed to help us sinners get it together before the miracle of Easter.

Oh … forget it … I’m just a mixed up Catholic who hasn’t been to church in a while. Either way you look at it … and I look at it as an Ambassador of Fun would look at it … An Emcee of Party … a professional piano entertainer would look at it … LET’S SING SOME SONGS!!!

Plus, we’re going to be raising some money for the Kankakee County Chamber … again! I think this is our 3rd or 4th year in a row providing charity event entertainment for them? I’ve lost count.

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Mardi Gras Dueling Pianos in Kankakee 2015

Dueling Pianos with a Mardi Gras twist, a tinge of The Big Easy, A taste of the Le Bon Temps Roulé. Can you resist it any longer? 

This winter is getting longer and longer and spring is still a few 6 weeks away. So let’s embrace the ice! Let’s dance in the darkness. Let’s do the night the way the night should be done .. with live music in the form of dueling piano mardi gras.

We’ll be there. Where will you be?

Knights of Columbus Hall, 187 South Indiana Avenue, Kankakee, IL 60901 — Doors open at 6 PM

Support businesses in Kankakee County IL We help each other to improve business by building a better community.

For tickets and to make a donation click here 

Or cut and paste this link:
http://business.kankakeecountychamber.com/events/details/3rd-annual-mardi-gras-dueling-pianos-872

Bring some friends … We know you got some!