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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.

How Do You Spell 60th Birthday Party Ideas?

Everyone Loves A Good Celebration — Birthday Party Ideas 

party ideas, surprise parties, piano entertainment, piano music,

Celebrate Now!

Celebrations are to be remembered. With all that can happen in the course of life, the good fortune to be able to come together with friends and family to commemorate a milestone like a birthday or an anniversary is to be relished with a party. But what can I say? I’m a professional entertainer. So there’s that. 

With that said when I get invited to come to your event as a piano player, I am humbled to know that first of all, you value good music, and second of all that you have allowed me to be a part of an intimate family memory that will last a lifetime.

That is exactly what happened last year in the summer when George and Colleen invited me to their home to celebrate George’s 60th birthday party. A little back story first …

George is happy to be celebrating anything above ground. Especially a 60th birthday party. George had had a major heart attack a year earlier. Like as in MAJOR. The weird part is George is one of those health nuts. Apparently he is quite active riding his bike and taking long tours for fun. He’s been doing this for years. In fact, George looks like one those guys who is healthy. Fit, tall, muscualar and full of life and energy.

If you were to put George in a line of 20 other men his age, you would pick him last as a candidate for “The Big Grabber”. But you would have picked wrong.

At the fateful moment he was blessed to be around his family and his wife, who is a registered nurse and knew how to administer CPR, thus keeping him alive long enough to get him on the table and get his operation that allowed him to live.

Now jump ahead a year later and everyone is happy to celebrate a surprise 60th birthday party for him.

So as part of his surprise party his wife, Colleen, and his kids, now grown, prepared this party under the radar. The misdirect (every surprise party needs a misdirect – where you get the celebrant out of the house long enough to get everything prepared) was to take him on a “short” bike ride down around Chicago to the lakefront and back. Nothing too strenuous.

We were all assembled in the backyard when he came around back towards the garage on his bike when we yelled “SURPRISE!!!” to which George was startled so severely that he fell off his bike.

It was then that we immediately realized maybe this whole “SURPRISE!!!” thing might not be good for his health lest we wanted to inflict another hear attack on the unsuspecting birthday boy. 

BIRTHDAY PARTY, 60TH SURPRISE PARTY, PIANO MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT,

No … THANK YOU!

All was well though. Laughter and some memorable video footage will be enterted into the family archives for future laughs.

I was invited to be the piano player because George loves the Beatles and good music all around. Hence, the addendum at the end of the thank you note I received.

As you can see music reaches and heals all of us no matter where we are at. It helps during celebrations as well as times when Mother Nature rears her inevitable patterns.

So when considering party ideas, whether the good celebrations or the not so good, remember music will touch the soul of everyone who is there. It is an honor to not only play piano music for your birthday party ideas but also to be invited to your intimate family event. Thank you.

Dan – your performance not only touched & thrilled me,
it reached everyone’s soul who was there.
Love George”

What’s Your Favorite Song?

The question I get asked second most is, favorite song 
“What kind of music do you like to play the best?” 

favorite song, piano music, good music,

Two Kinds of Music

I always like to quote Duke Ellington who said, “There are only two kinds of music. Good and the other kind.”

I only play one kind. Which is good.

But what is good? How do you know it’s good? It’s so hard to tell these days. Let’s go back to the Grand Master Duke who went on to say,

If it sounds good and feels good, then it IS good!”

So it starts if I can make it sound good. Brown Eyed Girl can have a great groove. You can play it reggae style. You can play it bluesy. You can even go Calypso on it and fill the dance floor in nothing flat. favorite song 

So, basically, if my audience is having a good time, it’s probably cuz it feels good to them.

I can play Sweet Caroline 4 times a night because if I place it in the right portion of the night, people love that song. They’re having a great time with it. So I’m having fun too.

I got asked that question the other night again, “What is your favorite song to play?”

I was in a club. It wasn’t all that busy. Kind of a quiet night. Maybe 50 people in the bar. The usual mix of foreigners and American tourists. A few Canadians but mostly Brits. A relaxing, warm spring evening in Chicago.

I love meeting new people. Especially people from other places than my neighborhood or my city. It’s good to have another perspective.

I remember one time I was playing on a boat that was spinning around Lake Michigan. I was a young man; about 20 something. I struck up a conversation with a woman from Israel who was living in Germany. I was complaining about our government and all the problems. She just looked at me and in no uncertain terms expressed, “You have no idea how good you have it here in America.”

There are always more than one way to look at things. I forget that sometimes unless I am talking with a wide and varied group of people on a regular basis.

Last night at a party I met a woman who was probably in her late 60s who is deeply involved in the justice system. Her point of view is massively different than my friends who are police.

That’s why when people ask me what kind of music I like the best, I have to answer with a question; “What kind of music do you like? What is your favorite song?” Because as an entertainer I’m not really allowed to judge. I want you to have a good time. I want you to hear the music that makes you feel good. If you’re feeling good, then I’m feeling good. Pretty simple really.

But as a musician (not as an entertainer) I have a very different point of view. First and foremost, it has to have a groove. I also like music that tells a story. I like music that has interesting harmonic structures; something I can spread my wings on and investigate tonalities and textures within the course of the tune. I like to discover something new in every song. Especially if I’ve been playing it for many months – or years.

It’s pretty simple. It comes down to the same thing for me too. Does it make me feel good? Cuz if I’m feeling good, you are too.

Let’s feel good together with live music and piano songs that create more great memories that will lat a lifetime for you.

Call me at +1 773-527-7417 and I GUARANTEE we will have some fun!

 

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

piano music, entertainment for events, fundraising ideas, live music entertainment, piano entertainer,

Piano Music Will Raise Funds. Really!

live music entertainment for events piano player for hire

Live Music Creates Astounding Memories!

Springtime in Chicago Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

This is how we do springtime in Chicago.

It’s our special way of celebrating the coming of warm weather.

piano music, live music chicago, springtime entertainment for events,

Is It BBQ Season Yet?!?

It’s how we welcome the robins.

It’s the way we tease the squirrels. 

This is why we make the most of BBQ season. All 4 months of it.

This is why I think it’s time to get a place in Arizona or something.

We just melted all of this year’s snow last week. It was a good season. Not too much snow, but enough to remember we live in a cold weather climate. Not too freezing, but enough for good ice fishing if you like that kind of thing.

It makes it easier to move the pianos when there’s no snow or ice under foot. Hell, today’s spring snow storm may all melt in two days anyway.

But for now we have lovely traveling conditions.

Fantastic jogging paths.

Superior lake front bike paths.


This what awaits our baseball teams when they return from spring training. The Cubs open on a Sunday Night against the Cardinals. The Cards are used to playing in cold weather. They go to the World Series every other year it seems. The only time the Cubs play in cold weather is the first month of the season – not the last.

This spring snowstorm is why we have a 162 game season. This way we can stretch out the season so the warm weather can get here and then leave.

This spring snowstorm is why Wrigley Field’s bleachers won’t be done in time for Opening Day.

So keep the snow boots handy.

Keep the scarves close by.

Your ice scraper isn’t done yet.

. . . and Thank God piano music is here all year long.

Call now to reserve your warm (or cold) weather party 773-527-7417

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

piano music, entertainment for events, fundraising ideas, live music entertainment, piano entertainer,

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!!!

This Is Why Comedy Is Funny

A satirist is a man who discovers unpleasant things about himself
and then says them about other people.”
Peter MacArthur

That about sums it up. I love complaining. It sometimes comes out a bit caustic. I think I’m being funny. But my wife says differently.

comedy, chicago, entertainment,

The Zen of Driving

For example, when I’m driving on Chicago streets. I think I’m providing a public service when I let other drivers know how they’re doing. It works especially well in the winter time when I’m screaming at another driver with my windows rolled up. I’m pretty sure my message is getting across fabulously.

But just to make sure they actually get what I am trying to say I use sign language that involves flailing of the arms, extension of the fingers and stretching the facial muscles into contorsive positions the face was not meant to adopt.

Of course, this leads to glandular secretions and onset of early Alzheimer’s because if you were to ask me 5 minutes later what I was so creatively expressing my opinion about, I couldn’t tell you. Perhaps I have moved on to other, more worthy subjects of derision or it just didn’t merit my well intentioned wisdom. comedy 

Nevertheless, I do it strictly for the good of the community, providing a service in the name of entertainment. It’s just in my nature I guess; entertaining the rank and file. It’s cheaper than my shrink and I’m pretty it entertains you.

Plus, I don’t need to set up a play piano.

So thank you for playing along. We’ll see you at one of the music and comedy shows I have scheduled coming up. If I don’t see you then, I’ll see you later. 

Until then .. just remember …

Everything is funny as long
as it is happening to someone else.”
Will Rogers 

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

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

snow tires, tire store, entertain, entertainment

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.

Live Music in Chicago Brings Out All The Finest Folks

I don’t know what it is about the winter time that gets people acting all weird. Is it the lack of sunlight? Is it the need to stay indoors so you don’t get hurt or injured?

Tonight found a sparse crowd waiting to be entertained and pleased with their very own special kind of goofy. It was truly a sight to behold.

Can you in your wildest imagination think that so many people of such a similar persuasion would all be out on a such a cold, frosty night to hear live music in Chicago. 

I had one guy who could not stop yawning. Every time I looked at him I wanted to tell him to stop.

I had two very large women who could not get enough of each other – or of me – who were utterly and completely convinced that the only way in the entire world to communicate with me was to yell loudly.

I had the guy who struck out with every single lady in the house until he found one who thought it would be desirable to chew tobacco as well. I think those two left together.

Then there was the “Birthday Girl” who wasn’t going to let anyone in the bar forget that it was her “big night”. She was nice enough until somewhere after the 25th or 26th drink that was bought for her. She was working every corner of the room leaving half finished drinks everywhere. (I counted 3 by the bandstand)

As I was getting up to leave and go home at the end of the night, she popped her head from around the corner demanding to know why I didn’t play her request from 2 and a half hours earlier of ‘Blister In The Sun’.

I said, “I thought you left.” So she flipped me off. I thought “Well that’s a classy move.” To which I said, “For a woman in a black out, you sure have a great memory.”

That drew a laugh from the bartenders and the waitstaff. Then I went home.

But not before announcing in my best Harry Caray voice “Good night everybody.”

Country Music Dueling Pianos in Chicago of All Places

We’re back playing live music dueling pianos at Bub City in the River North neighborhood of Chicago again on Wednesday night this week (and every week until they fire us or hire someone else or decide

dueling pianos in chicago

Dueling Pianos Country Music Style

they want to play something else besides country music or they decide well maybe playing Don’t Stop Believing 20x a night is okay and maybe you guys should just do what you do really well and to hell with all this country music, i mean you’re in the city for cryin’ out loud. There ain’t much country in the city. unless of course that city happens to be Tulsa or something.

Which we could do if we were from Tulsa. But we’re not cuz we’re from Chicago and we play the blues a hell of a lot better than country. But if you didn’t know that the blues spawned the great country tunes of today then you may not know the difference. I didn’t notice the difference when I was 22. But who’s counting? Do twenty year olds really care much about anything other than drinking and getting laid on a Wednesday night in Chicago anyway? It’s hard to tell. At least it’s hard to tell from the 2o year olds that go out on a Wednesday night. I might be able to tell you better if I could look at the 20 year olds who were NOT out on a Wednesday night listening to live music on the piano like we are providing every Wednesday night at Bub City. )

 

But I digress. We will be there. Will you? Live music on Wednesday Night at Bub City

We’ll be back again on Sept 24. Hope to see you there for some dueling pianos — country style.