Tag Archives: live music entertainment

Taking Risks: Is It Worth It? Music Production Choices

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times  I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

I’ve never done well with failure. I don’t know why. I’ve mellowed quite a bit as I get older and have become a father of 4 children who are now of legal age. As they were teenagers, I’ve learned to pick my battles. More of a survival skill really.

Even in business, I don’t feel like it’s necessary to fight every battle. I pull back and let things fall as they may. I figure, as long as I do the footwork, I’m not going to win ’em all and somehow everything just seems to work out.

But I’ve had to make a couple of tough decisions lately. Over the last 4 months now, I have been planning and strategizing new directions in this vibrant business of music.

We’ve done well as a premier live music production company. We have built a well rounded talent agency supplying quality live music entertainment for our corporate clients and charity events.

I have become a seasoned professional with the ability to get up in front of any audience and, if they are willing, have them experience an excellent evening of live music entertainment with the use of nothing more than a piano, a microphone and a superb imagination.

music for advertising, music production,  music for commercials, We will still continue to produce more of these kinds of shows for many years to come. It’s something I deeply love and am forever grateful that I am allowed to perform piano music in front of appreciative audiences.

The decision comes in how to expand the music productions on the recorded side of the coin. I write and compose new music, soundscapes, jingles for radio, TV, film and advertising. It’s fun. I’ve been doing that since I left The Second City back in 1996.

Advertising jingles and production library music has evolved in waves since then. We have been getting more and more calls lately to supply music for radio ads.

Take a listen at some of these jobs that have come in over the last year at Www.musicforcommercials.org

That decision is this: Hire more sales reps to work the phones and get the leads that bring in more clients. It would be a new paradigm for us, for me, for our company. I feel a little afraid about it.

What if I fail? What if it doesn’t go well and we lose the capital and the time it takes to see how well this will work? It almost seems foolish to think that way as I see myself type these words on the computer. Yet I feel this way.

Why is that? I hate failure? I want to win? I might look stupid? I might put my family at a disadvantage by taking a risk that doesn’t pan out?

Those are all stupid reasons. I can do this with a sane, rational and logical approach that anyone else who has taken a new business initiative has ever done.

You’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky

I will put a plan together. I will execute the plan. I will follow up on the plan and change it until it works. Or I will fold it up after a set amount of time, if the results are not there.

When I was a music teacher (many moons ago) I had students who wanted to learn a musical instrument who were from all age groups. One thing I noticed is that kids were quick learners and grown ups were not. After a few tries, the grown ups would tend to give up and stop coming. Kids would stay for years (if they were interested).

I think that’s because adults are harder on themselves than kids will be. Kids take more risks. Especially little kids. They aren’t afraid they’re going to look stupid. At least not until they get into 7th grade or so,. Then they want to fit in and NOT stand out.

So maybe I want to look good. Maybe it’s as simple as that. Maybe I don’t want to look stupid.

So here goes. To be continued for sure. I’ve made the decision. We are going to proceed with the plan and we are going to move in and build additional revenue streams.

Tune in here often to catch the updates as we create new content all the time for advertisers, small businesses and corporate clients.

Thanks for reading and until then, Please try to be nice to somebody. Thanks.

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!

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

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 

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. 



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”

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.”

Did You Know Auctioneers Make Lousy Dueling Piano Players?

Now I don’t know if that is really true or not but I do suspect there is some semblance of truth in the fact that dueling piano players might make a good auctioneers.

We can always get the crowd going. We can improve your fund raising ideas and efforts. And we will guarantee an entertaining evening of live music and laughs with great comedy too.

Every dueling piano player has a distinct style. We will sing the same songs but never in the same way. It is an amazing sight to see for your charity event music. Live music and comedy will always be the kind of entertainment you will need even if you don’t think you want it. Trust me on this. We are professionals.

Piano music entertainment gets the double treatment when you hire a dueling piano show — piano music show at its finest.

Dueling piano music entertainment

Improve your evening!,,

Dueling Piano Music Entertainment Now!

Dueling pianos piano music entertainment entertainment for events corporate event

Tractors and Live. Piano Music

Wow! Can you believe that all this entertainment is packed into one room? The kids are at the dinner and then they have great live music dueling piano music entertainment no less and then they have a whole water park to play in all day long too.

Man! It makes me wish I was 10 yo again. Or at least had couple of ten year old kids again. No. Wait , I just got rid of the kids. Never-mind.

But it sure is fun watching this other peoples kids get all amped up for it. There you go. Gotta go. Showtime in two minutes.

What Do You Do When You Haven’t Got Enough Money For That Party?

There are certainly a ton of election stories out on the news these days. It appears this will be a very close election. Yet which ever way things go, either for or against your candidate, one issue will remain:

We are going to be okay.

We will get out of this because we are Americans. If we work together to solve the problems we all face in this country today, then all Americans will be better off. That one fact, that one reason, is the single greatest reason why we are a great country. When we work together we are stronger than anyone or anything else out there.

Think of it like this:

If you pick up one stick and try to break it, it is very easy to do. If you pick a group of sticks, it is nearly impossible.

I also know we are going to be okay because the phones are ringing again. Companies and individuals are calling for holiday parties. Corporate events are still necessary as a wholesome way to celebrate at the end of the year.

But many companies that are small don’t really have the budget to rent a room, hire live music entertainment and cater the food. It’s just not in the cards this year.

So here is the solution:

Find some place or venue that has great entertainment already and bring your company Christmas party there.

Where? Durbins in Plainfield IL

We’ve just been hired as their live music entertainment for the weekend of December 14-15. You can have your group of 5 or 10 or 25 or more come out and enjoy some great food, excellent music and comedy and you won’t have to break the bank to do it.

It’s like that bundle of sticks.

When we get together as a couple of small groups, we all get to have fun.

Isn’t that what the Holiday parties are supposed to be? Fun?

  • If you’re afraid you’re going to get the same old crappy entertainment for your event like you did last year
    ….. go to Durbin’s.
  • If you think you can’t afford to have fun this year because it’s going to be out of your budget, then
    ….. go to Durbin’s.

Durbins in Plainfield Dueling Pianos Dec 14 & 15