As a full time, professional piano player for hire, I love living here. Chicago is a great city.
The suburbs are loaded with wonderful opportunities for live music too.
2018 has been a great year in so many ways. The weather has been fantastic! Lots of warmth and only occasional (sometimes heavy ) snowfall.
I love the diversity of this city. I love the diversity of my gigs. This Holiday week was no exception.
Thursday we played a Dueling Pianos gig up in Wisconsin. It was a company party. Company Christmas parties are the best. People really know how to turn out after working so hard all year. turning out to be a regular gig because the response has been overwhelming. Word is getting out about the fun to be had at Gruben’s on Thursday.
Friday we got a call to play a last-minute slot in Central Illinois. All American Dueling Pianos went out to a club date for a Cabaret-esque kind of show. It wasn’t packed. There were only about 100 people there all night. But we got to stretch out a little bit. I got to do some comedy because people were sitting theater style. It sort of forced them to actually pay attention to the punch lines.
My dueling pianos partner for the night got to do a whole bunch of Sinatra and Tony Bennett. Then later the dance floor filled up and we went through all the current hits that got requested.
Saturday Night turned into a long day. I started by playing a 3 hour recording session for some spots I’ve been producing for a multi-media company who needs original music.
Then I headed out to Barrington Hills, IL for a swanky event at some friends’ home. Private house parties are the way to go at this time of year. No need to worry about traffic or parking or bad weather.
Jackie & Tom had me out to their home for their Annual Holiday Bash. It was the third time I’ve been out there play ing solo piano.
When you build your own Piano Bar, There’s no need to let me leave. We partied until close to 3 AM.
Then Sunday afternoon was a surprise 60th Wedding Anniversary in Lake Bluff, IL. VERY low key and the perfect end to a sweet, enjoyable weekend. Playing all the standards from 50s, 60s and beyond was a true test of my versatility.
But it was the joy of seeing old friends and family connect again over lunch and laughs. There was a video montage of photographs playing on the TV. Everyone enjoyed reminiscing. So I played the soundtrack. Very low key and extremely cool to be part of such a celebration.
Plus, our hosts asked me to MC a ‘game show’ for the celebrants.
I must say it is an honor to be able to play music every day of every week. Bringing joy and laughter (and sometimes tears) is a gift I am truly grateful for and I wouldn’t be able to do it without you.
Call to book your private party, company events, and anniversary parties. It would be an honor and a pleasure.
773-527-7417 is the number to call and afterward, you’ll be glad you did.
“I’ve seen a lot of comedy music shows but you dueling piano guys guys are the best!”
I don’t know how often we have heard that one, but we hear it a lot. People just love us as corporate entertainers. It’s not just the comedy music that everyone likes. It’s the improvisation, the customizing of the material to fit your clients, your event, your evening. It’s powerful. It’s changes how you feel. And makes you feel good! Even after all that it creates memories that last a lifetime. That’s a long time, isn’t it?
Not just talking about in Chicago either. The Comedy Music shows that we perform go all over the USA and we hear that everywhere we go. Why?
Can You Get Out Of YOUR Shell?
B’cuz Dan spent 10 years at The Second City where he learned how to improvise and make people laugh — no matter what.
We’ve seen audiences like these two stone faced Ja-Mokes come out of their shells before the night is through. ===>>>
And we will do the same for you at your next company events. We will be the corporate entertainers everyone will be talking about — for all the right reasons. Good clean music and comedy. You’ll be saying, “I never thought piano music could be so much fun!” And I’ll just say “Thanks. We knew you’d love it!”
It’s all in the connection with the audience. No two audiences are the same and when you add the universal language of laughter and music … well you get a highly combustible combination of great laughs and great memories.
It is not about any one thing. It’s not only about the music. It’s not only about the comedy. Comedy Music is two words that can be muddled up in the hands of amateurs.
Our professional showmanship and entertainment GUARANTEES you will get clean music and comedy. Entertainment that is worthy of your company events, conference entertainment, and private parties.
So give us a call and GUARANTEE your clients and guests will get out of their shell at your next company event. 773-527-7417
Is it an old wive’s tale or is it actually possible today in this modern age of wifi and playlists?
Live music played by real live musicians is hard enough to find … but when you combine that with a highly skilled entertainer, you’ve got a winning combination … no matter who your audience is, quality entertainment with a focused message for your mission, will link them in ar quicker than just another DJ.
The Holiday season or the monthly sales meeting .. either one will benefit from the buoyancy of live music entertainment at your company parties, at your trade show, at your client appreciation dinner.
Stop thinking about it and contact Dan right away at 773-527-7417
Thanks for your patience if you had to wait a day for this sequel;
Piano Music Fan: The Story of Ralph.
If you’re reading this for the first time, you might want to go check out yesterday’s blog post. Either way … we continue …
Ralph was watching me perform on stage in front of 400+ people at a company event. He knew what I charged the company for this entertainment for their event. Ralph was in finance. He thought it was way too much for one guy to make in 3 hours onstage what he made in a week. He was like, seriously? What’s the point?
But there was something in the way the piano music was so … uplifting. It became the center of the room and all the activity within. He couldn’t not tap his foot because of the infectious groove. How could all that music come from one instrument? There were no drums. There was just this guy on the piano with a microphone. Okay the stage looked really good. And it was perfectly placed in the room so that everyone had access to him and could talk to him. But, seriously. One piano and one microphone?
But the way he invited people to make requests and to sing along was smooth and inviting. Ralph didn’t remember the words to the songs but he knew the songs he was playing. Ralph found it really easy to sing along and even tho he had a very good memory, he couldn’t remember all the words.
Almost without noticing Ralph found himself getting closer to the stage. He was singing for the first time in years. Not since his days in high school choir had he felt this good. He was singing even though he wasn’t much of a singer. It was an enjoyable part of his life he had let slip away when he started working in accounting right after graduation form high school.
His happiness spread to his face. He was laughing for the first time in what seemed like an eternity. He started remembering songs he hadn’t thought of in years. And when he asked the piano player about them, he was surprised to learn he knew most of them. When the piano entertainer started playing his favorite songs, he noticed other people knew them and liked them too. Especially this one woman who was across from Ralph on the other side of the piano.
When I play piano at a company event or a fund raiser people ask me all the time, “Don’t you get tired of playing the same old songs all the time?”
I tell them, “No. Not as long as everyone is getting into them.”
If I have the chance, I usually go on to say, “I look in everyone’s eyes to see that sparkle of joy and contentment.”
Privately, I look for that moment when you have forgotten the weight of your world and you let go of the mundane and let the music take over.”
Great Entertainment for Events
I saw that look in Ralph’s eyes on that frosty cold night in February. It took hold before he started moving away from the edge of the convention center wall. I saw music soar through his soul as he came closer to the piano. I saw him relax and forget his old, shy, social habits as he stood shoulder to shoulder with everyone else singing along at the piano.
I saw that timeless sparkle in his eyes when he saw her across the room. So I looked for her. There she was to my left, a simply beautiful brunette in the dazzling necklace. Wow!
She was also looking at Ralph but in a whole new way. He was barely recognizable from his daily personae. ‘Janet’ wasn’t even sure it was Ralph from down the hall from her cubicle in marketing. His tie was loosened. His hair was messy (as usual) but it looked a whole lot cooler when he was dancing. Was this really Ralph?
Without thinking Ralph crossed to the other side of the piano and said something to her that made her laugh. There was that twinkle in their eyes again. Only this time it had grown roots.
They never left each others’ side the rest of the night.
By the end of the night he was standing next to ‘Janet in Marketing’, arm in arm with her and his other co-workers whom he had never talked to very much before.
His cheeks hurt from something he didn’t normally do at a company event or from anything he did much at work – smile that is.
I was asked back to perform the next year. This time we brought a dueling pianos show into the festivities. ‘Twice the Fun’ as we like to say.
Janet and Ralph were still together. They didn’t get married. They were dating tho. He wasn’t sure he wanted to get married or have kids. He was in his 30s now and, honestly, he wasn’t sure how to be a Dad having never received much parenting when he was a kid.
But Janet has two kids from another marriage whom he loves dearly. And they love seeing their Mom be so happy with Ralph. He was a really nice guy. Not loud like most men. Just really quiet – and happy.
Would you like to create memories that last a lifetime with live music entertainment at your next event? Then give me a call at 1 773-527-7417 and I will supply piano music fun that brings everyone together with interactive music and comedy. Seriously!
P.S. Ralph was now the head of the accounting department. This year he eagerly approved the expenditure.
We had the opportunity to get down to Kankakee IL twice during the holiday party season this year. It’s fascinating how powerful word of mouth referrals can be for us. We played live music at two events both hosted by the same venue; The Kankakee Country Club. I practically feel like a member now.
The first party was a company event for the local Bank. Small party of employees and spouses. Awards and bonuses were handed out and then the party began. Dance floor was filled al night long.
The second night this month was New Years Eve entertainment with an extra added bonus: Wende’s 50th Birthday Party. Surprise! Except she knew what was going on cuz that’s the kind of woman Wende is. Plus, her husband Rende spilled the beans earlier …. ooohhh say, like …. 9 months earlier. No biggie tho. Their kids were there, her parents and her entire family. We had a DJ after we finished. What a pleasure to be invited to such a fun filled event.
We’ll be back in Kankakee dueling pianos style coming up this February 7 2015 for a fund raiser for the local Chambers of Commerce. As is the case with many local communities, the Kankakee area has had to continue to change with the times. Their local Chamber is no different. They’re still providing jobs for families and helping small businesses grow.
We will be hosted by another stalwart venue perfect for company events; The Knights of Columbus Hall. KC Halls all over the USA are hosting community events such as fund raisers and charity events designed to benefit local churches and businesses.
So come on down to the Kankakee KC Hall this Feb 7 2015 for a first rate night of live music and comedy featuring one of our most popular shows, All American Dueling Pianos. Doors open at 6 PM and you can call the Kankakee County Chamber 815-351-9068
Celebrate Mardi Gras with All American Dueling Pianos with all of our friends.