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 an 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 …
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 shown 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 the accounting business 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 lifelong memories for everyone in attendance.
I don’t think so. I’d like to think I am but I am not. I will tell you a little story first though, before I explain that is …
It’s always a pleasure to play piano in front of people. But I got to admit, I do get a bit tired some nights. A little short tempered if you will. I almost snapped at a guy who was just being polite last night at the end of a long day that included a recording session that went VERY well, a solo gig for some seniors which was well received and a sing along gig that went all night and revealed not one chance to take a break.
He was just being nice, yet he was also inquiring about a gig. Of course, he wanted to talk prices and availability.
I never discuss price at a gig. Two different parts of my brain.
I’ll talk business during the day when I’m wearing my business hat. When I’m out gigging I have a completely different mind set – entertaining.
So this guy was asking about a festival date in July and I thought, well I can’t not talk to him. He was being very polite for so late at night, a rare trait indeed.
I was saying how yes I do travel all over the place. And yes I do have a band I could bring. And yes with a day of rehearsal time I could bring a new band up to speed.
But I wasn’t going to talk price. I did talk about needing to include travel and lodging. That part was logical. At least to me it was. But I couldn’t mention a price because I didn’t know how much gear I was going to have to bring or how big of a crowd I was required to perform in front of.
I get calls all the time from people who are looking to get a price quote. They’re shopping strictly on price. I understand that.
We are all on some sort of budget.
But I don’t base my price on the what others’ are charging for their services as a Chicago piano player or musician. I am setting my price based on what I bring to the party. And what I bring to the event is extremely unique. Just ask the people who hire me as a piano player over and over again. Year after year. Fund raiser after holiday party entertainment. And it’s not just my services as a premier Chicago piano player. I charge based on the caliber of entertainer I am. I base it on the quality of musicianship I can bring to you through my years of experience on the scene knowing who to call when you need a first rate band to back me up.
The thing is I know I’m not the best piano player in Chicago. I know I’m not the best entertainer. I do know I am in the top tier of performers.
So if you’re looking for cheap, go somewhere else. If cheap is important to you I’m not the guy you want. I’m also not the most expensive. So give me a call. If I cant do it, I know a Chicago piano player I can call who will give you what you’re looking for in a great evening of entertainment.
I’m not sure what if anything this has to do with piano music in Chicago or anywhere else for that matter. But I was just relaxing watching The Bears lose another perfectly winnable game today, when I saw this on my bathroom floor.
Now we all know that we don’t always keep our floors clean and if you’re going to leave socks on the floor, you may as well leave them on your bathroom floor, which is exactly how I live.
and I saw this old man’s face scrunched up — looking like the disgruntled Bears fan that I am today.
DO YOU SEE IT TOO?
Do You See It?
Tilt Your Head?
There You Go
Thanks for playing along.
Live piano music and comedy +1 773-527-7417
Taking requests behind the piano is a series of calculated risks. We piano players either want a decent tip AND satisfy a customer OR we will choose to ignore their request in order to keep the energy of the room moving in the direction you want it to go.
I have that dilemma anytime I offer to play requests. So it is a delicate balance in a crowded room.
Don’t Shake The Piano Players Hand
Requests serve a great function overall. In some situations it is necessary to take requests. It improves the bottom line. No matter if it’s a dueling pianos show or a solo piano bar gig, tips can be an additional extra coupla ducats in the buckets. They rarely add up to anything substantial. But everybody thinks that it is necessary in our society in America. Thank you. It is appreciated.
However the main reason to take requests is this: People want to feel like they are controlling the show; like they have some sort of say so in the goings on for the evening. That’s okay. We see it all the time in modern marketing; online polls, social proof, statistics supporting your buying decision.
Making requests is a microcosm of this same human instinct – a need to make a difference.
Even when making requests is not a part of an evening of piano music, say for example, when I am just performing at a cocktail party or a networking event, folks like to make a request in order to have something to talk to the musician about.
We love talking to people. As piano players, we crave the interaction. Okay, well at least I do. Come up and talk to me. Just don’t try and shake my hand.
Sometimes people don’t know what songs to ask for. I see them all the time on their phones “looking up songs to request’. Here’s a little secret … there is no right or wrong way to make a request.
Then there’s the guy or gal who want to stump the piano player. “Hey, do you know some Zappa?” Chances are we are already well prepared for this.
Then there are the requests for the latest wave of a current popular artist. Someone who is not well respected. “Can you play some Brittney Spears? Lady Gaga? Can you play Gangnam Style … but sing it with Korean lyrics?”
That last one was made by a young exchange student who had recently returned from the Asian country.
No matter what reason we find for everyone making requests during an evening of piano music, as professional piano players we are prepared for about 85-90% of your requests. Even ragtime. Yes we know how to play The Entertainer by Joplin. Doesn’t everybody?
People always ask, “How do you know so many songs?” The answer is, “This is my job. I spend a lot of time during the day looking up and learning and then memorizing new songs. It is part of my daily and weekly regimen.” Not only does it make me a better piano music entertainer, it keeps things interesting for me when you come up to me, try and shake my hand and ask “Can you play some ….?”
Call Now for First Rate piano music entertainment from Glo Glee Music +1-773-527-7417
Hey Folks …. quick reminder for this Saturday August we have a live music and comedy show featuring dueling piano music going on at The Range Grill & Tap in Batavia
We’ll start around 9 PM. This is a live piano music and comedy show. It feature two piano (hence the dueling pianos moniker) If you haven’t seen a dueling piano show then now is the time. We put two pianos on one stage and play for three hours. You get to make the requests so you can hear the piano music you like. If you’re with someone who is having a birthday or a couple who is celebrating an anniversary, then we’ll sing some catchy (and sometimes embarrassing tune) that is all in good fun.
Get on down early for some great food and drink.
The Range is located … here. I don’t think they are taking reservations, but Jeremy will get you in and get you fed and we’ll take care of the rest. Great Live music. Dueling Pianos Music in Batavia IL
Great Live Music and Comedy to go with tasty Food and Drinks This Sat Aug 23rd