Category Archives: Weddings

Doing Backflips at Emily and Bobby’s Wedding

As a Westchester Wedding Band, it’s always a treat for us to travel outside of the Westchester area to perform at weddings.  Last year, we played at a really fun wedding for Sophia and Michael at Colgate University.  They were kind enough to recommend us to their friends Emily and Bobby, who also got married at Colgate University this year.  Their party was a ton of fun!

One of the cool things about being in a wedding band is you get to watch guests dance, and occasionally you see some pretty crazy stuff… some of it quite inappropriate!  At Emily and Bobby’s wedding, we happened to capture something pretty crazy and cool as heck on video, so we thought it was worth sharing.  Check this dude out doing a backflip on the dance floor as Rhonda was belting out Firework!

 

Jenna and Bradley’s Wedding – The Liberty Warehouse

View from the Ceremony at The Liberty Warehouse

View from the Ceremony at The Liberty Warehouse

On Friday, The Kazz Music Orchestra played at a wedding I’ve been really looking forward to all year – the wedding of Jenna and Bradley at The Liberty Warehouse in Brooklyn, NY.  There was lots to like about this wedding.  First off, Jenna is a huge Motown fan, so the mix of music for the whole night was old school classic Motown, Soul, and R&B.  It’s personally my favorite music, so I had a blast playing all night!  For the ceremony, Andrea played solo piano and they chose “You’re All I Need To Get By”, “Stand By Me”, and then “For Once In My Life” on saxophone.  As a little added bonus, I offered to play saxophone on the recessional as a nice way to end the ceremony with a little more “flare”.

The decor at the wedding was awesome – black and white everywhere.  The format for the reception was basically a continuous cocktail hour throughout the night.  So, there were no formal seating assignments – just tables and even couches set up throughout the event space.  We performed as an 8 piece band with two horns for the night, which is a great match for the style of music that they wanted.  All around, it was a really great party.  Jenna worked very closely with the band in terms of the music selection in the planning process, which was a lot of fun for me.  It’s great to work with couples that are very involved, but at the same time trusting of us to do what we need to in order to rock the party.  So, it was a great partnership, and it resulted in a really fun wedding for us!  Congratulations Jenna and Bradley!

Montana and Danielle’s Wedding – Stone Tavern Farm – Roxbury, NY

The Band had a visitor on stage - the bride and groom's dog!

The Band had a visitor on stage – the bride and groom’s dog!

On September 14, 2013, we played for the wedding of Danielle and Montana – a truly fun party at the Stone Tavern Farm in Roxbury, NY – about 3.5 hours outside of NYC.  The venue is an amazing rustic barn situated on a farm pretty much in the middle of nowhere.  The setting couldn’t have been more perfect!  For the ceremony (outdoors in the freezing cold!), our pianist, Andrea, played solo piano, including songs by Phil Collins, Iron Maiden, and Journey.

For the reception, we had the 8 piece version of our band playing for what was truly a wild party that was TONS of fun – with food catered by Dinosaur BBQ!  Some highlights as seen in the photos here – Danielle and Montana’s dog joined us on stage several times, Montana ended up crowd surfing while we were playing, and overall, we spent a good amount of time dancing with the crowd as well.  Montana and Danielle requested two awesome new songs for us to learn – 25 or 6 to 4 by Chicago, and Reelin’ In the Years by Steely Dan.  Both are officially regulars in our band’s repertoire now because we had so much fun with them, and the crowd loved them both so much!

Crowd Surfing Groom!

Crowd Surfing Groom!

Sara and Ryan’s Wedding at Wave Hill

Keith Rockin' The Dance Floor

Keith Rockin’ The Dance Floor At The Reception!

On Saturday, 8/31/2013, we had the pleasure of playing at Ryan and Sara’s wedding at Wave Hill in Riverdale.  This was our first time performing at Wave Hill, and it was an amazingly beautiful setting right on the Hudson River!  Sara and Ryan had an awesome day for their wedding.  Andrea provided solo piano for their ceremony and cocktail hour, and then The Kazz Music Orchestra played as an 8 piece band for their reception.  It was especially fun because they asked us to stick with Motown and Classic Soul music for the whole reception, sprinkled with only a few Top 40 hits like Blurred Lines, Treasury, Get Lucky, and Suit & Tie, so it was a great old school wedding for us!  Congrats to Sara and Ryan!

Front Page of the New York Times – Morgan and Katherine

 

This past Saturday, we played for an AWESOME wedding at The Belvedere Mansion, near Rhinebeck, NY that has a few really cool aspects to it.  First, Morgan and Katherine wanted to hear us live before booking our band – fairly common request.  So, they tried to catch us at one of our monthly showcases at Groove in NYC, and due to a nasty late season snowstorm impacting their drive into NYC, they only caught the last half of our last song.  It was still enough and we were booked!

Fast forward to their wedding day:  July 13, 2013.  As a band, we had a TON of fun.  Andrea and Dan provided piano / guitar music for their ceremony – great classical music.  Dan then accompanied one of their guests for an acoustic version of “In My Life” by the Beatles.  The guest singer, Woody, sang wonderfully on it!

The reception was definitely one of the most energized ones of the year.  We always know it’s going to be fun when we’re playing background music designed to keep people seated and eating, yet the people are up and dancing anyway.  Once we got to the real dance music, there was no stopping this group, and it was an incredibly fun night for us!

Today, I just found out from Morgan that their wedding vows video made it to the front page of the New York Times, which I think is pretty cool!  Below is a link to their video:

Morgan and Katherine’s Vows Video – New York Times

A big congrats to Morgan and Katherine, and thanks very much for having us party with you!

Wedding at Montgomery Place

On June 29, we played a wonderful wedding at Montgomery Place in the Hudson Valley yesterday.  Mike and Rachel put together a very elegant event.  After worries of rain all week, the weather turned out beautiful – not a cloud in the sky!  The Kazz Music Orchestra provided sound support for the wedding ceremony, a jazz trio of sax, guitar, and bass for the cocktail hour (view below – of the Hudson River), and then our full 9 piece band with both singers, rhythm section, and all 3 horns for a really awesome dance party! 

We had the great fortune of working with our friend Heidi from What Dreams Are Made Of…, who provided the coordination for the day, and we were also excited to work with Hugh Piney and Terrapin Restaurant and Catering for the very first time.  They were the caterers for Chelsea Clinton’s wedding in the Hudson Valley and serve some of the best food around. 

Congrats to Mike and Rachel!

The view from the cocktail hour at Montgomery Place

The view from the cocktail hour at Montgomery Place

Apt3 Media Wedding Highlight Reel

Here’s a really awesome highlight video from Apt3 Media (www.apt3media.com) from a wedding that we played at back in May 2012. The Kazz Music Orchestra makes a few appearances throughout the video. One of the things I really love about Brad and Apt3 Media’s work is that it does such a great job of telling the story of the wedding. I’m not quite sure how to describe it, but their approach is just a little bit different than other wedding videographers I’ve seen, and I really like it! If you’re looking for a videographer for your wedding, definitely check them out, as they’re easily one of my favorites!

[vimeo 49808326 w=500 h=281]

Julie + Matt | Wedding Day Highlights from Apt3 Media on Vimeo.

Live Painting At A Wedding

 

Live wedding painting by artist Anthony Galati

Live wedding painting by artist Anthony Galati

The Kazz Music Orchestra was featured in a painting done by artist Anthony Galati during a wedding that we played at in November 2012 at The Madison Hotel in Morristown, NJ.  I know this is something that has started to become more popular at weddings, but we’ve never been at a wedding where this has taken place, and seeing the final product, I’m more than impressed by Anthony’s work!  

This painting was a gift to the bride and groom (Ray and Jennifer) by one of the guests, and we had been watching Anthony work on it throughout the night, but I had no clue how cool the final paintingwas going to turn out!  If you’re considering something very unique as a way to remember your wedding, I’d definitely get in touch with Anthony.  He was a really great guy to talk to, and as you can see, he does really amazing work!

Diamond Mills Hotel – 12/21/2012

As one of the top Hudson Valley Wedding Bands, we’ve performed at many of the premier venues in the Hudson Valley.  On December 21, we had the privilege of performing for the first time ever at The Diamond Mills Hotel and Tavern for Kyle and Tiffany’s wedding.  It was a wonderful experience for us, and we’re really looking forward to also playing at The Diamond Mills Hotel for their New Year’s Eve Gala in a few days!

Prior to the ceremony, Kyle and Tiffany had a quartet of Christmas Carolers entertaining their guests.  The quartet was fantastic, and they came dressed in Charles Dickens era clothing, which was a wonderful touch!  The ceremony featured Joe on keyboards and Rhonda on vocals.  For the cocktail hour, Kyle and Tiffany elected to have recorded Christmas songs played on their iPod, with us providing the sound system.  The reception featured The Kazz Music Orchestra as a seven piece group with Rhonda and Larry on vocals, and then the rhythm section and one horn for the evening.  Tiffany is a big Whitney Houston fan, so we played all of the Whitney songs in our repertoire, and learned a few new ones as requests. 

Check out the video below from the wedding.  It features (in no particular order):  I Wanna Dance With Somebody, Rock With You, Billy Jean, At Last, Crazy, Don’t Stop Believing, and a special request from Tiffany’s parents that we learned as a surprise for the couple – If You Say My Eyes Are Beautiful, along with maybe some others I’m not thinking of right now. 

This was a really wonderful Christmas-themed wedding with lots of beautiful decorations provided by Tiffany’s mother, and a really great crowd that was a ton of fun to play for!  Congrats Kyle and Tiffany!

[wpvideo 8jwMZiR1]

Madison Hotel Wedding – Ray and Jennifer

We had the pleasure of playing for Ray and Jennifer’s wedding last week Friday.  We provided our 8 piece band featuring Keith and Rhonda on vocals along with two horns and our rhythm section, and we also had Danny and Rawn play as a guitar/bass duo for their cocktail hour.  This was our first time at the Madison Hotel, and we’re hoping to become one of the regular Madison Hotel Wedding Bands, as it was a wonderful room to perform in, and Joe Zimmerman and the entire staff were awesome to work with! 

Ray and Jennifer had a few very last minute changes that we were able to help them out with which ended up making the music for their wedding exactly what they were looking for!  We had a request to play Scarlet Begonias by the Grateful Dead as their intro music, which was the first “Dead” tune we’ve ever done, and Ray loved it, so that made us happy! 

Ray and Jennifer had something rather unique at their wedding (although I know it is getting more popular at weddings…).  They had a very talented artist painting a portrait of their wedding reception.  Once the picture is posted online, I’ll be sure to post a link to it.  Also, they had a talented photographer, Candice K, taking photos for their wedding.  Definitely check her work out!

Below is a very short video clip I filmed at the wedding.  The videography is terrible.  I’m just not so great at playing sax and taking video at the same time!  But, it gives you a little taste of what the music sounded like for their reception! 

[youtube=http://youtu.be/6K6hbzauptk]

Wedding at The Waterside – North Bergen, NJ

The Waterside - ViewWe had the pleasure of playing for Chris and Tricia’s wedding at The Waterside in North Bergen, NJ recently.  This was our first time at The Waterside, and it was a wonderful event.  Chris and Tricia put together a beautiful wedding.  It featured our pianist, Andrea Shaut playing for the ceremony.  At Chris’ request, Andrea played Radiohead and Elton John songs as prelude music, and then the couple chose some beautiful classical music for their actual ceremony music.   The view in this photo was the backdrop for their outdoor ceremony, which was right on the Hudson River.  Not bad, right?

Our guitarist, Danny, played acoustic guitar for the cocktail hour – a wide range of acoustic rock tunes from the 70s up through today. 

For the reception, The Kazz Music Orchestra was there to rock out for the guests.  We were a 7 piece band.  The reception room at The Waterside is fantastic, with large windows providing a beautiful backdrop of Manhattan.  Speaking with Chris about the venue, he made a great point, you can’t get such an incredible view of Manhattan like this if you’re in Manhattan!  It was a beautiful night, and we are very thankful to Chris and Tricia for having us be a part of their amazing wedding!

Wedding at The Skytop Lodge, Skytop PA

While we are most commonly a Hudson Valley Wedding Band, this past weekend, The Kazz Music Orchestra traveled to play a wedding at the Skytop Lodge in Skytop, PA.  It was amazing!  Sarah and David put so much thought into every aspect of the wedding.  Their ceremony was very personalized.  We provided the music with Andrea on piano and Dan on acoustic guitar playing a mix of selected pop / rock tunes from Sarah and David.

For cocktails, The Kazz Music Orchestra provided a jazz trio of trumpet, guitar, and bass as guests ate and drank outdoors.  Much of the food was personal favorites from Sarah and David, including their personal favorite varieties of grilled cheese! 

For the reception, The Kazz Music Orchestra provided our 8 piece band and we ROCKED the Skytop!  Sarah and David’s family and friends loved to dance!  They warned us ahead of time that it was a partying crowd, and it totally was!  Sarah and David wanted a lot of upbeat music, including starting the night off with a great dance set instead of having everyone sitting to eat right away.  So, we literally had people dancing all night long.  Check out the video below to see us in action.  We had a blast at this party!!!

[youtube=http://youtu.be/PjPXXs0pXU4]

Wedding at The Rhinecliff Hotel – 8/26/2012

We owe a HUGE thanks to Dan and Alison for having us perform for their wedding at The Rhinecliff Hotel on August 26.  The hotel is a beautiful setting – very old and historic, and it sits right on the shore of the Hudson River!  It was a fairly small dance floor, but Alison and Dan, along with their friends danced a LOT and filled it up, so it was a TON of fun for us!  Alison is a huge Katy Perry fan, so we rocked out on Firework, Hot ‘n Cold, and California Girls for her (some of which are in the clips below).  Alison also reached out and asked if we could take one additional request beyond what we typically agree to learn – so we also learned Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen for her as a little bonus!  Alison had proposed having Walking on Sunshine played at the end of their ceremony by Danny, our acoustic guitarist.  I joined in with him on sax to play the melody, and we actually ended up using that song as a theme throughout the evening.  It’s an incredibly upbeat tune, and very appropriate.  So, in addition to playing it for their ceremony we played the “groove” to it as we did our grand introductions of Alison and Dan’s wedding party, and then also played the full song later in the evening as one of the last tunes of the night.  I thought it was a really cool touch to use it in that manner.  This was a rockin’ party, so thanks again to Alison and Dan for having us perform!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsecTIM5aVE&feature=youtu.be]

Wedding at The Kaaterskill on 8/25/2012

On August 25, we had the chance to perform for Mari and Andrew’s wedding at The Kaaterskill in Catskill, NY.  It was a beautiful wedding and a beautiful setting.  The reception was in a large old barn, where we provided the dance music!  The Kaaterskill has a lot of farm animals on the property, so it really was a rural setting, but one that was very elegant!  The food was provided by New World Catering, which makes some of the best food in the Hudson Valley.  We helped Mari and Andrew through a lot of details for their wedding, including completely learning a new song for their introductions only 2 days before their wedding!  Overall, it was another really beautiful evening that we were thrilled to be a part of!  Thanks so much to Mari and Andrew for having us perform!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fq0wednlSqA&feature=youtu.be]

CJ and Stef’s First Dance – August 4, 2012 @ The Hermitage

I posted previously about CJ and Stef’s wedding on August 4 at The Hermitage in Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ.  I also commented on how awesome their first dance was.  They choreographed it to the Alanis Morissette version of “Let’s Do It, Let’s Fall In Love”.  One of their guests took some video on their iPhone, and Stef was nice enough to send the youtube link to me.  Check out how great of a job they did!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GjPW9NuXGI]

Ben and Jane’s Wedding at the Larchmont Yacht Club

On August 11, we played for Ben and Jane’s wedding at The Larchmont Yacht Club.  We knew we were in for quite a fun night when we had tons of people screaming for us even after we were only a few bars into our first tune!  People danced the whole night, and we had a LOT of fun playing for this party!  Ben and Jane were a lot of fun to work with during the planning of their wedding.  I think one of the more interesting points of the wedding is that they asked the band to learn “Psycho Killer” by The Talking Heads.  By most standards, that’s not a typical wedding request.  BUT, everyone loved it and sang along – particularly on the chorus!

It was a great compliment for us to have the manager of the Larchmont Yacht Club tell us that we were one of the best bands that they’ve ever had perform there.  Considering the number of bands they hear every year, that compliment meant a lot to us!

Many thanks to Ben and Jane, as well as The Larchmont Yacht Club for making this such a fun night!  Check out some video of us performing at the wedding:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6SZDzva7l4]

CJ and Stephanie’s Wedding at The Hermitage in Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ

[wpvideo ZsYAiA6N]  On August 4, The Kazz Music Orchestra performed at The Hermitage for CJ and Stephanie’s wedding.  A lot of planning went into this wedding, and we had a great time performing!  CJ and Stephanie choreographed one of the best first dances I think I’ve seen yet – to the song “Let’s Do It, Let’s Fall In Love” as sung by Alannis Morissette (and performed by us of course!).  There were some requests for some line dance recordings, and you’ll see that we were just as into dancing as the guests were!  Rhonda was out in the crowd, and Andrea and Chuck were up and grooving as best as they could from our back line.  Many thanks to CJ and Stephanie for having us perform!  We also need to give a big shout out to Chuck Adams from Take Away Gourmet for being a huge help during the planning process, and for putting together some amazing food for the wedding!

June 2, 2012 – Ryan and Amy’s Wedding

Kazz Music Orchestra at the Knickerbocker Country ClubWe performed for Ryan and Amy’s wedding at the Knickerbocker Country Club, and it was such a perfect event (with a packed dance floor as usual)!  Working with Ryan and Amy was wonderful, and their detailed planning definitely paid off, because it was a fantastic night, and we had a really good time!

One of the highlights for us was having Ryan’s Aunt and Amy’s father sit in with the band on vocals and drums to perform “You Belong To Me” as made famous by Jo Stafford.  Amy’s father was also nice enough to join us again later in the evening on “How Sweet It Is” as well! 

During planning, Amy had written on our planning document that if we knew any Gap Band songs, particularly “You Dropped A Bomb On Me”, that they would go over well with her crowd.  It wasn’t a formal request (since we didnt’ know the song), and we never discussed it.  But, we surprised them by learning the tune and playing it for them.  It was a big hit! 

This was our first time performing at the Knickerbocker Country Club, and according to Rod, who runs the events there, they had never had more than a 5 piece band perform.  So, he was very impressed that we were able to perform as a 7 piece group and manage the volume levels for the room with our band.  Rod and his team were awesome to work with, and I’m hoping that this is the start of a great partnership with the country club! 

Thanks again Ryan and Amy!

May 27, 2012 – Katie and Whit’s Wedding

Hudson Valley Wedding Bands - Woodbury Country Club WeddingWe had the pleasure of performing for Katie and Whit’s wedding at Woodbury Country Club on May 27, 2012.  Absolutely awesome couple to work with, and absolutely amazing evening!

There were many highlights that made this wedding fun for us:  1) Katie and Whit had cutouts of their heads that were circulating at the wedding, so of course Rhonda and Keith had to get their hands on them to make it look like Katie and Whit sang a duet together!

2) As a surprise, Whit contacted me without Katie knowing, and asked us to learn one additional request on top of the 5 that we typically learn for weddings.  The idea was to have a bit of a hoe-down at the reception.  Whit ordered a ton of cowboy hats, and we learned “Friends In Low Places” by Garth Brooks and had everyone at the reception singing along with the band!

3) Katie and Whit requested some very fun songs for us to learn, including a jazzy version of “More Today Than Yesterday” as recorded by Kermit Ruffins, and also, Whit asked if we could do a slower and jazzier version of John Mayer’s “No Such Thing” for him to dance to with his mother.  That was fun because I got to write “big band” style horn parts for a song that wouldn’t typically have any horns in it. 

Overall, it was a very fun night for us!  Congrats to Katie and Whit!

Julie and Matt’s Wedding at Minerals Resort and Spa in Vernon, NJ

Minerals Resort and Spa Wedding - Kazz Music OrchestraWe owe a HUGE thanks to Julie and Matt for having us play at their wedding at Minerals Resort and Spa in Vernon, NJ on May 5!  Julie and Matt booked us about a year before their event, so after all of the planning, it was exciting to see everything come together and come out so successful! 

Their ceremony featured Andrea  on solo piano with beautiful classical music, and then our jazz trio of sax, guitar and bass for the cocktail hour.  Both of these were held outside, where it looked like it might pour at any second!  But luckily, the rain held off all day!  The reception featured our full 9 piece band with both Rhonda and Keith on vocals, and our full horn section, which is always a blast to play with!

We had a good little “save” during the wedding.  Julie and Matt were going to do their first dance and parents’ dances to recordings and had planned to give us an iPod to play the songs off of.  I’m assuming the iPod was somewhere in the room, but that people just were busy and forgot to give it to us.  Luckily, I had a backup plan and had downloaded their songs to my own iPod “just in case”!  Problem solved – No delays in the flow of the wedding, and the dances went off without a hitch!

Overall, it was another great wedding, with lots of dancing, and we had lots of compliments on the band once again.  Julie and Matt were awesome to work with through it all, with Julie being extremely organized (making my job very easy!!!)  I’m very proud of the band with all that we’ve been accomplishing – one successful wedding after another!  While we’re primarily a Hudson Valley Wedding Band, we’re more than happy to travel all over the tri-state area to perform for weddings!  Can’t wait for all of the fun performances the band’s got lined up for this year!

“Thanks for everything Joe! We had such an incredible night! And your band was definitely the highlight, as I was hoping. We got raving reviews from so many of our guests that “the band was absolutely incredible”! Loved all the songs you played, and clearly our guests had a blast. I was hoping that everyone would dance, and was thrilled that they did. Thanks to you and the whole band for a wonderful night!”Julie and Matt

Chris and Kim’s Wedding @ The Full Moon Resort in Big Indian, NY

Full Moon Resort WeddingThe Kazz Music Orchestra played our first wedding of 2012 on April 28, at Full Moon Resort in Big Indian for Chris and Kim.  We had an awesome time.  It was a great group of people that LOVED to dance, which makes what we do a lot of fun!  We heard several comments that we were the best wedding band people had ever heard, which to me means that people had a fantastic time dancing to our music!  That’s our #1 goal!

This was our first time at Full Moon Resort, and hopefully not our last.  It’s a fantastic country setting in the Catskills, serves wonderful food, and is run by a great team that was very well-organized and awesome to work with!  Having a well-organized team like this makes our job very easy, and allows for a wedding to flow very smoothly. 

Congratulations to Chris and Kim, and a big thanks to Full Moon for making their wedding a huge success!  We’re looking forward to a LOT more fun weddings in the months to come!

“They were amazing and exceeded our expectations. They were so good that both our venue and our on day wedding planner both told us how impressed they were and asked to have all of their contact information. They made our wedding into the dance party that we wanted. Kazz made our wedding the dream wedding I had always wanted.” – Kim and Chris