The other night, we did a Wedding Reception where the bride was in her late 20’s, her parents in their late 50’s, the groom in his late 40’s & his parents in their 80’s. That is a musical span of 60 years! When you have a range like this, you will most likely have a block of guests invited from each age group. Like a skilled Chef, the Bandleader has to put the just the right musical ingredients in at just the right time, to make sure everyone has fun & feels included. Of course, each party is unique, however, just like the best recipes, you begin with the basics, in other words, things that always work. Then as you get cooking, you start to add in just the right spices to make everything come together for that particular party & voila! The audience is demanding more.
Like any skilled Baker constantly watching the oven, I never take my eyes off the dance floor, constantly assessing how the crowd is reacting, what they’re enjoying, what is working. Knowing that older guests are more likely to leave early, I try to make sure they hear music they enjoy in the beginning of the evening. I take advantage of re-make songs, classics that have been redone by contemporary artists. However, my goal & something that I take tremendous pride in, is that when we’re playing the last dance song of the night, I look out at 90% of the guests that I started with, when I played the first dance song. As a Master Chef looks on at empty plates & loosened belts, I gaze out at a full dance floor & guests of all ages calling out for one more tune & smile. We’re all satisfied.