Tag Archives: Chicago Entertainment

Gala Season

We are full swing in the Gala & fundraising season & we are always proud to be on hand, on stage. It’s a time the Band really enjoys, as we feel an integral part of raising money for so many wonderful causes. When guests come up & tell us, they’re returning because they saw we were performing again, we know we’ve made a difference & a real contribution.

At any time in history, the world can seem a terrible, frightening place & certainly there are lots of desperate problems today. However, it’s important to remember we often have the choice of supporting negative, aggressive efforts to force change or positive, affirming efforts with likeminded people, who join together to help as best we can.

How to maximize your Gala Potential

Post-Holiday wintertime in Chicago is the perfect time to hold your Gala Fundraiser.  You might think the weather is a negative factor, but as long as the facility you choose is accessible by major roads, there is only going to be a very slight chance that the weather could effect attendance.  On the contrary, most people are anxious to dress up, get out of the house & have some fun between January & May.

We just finished a tremendously successful event last week.  We have done it several years in a row & it’s always been good, but this year was the very best & our Client was ecstatic.  What was the difference?  They listened to our common advice for party planning:  1.  Keep the party area as contained as possible.  You may be in a venue with lots of distraction such as a museum, but make sure food & beverage is in the same room as the dancing.  2.  Make sure your dance floor is small & directly in front of your music.  People are uncomfortable with a large dance floor.  3.  Hold the largest, most desirable gifts, raffle or prizes to the very end.  This brings everyone together & builds excitement.  4.  As soon as your raffle/awards are over, make sure you’ve coordinated with the entertainment & hit it immediately!  Grab your guests & compel them to stay & party!  They will go home & mark their calendars for next year’s event.

This advise goes across the board for party planning.  Maximize your potential for making a night your guests will never forget.

Why do people want to come to your Fundraiser?

If you’ve been a part of organizing a Fundraiser, there are a few things that become apparent:  1.  It’s tremendously rewarding  2.  It’s a lot of hard work  3.  You need to create an event that people can’t resist attending.  These days, the competition for charitable donors has never been more fierce.  To involve yourself in the fundraising process, you have to passionately believe in the organization you’re raising money for & you have to communicate that imperative to donors.

Generally speaking, people are generous if they can be.  But, if you tap into that group of people who are in a position to give generously, they are on lots of charitable lists.  That means they get invited to a lot of fundraising events.   So, logically, they have to want to choose your event.  That is where Entertainment can play a significant role.

Last weekend we played a beautiful Hospital Ball.  We’ve been performing at this event for many years.  I lost count of the number of people that approached me & said “When we see your name on the invitation, we mark our calendar.  We know we’re going to have a fabulous night!”  The dollars spent in investing in great music are returned in attendance & those people attending are likely to donate.  They’re also likely to tell others about the party or bring others with them the following year.  It’s a pretty simple equation.

Why do people come to your Fundraiser?  It’s an annual event they just don’t want to miss.

Looking at the 2014 Holiday Season…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   This Holiday Season has been a busy one for us, with beautiful Parties at the Museum of Science & Industry, the Shedd Aquarium, the Fairmont Hotel, The Drake Hotel & many other Chicago iconic locations.  It makes us so thankful to be members of the Chicago Live Music Scene & to be an integral part of celebrating with many Companies, Corporations & Foundations.

When you have a large gathering of people, especially International Companies or Medical Organizations, you’re going to have rich cultural diversity.  It’s certainly difficult, if not impossible to satisfy everyone’s taste.  However, that is the beauty of music.  It is the great equalizer, knowing no boundaries or barriers.  It’s something that can be enjoyed by everyone, when performed with taste & entertainment value.  We’re so proud that it is for this, that we are best known.  We’re so proud of the all the performances we have done for our Clients in 2014 & look forward to 2015.

We wish you all the best for a Happy & Prosperous New Year!

 

 

 

 

Hard Rockin’ at the Cafe!

005  You can find a Hard Rock Café in many major cities & they are great fun to visit, especially if you’re a tourist in a new place.  If you haven’t been to one, they are usually located where everything is happening, filled with Rock ‘N Roll memorabilia, multi-leveled & have great food.  They’re also set up for Live Performances, with a nice sized stage & professional in-house sound.

The restaurant chain is so popular, you may not think of this facility for a private party.   However, in Chicago, we can highly recommend just that!  The location is perfect, situated in the heart of the happening part of town.  The facility itself is perfectly suited for any type of event you’d like to host, from semi-private to securing the entire place, even on a Saturday night!

We find the staff knowledgeable, friendly & accommodating.  The in-house sound is excellent & the layout perfect for enjoying the stage & having lots of room for people to move about or sit & enjoy the Show.

It’s a great place to consider, if you want an exciting, happening & fun place for your next meeting or reception in Chicago!  We hope to see you there!

Return to the tradition of great Holiday Entertainment!

Here in the Midwest, the leaves are starting to turn, we’re dragging out the Halloween decorations & turning our thoughts to turkey.  If you want to enjoy living here, you have to embrace the change of seasons.  I think one thing that helps us face the impending arrival of winter, is the approach of the holidays.

What better way to celebrate all the aspects of gathering together & celebrating the passing of another year, than to have a great Holiday Party.  & why not make it an event to remember, by bringing in Live Entertainment?  We have done hundreds of company holiday events that are the culmination of a year’s hard work & a thank you for service.  What better way for them to feel appreciated, than to host a night for them to look forward to each year.  Get dressed up, have some good food, then be entertained by some awesome talent!

It is a joy for us to return each year to a party that a company has provided each holiday season for their employees.  There is a sense of community & continuity that is reassuring.  We see the guests excited & appreciative & we are too.   It’s something very, very special, like the holidays themselves.

 

Performing in a Chicago Icon

I always love coming back to the Palmer House.  It’s as if I’ve taken the Concorde to Europe for the evening.  Relaxing for a moment in the lobby is like being asked to lounge in a Palace of Versailles salon.  Such hotels are important to a city, preserving it’s history & helping maintain the sense of continuity that makes people want to return.

Each of the event sites within the hotel are quite unique.  We’ve had rocking Corporate blow outs in the Grand Ballroom, elegant Wedding Receptions in the Red Lacquer Room & quirky avant-garde Networking events in the Empire Room.  We’ve produced quite a bit of Name Entertainment in each of the ballrooms over the years.   It’s such a huge & versatile place.  & at the end of the night, you can sit down & simply people watch in that incredible lobby.  Our work generally takes us to the wee hours & even at this time, the lobby is still full of guests, visitors, sightseers & revelers.

We’ll be there this weekend & I can’t wait.  It’s a reminder of what I love about Chicago & the city that’s made it possible for me to make a living, doing what I love to do.  Maybe I’ll see you there!

Live a little this summer with LIVE music!!

Throughout the summer in the Chicagoland area, you will find it hard to find a community or neighborhood that does NOT offer free concerts at a local park or square.  Taking advantage of this tremendous opportunity, entails putting on pants & a shirt & leaving your front room.  It’s really pretty easy.   Grab your lawn chair, a blanket & your good vibes & take them out to enjoy a night of entertainment, while there’s still live entertainment to enjoy. 

More importantly, if you have kids, take THEM out to see live musicians & performers!  Sadly, people in their twenties come up to me after a Show & say: “That was AWESOME!!  I’ve never seen a live band.”  This is a serious loss for society.  Music & art bind us & fill the gaps between language, culture & color.  It communicates when no other communication is possible. 

So I strongly encourage you, before the summer is over:  turn off your big screen TV.  Walk through your neighborhood.  Maybe say hello to your neighbors.  Take a young person out to see real people playing real music.  & ENJOY!

The View from the Stage.

Last Saturday night, we performed on Soldier Field.  Yes, ON the field, not in the Stadium Club, as we usually do.  Our music was for the Make A Wish Foundation wish.org, as we have had the privilege of doing, for many years now.  They had a huge tent set up, fabulous lighting, sports style snacks & our Band to entice their guests to finish out the night dancing, after being treated to Comedian Seth Meyers.  Over the years, they’ve had a star-studded line up, helping to raise money for this wonderful organization.

I stood on the field, looking up at the empty seating surrounding me & thought about dreams.  How many football players stood where I was, realizing their own dreams come true.  They were there, doing what they did best & being recognized for it, being paid to do it.  Then, I thought of all the children who would benefit from the money generated from Make A Wish & have a special dream come true.

It’s a unique perspective, standing on the field, looking up.  Most of us have attended a professional game & watched many on television.  The stadium looks so huge from your seat in the last section or the easy chair of your living room.    Yet, from the field, it’s surprisingly small, somehow attainable. 

In our professional career, we’ve performed on the stages of the Chicago Theater, The Allstate Arena, the Opera House, Symphony Hall, the Erie Crown Theater, the House of Blues, the United Center, Navy Pier, the Celebrate State Street stage, Taste of Chicago & all the major museums in the city.  It never fails to fill me with pride, to stand on these stages & look up, knowing that we are doing what we do best & being honored for the incredible talent that makes up our Band. 

& there’s no doubt my dream has come true.

 

A well kept secret downtown Chicago spot for your event!

We had such a pleasant surprise last weekend, when we performed at the Holiday Inn Merchandise Mart martplaza.com   It had been a long time since we were there–so long that my memory was a bit fuzzy, but for some reason, I had been previously underwhelmed by it.  However, last Saturday night, I was pleasantly impressed with this little hidden gem.  First of all, they had extremely prompt & friendly Valet Service, always a HUGE plus for any of your guests visiting from the suburbs.  All the Hotel services are on the 15th floor, a quick elevator ride.  The entire south wall of the 15th floor is floor to ceiling windows, including one wall of the Ballroom & the view is one of the best in the city!  We were treated to a city sunset that was remarkable.  The Ballroom was medium sized with a private foyer & was intimate without being claustrophobic, thanks to that window to the city.   Because of it’s location, this is not the kind of Hotel that attracts the walk-in public, so you have all the convenience of a Hotel, but you have very much of a Private feeling here. 

The staff was efficient & extremely accommodating.  When we can easily work with the staff at any facility, it makes for a mutually successful venture for everyone, including our Clients!  On the same level as the Ballroom, they have a fantastic bar, the perfect place for guests to gather at the end of the night, before being able to go up to their hotel rooms.  Additionally, on the same level, they have a restaurant called Italiasia, with cuisine to match it’s name.  The food was great & another plus for your guests staying the night.  If you want a downtown location & you would like a beautiful view, a feeling of privacy & the convenience of a Hotel, this may be the place for you!