Most of the following agencies, bands, and D.J.'s will provide a free demo tape.
The "A" Band308 Orchard Dr., Monroe, N.Y.; 877-674-7434; 845-783-0130; theaband.com
Songs from Rihanna and Justin Timberlake to Frank Sinatra and Etta James are a tiny fraction of the music this veteran band-which can feature anywhere from five to ten members-can cover. Eclecticism has served the group well. From $4,000.
Alex Donner Entertainment429 E. 52nd St., nr. Beekman Pl., Ste. 12D; 212-752-2920; alexdonner.com
What began as the Alex Donner Orchestra has grown into a one-stop shop for everything from classical music to mariachi bands and even cabaret. The list of notable clients spans the political spectrum from George Soros to George H. W. Bush. Prices run from $4,000 to $20,000.
Al Scatt's Stolen Moments Entertainment914-693-2309; stolenmoments.com
This company is composed of ten acts-from D.J.’s to steel-drum trios to jazz and classical orchestras to a cover band as versed in 50 Cent as in Louis Armstrong. Prices upon request.
Anteros Quartet212-665-4752; anterosquartet.com
This versatile quartet can tailor its song list to suit any couple’s tastes: from the classical canon to tangos to ragtime. Couples on a budget can opt for the simpler trio, and those who want to add a little kick to the classic quartet can request a trumpet, harp, or vocalist. The quartet charges $1,200 for the first hour and $300 for each additional hour.
Around Town Entertainment917-679-8636; aroundtownent.com
Proficient in everything from the classics to contemporary Top-40 dance music, Around Town gives clients a well-rehearsed group of energetic musicians. With Adam Michaels at the helm, this is not your typical wedding band, but rather an eclectic, sophisticated take on high-energy dance music. Prices upon request.
Associated Musicians of Greater NY212-245-4802; nyclivemusic.com
The New York Musicians Union (Local 802) represents more than 10,000 professional musicians in New York City. Whether couples are looking to hire a band or an orchestra, the union will refer them to the appropriate group or contractor. Prices are negotiable depending on group size and time
A. Stan Wiest Music271 Bread and Cheese Hollow Rd., Fort Salonga, N.Y.; 631-754-0594; stanwiest.com
This agency provides a diverse array of bands and D.J.’s-think mariachis, steel-drum bands, strolling violinists, or musicians well-versed in Persian music and salsa. With such manifold talents, they are a favorite among Dixieland fans, flamenco lovers, sitar aficionados, and people who love bagpipes. Prices upon request.
Bianchi Musico917-847-1633; bianchimusico.com
Award-winning pianist/composer Philley Bianchi produces and styles chamber ensembles with fresh talent and customized string arrangements, ranging from Phish to Symphonie Fantastique. Ceremonies are personalized to be sweet and whimsical or elegantly dramatic. Prices upon request.
Bud Maltin Metropolitan Music212-447-6543; budmaltin.com
This orchestra’s members-some of who have been playing together since 1985-perform rock, disco, and R&B as well as specialty sounds like reggae, Latin, and klezmer. They can also supply jazz duos as well as trios and quartets for ceremony and cocktail music ($2,500 to $10,000). Upon request, they will coordinate live sound with their own D.J. at no additional cost.
Cal James Entertainment484 W. 43rd St., at Tenth Ave.; 212-967-9791; caljames.com
Musical director, film scorer, and session saxophonist James has gathered a select group of studio musicians and vocalists who have worked with Sting, Eric Clapton, and Ray Charles. They’ll hook you up with a string quartet, a jazz combo, a harp ensemble, a flute trio, or their highly sought-after dance band, the Cal James Orchestra. Prices run from $3,000.
Campanella Ensemble917-952-8180; campanellaensemble.com
This group can deliver a cocktail pianist, a strolling violinist, or practically any other ensemble type. Their talented group of musicians includes singers, harpists, guitarists, and all the standard string and brass performers. Prices vary widely depending on the number of musicians hired, the location, and the duration of the reception.
Charlotte Russe Music212-582-5694; 516-374-5422; charlotterussemusic.com
This team breaks out the horns for Duke Ellington classics, plays classical music, and hams it up on "Time of My Life," but what sets it apart is its huge repertoire of klezmer and Asian music. Owner Charlotte Sanders sings in seven languages (English, French, Spanish, Yiddish, Hebrew, Russian, and Polish). Prices upon request.
Chuck Braman Jazz Groups76 Carmine St., near Seventh Ave. S., Apt. 3D; 212-989-5281; nycjazz.com
The Chuck Braman groups include a piano trio, a vibraphone quartet, and a quintet with a jazz violinist, among others. They’ve been performing mellow, classy jazz for the past two decades at New York City weddings, restaurants, and MoMA openings. Prices upon request.
From the Winter 2008 New York Wedding Guide
- 747 Orchestra
New York, NY ; Tel: 516-365-5664 ; 747orchestra.com
747 Orchestra has a 30 year history in the wedding biz and is known for the authentic and soulful sounds of R&B, Motown, Funk, Soul and Jazz. The "killer" horn section, vocals and instrumentation make for a bumping dance floor. Prices upon request.
- Center Stage Orchestras
Box 7 New York, NY 10023 ; Tel: 212-769-3600 ; www.CenterStageOrchestras.com
Fine jazz, pop and classical music for your special celebration. For music tailored to your wedding and a music director with over 25 years of experience providing entertainment for special events, we're a perfect fit.
- Hal Prince Music and Entertainment
146 East 37th Street New York, NY 10016 ; Tel: 212-354-4100 ; www.halprince.com
Celebrating 50 years in business and still on the cutting edge, Hal Prince Music, a 2nd generation family owned company continues to book the finest talent in NYC! Bands of all styles, DJ's and MC's, we will customize the right music to help create the perfect wedding.
- Jarrell Entertainment
583 11th Street #1 Brooklyn, NY 11215 ; Tel: 917-449-3435 ; jarrellentertainment.com
The preferred vendor for top venues, event planners and celebrity clientele in NY, LA, Hamptons and Miami, Jarrell Entertainment is an innovative global event entertainment company, offering an experienced staff of talented DJs and musicians.
New York, NY ; Tel: 212-864-6784 ; www.nite-time.com
New York City's Premier Party Band! A dynamic and versatile group of full time professional musicians dedicated to making sure that everyone gets up on the dance floor! Offering custom designed music packages to fit every individual taste, style and budget.
- Soul System Orchestras
New York NY 10019 ; Tel: 800-466-7685 ; www.soulsystemorchestras.com
Young, fun, and elegantly hip! Founded by ROB AFFUSO, drummer of Rock's best selling act, SKID ROW! With their youthful enthusiasm, charismatic, high-energy performances, SOULSYSTEM is NY's hippest event group and entertainment agency!
- Star Talent Inc.
590 Madison Avenue, 21st Floor New York, NY 10022 ; Tel: 212-541-3770 ; www.startalentinc.com
With 10 bands plus DJs and string ensembles too. Dance Bands have performed at the weddings of celebrities like Lisa Kudrow, Paul Abdul and Stevie Wonder's daughter's wedding. NYC's source for customized music services.