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
- 1Sterling Band
Tel: 201-585-7897 ; 1sterlingband.com
Sterling Band has some of the best musicians and vocalists you will hear. Versatility and great sound are what we’re all about. Whatever style of music you want for your special day, we can play it - the latest hits, Hip Hop, Rock, Funk, Jazz, Latin, Jewish. We’ll make sure your guests never leave the dance floor! We've played events across the US and the World!
- 747 Orchestra
New York, NY ; Tel: 516-365-5664 ; 747orchestra.com
747 Orchestra has a 37 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.
- A-1 MUSIC and Ken Gross Orchestras
531 East 20th Street New York, NY 10010 ; Tel: 718-229-5522 ; kengrossproductions.com
Praised by Steven Spielberg and Quincy Jones, Juilliard and Broadway trumpeter Ken Gross offers twelve versatile bands. Better looking at your wedding and better sounding than any DJ, all perform your favorite and latest hits with "spot-on" precision while adding the elegance, excitement and energy of a LIVE performance. From $2,500 to $15,000 (good value).
- Bud Maltin Music (Live) & Metropolitan Music DJs
New York, NY ; Tel: 212-477-6543 ; www.budmaltin.com
Extraordinary range of styles, non-stop continuous dance music as well as ceremony & cocktail hour music. Get the vocalists and musicians you see. See us live in NYC. Plus DJ services including DJ/Live combinations.
- Creations Music
Tel: 212-579-0096 ; www.CreationsMusic.com
Voted NYC's Best Wedding Band, bandleader Kim Sozzi's career spans from a single on Dawson's Creek to multiple #1 Billboard Dance Hits. Watching Kim's team of exquisite musicians assures clients of an affair worth remembering. It's no wonder the band remains in high demand for weddings from New York to Barcelona.
- Dexter Lake Club Band
309 Third Street #3J Brooklyn, NY 11215 ; Tel: 917-848-2145 ; www.dexterlakeclubband.com
Peerless wedding and private event band, with a unique, boutique and non-cheesy approach. Monthly live showcases. Recently profiled on front page of NY Times Style section, and one of NY Mag’s “Top 10 Reasons to get Married in NY”.
- Jarrell Entertainment
59 West 10th Street New York, NY 10011 ; 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 Edge Music
865 West End Avenue New York, NY 10025 ; Tel: 212-749-2364 ; www.newyorkedge.com
New York Edge is known for authentic Top-40 and Hip-Hop as well as totally elegant Swing and soulful Motown. Smoking' vocals and killer horns unite for a non-stop dance party. Elegant, high energy and fun!
- 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.