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John Ragusa Music212-706-7227; johnragusamusic.com
A professional flutist and multi-instrumentalist, Ragusa has a roster of more than 60 ensembles catering to mainstream and esoteric tastes alike, including blues, jazz, Latin, and Cajun rock. He also reps singer-songwriters like Rachelle Garniez, who is a virtuoso on the accordion, as well as lounge singers and D.J.’s. All potential clients get a free consultation; most bands start at $4,000.
Juliana Riccardi NYC Duo-Trio-Band212-726-1552; julianariccardi.com
Juliana Riccardi and Steve Messina have rocked venues like the Bitter End and Knitting Factory, and they will perform classic rock, pop, and soul favorites with a cello and percussion treatment. From $800.
Kameleon Orchestras343 E. Main St. Centerport, N.Y.; 631-269-4742; kameleonorchestras.com
This nine-member band’s repertoire includes crowd-pleasers from artists like Maroon 5, Shakira, and Rihanna. A good choice for Top-40 fans who want a more personal touch. Plus, they mix in Motown and seventies funk and have a D.J. option for booking. From $5,000.
Ken Gross Orchestras800-688-4480; kengrossorchestras.com
Praised by Steven Spielberg and Quincy Jones, among other celebrities, trumpeter Gross offers orchestras that include vocalists and instrumentalists who are also lead singers. The result is a never-boring evening of diverse vocals and rich harmonies, backed by full rhythm and horn sections. Prices upon request.
Kit McClure Band212-864-6759; redhotrecords.com
Fronted by a saxophonist trained at Yale and the Manhattan School of Music, this all-female, jazz-swing-rock band has played sold-out shows at Radio City Music Hall and international venues, as well as presidential inaugural balls-luckily they do weddings, too. Prices upon request.
The Klezical Tradition58 Ridgeview Ave., Fairfield, C.T.; 203-374-0607; klezband.com
This klezmer band is traditional enough for Bubbe and Zadie but lively enough to keep younger guests in high spirits. Choose strolling musicians or a full seven-piece ensemble. The band does classical, too. From $1,200.
La Belle Musique, Inc.917-362-1080; la-belle-musique.com
La Belle’s Franco-American director, Steven Sinshain, trained as a violinist at Juilliard and the Paris Conservatory. His string, piano, and flute ensembles specialize in performing at old-school venues like the Met and Waldorf Astoria. Prices range from $250 for one performer to $10,000 for a full orchestra.
Lapis Luna718-812-6248; lapisluna.com
Lapis Luna does "vintage" jazz; swing; tunes from the thirties, forties, and fifties; and "retro" Latin. Their repertoire includes anything from Duke Ellington to Irving Berlin and Perez Prado. The members, who have performed together for almost a decade, can be booked in a jazz trio or a nine-piece "little" big band. Prices start at $125 per musician per hour.
Los Acustilocos917-254-6818; losacustilocos.com
This Latin-leaning group-which has headlined at Merkin Hall and played Carnegie-usually starts off an evening with classical flute and acoustic guitar, moves to jazz, then builds to a six-piece Cuban and Brazilian rhythm ensemble. Their multilingual original numbers include salsa and bossa nova, but they also favor swing and funk. From $3,000.
Lou Davis Music and Entertainment381 Park Ave. S., nr. 27th St., Ste. 1216; 212-684-5200; loudavismusic.com
Lou Davis Music and Entertainment includes seven in-house orchestras along with specialty ensembles, emcees, and D.J.’s to meet its clients’ needs for any genre-from hot dance bands to cool jazz groups, classical to contemporary. Prices upon request.
Manhattan Swing Orchestras212-769-3600; manhattanswing.com
Manhattan Swing specializes in energetic swing, funk, disco, and R&B. Among its members are guitarist Joe Bonacci, who once backed Tito Puente, and saxophonist Danny Wilensky. For a more contemporary sound, Rhythm Sensation is a good option-front woman Primadonna sings disco and R&B with Caribbean flair. Gigs run from $3,200 to $15,000.
New York City Swing38–08 221st St., Bayside; 718-279-8038; nycswing.com
New York City Swing offers a choice of six versatile bands-zoot suits and all. Each has an enormous song list, and their satisfied clients include Sumner Redstone and the cast of The Sopranos. Prices run from $8,000 to $20,000.
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.