Most of the following agencies, bands, and D.J.'s will provide a free demo.
45 Riots917-969-0742; 45riots.com
The ever-popular 45 Riots hand-selects musicians to fit the taste and budget of each couple. With a mix of high-energy music from hip-hop to house and Top 40 to rock, you’re sure to find a diverse sound for your wedding. Four-hour receptions starting at $6,300.
747 Orchestra516-365-5664; 747orchestra.com
This orchestra has more than three decades of experience in the wedding business and is known for its soulful sounds of R&B, Motown, funk, soul, pop, and jazz. The group boasts a sizzling horn section, and vocals and instrumentation that make for a bumping dance floor. Prices upon request.
A-1 Music and Ken Gross Orchestras718-229-5522; kengrossproductions.com
Praised by Steven Spielberg and Quincy Jones, Juilliard grad and Broadway trumpeter Gross offers ten versatile bands. The result is a never-boring evening of diverse vocals and rich harmonies, backed by full rhythm and blazing horn sections. From $2,500 to $10,000.
The "A" Band of New York845-783-0130; theaband.com
Songs from Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, and Frank Sinatra are just a fraction of the music this veteran band—which features anywhere from five to eight members as well as a D.J.—covers. The group is known for its eclectic style and dance-inspiring rhythms. From $2,400.(good value)
Alex Donner Entertainment212-752-2920; alexdonner.com
Donner does everything from classical and rock to cabaret and soul. His client list includes Jimmy Buffett and corporate heavyweights like Cartier and Saks Fifth Avenue. From $4,000.
Al Scatt's Stolen Moments Entertainment914-693-2309; stolenmoments.com
This company is composed of acts—including D.J.’s, steel-drum trios, jazz and classical orchestras, and a cover band—that are as well-versed in the songs of Jay-Z as they are in those of Louis Armstrong. Prices upon request.
Around Town Entertainment917-679-8636; aroundtownent.com
Helmed by Adam Michaels, this outfit offers groups of energetic musicians who play a mix of Motown, rock, jazz, big-band classics, and Top 40 dance. They’ve performed for celebs like Martin Scorsese and Jennifer Garner. Prices upon request.
A. Stan Wiest Music631-754-0594; stanwiest.com
This agency provides an array of bands and D.J.’s—think mariachis, steel-drum ensembles, strolling violinists, and musicians well-versed in Persian and Greek music. It’s a favorite among Dixieland fans, sitar aficionados, and bagpipe enthusiasts. The band-and-D.J. combo packages are especially popular for weddings. Prices upon request.
Bud Maltin Metropolitan Music212-447-6543; budmaltin.com
This band’s members perform contemporary dance music, rock, swing, and R&B, as well as specialty sounds like reggae, Latin, and klezmer. They can also supply jazz and classical duos, trios, and quartets for ceremony and cocktail music, and they don’t take breaks. They will often coordinate live sound with their own D.J. at no additional cost. From $2,500 to $12,000. (good value)
Campanella Ensemble917-952-8180; campanellaensemble.com
This group can deliver a string ensemble, cocktail pianist, roving guitarist, or practically any ensemble type imaginable. Among its talented musicians are singers, harpists, and all the standard string and brass performers. Prices upon request.
Carelli Collective914-242-0540; carellicollective.com
Under the direction of Gerard Carelli—a former Rainbow Room bandleader who’s played with stars like Ray Charles and Rosemary Clooney—this orchestra specializes in Rat Pack jazz but is also proficient in styles ranging “from Bach to Beyoncé.” Prices upon request.
Center Stage Orchestras212-769-3600; centerstageorchestras.com
Formerly Manhattan Swing Orchestras, this four-band company specializes in Top 40 dance hits, funk, disco, and R&B acts. Among its members is guitarist Joe Bonacci, who once backed Tito Puente. The Celebration Strings group offers a mix that includes pop and rock as well as classical pieces—all played on string instruments. From $500 to $25,000. (good value)
Creations Music212-579-0096; creationsmusic.com
Bandleader Kim Sozzi draws on her experience as a recording artist to recreate songs exactly the way they sound on the radio. Some members of her seven- to twelve-piece band (originally founded by Sozzi’s father) have been performing together for more than 25 years, hence their diverse repertoire of songs. Prices upon request.
This traditional Cuban dance orchestra, led by pianist and composer Leonel “Papo” Ortega, provides high-energy and original instrumentation with a vast repertoire of music in English, Spanish, and French. From $3,000. (good value)
From the Summer 2014 New York Wedding Guide
- 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.
- 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, Paula Abdul and Stevie Wonder's daughter's wedding. NYC's source for customized music services.