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Park Swing Orchestra646-339-0920; parkswingorc.com
This orchestra can rock the house with up to a 22-piece ensemble (the musicians have been lauded for their big-band skills by the jazz press). Those seeking something more modest can hire just a few members to play classical, jazz, classic rock, or swing. Brothers Edward and Bill Kinslow direct the proceedings. Prices upon request. (good value)
Peter Duchin Music, Inc.212-972-2260; duchinentertainment.com
Performing since 1962, big-band leader Duchin is onstage more than 100 times a year. His company will work with most budgets to provide dance bands that can play anything from the Great American Songbook to contemporary hits. Prices upon request.
James Brown theatrics meet ’80s, ’90s, and today’s dance hits at every Prenups gig. The Brooklyn-based indie band turns every wedding into a rock concert, performing with a gospel-infused energy that keeps the party going. From $6,000.
Project Orange Music888-804-1466; projectorangemusic.com
This live-band production company has put on private shows for the likes of Prince and Missy Elliott. Its 8- to 15-piece ensembles play hits from every genre (including swing, Motown, pop, and rock), taking care to avoid played-to-death songs. Prices start at $10,500 for an eight-piece band.
The Rhythm Dogs212-206-7924; therhythmdogs.com
A dance band specializing in Motown, soul, swing, reggae, and dance music, this group has members who have played with Aretha Franklin and Janet Jackson. A DJ is also available. Prices upon request.
Sam Hill Entertainment—New York212-518-6554; samhillbands.com
Always in demand, this company books more than 500 weddings each year in the New York area and works with a long list of set bands, including groups that don’t fit the typical reception-party mold. Many play clubs and shows on nights when they’re not doing weddings, and most offer complimentary jazz solos, duos, or trios for the cocktail hour. Packages range from $3,500 to $10,000.
SoulSystem Orchestras800-466-7685; soulsystemorchestras.com
This perpetually hip group plays a wide range—Rat Pack classics, Motown, Top 40, and rock. Its seasoned musicians regularly tour on the international circuit, and it boasts a rhythm section led by Skid Row drummer Rob Affuso. Prices upon request.
Starlight Orchestras & Productions212-595-0999; starlightorchestras.com
After more than 25 years in the business, Valerie Romanoff and her team of bandleaders can shift easily from classic R&B and jazz to hip-hop, rock, and Top 40 hits. Its string ensembles can create a custom sound with a mix of classical and pop music. One played at the wedding of Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas and another at the Super Bowl in 2011. From $25,000.
Star Talent, Inc.212-541-3770; startalentinc.com
Covering traditional to contemporary genres, Star Talent represents ten bands with diverse specialties and offers DJs and string ensembles as well. Its bands have performed at the weddings of both Paula Abdul and Stevie Wonder’s daughter. Five-piece bands start at $4,500.
Steve Wexler and the Top Shelf914-945-0567; stevewexlermusic.com
Wexler’s upbeat band includes professional nightclub, Broadway, and studio musicians. Playing original arrangements and familiar favorites, it can deftly handle a slew of genres: Motown, soul, Latin, rock, and R&B. Ensembles include 8 to 12 musicians, and fees range from $5,000 to $15,000.
The Stingers Band212-337-2123 ext. 4; stingersband.com
This peppy band loves jamming out to Motown, R&B, and Top 40 hits. Its “rock and soul” style, cultivated over 15-plus years, has generated a huge following: Denzel Washington and Martha Stewart are fans. From $6,500 to $13,000.
The Storytellers Band917-887-5459; storytellersnyc.com
This classic party band delivers a custom experience to more than 60 weddings every year, mixing high-energy Top 40 tunes with Motown. (Band leader Sara Jacovino is known to nail Rihanna’s “Only Girl in the World” every time.) You can also catch them live at top nightclubs around the city. From $9,000 for a ten-piece band, which includes a free cocktail-hour performance.
Stuart White Productions212-757-3299; stuartwhiteproductions.com
This company has more than ten ensembles, ranging from solo harpists to Motown bands. The crown jewel is its ten-piece orchestra, which has performed at presidential inaugurations. Prices upon request.
Ten Tumbao917-254-6818; tentumbao.com
This top salsa band mixes hot Latin rhythms with passionate vocal harmonies and melodies. It plays a variety of styles, including Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Colombian, and Brazilian, as well as modern hits. Jazz, funk, swing, classical, and other genres are also available. From $2,500. (good value)
Trapp Music212-961-7420; trappmusic.com
Founder George Trapp, a graduate of Juilliard and the Vienna Conservatory and a veteran of numerous professional groups, oversees a collection of jazz and classical ensembles that incorporate a variety of instruments, ranging from flute to harp to the upright bass. They are especially popular for ceremonies. From $900 per ensemble. (good value)
Trevor Davison Orchestras and Musical Entertainment631-722-4824; trevordavison.com
This Long Island–based orchestra specializes in Hamptons-appropriate swing and ballroom music with a dash of Motown and contemporary thrown in. Its DJ-and-band combination is especially popular. Prices upon request.
Vali Entertainment212-571-6931; vali.com
This event-production company’s four bands are known for danceable covers of classics and energetic performances: They’ll play five-hour sets without breaks. Versatile and eclectic, they have played with such boldface names as Queen Latifah, Tina Turner, and Tony Bennett and performed at Chelsea Clinton’s wedding. Anything from a soloist to a 24-piece orchestra is available. Prices upon request.
Venus Ensembles877-888-3687; venusensembles.com
These concert-quality classical and jazz ensembles play elegant or upbeat music and have been on Late Night With David Letterman. Jessica Meyer, the Juilliard-trained founder, helps couples work out the musical details. From $300 per musician for the first hour, $150 per musician for each additional hour. (good value)
- 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.