One D.J., Two Strummers, or a Whole Choir?
Top entertainment picks for every size stage.
ONE Party-Starting D.J.
Josh Sparber, founder of events company Twerking Hard DJs, has been adrenalizing dance floors for nine years and counting and has even played birthday parties for Anne Hathaway and Alan Cumming. He describes his style as danceable and upbeat (think Off the Wall–era Michael Jackson or Junior Senior’s “Move Your Feet”); to hear him in action, drop by East Village gay bar Eastern Bloc (505 E. 6th St., nr. Ave. A; 212-777-2555) on Wednesdays after 10 p.m., when he spins the debauchery-filled Good Times party. From $1,000. twerkinghard.com
TWO Versatile Composers
Guitarist Steven Cohen and celloist Chris Loxley’s vast repertoire makes it easy to transition from ceremony to reception: Cohen says many couples request lighter classical like Camille Saint-Saëns’s “The Swan” as a prelude, specially arranged pieces for the ceremony (the Beatles’ “Blackbird” is popular), and then upbeat jazz and rock for the cocktail hour (Coldplay, Journey, the Verve). “The music shapes the ambience, but it shouldn’t be so overbearing that it takes away from the scene,” says Cohen. From $600. penguinweddingmusicny.com
THREE Punky Anarchists
Stumblebum Brass Band
“We’re dirty, gritty, and tough—like New York,” says Disco Ronnie, the self-proclaimed white-trash tuba player in this partially mohawked ska-jazz-punk brass trio. The four-year-old band counts Juliette Lewis and Susan Lucci among its fans and can kick out original tracks with grandma-irking titles such as “Anarchy” and “Smokin’ and Drinkin’ ” or just cover songs by your favorite dead recalcitrants (Kurt Cobain, GG Allin, etc.). “We’re not going to play ‘Electric Slide’ for you,” promises Disco Ronnie. From $600. stumblebumbrassband.com
FOUR Old-Timey Folksters
This acoustic quartet has been playing high-energy bluegrass since 2003. The lineup includes banjo, mandolin, guitar, fiddle, and bass, but a female vocalist can be added upon request. The group strums Appalachian fiddle tunes or newgrass by Béla Fleck and David Grier as guests arrive, classical string music (“Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” is a favorite) or pop for the processional, and bluegrassy covers of songs like Madonna’s “Material Girl,” Prince’s “Kiss,” and The Postal Service’s “Such Great Heights” at the reception. From $1,800. astrograssmusic.com
FIVE Indie Heartthrobs
"We approach our shows as rock concerts," says lead singer Matthew Rudnicki. "We've never seen anything less than barely controlled pandemonium at our weddings. Old men pour wine over themselves, women shove money down our pants, the groom strips, people crowd-surf...It gets crazy." The five-piece delivers original takes on classic rock, eighties anthems, and indie hits (imagine Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son" segueing to "Africa" by Toto, chased by Modest Mouse's "Float On"). From $4,000. theprenupsmusic.com
SIX Rapping Ex-Luddites
The Amish Outlaws
Three out of the six members of this cover band were raised Amish, but aside from dressing in the traditional garb for shows, they abandoned the lifestyle long ago. The group can tackle ballads, country, rock and roll, and hip-hop. “We’ll go from ‘Let’s Get It On’ by Marvin Gaye to ‘Jump Around’ by House of Pain and then take a hard right into ‘Shout’ by the Isley Brothers,” says bassist Brother “Eazy” Ezekiel. “We’ve even had a grandmother at a wedding waving her cane in the air to A Tribe Called Quest. Seriously.” From $6,500. amishoutlaws.com
From the Winter 2011 New York Wedding Guide