One D.J., Two Strummers, or a Whole Choir?

Lapis LunaPhoto: Carlos Andres Varela

ONE Party-Starting D.J.
D.J. Sparber
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.

TWO Versatile Composers
Penguin Music
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.

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.

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.

FIVE Indie Heartthrobs
The Prenups
“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.

The Amish OutlawsPhoto: Kelly Vasami Photography

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.

The PrenupsPhoto: Zlatko Batistich

SEVEN Yiddish Rockers
“There is no band that plays everything we play,” says Annette Ezekiel Kogan, singer and accordionist of this Yiddish punk-rock group. “We play all styles, from traditional Jewish music to rock, soul, Latin, funk, you name it.” Guests might hear Sam & Dave’s “Soul Man” followed by Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” or maybe something waltzy or tangoish plucked from the Russian canon. “We are best-known for our wild hora, requested even at non-Jewish weddings,” says Kogan. “There was one where they lifted the bride and groom in chairs—and then got rid of the chairs and just started throwing them up in the air!” From $7,000.

EIGHT Jazzy Minstrels
Lapis Luna
Led by chanteuse-y vocalist Shawn Aileen Clark, Lapis Luna transports wedding guests back in time with its hot jazz, early blues, bebop, and bossa nova tunes. Clark sings through a vintage microphone and is often backed by sax, flute, clarinet, trumpet, and vibraphone. The group, which played Mad Men actress Christina Hendricks’s nuptials, can put a cha-cha spin on “(I Love You) for Sentimental Reasons” or reimagine Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself.” From $2,000.

NINE Sweaty Slavs
Slavic Soul Party!
Slavic Soul Party! is what happens when you combine the funky brass-band stylings of New Orleans and the former Yugoslavia. The group has opened for Arcade Fire and Gogol Bordello, played for ex-prime ministers at a pasha’s palace in Istanbul, and rocked out in the Russian baths on Coney Island Avenue. Says bandleader Matt Moran, “We make shit jump because we’re unexpected.” From $4,000.

TEN Latin Giants
This Cuban orchestra, formed in 2005 and led by pianist Leonel “Papo” Ortega, plays salsa, cha-cha, and guaguancó à la Buena Vista Social Club. “The tempo is just slightly laid-back, encouraging experienced and novice dancers to get up and have fun,” says Ortega. Their diverse instrumentation includes the Cuban tres guitar, congas, and trombone. They have performed at Giants Stadium and at the opening of the New York International Salsa Congress. From $3,000.

THIRTY Heavenly Singers
The Late Show’s Gospel Choir
Lady Peachena went live with this group in 1995 at the behest of Late Show musical director Paul Shaffer; they’ve since sung in more than a dozen sketches. But it’s not all laughs: “Hiring a gospel choir for a wedding gives it an intimate, spiritual vibe,” says Peachena, who can book up to 30 hand-clappers (or as few as 10). The group can belt traditional and new gospel songs as well as oldies, Motown, reggae, and soul. “Oh Happy Day” is a perennial favorite, as are feel-good ditties like The Dixie Cups’ “Chapel of Love.” From $3,000.

One D.J., Two Strummers, or a Whole Choir?