Category Archives: chicago wedding entertainment

Best Chicago Bands Perfect for Your Event

The right band is the highlight of an event, tying event details together and leaving guests talking well after the end of the event. Fortunately for everyone (and anyone) in Chicagoland, the Chicago area is full of quality musicians and bands perfect for any atmosphere and event theme.

The best part of this list is that these bands are just the start—of an endless list of fantastic Chicago bands AND of an event planning process that results in a great event with outstanding tunes.

BBI

Energizing audiences around the globe with their universal crowd appeal, BBI is unparalleled by any other regional band.

BBI possess an ebullient live spirit that cuts across ages, races and backgrounds. It’s not just the accolades of great songs, an unforgettable stage show and being well dressed that have elevated BBI to superior status. BBI connects with their audience in the most fundamental way: inspiring people to have a good time!

Banjos Buddies

Our Banjo Band, based in the Chicagoland area & is one of the most unique and exciting musicial attractions around today! They are not just a band, but a very visual, personable, top entertaining group of musicians who play to please their audiences. The Banjo buddies will provide you with rip-roaring Dixieland, music and fun from the Roaring Twenties, the Swing era, your favorite Big Band tunes, sing-a-longs and much more.

Christopher’s Project

Since its inception, this group has put together quite an impressive resume. The group has opened for national and legendary acts as diverse as the Temptations, George Benson, David Sanborn, The Supremes and Jennifer Holiday. They have also performed at corporate functions for notable Corporations such as Northwestern Mutual, Johnson Wax, Quad Graphics and Time Warner. They have also performed at The Grand Opening Ceremony for The Midwest Express Convention Center and at the political galas for The Governors National Conference and The Mayoral Candidacy Party.

The group also performs for festivals, special events, weddings and private parties. They are repeat performers at some of Milwaukee’s annual festivals, Riversplash, Summerfest, Rainbow Summer and Bastille Days to name a few.

For a lighter side of music Christopher’s Quartet would be the perfect entertainment selection. The Quartet is a smooth, melodic infusion of Jazz delivered by four soulful musicians. The Quartet is comprised of keyboards, drums, bass and saxophone.

Big O Blues Band

Big O has been performing blues and soul from Florida to Nevada. He has played the Wisconsin State Fair, Summerfest, various benefits and clubs, and the band has been voted the 2006 & 2007 Wisconsin Area Music Industry Blues Group of the Year.

Big O is one of the greatest Blues and R&B singers. His expertise at the keyboard comes from playing since he was a teen. The band has been referred to as “the epitome of blues”.

Big O received national attention with his two-song CD titled “A Mother’s Salute”. It is currently being used as a fundraiser for better communication systems between our military in Iraq and their families.

Big O is guaranteed to please. He has fun at what he does and he’s proud of his fans. His love of performing shows in his music and appearance. He plays a wide variety of music to keep you singing and dancing and always wanting more.

Dennis Keith Band

The finest top-tier performers have over 20 years experience cranking out incredible high-energy shows, packing the dance floor, and making all elements of your party easy. The Dennis Keith Band has been described as versatile, elegant, and fun. This small but mighty party band can adapt their original sound to any occasion while still performing those favorites that keep the dance floor full.

Eddie Butts Band

The Eddie Butts Band delights audiences at festivals, concerts, night clubs, weddings, and many other corporate and private entertainment events throughout the Midwest, delivering an exciting blend of R&B, pop, jazz, and more.  Eddie is well known as a premier vocalist, and when you combine his smoky baritone with the highly-praised musicianship and vocal talents of this polished and professional band, it is easy to see why the Eddie Butts Band is considered a must-see — and must have — favorite.

Eddie Harrison Orchestra

“Hey Everybody, Let’s Have Some Fun” That quote from the song “Let the Good Times Roll” is the Eddie Harrison Jump Stars Orchestra motto for every performance whether it’s a wedding reception, corporate event, charity fund raiser or summer festival. From the boogie woogie piano and wailing sax of the past through the recent great dance favorites…”everybody has some fun”.

Whether you need the small band or the orchestra, it’s a ‘big time’ for everybody. Eddie and the musicians in his band have played throughout the U.S. and Europe for festivals, clubs, cruise ships and private events. Eddie and his musicians have accompanied some of the world’s finest musical artists including Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles. Eddie is a member of the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau and the Association of Professional Orchestra Leaders.

Based in Chicago the band has performed live music for 17 years at wedding receptions, corporate events, charity fund raisers, conventions, festivals and night clubs. The band can provide music for dancing, dinner, cocktail parties, ceremony and concerts.

Endless Summer Band

With unmatched musical variety—smash hits from the 1940s through the 2000s—Endless Summer Band has a huge song list that ensures the dance floor stays full all night. They will take requests!

Endless Summer Band takes great pride in their reputation as one of the finest vocal groups in the business. Four lead vocalists provide much greater musical diversity! ESB’s instrumental ensemble knows how to reproduce the exact original arrangements and—more importantly—they perform with as much energy and feeling as the original artists. As an option, ESB will add as many horn players as you would like, and/or bring along The ESB Dancers!

ESB takes only minimal intermission time, (15 minute breaks) throughout the evening, so their DJ keeps the party jumpin’ with an entire evening of nonstop music!

Endless Summer Band specializes in event entertainment, performing at over 160 special events every year. Most of their engagements are word of mouth referrals from other delighted clients, and no other band is asked back for more return engagements. Now in their 12th year of business, ESB treats every event like the most important event ever, and they treat every client with the utmost courtesy and respect.

KOJO

Feel the pulsating beat of red-hot reggae music, and taste the tantalizing flavors of calypso, ska, soca, French cadass and much much more with Milwaukee’s Kojo!

Kojo has been bringing da real riddim of the Caribbean to Milwaukee for years, and has maintained a level of excellence that is unmatched by any other reggae band in Wisconsin. Kojo has won six WAMI awards and has been nominated well over ten times. With members fresh out of the warm clear blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, and hard-hitting reggae beats, you can feel warm sand under your feet, a gentle island breeze on your cheek, and rastaman vibrations. The sweat trickling down your spine won’t be from the warm Wisconsin winters, it’ll be from you dancing till the cows come home. So if you want to have a skankin’ good time, without a skankin’ big price, come and join Kojo because WE JAMMIN!

Late Night Band

Late Nite Band is truly a party looking for a place to play. That’s how a thank you letter from a recent client described this highly energetic ten-piece dance band.

The group features a rhythm section of keyboards, guitar, bass and drums; a three-piece horn section with trumpet, alto sax and tenor sax, and three dynamic singers (male and female). These outstanding musicians perform an uncompromising variety of dance hits from Motown, rhythm & blues, retro, disco, funk, rock & roll, contemporary pop ballads, Big Band and jump swing, all guaranteed to turn any ordinary party or club engagement into an unforgettable event.

Produced by David Farley and Grant Cramer of Orchestra Thirty Three Entertainment, Inc., the Late Nite Band features the extraordinary talents of musicians and singers that earned accolades from Chicago’s top critics performing for standing-room-only crowds in the critically acclaimed Rupert’s 33 Club in suburban Chicago during the late 1980s.

In 1989, the Late Nite Band followed the rest of it’s musical family, The Orchestra 33, into the private party and night club scene to enjoy further success electrifying black-tie events, corporate parties and celebrations around Chicagoland and tri-state areas.

Whenever there is need for highly trained professionals, fully qualified to rock, wail and incite frenzied activity among even the most timid of patrons, the Late Nite Band will keep your guests on the dance floor until the closing lights come up.

Mambo All-Stars

The Mambo All-Stars is an energetic dynamic band which plays salsa, merengue, cumbia, cha-cha, and boleros, a complete variety of all the Latin dance rhythyms.

The band performs at various public venues such as Summerdance at Grant Park, the Adler Planetarium, the Taste of Chicago, and many corporate events. They have also been featured at the Shark Ball Benefit at the Shedd Aquarium, and the Rita Hayworth Alzheimers Benefit at the Field Museum.

Their material is from both classic and modern Latino artists such as Tito Puente Olga Tanion’, Celia Cruz, Ray Barreto, Sonora Poncena, India, Cubanisimo, and Perez Prado.

Jose` Valdes, leader of the group, has worked with such greats as Jose Fajardo, Tito Puente, and Eddie Palmieri. The artistry is exciting with driving montuno rhythms and a fiery percussion section which always gets everyone dancing.

Pamela Rose and Windy City Country

Pamela Rose and Windy City Country brings a fresh and energetic flavor into the live music scene. This terrific group is consists of five “smokin” musicians and singers that bring a variety of local and national acclaim to the stage.

Their unique style re-creates many of the classics as well as the contemporary country and rock and roll hits that so many enjoy today. The members of Windy City Country are all full-time musicians with loads of energy and talent who love country music – and it really shows! When Pamela put the group together she asked some of the strongest and busiest musicians in Chicago to be on her team.

Their repertoire is versatile and covers a wide musical spectrum of country and rock covers, as well as original songs for entertainment at corporate events, clubs, special events and festivals. Pamela Rose’s strong reputation in corporate and family entertainment comes from understanding audiences and clients. She understands what clients are looking for when it comes to great live music and how to present it. Pamela Rose and Windy City Country was designed specifically to reach contemporary country music fans around the USA – from casual to corporate.

Petra and the Recession 7 Band

Petra van Nuis (pronounced Pay-tra van Nouse) is a Chicago-based jazz vocalist who has been described in Downbeat Magazine as having “a light, gorgeous, and fairly delicate voice…a gift for melody and plenty of rhythmic confidence.”

A Chicagoan since 2003, Petra sings at all the finest jazz venues in town including the Jazz Showcase, the Green Mill, Katerina’s, Andy’s Jazz Club, Fitzgerald’s, the City Winery, and the Old Town School of Folk Music. Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs has presented Petra’s groups at the Chicago Cultural Center and Chicago Summer Dance. The Jazz Institute of Chicago has featured Petra’s Recession Seven band at the Chicago Jazz Festival and Jazz City. Along with six other Chicago jazz artists, she was nominated for the “Best Jazz Entertainer 2013” for the 33rd Annual Chicago Music Awards.

Germany’s Jazzpodium Magazine hails Petra’s sixteen year musical collaboration with her husband, guitarist Andy Brown, as “a magical musical dialogue, which can only partially be described as blind understanding.”

Rick Lindy and the Wild Ones

Rick Lindy has a voice as big as Texas… Dave Eliot plays tasty, prolific guitar licks, Eric T Stoliker has the ‘magic touch’ on the upright bass and Joe Smith never misses a beat on the drums. This line up offers high energy that captivates audiences of all ages.

Performing Rock and Roll hits of the 1950’s, 60’s as well as Surf, Rock-a-billy, and original songs.

Roots Rock Society

Roots Rock Society, founded in December of 1986, strongly believes in keeping their heritage and culture alive with their energetic live show and innovative blend of reggae, calypso, soul, zouk and other rhythms of the African Diaspora.

RRS with the CBS News Crew Hailed as Chicago legends by Tribune’s Metromix TV and Chicago’s Premier Reggae Band by WGN Morning News with their one of a kind sound, sometimes being described as tropical soul or “root soul.”

In 2003 with the release of their award-winning CD Riddim to Riddim, RRS reached one million viewers and listeners with television and radio performances, matched with articles and ads in newspapers and magazines. Critics have labeled RRS Nation’s Best.

What makes RRS stand out are their live performances as well as their original recorded material. Timeless tracks, smooth vocals, vibrant instrumentals matched with exotic rhythms and delightful lyrics performed in English with Spanish and French accents. It is a fine mixture of quality and care with a healing effect leaving you wanting more. Their 1997 CD Again reached over 200 radio stations worldwide. Play lists and letters were coming in from the US and places as far away as France, Africa, New Guinea, Germany, Poland, Spain and Ireland.

Hoyle Brothers

The Hoyle Brothers’ brand of genuine country music draws from the genre’s deepest traditions–lyrics that speak universal truths, melody lines that melt your heart and two-step rhythms that scoot your boots.

Since the start of weekly residencies at Chicago’s The Hideout and The Empty Bottle in 2002, The Hoyle Brothers have earned respect and recognition from a growing number of fans and music critics in Chicago and beyond for the band’s purity of purpose and first-rate musicianship. With a classic, five-piece line-up, The Hoyle Brothers help create a dance- and fun-friendly, country-style atmosphere to any event.

The Mix

Every Party band says they are the best, but seriously… with talent, versatility, high-energy stage presence and the ability to cover 9 decades of music, The Mix really is. Ok, at least we think so!

THE MIX accurately recreates everything from old classics to the current chart hits. Seamless song transitions keep the dance floor filled all night long. Looking for a particular theme, style or era for your event or venue? The Mix has it covered. Every style, authentic.

The Moods

Award-winning recording and performing artists since 1995, entertaining across the country and abroad, The Moods are a singing group consisting of three guys dedicated to the fine art of harmony and choreography. They’re known for their vocal stylings, but are equally accomplished in theater and on the big screen. They have collectively written songs, performed and arranged background vocals for other artists and television and radio commercials.

They have performed with and opened for such major talents as The Temptations, The Spinners, Mary Wells, Bernie Mac, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, The Stylistics, The Impressions, The Chi-Lites, and the list goes on and on. We would love to work with you to personalize your special event and make it a Vocal Experience Never Forgotten.

The Wave Runners

Having a Rock & Roll beach party? The Wave Runners feature music from Jimmy Buffett, The Beach Boys, The Safaris, The Ventures, Harry Belafonte and More! They will entertain your audience with Acapella Vocals, a Flaming Drum Stick Show and Audience Participation.

Tropixplosion

In essence, the ultimate Island party. But much more than the standard Steel Drum band, they play an amazing variety of music as well ? not only your tropical favorites, but many reggae classics and pop/rock party songs re-arranged to feel like the Islands. New hits, classic rockers, and many other surprises, all performed with an exotic twist!

TROPIXPLOSION most frequently performs as a 6 or 7-pc band, but can provide groups of any size, from a solo performer with backing tracks, on up to their full 9-piece extravaganza with professional lighting and special effects! TROPIXPLOSION is the ideal music solution for ANY size venue, city concert, or event looking to create an exciting summer party any time of year!

Twist and Shout

Actor, singer, and recording artist, Tony Kishman doubles as featured performer & producer of TWIST AND SHOUT.

Tony starred for six years in both the national and international tours of Broadway’s smash hit, Beatlemania.

Kishman is regarded by “Beatlemaniacs” as the world’s best McCartney look-alike/sound-alike. He has been performing his award winning tribute to the most successful band of all time around the globe for more than a decade, bringing the music and the magic of the Beatles to a new generation.

20+ Wedding Cocktail Hour Musician Ideas

acoustic artists for wedding cocktail music hourWedding cocktail hour musicians are a beautiful addition to any wedding entertainment line-up. The right wedding cocktail hour musician doesn’t have to fit the traditional vision of soft music, though it certainly can be if you’re planning an elegant or traditional wedding reception.

Fortunately, Chicago is full of wedding cocktail hour musicians that enhance the wedding cocktail hour and take wedding music to a whole new level. As you find and hire wedding cocktail hour musicians, be careful about hiring amateur musicians with little or no experience. In the same way, a wedding cocktail hour musician is no good if they don’t show up. If you’re worried about both of these issues, contact an entertainment agent to select the right musicians for your big day.

The perfect wedding cocktail hour musicians check off boxes in experience, quality, reliability, and the capability to fit with the desired wedding atmosphere. Modern wedding cocktail hour musicians fit with a contemporary wedding theme. Period entertainers reinforce a Great Gatsby or throwback affair. Traditional cocktail hour musicians complete an elegant wedding reception and coordinate with every other detail of your special day.

Wedding Cocktail Hour Musician Ideas

  1. Acoustic Performers
  2. Jazz Quartet or Band
  3. String Quartet
  4. Pianist
  5. Piano & Vocal Duo
  6. Dueling Pianos
  7. Jazz Vocalist
  8. Orchestra
  9. Blues Band
  10. Mariachi Band
  11. Steel Drum Band
  12. Violin Show
  13. Brass Band
  14. Guitarist
  15. Guitarist & Vocal
  16. Country Band
  17. Throwback Celebrity Impersonator (perfect for period weddings)
  18. Rock Star Impersonators
  19. Reggae Band
  20. Cover Band
  21. R&B Band
  22. Swing Band
  23. Cellists
  24. Tropical Band

Best Chicago Wedding Bands

A low shot of the dance floor with a crowd dancing at an event under the colorful lightsThe Windy City is full of quality wedding bands, many of which can fit the term “awesome.” Hiring the right band for your Chicago wedding is like finding the “one.” The trick (though it doesn’t have to be) is to narrow down the options to the right band that fits the wedding atmosphere.

Hiring a Wedding Band

The process for hiring a wedding band doesn’t have to be a long one; the simplest way to find and hire a wedding band is to use a professional entertainment agent. An experienced entertainment agent manages the entire process, from selecting quality musicians and band that fits the desired wedding atmosphere to coordinating every entertainment detail.

No matter what avenue you decide to take, the top tip for couples is to not wait too long to choose the wedding band. The top Chicago wedding bands’ calendars fill up fast. Use a wedding checklist and a prompt contact to ensure that you get the best wedding band.

When selecting the best, don’t make the mistake of believing that price determines which band is best for your wedding. While the wedding budget always plays a part in the decision, amateur wedding musicians and bands can cost you a memorable and quality night. Always consider more than just cost when hiring a wedding entertainer. There are other factors that should play a role in choosing the right wedding band, such as the experience of wedding entertainer, size of the venue and group, and, finally, the contract details.

Chicago Wedding Band Ideas

These Chicago wedding bands are only a few of the quality bands available for wedding receptions.

Jazz Band-Petra and the Recession 7 Band

chicago jazz band for weddings

Are you looking for a fabulous jazz duo for your corporate event in Chicago? Petra can perform as a duo, trio, quartet and all they way to her Recession 7 Band.

Variety Band-Endless Summer Band

ESB will select the ideal blend of music from their huge song list to insure that the dance floor stays full all night, and they will take requests!

Country Band-Pamela Rose and Windy City Country

country band for chicago weddings

The members of Windy City Country are all full-time musicians with loads of energy and talent who love country music – and it really shows!

Dance Band-BBI

Are you looking for a perfect dance band for your Chicago festival or corporate party – Then, check out BBI.

Period Band-Swingtime Orchestra

orchestra for chicago weddings

Our full brass orchestration and harmonizing vocalists will keep your crowd hopping, jumping, jiving, jitterbugging, swinging, and zoot suiting all night long. Ready to cut a rug? Big Daddio, we can make the scene, ride the A-train, and croon any Big Band tune from the 40’s and 50’s. But we promise never to sit under the apple tree with anyone else.

Latin Band-Mambo All-Stars

latin music for chicago wedding

The Mambo All-Stars is an energetic dynamic band which plays salsa, merengue, cumbia, cha-cha, and boleros, a complete variety of all the Latin dance rhythms.

12 Out-of-the-Box Chicago Wedding Entertainment Ideas

red carpet entertainer with guests at masquerade themed charity galaIf “extraordinary” and “unique” are the words you want to hear about your wedding entertainment, these ideas for themed wedding entertainers are for you. You know what we’re talking about: creative entertainers that amaze, unusual entertainment that fit with a one-of-the-kind wedding theme, or an entertaining act that makes guests feel like the ultimate night out in the Windy City.

Steel Drums

Transport your guests to the beach with tropical wedding entertainment. Think of it as a destination wedding at home. Your guests’ll love the signature tropical drinks, delicious tropical dishes, and sounds of a Caribbean island (especially on a cold Chicago day!).

aerialist at event hanging from ceiling

Aerialists

Take your wedding to new heights with aerialists—either for entertainment or for one of the most unique drink servers your guests have ever seen. Aerialists can be an extraordinary addition to an formal wedding or a whimsical touch to an upscale carnival themed wedding.

Performance Art

“Unexpected” is just one of the words your guests’ll be using as they are entertained by a unique performance art act. Contact an entertainment agent to select the right act compatible with the desired wedding atmosphere.

Magician

Bring the magic of you are as a couple to life with this unusual wedding entertainment. Contact an experienced pro who can select the right magician that can customize their act. To up the ante, ask your entertainment agent to coordinate the act into a surprising part of the wedding reception program.

Carnival Performers

Make your wedding more than just another event. Bring on the show! Plan a spectacular wedding with a fabulous dance troupe and a glamorous flare.

wedding entertainers

Artists

Art is a fantastic wedding entertainment that can entertain wedding guests of all ages. Face painters are a terrific way to entertain children (and some adults too). Caricature artists give guests an unexpected memory from a fun evening. A wedding painter can capture the wonder of a wedding and provide a wonderful painting for the future.

Tropical Bands

Heat up your wedding reception with a mariachi or reggae band. Your guests’ll appreciate the exceptional sounds, and bask in the feel of a tropical wedding atmosphere.

mardi gras entertainer with pink and purple dress and drink servers on the skirt

Champagne Girl

Champagne girls are an awesome and unexpected detail that has a BIG impact on guests. Guests’ll enjoy the entertaining aspect and uniqueness of the service. (Hopefully they’ll also enjoy the drink served, if you choose carefully!)

Jazz Band

Nothing completes a vintage wedding or jazz lounge atmosphere like jazz entertainment. And like this one-of-a-kind entertainment choice, a professional entertainment pro can help you choose the right act for your big day.

Celebrities

A celebrity can be just the entertainer than can spice up a wedding reception, but we don’t all have the budget to fly in our fave. However, your wedding reception can still feel like a Hollywood ball with visits by top look a-likes that can make everyone feel like they are in the presence of greatness.

great gatsby entertainers

Period Entertainers

Nothing takes a guest back to the period of a vintage wedding like a group of entertainers dressed in the styles of the 1920’s, 1930’s, 1950’s—really any period. Period entertainers can mingle, perform acts, or do anything that makes a wedding feel authentic. To connect with the right entertainers, contact an entertainment agent that is familiar with local acts that can put a wedding reception over-the-top.

Holiday Show

A Halloween Mystery or a Holiday Caroling Show is not what any guest expects to see at a wedding—and is what makes this out-of-the-box wedding entertainment so spectacular. These seasonal entertainers are a great match for a holiday themed wedding where a couple wants a one-of-a-kind main stage entertainment.