Entertainment in the time of COVID-19

We are musicians, our friends are musicians and the lock-down isn't going to stop us from doing what we love.

When the pandemic started we were out working at clubs, weddings, parties, etc. You name it, if someone wanted music, we were there for them. Most of us have degrees from some of the most prestigious music programs in the country. Those of us who don't have the degrees spent years studying under our mentors and learning our craft while performing. Some of our musicians have Grammys or are Grammy nominated artists. Currently these artists are making $0 income. They still have families to support.

Music is in the DNA of our friends and colleagues. While performing for the public has come to a screeching halt, we continue to compose, create and play our instruments. Just like athletes who must continue their daily workouts to remain in shape, we continue to practice every day in anticipation of our return to the work that we love.

In this video we are featuring three Jazz Musicians, they are: Rick Crane on upright bass, Vinnie Cutro on the trumpet and Joe Verrusio on the guitar. All three men have been performing together in the New York Area for over 40 years. In the course of their careers they have become dear friends.

The idea to create virtual videos came to Joe Verrusio. When the lock-down started, he was seeing a number of Zoom videos featuring orchestras and choirs and could not find any Jazz Trios doing the same thing. He still wanted too perform with his band mates to keep up his "chops." This is how this video came to be. To this date we have made three virtual videos, improving on each one based on what we learned from the previous ones. The first video in the series was Misty. If you watch the video you can see that the lighting is poor on Joe, while the lighting is much better on Rick Crane. The difference is that Joe taped himself using the Zoom app., while Rick used his iPhone. Our second video was When You Wish Upon a Star.
On When You Wish Upon a Star the lighting is much improved, because Joe used his iPad to self film.

Now we come to the third video in the series, On a Misty Night. In this video we feature three artists: Rick Crane on upright bass, Vinnie Cutro on trumpet and Joe Verrusio on the guitar.
The addition of a third instrument really enriches the overall sound and vibe that we want too convey to our viewers.

Amanda D., singing “Feel it Still”

 

Amanda D., sings “Feel it Still”

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Amanda D., cover of “Feel it Still”

We like to show the range of our musicians. This is our second release of a video with Amanda performing. The first video that we released was of “Landslide” a classic rock tune. For her second release at Entertainment Consultants we chose a more current hit. This time we went with the Pop tune “Feel it Still.” The song was made popular by American band “Portugal. The Man.” We wanted the clubs hiring Amanda for their events to get a quick sense of her talent and versatility. Each time that we have introduced her at a new club, members and management alike have wanted her either bar-side or poolside on a regular basis. The earlier that you book her the better. This way you will not be disappointed later on in the season.

The song “Feel it Still” won the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards on January 28, 2018. The song has an long list of composers which includes members of the band and two producers. Here is the list of the composers: Robert Bateman, Zachary Scott Carothers, Freddie Gorman, John Baldwin Gourley, John Hill, Brian Holland, Eric Andrew Howk, Kyle O’Quin, Jason Wade Sechrist, and Asa Taccone

To book Amanda D. for your events, contact us through the following channels:

Email:

ecmusicnj@gmail.com

Call: (908)464-0038, (908)451-1955

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Meet Amanda and why we think she’s great

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Amanda is one of those performers that we wish we could clone.  Whenever we book her at a club, the members and staff can’t say enough good things about her.  We believe so strongly in Amanda that we think one day her name will be a household name.  We don’t say that lightly  and we rarely say that about musicians.  Simply put:  We have that much confidence in her, her work ethic and her talent.  Some clubs have booked her poolside, others have chosen to book her year round in the bar area.

One of the things we love most about Amanda is that she makes each song her own.  What we mean by that is that she takes songs that we have heard hundreds of times before and gives them a spin all her own.  Her songs are covers and she does the arrangements herself.  She, also, composes some of her own material.

In this video we see and hear her singing “Landslide,” a song written  by Stevie Nicks .  The song was first featured in the 1975 album simply titled “Fleetwood Mac.”  Twenty three years later the song resurfaced in a live reunion album titled “The Dance.”

Nicks says she wrote this song while considering going back to school or staying on professionally with Lindsey Buckingham, guitarist for Fleetwood Mac.  Nicks and Buckingham were not getting along at the time and making matters worse, Polydor records had just dropped them. She wrote the song in Aspen, Colorado, while sitting in a friend’s living room “looking out at the Rock.y Mountains pondering the avalanche of everything that had come crashing down on us … at that moment, my life truly felt like a landslide in many ways”.

This is the song that is most frequently performed by Fleetwood Mac while on tour.  Except for the Shake the Cage Tour, Stevie Nicks has performed this song on every tour with the band and on her own as a solo artist.

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“Literally” …GONE!

A New York City bar is banning customers from using the “L” word in their establishment. Patrons uttering the dreaded word have five minutes to finish their libation (that L word is still ok) and they must leave.

Owner of the Continental, Trigger Smith, is enforcing the ban in order to put an end to “Kardashianism.” We didn’t know that was a thing, now we do. Thank you, Trigger Smith.

If you would like to enjoy an evening with friends, free from the loathsome “L” word head on over to:

Continental

25 3rd Ave

New York, NY 10003

Continental’s new policy brought to mind certain expressions that make us cringe, we simply had to wonder…what words or expressions would you like to disappear from our vernacular?

From Classical to Rock!

Meet our Latest Rock Stars!

Elegance String Quartet performing the Main Theme from Game of Thrones during the cocktail hour at a New Jersey wedding reception.

…they had just performed during the ceremony, as well.

​From the classics to modern rock, Elegance String Quartet embraces both musical tradition and innovation. Weddings, corporate functions, private events – They do it all! Bringing fresh and creative musical arrangements to their audiences, and there’s always a modern edge in their performance. Check ’em out right here, and see why they’re the right choice in the Northeast!

The sounds of the instruments are often the first thing your guests will hear when they enter the hall, and you want that to be a great first impression. Having played hundreds of ceremonies, the musicians of Elegance Strings know that every wedding is as unique as the couple that is getting married. Their purpose is to complement and enhance the atmosphere, and their goal is to tell your story musically.

Is there a song you would like arranged for string quartet? Elegance Strings has over 750 songs listed on their Music Catalog. If you do not see your favorite songs listed, please make a suggestion for what we this musical group should arrange next!

One of the coolest things about shooting this video was that there were a number of guests doing the same.  The second that I heard the theme music from Game of Thrones I ran over to the group to take a little video for Instagram.  I stood under the P.A. so that there would  be less outside noise.  I was only using my cell phone.  When I turned around to see the crowd’s reaction, there were about 20 people shooting with their phones!   Seriously, you never see that a a wedding.  People will shoot video and photos of family and friends, but rarely will they video the musicians.

Simply put, this is the caliber of musicianship that we have at Entertainment Consultants/Music New Jersey.

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Oscar’s Big Oopsie!

In what could only be described as one of the most bizarre moments in Academy Awards history; Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway came out to announce the Best Picture.  The audience loved seeing Bonnie & Clyde emerge to make the long awaited announcement.  When they opened the envelope, you wondered: “what’s going on?”  They got it wrong!  Soooo wrong.  They announced that La La Land had won Best Picture rather than Moonlight.  

We could not believe what was going on.  While the La La Land crew was giving their thank you speeches there was a great deal of commotion in the background, making the viewers wonder why.

Up until this moment the show had been entertaining with only one major  oops.  Auli’i Cravalho the 16 year old actress from Moana  took the stage to perform “How Far I’ll Go, ” which was nominated for Best Song.  It was almost perfect, until Cravalho got smacked in thw head by a flag being waved by a back up dancer.

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This was not Oscar’s best moment. The correct winner of the Best Picture Academy Award was Moonlight!  The accounting firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers has taken the blame for the debacle.  Evidently,  they handed the wrong envelope to Mr. Beatty.

 

Bring the Caribbean to your next party!

“Jamaica Farewell” #SteelDrummer #NJ #NY #CT #PA #Calypso #Music #Reggae

Invite the Caribbean to your Summer Wedding!

Reggae Steel performing “Jamaica Farewell”
This is one of our most popular small groups.  We book them for cocktail parties, picnics, birthdays and even some wedding receptions.  They are particularly popular during the months of Summer with our beach brides.  Couples planning weddings at the shore love the laid back, easy sound that Reggae Steel has.  This duo also has a surprisingly large repertoire of songs.
To see and hear more of Reggae Steel, click on the video below:

To reserve, Reggae Steel, contact Joe at:
Email:
ecmusicnj@gmail.com
Call:
(908)451-1955, (908)464-0038

 

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Sad News

Alan Rickman dies of cancer at age 69.

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We first met him as the villainous, Hans Gruber in the late 80s. 

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He was the guy we loved to hate in  Die Hard Then he became a true star of stage and screen in a myriad of memorable roles.  However, the role we will always remember for is Professor Snape in the Harry Potter series.

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This has been a tough week.  We have lost two great talents.   First David Bowie and now Alan Rickman.   Both will live on forever through their work.