Archive for the ‘Artist Highlight’ category

Novelty Acts in Orange County

July 22, 2014

Novelty Acts in Orange County

Novelty Acts OC

Novelty Acts in Orange County are generally performers who provide entertainment that is other than the typical Dance Band, DJ, Classical or Jazz Ensemble, and the like.  It is entertainment that adds special zing to your event!

So what is a Novelty Act?  I’m glad you asked!

Orange county Novelty ActNovelty Acts are things like Strolling Magicians, Caricature Artists, Face Painters, Look Alikes/Impersonators, Acrobats, Stilt Walkers, Comedians, Cabaret Artists, Cigar Rollers, Ballroom Dancers, Walking Candy Tables, Contortionists, Balloon Artists, etc., etc.

Novelty Act Orange CountyA Novelty Act can also be something associated with a Theme – for instance, Polynesian Dancers for a Luau, a Roper for a Country Western party, Crazed Fans and Paparazzi for a Hollywood themed event, Strolling Magician for a Vegas themed party, Synchronized Swimmers for a Pool party, or a Face Painter or Clown for a Children’s party.  Novelty Act Orange County

Where do you find these Novelty Acts?  Why, ask the experienced Talent Managers at Essence Entertainment, of course!

OC Novelty ActsThe Staff at Essence Entertainment can brainstorm with you and help you explore all of the different options available!

Orange County Novelty Act

Orange County Novelty Act

Paul Seaforth Jazz Ensemble and DJ Sean hit home runs!

June 10, 2014

One of Essence Entertainment’s finest Jazz Ensembles, the Paul Seaforth Ensemble, and our terrific DJ Sean, hit home runs…and we sure appreciate them for it!

They played for Brittany and Mark’s Wedding at the Surf and Sand Hotel on Saturday, June 7th, 2014.  The Paul Seaforth Ensemble provided a Trio for the Cocktail Hour and a 5-piece Ensemble for Dinner.

Paul Seaforth Ensemble

Paul Seaforth

The Mother of the Bride said it all:

Dear Mike, Paul and the band,

 I just wanted you to know how very much Paul and his ensemble are appreciated!  Your work seemed effortless, well rehearsed and sounded like a  million bucks!    Everything you played and sang was truly amazing!  It was just so spectacular I want your hard working team to know how amazing they all are!  You created an atmosphere that is simply unforgettable!  Your music brought tears to my eyes and the entire ballroom!!!  Soooo beautiful, soooo wonderful, soooo heavenly-I felt like I was in a dream.  You are so creative and special.  The music was truly  awesome!!!  You gave us your very best and we can’t thank you enough for making this job a priority in every way.

I hope you can keep a file for me sot that I could duplicate the music with Paul and his group at another time!

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for making Brittany and Mark’s Wedding Day as special as they are!!!

With admiration for all you do!!!

Linda – Mother of the Bride

 

Paul was followed by our very own DJ-Sean, who continued with the success of the event.

Linda had this to say about Sean:

I just realized I neglected to mention the DJ!  He was awesome with the kids and got everyone dancing for hours!  Soooo much fun!  Best wedding ever, I’ve been told over and over!

Thanks, again!  It really was a pleasure and I couldn’t have been more pleased!!!

 

Their Wedding Coordinator, Natalie Vishny, also had nice things to say:

“To Mike at Essence Entertainment:  Thank you for sending out your very best.  Everything was perfect from beginning to end.”

Kudos to Paul and Sean!

 

Orange County Show Bands Feature

June 3, 2014

Orange County Show Bands Feature

There are many wonderful Orange County Show Bands and Essence Entertainment is proud to represent the best!

The term Show Band usually refers to the size and style of a Professional Dance Band, appropriate for Corporate Events, Fund Raisers, large Weddings, etc.  This type of band generally has 10 or more musicians, incorporates costume changes, performs choreography, and basically presents more of a “show” than a standard dance band.

Here are a few exciting examples of Orange County Show BandsThe Red Hot Band and Stellar!

 

Another definition of a Show Band is what is referred to as a Theme Band…a band which specializes in a particular style or genre of music.

The Hodads is an example of a Beach Band, and The Kelly Rae Country Band is an example of a hip, current country band.

 

The term Show Band can also refer to a band which features a particularly charismatic solo artist — Chuck Wansley is a perfect example of this:

 

To enjoy the many fabulous Orange County Show Bands available through Essence Entertainment, please visit their Website and their YouTube Channel.

 

 

 

 

Celebrity Solo Artist – Paul Williams

April 29, 2014

Remember Paul Williams?  Song Writer, Actor, Singer…

Paul Williams, prolific song writer, actor, singer turned recovery advocate and currently President and Chairman of the Board of American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has captured the hearts of one of Essence Entertainment‘s clients!

Essence Entertainment has booked this lovely, gracious man yet again for two more performances at our Client’s  private residence in October of this year and again in January 2015.

Paul Williams performs at Anthony Lienau's Birthday

Paul Williams performs for Anthony’s Birthday

Paul performs as a Celebrity Solo Artist for Private Events with his extremely talented Pianist, Chris Caswell.  Together they create an intimate, personalized experience filled with terrific music and amusing stories.

Robin Kelly with Chris Caswell

Robin Kelly with Chris Caswell

Paul has won an Oscar Award, two Grammy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards and earned induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.  His many songs, including “We’ve Only Just Begun,” “Rainy Days and Mondays” and “You and Me Against the World” to “An Old Fashioned Love Song,” “Let Me Be the One” and “The Rainbow Connection,” have touched millions of people for generations.

Williams’ standards have been recorded by such diverse musical icons as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, David Bowie, Tony Bennett, The Carpenters, Luther Vandross, Willie Nelson, REM, Anne Murray, Gladys Knight, Diana Ross, Diana Krall, Sarah Vaughn, Sarah McLachlan, Jason Mraz, The Dixie Chicks, Gonzo and Kermit The Frog.

His career, life, and work in recovery have been chronicled in the acclaimed documentary, Paul Williams Still Alive, for which Paul wrote the critically acclaimed title track.  Sober twenty-three years, his humorous observations of life, love, and creativity, augmented by the education and knowledge he gained through his studies and certification from UCLA as a Certified Drug Rehabilitation Counselor, will be shared in an upcoming book: Gratitude and Trust: Recovery is Not Just for Addicts co-written with Tracey Jackson. Recovery being his number one passion he considers writing this book the greatest opportunity of his lifetime to carry the message to the masses that recovery works for all.

Essence Entertainment is thrilled to be working on these new events with Paul and is looking forward to two more terrific shows!

Robin Kelly will once again act as Stage Manager for these upcoming events.

Celebrity Solo Artist For Private Events

Paul Williams then…

Private event celebrity solo artist

…and now…

Celebrity solo artist Paul Williams with Robin 5-2012

Paul Williams with Robin Kelly

 

Featured Performer – DJ Paul Ullrich

July 26, 2012

EMAIL RECIPIENTS:

So sorry if Bastille Day Video was not visible in your previous email – please click here for easy access to the previous Blog Post where video is viewable.  Thanks!

DJ Paul Ullrich

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DJ Paul came by today – always great to have our performers swing by for a visit!  Great seeing you, Paul!  (Enjoy his video below!)

“Thank you to our DJ, Paul, for an amazing job at our company’s holiday party. Paul has a great personality and is extremely professional. His extensive knowledge of music allowed him to keep all age ranges at our party entertained. The dance floor was packed all night!”

- Jamie (St. Regis Hotel)

“Our guests enjoyed Paul. Good variety of music. He had a lot of music that was requested.”

- Cumming Corporation Holiday Party (Pala Casino & Grand Cabaret)

Just one more example of our fabulous DJs!

Paul can also provide live vocals at your event, if requested.

EBS Executive Business Services Enjoys Wild West Event

June 29, 2012

Yee-haw!!  Gather ’round, y’all!!

(Enjoy slide show at bottom!)

EBS Party Line Dancing

EBS Party Yvonne Lambert

Client Yvonne Lambert (EBS) with Rick & Mike

Yvonne Lambert of EBS (Executive Business Services) treated her guests to a rootin’ tootin’ wild west evening held at the Marriott Laguna Cliffs in Dana Point, CA.  It was yet another beautiful day in sunny Southern California (we are SO spoiled!), over-looking Lantern Bay County Park and the Dana Point Harbor, as we unloaded and set up for this outdoor event on the hotel’s View Lawn.

As always, Jeanne Friedman, Senior Convention Services Director, was invaluable – she graciously arranged for all requests to be accommodated in excellent time, greeted challenges with a smile on her face, and really made everything run smoothly.  Jeanne and the Marriott Staff are always a pleasure to work with.  We appreciate you, Jeanne!

EBS party

EBS party

Bean Bag Toss

Guests were entertained with many activities – mechanical bull rides, horse shoe and bean bag toss games (lots of kids at this event!), caricature artist, photo station complete with western costumes & set producing sepia tone take home gifts, roper giving steer roping lessons, DJ playing Country Music, line dance instructors, casino tables, and of course, costumed ‘outlaws’ to crash the party!

EBS Party

She nailed four bean bag toss “Holes in One” in a row! Wow!!

EBS party

Client Yvonne getting dressed for photo

Marriott’s Catering outdid themselves with grilled steak & vegetables, ribs, chicken, chilli, beans, baked potatoes with all the fixin’s, numerous salads, and a dessert bar that included freshly flambeed Cherries Jubilee!  Wow!

EBS party

Mike & Roper Dave

EBS party

Mike & “Outlaws”

EBS party

Cactus Hat Toss

Robin and Mike were both there for the set-up, with Robin managing the arrival of performers and the flow of the event.

EBS party

Roper Dave struttin’ his stuff

EBS party

Tom Kelly – Caricature Artist

EBS party

Ride’m cowgirl!

Mike returned to assist with packing up…and the biggest ‘learn’ for the evening?  Dealing with the bales of hay – WARNING FOR ALL EVENT PLANNERS OUT THERE:  if your client wants bales of hay as decor for a future event, be very aware of the mess they make!  We spent hours trying to clean up bits of hay strewn all over the hotel’s beautiful lawn and flower beds.  It’s easy to get them delivered, but the mess they make is most likely not appropriate for many locations.  If your client does insist on it, and your event is any place other than a barn or farm, you’ll need to arrange for extra labor and/or cost to manage the clean-up.  Just saying…   :)

The Guests however had a fabulous time (many were dressed in appropriate Western attire), and kids of all ages had numerous activities to experience throughout the evening!

Enjoy the slide show!!

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Latisha’s Graduation Party a Huge Success!

May 31, 2012

Latisha Casas and a few of her “guests”!

GRADUATION PARTY

OF THE SEASON!

Latisha Casas threw herself a terrific Graduation Party to celebrate her accomplishment of receiving her Bachelor of Science in Business Degree from the University of Redlands.  Essence Entertainment was there in all its colors to provide a memorable experience for Latisha and her guests.  We received a big thank you from Latisha for putting the event together so quickly.

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The ‘Welcome’ Entourage

A red carpet and stanchions aided the initial experience provided by 14…yes, 14Paparazzi and Crazed Fans, as well as ‘Joan Rivers’ interviewing guests as they approached the front door, and Bouncers to ‘Check the Guest List’.    ‘Angelina Jolie’, ‘Samuel Jackson’ and ‘John Travolta’ (a la Pulp Fiction) greeted guests just inside the door.

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Magician Carl Wilson entertaining guests

Magician Carl Wilson traveled table to table/group to group astounding guests with his mastery of prestidigitation.

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JLo gets the dancing going!

As the evening evolved, ‘Johnny Depp’ joined the party, then ‘Jack Nicholson’, and finally ‘JLo’ (‘Jennifer Lopez’) got everyone dancing on the dance floor with her latest hits!

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We provided a Photo Booth that kept the guests entertained, especially when the Look Alikes strolled over to participate in the Photo Booth activity.  Rustin (Suite-M Photography) was there to catch all the excitement for future reference and fond memories.

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The Management and Staff of the Sports Watch Bar & Grill (Highland,CA) was very accommodating and extremely focused on providing a special experience for all of the guests.  Our appreciation goes out to Don Lear and his entire Staff who really made us all feel welcome and appreciated.

Don Lear (Rest. Mgr.) with Johnny Depp

All of the performers reported to me numerous times throughout the evening how nice and responsive the guests were, and how accommodating the staff was.  Everyone…and I mean, everyone (including the Chef who was out taking photos of the Look Alikes!) had a truly wonderful time!

Congratulations, Latisha!!

Guests with Travolta & Jackson

Don Lear and JLo

The Welcome Entourage

Joan Rivers, Interviewer and Bouncers

Jack Nicholson and happy Guest

Paul Williams performs for Anthony Lienau’s Birthday

May 9, 2012

Wow!  What a treat!

Robin Kelly with Paul Williams

Robin Kelly with Paul Williams

Paul Williams, Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe winning Hall of Fame songwriter, performed by special request with his accompanist, Chris Caswell, on Sunday, May 6th, for Anthony Lienau’s Birthday Party hosted by his lovely wife, Holly.  Held at the Lienau home in Rancho Santa Fe, Anthony was surrounded by 50 of his closest friends and family for this special evening.

Guests arrived at 5:30pm and enjoyed 90 minutes of cocktails & hors d’oeuvres on the back patio, enjoying music provided by Sean Tayco (Essence Entertainment DJ).  At 7:00pm, Sean encouraged guests to refresh their beverages as they were invited into the living room, which had been transformed into “Anthony’s Supper Club”.  Champagne was poured and anticipation grew as the guests awaited the entrance of Paul Williams.

Anthony's "Supper Club"

Anthony’s ‘Supper Club’

Lienau Event PosterFollowing a warm standing ovation upon his introduction (which I had the honor to present), Chris (who has been working with Paul since 1976) played the beautiful baby grand piano and Paul sang and shared fabulous stories of his life and career.  Paul made the show very personal, intimate, and customized, including a last-minute special request of Anthony’s, “Loneliness”, which I thought was one of the best numbers of the show!

Following the show, Paul very graciously stayed for a short meet & greet and photo op, the highlight of which was when he autographed a piece of  sheet music brought be one of the guests.

Paul Williams autographs sheet music for guest

The guests loved the show and both Paul and Chris said they enjoyed themselves very much!

Robin Kelly with Chris Caswell

Robin Kelly with Chris Caswell

I had the pleasure of being Event Manager and thoroughly enjoyed meeting and getting to know Paul and Chris – SO nice…genuine…easy going…truly lovely people.

Bryan Wagstaff (Essence Entertainment DJ & A/V Tech) provided sound for the show, as well as perfect stage lighting which created an intimate ‘supper club’ ambiance.

The show was followed by a beautiful dinner buffet, and DJ Sean had the guests out on the dance floor enjoying the music in no time!!

Essence Entertainment is very pleased to provide, once again, elite, customized entertainment for this returning client (Holly has used Essence Entertainment numerous times for her philanthropic fund raisers).

Thanks again to Paul and Chris for being so accommodating and gracious – they went out of their way to make Anthony’s evening truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Paul Williams performs at Anthony Lienau's Birthday

Paul Williams performs for Anthony’s Birthday

Can Jazz Trios play ‘other’ styles of music?

April 26, 2012

Traditionally, Jazz Trios play…well, Jazz.  They might add some light pop, easy listening…but given the instrumentation of a typical Jazz Trio (be it Guitar, Upright Bass, Sax or Keyboards, Upright Bass, Female Vocal, to name a couple), the Trio will generally play the music appropriate for the instrumentation, the event, and the client’s requested ambiance (usually ‘background’ music).

However, that isn’t to say there aren’t exceptions…!!  :)

A perfect example is the Robin Kelly Jazz Trio (…yes, my Trio…).  With the instrumentation of Keyboards, Upright Bass, and Female Vocals, we were hired to play at a corporate awards dinner for the Council of Academic Programs last Thursday evening at the Newport Beach Marriott.   Don French (Keyboards), Dave Eastly (Upright Bass) and I were ready to play Jazz Favorites (i.e., It Had to Be You, My Funny Valentine, Don’t Get Around Much Anymore, Route 66…you get the idea).  The evening started off just as we expected – we played nice background music while guests mingled and socialized following their Awards Presentation.

About 45 minutes in to our 3-hour playing time, things started to evolve…people started to dance a little (though there was no dance floor), they started pulling chairs around and sitting in theater formation to ‘watch’ the Trio…and then the requests started coming in…

“Play some R&B!”

“Do you know any 80’s?”

“How about Nora Jones?”

“Can you do I Will Survive?”

Well, hmmm…let’s see…Disco…with Keyboards, Upright Bass…no drum machine…I didn’t even have a tambourine!

As always, it’s our aim to please, so with the good humor and terrific talents of Don and Dave we played the guest’s requests to the best of our ability.  Dave added his vocals and we sang back-up vocals for each other.  During a break, Don hooked up a vocal mic so he could add his vocal talents to the mix.  Then, to my great amazement and delight, during that same break Dave found a ‘Drum Machine’ app on his mobile phone.  He and Don hooked up his phone to Don’s keyboards to amplify the sound…and for our last set, we played to a mobile phone app Drum Machine!!  Now, this Drum Machine had only basic types of rhythms to choose from, at whatever tempo was set at the factory.  So, it was…find a rhythm/beat/tempo we liked, listen to it for a few seconds, think of what song might go well with it…then we were off and running!

Robin Kelly Jazz Trio

Robin Kelly Jazz Trio

The crowd loved it!  They continued to dance and sing along, and shout out more requests.  We had a ball!

Thanks again to the exceptional talents of Don & Dave, The Robin Kelly Jazz Trio was able to change hats and accommodate the requests of the guests.  Frances Laven, Executive Director of C.A.P., our Client representative, was very appreciative, and acknowledged that the crowd had taken us down a different road than originally intended.  I just smiled…and encouraged her to hire a full dance band next year!  :)

Featured Performer – Tom Liston, Steel Drums

March 22, 2012

Not only is Tom Liston an exceptionally talented musician, he is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet!  Always with a smile on his lips and a kind, gentle greeting, it’s always a delight to have Tom at your event!.

Tom loves what he does…and it shows!

Tom plays a wide variety of instruments and plays a wide variety of musical styles.  We book him primarily as a Steel Drummer, but he also plays Trombone, Guitar, Banjo…too many to mention.  He plays in Steel Drum Ensembles, Dixieland Bands, Jazz Ensembles…again, the list is long!

Watch a few snippets of Tom playing LIVE!

Be sure to make a comment and let us know what you think!  :)


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