Posted tagged ‘Marriott’

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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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!  :)


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