Cocktail Hour Music Done Right


Separate Your Cocktail Hour From The Rest

There are several aspects of weddings worthy of the time you put into planning the event. There are other details that aren’t so worthy. Playlists for cocktail hour isn’t something you have to overly assess. If cocktail hour goes as planned, everyone will be socializing and having a good time, and no one will be paying attention to the music in the background – unless it’s unique. A cocktail hour playlist just needs a positive, upbeat vibe, no more and no less. Whether those songs are funky or soulful, as long as the playlist puts people in a positive mood, it’s working.

Did you know that the cocktail hour was invented by British aristocracy in the early 20th century?

We like to play many of the top favorite songs for our cocktail hour playlists. We work with our clients to produce a mix of live music, so needless to say, it incorporates many soul, jazz and funk selections. Nonetheless, assembling a playlist should be fun, not a chore. The songs you select should be inspirational, not melancholy. Songs that you’d be happy to drink to, ranging from Justin Timberlake to Etta James!


Your Wedding

Your wedding’s cocktail hour should be magical. You’ve just married your best friend, everyone around you is rooting for your happiness, and the drinks are keeping that euphoria afloat. Even if you and your new partner leave the party early, you’re guests are going to take in everything the wedding has to offer, from the hors d’oeuvres to the cocktails. Whatever they do, they’ll be doing it with a spectacular musical backdrop. Despite the conversation being the loudest sounds in the room during any cocktail hour, it’s still essential to play music that embodies the absolute elation of a wedding.

Acute Inflections is the perfect addition to your wedding soirée. Contact us at 800-610-0704 for booking information!

Top 5 Favorite Jazz Clubs in NYC

Blues and jazz have an extensive history in this town, which used to host defining establishments like the Lenox Lounge, Cotton Club, and the first Birdland. Even though most of the classic venues are no longer around — some of which have been turned into tourist attractions and museums of sorts — there are still an abundance of clubs around the city where you can indulge in live music. Check out some of our favourite jazz clubs in NYC, and let us know what yours are in the comments below.

Knowble 2VILLAGE VANGUARD: The underground jazz club in the West Village is almost 80 years old, and some musicians consider it an honor to play there. Regarded by many as the jazz equivalent of Carnegie Hall, this modest place is known for its superior acoustics and flawlessly controlled mood lighting, both of which sync with the performances on stage. However, the seating areas can be quite narrow. That aside, the Village Vanguard is all about the music, not the visual performance. In fact, several critically acclaimed artists, such as Bill Evans and Miles Davis, have performed here while patrons listened to their act with their eyes closed. You can actually feel the vibration of sound when certain musicians practice their craft. The Village Vanguard generally charges $25 to get in with a one-drink minimum. There is no reserved seating, so it pays to arrive early.

JAZZ STANDARD: This affluent Flatiron venue is a cross between the gaudiness of Time Square and the intimacy of some of the West Village clubs. You’ll often find barbecue being served while patrons listen to blues and jazz in this roomy-yet-plush space. The club has played host to infamous jazz musicians, such as Jimmy Cobb and Bill Frisell, as well as the sensational 10-piece Mingus Big Band (sometimes playing as the Mingus Dynasty or Mingus Orchestra). Because the Jazz Standard is situated under the Blue Smoke restaurant, patrons of the club feast on items from the eatery’s menu during a performance.

BLUE NOTE: Calling itself the “the jazz capital of the world”, the Blue Note has featured live performances by Charlie Haden, Cecil Taylor, and other known artists, as well as newer talent, like the Bad Plus. Inside the narrow venue, tables are situated inches away from one another. Regular guests don’t seem to mind though. In fact, such closeness at the Blue Note has become synonymous with Sunday brunches, as well as the Late Night Groove series.

IRIDIUM: The upper-class crowds who frequent Iridium come to see a mix of established blues artists and obscure jazz players. The views and acoustics are what keep bringing those crowds back. The Iridium was the place to visit guitarist Les Paul on Monday nights, and in his absence, various recognizable jazz musicians pay musical tribute to him on those same weeknights.

BIRDLAND: Birdland is where Midtown’s resurgence of jazz took place. Great jazz artists, such as Kurt Elling, Joe Lovano, Aaron Neville and John Pizzarelli are the attractions that drew in patrons. In-house bands are also beloved at the venue, particularly the Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, who is a mainstay of Sunday evenings.

Background Music at Corporate Events

A common fallacy about live background music is that it must be instrumental. It’s understandable why many would think that – a vocal musician would warrant attention. At a private event, however, people want to socialize and network amongst one another. People can do so freely when live music in the background contains no lyrics to distract them. However, for many discerning clients, adding a vocalist to the music can actually be a fantastic addition to any private event.
Not all musical instruments are made the same. Some are louder than others, and no one wants to be startled during a corporate event. Clients tend to favor bass, keys, and a trumpet/sax over drums in background jazz ensembles. A jazz trio configuration (bass, piano, drums and bass, for instance) is uncommon. Nowadays, clients are interested in more unique approaches to music. Acute Inflections is the perfect answer to that. With a blend of a velvety voice and upright acoustic bass, we can set the tone of any event in any style.
We normally sing the praises of a complete live band, but they are not a practical choice at some events. Budget restrictions, or a lack of room, could minimize a trio or quartet’s platform, inhibiting their performance. This is a more affordable approach to live music than hiring a complete ensemble, and still maintains the live component absent from recorded music. Acute Inflections is the perfect answer to that dilemma. With a unique variety of jazz, top 40 covers, and R&B, we have an answer to the often puzzling question on how to impress and entertain guests with background music.
Small background ensembles generally play either with light amplification or acoustically. Both methods are ideal for patrons of up to 150 people (give or take), but if those people are in separated rooms (or in a single narrow room), extra amplification might be necessary. Because we understand New York’s greatest event venues so well, we should be able to pre-empt those kinds of issues. We have 3 different types of amplification. Doing our own sound allows us to accurately set the tone of our music. Many venues find this incredibly useful since we provide our instruments, sound, and talent in a all-in-one package.