Look Out!

VUE Magazine recently did a blog post about us. Guess that means we’re moving up in the world! 😉

Here’s one of our favorite excerpts from it:

Where did you guys meet?
SP: My friend asked if I could go with him to her [Elasea] show because he was interested in one of the actresses so I went as sort of a wingman. That’s when I got to see eL sing and we met afterwards. We became friends, started hanging out and one thing led to another. She claimed bass was her favorite instrument and she was the one who encouraged me to get back into it.

What made you two want to join forces?
SP: She was having a showcase with another band and she thought it would be cool to have an upright bass instead of an electric one so she asked me to play. Well, most of the band members didn’t show up that night and at one point, it ended up just being the two of us on stage and people seemed to enjoy it. So that’s really how it happened, sort of by accident. After the show people kept coming up to us and saying that they’d love to have this at weddings and different events so we decided to make a thing of it and here we are.

Click here if you would like to read the rest of it.

Posing!

This picture was taken a few years ago after our first private art exhibit gig. You could say we were inspired to get our pose on…

A Musical Introduction

Sometimes I think that music has a funny way of bringing people together. It takes center stage when we’re happy, sad and best of all, celebrating. Live music sets the tone at special events, blending blissful with clanging glassware and polite chit-chat. The launch party of the Summer 2016 issue of VUE Magazine was no different.

It was a sunny August evening aboard the new Sundancer yacht. The day finally arrived after months of meticulous preparation. For my coworkers and I at VUE, this event showcased our summer’s work. After countless hours of writing, photographing and designing, it was fulfilling to see all of the puzzle pieces come together at this event.

With good food, great company and breathtaking views of the Hudson River, this celebration had all of the ingredients of a memorable experience for me. The summer sun melted into colorful clouds at sunset, just barely hugging the New York skyscrapers. Once-filled bottles of wine became drops at the bottom of our glasses. Notable individuals made their way through and around the ever-changing crowd…and then there was the wonderful music I kept hearing.

I still remember the first time my coworkers and I spotted them. We were in the middle of a not so deep conversation with a waiter regarding the hors d’oeuvres and then I noticed them on the yacht’s deck. A woman with a beautiful white dress and chic headpiece to match and a man wearing a navy waistcoat, golden pocket watch and striped tie in an extremely fashionable knot. While their vintage outfits were fabulous, their music was even more uniquely remarkable.

Like everyone on that boat, my coworkers and I were blown away by their musical talent. My fellow writers and I are always fascinated by words. Words and their complexity have become our craft so it was a special experience for us to admire their talent of creating sound. We happily listened as the woman’s smooth voice harmonized with the man’s deep plucking of the double bass. We danced to their music and heartily laughed when the ship’s abrupt movement swung us off balance. Before the magical evening came to an end, I knew we needed a photo to eternalize the joy we felt at that moment.

There were of course a lot of great moments to capture that evening and as a staff photographer at VUE, I had a lot of fun doing so. My lifetime love of music and musical instruments made the challenge of capturing the energy of their performance on camera even more special. The perfect photo opportunity finally occurred as the night was coming to an end on our way back into Lincoln Harbor. The duo’s eyes connected near the end of a beautiful rendition of a Frank Sinatra tune just as I found a few angles framing the awakening lights of the Manhattan skyline behind them. Something, other than the camera shutter, just seemed to click.

All celebrations must come to an end, even the great ones. When the Sundancer finally pulled into the harbor, guests made their way off the yacht and my coworkers and I began cleaning up and collecting the scattered magazines. The jazz singer introduced herself to me and asked to see the few photos I had snapped earlier. She complemented me on the photos, and I praised her music. Elasea and I traded business cards, and the rest of the story is now beginning.

So yes, music really does have a funny way of bringing people together.

Andrea Garcia

Picking the Right Wedding Band: 5 Things You Need to Know

wedding band
Source: everafterguide.com

Music is the life of any party, weddings included. Events planners and wedding coordinators say that wedding bands or DJs should be one of the first things to book. Months or weeks ahead would be best, but that is often not the case. Couples usually focus on the venue for the ceremony, the reception, food, flowers, photographers and other vendors. They think of booking a band afterwards. By that time, it’s too late.
They may not get the band that they like, or they may have to book one at a more expensive price. You don’t have to put up with a band you don’t like if you book early.

Where Do You Find a Band?

Bands don’t normally go around and advertise themselves as “wedding bands”. What usually happens is that a couple goes to a gig or an event where a band is playing. If they happen to like how they sound or how they “jam”, then they inquire if they can play at their wedding
In cases where an events planner is in charge of wedding preparations, they show some tapes or videos of the bands in action. They then ask the couple which one they think is closest to their preference in terms of style and song choice.
This is important because not all couples want a full on dance party during their reception. While some of the guests may be after lively entertainment, there are guests who may want something softer or romantic. It is up to the couple to strike a balance between keeping their guests on their feet or wearing them out.

Questions You Need to Ask

1. Ask them if you can choose songs from the band play list?

While couples would love to create their own play list, it’s impossible for any band to know each and every song. What is more practical, however, is for the couple to select titles from the bands set lists. This way, they won’t have to learn extra songs just for one event. You can customize the play list to match different points in the reception such dancing after dinner, and slow romantic songs towards the end.

2. What About Music Between Set?

Bands normally play 2 to 3 sets during weddings and take 15-minute breaks between sets. It would be more practical to have the band prepare some recorded music and play it during the breaks. Some bands charge extra for this, so it is best to discuss it up front. Alternatively, you can play your own iPod with a special play list. Most often than not, these are songs which mean something to the couple. In other instances, they play their parents’ favorite songs, which is a sweet and sentimental thing to do during a wedding reception.

3. Can We Do a “First Dance” Song?

The first dance is one of the highlights of the wedding reception. The band usually opens their set with this song. This can be the Father-Daughter dance which eventually ends up as the couple’s first dance as well. Most bands accommodate a special song request for the first dance. If this song is not included in their repertoire, it will be good to inform the band of the title weeks in advance. This will give them enough time to learn the song and add their own unique spin to it.

4. Does Your Band Meet the Requirements of the Venue?

Most wedding reception venues have a sound limiter which could seriously cramp the band’s style. However, wedding venues have set this up to prevent noise issues with the neighbors or establishments set up in the area. There’s no problem if the event is being held at a hotel, but other venues have to comply with zoning rules. If the reception is being held at home, make sure that you have plenty of space at the backyard or gazebo for the band to set up. Most bands will also carry a small generator and other equipment so prepare a small room or holding place for them before and in between performances.

5. How Long Do You Play?

On the average, a wedding band plays for 2 x 45 minute sets. However, there are some who can play for three sets – or until midnight. By then the last of the guest are expected to have left. As mentioned earlier, there are 15-minute breaks in between sets. At some point the band members also have to have dinner and refreshments.
These are five of the most important questions that couples should ask a wedding band before hiring them. But remember, the band is just there during the reception. Couples might also consider some elegant and softer music during cocktail hour just to keep the guests entertained.

Be Your Fabulous Self: A Guide to Surviving Cocktail Parties

pouring cocktail

Cocktail events are a staple in New York and other cities. It’s chic, easy to plan, and can take place in galleries, ballrooms, or upscale bars.

Word of warning: there’s nothing casual or laid back about cocktail events. If you don’t know what to do at these social gatherings, read on.

  • Dress Up for the Occasion – Cocktail parties still follow a dress code. While it isn’t a black tie affair, men are still expected to wear a coat or at least a dinner jacket. Women, on the other hand, should wear cocktail dresses and matching heels. Cocktail dresses usually have hemlines ranging from mid-thigh to just above the knees. It’s not a requirement to wear black, but dark colors are better than pastel ones. Keep accessories to a minimum; and remember, less is always tasteful.
  • Know Why You’re There and Arrive on Time – It could be a corporate event, a product launch, a charity ball, or a fund raiser. The point is to be aware of what event you are attending and what time it starts. Arriving fashionably late can be very awkward, especially if you make a dramatic entrance with all eyes on you. To be on the safe side, arrive at the venue 5-10 minutes early.
  • Drink, Don’t Guzzle – The phrase “open bar” sounds extremely appealing, but there’s no need to be greedy. Whether you’re attending a business function or a wedding reception, it’s considered polite to have only one drink at a time. Sip each drink slowly. After you’ve finished, politely ask the bartender for another one – never two.
  • Mingle and Socialize – Cocktail parties are social gatherings. When attending one, try to talk to people other than your circle of friends or coworkers. Go around and mingle. If it’s a corporate function, be sure to bring plenty of business cards. When accepting business cards from someone you’ve just met, make sure to read the name and title before keeping it inside a card case. It’s not polite to shove a business card inside your bag, or tuck it inside a book.
  • Don’t Take Photos of the Buffet – It’s a fun thing to do at weddings, but not during formal functions. It’s also considered crass to take pictures of your plate. If possible, keep the selfies and groufies to a minimum.
  • Don’t Hang Out at the Bar – Even if you aren’t enjoying the party, make an effort to socialize and talk to people. Hanging out by the bar and starting a long conversation with the bartender doesn’t look too good. You can take a stroll around the event venue with a drink in hand, or go out for some fresh air.
  • Don’t Overstay Your Welcome – Cocktail events normally don’t last all night, so make sure you aren’t the last one to leave. Before you go, look for the host and thank them for the invite. Being courteous and polite will ensure that you’ll get invited to more events in the future.

Following these unwritten social rules can help save you from embarrassing situations. These are just general guidelines, though. It should never take precedence over being yourself and having fun at an event.

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Make cocktail events and corporate functions more memorable with the sultry vocals and upbeat tunes of Acute Inflections. Contact us at 800-610-0704 for booking information!

Sail Away at Your Next Corporate Event

The Yacht Party Difference

Convention halls, ballrooms, and the office rooftop are the most used venues for corporate events. While posh restaurants serve the purpose, the crowd and noise makes it lose its air of exclusivity. Since corporate events are important in the New York City lifestyle, it’s no surprise that event planners have become creative.

Holding a corporate event on a private yacht is a great alternative to conference hall events and black-tie affairs. A private yacht will send a message of exclusivity and elegance to partners, shareholders, and employees. It’s a great venue to toast the success of a new partnership or a record-breaking campaign.

Charter a Yacht and Relax

A luxury yacht offers a wonderful environment far from the stresses and distractions of the workplace. How often have employees dashed back into their offices in the middle of a party to attend to a pressing matter? Sailing away ensures that their attention is on this intimate gathering or celebration.

Hosting a party on a yacht is not as complicated as people think it to be. For one, a private yacht is already an elegant and sophisticated venue, so you only need to add minimal décor. The yacht also has its own dining area, sound system, and other amenities.

Best of all, you can have your party with the yacht either moored, anchored, or cruising.

Corporate yacht charters are available in New York and other cities. They can be for small, intimate groups or an actual corporate event. The rates are  reasonable compared to land-based venues. Organizers may also extend the hours depending on their discretion.

The A-List Treatment

Corporate event planners can choose to host a cocktail party or a sit-down dinner on a chartered yacht. Most of the charter services already offer packages that cover food and drinks. Of course, given the upscale venue, it goes without saying that the food and drinks must be luxurious as well.

For cocktail parties, you can never go wrong with platters of hors d’ oeuvres and champagne. At the same time, the charter services have chefs who can prepare sumptuous dinners for VIP guests.

When you’re at a corporate event on a luxury yacht, it’s important to cover your bases. Elegant music can set the tone for the evening. It could make a big difference on how your guests decide on an important business matter.

Instead of a violin player or pianist, why not take things up a notch with some classy jazz, R&B, or Top 40 tunes? Hire musicians for your event for a tasteful and sophisticated playlist that mirrors your guests’ preferences. It will surely make your event more memorable.

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Feel alive with the pulse of an upright bass and enchanting silky-smooth vocals as only Acute Inflections can deliver. For weddings, parties, or corporate events, 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.