pictured L to R: Allen Fisher, Meg Miura, Diane Martinson, and Glen Newton
I want to say a big Thank You to my group, A Caroling Company singers for another awesome season! Karen Dunn, Allen Fisher, Meg Miura, Glen Newton, J.J. Saecker, Joy Schwarz, and Kris Stauffer. You are the best! I have heard so many wonderful comments back from our clients! I am so blessed to have each of you sharing your talents with me during November and December.
I’ve been rehearsing through my upcoming solos with JJ accompanying me on piano. We’re singing a couple Christmas duets together as well. Yay!
Our holiday jazz duo is ready for the church concert in Minneapolis, and the company party in Wayzata, MN. We’ve got holiday jazz standards, Christmas classics, and a few traditional sing-along songs. Vocalist and pianist events for the holidays!
It was so wonderful to hear and chat with Vicky Mountain at her trio gig Friday at Parma. She was my vocal Jazz instructor at MacPhail while I was studying Theater at the U of M. She’s a joy to listen to, I loved her original tune, and she continues to inspire me!
We love Randy Newman’s ballads, and this love song is wonderful to sing at weddings. I think of it as an anniversary song for JJ and I as it’s now 20 years since we met and started performing together as a vocal / piano duo!
The moon is so beautiful tonight with the rings of color around it. It makes me think of several Moon songs, like Moonglow by Will Hudson and Irving Mills and words by Eddie DeLange. Artie Shaw made a popular recording of it in 1941.
This recording of Moonglow is performed by Diane Martinson Jazz Combo (Diane Martinson, JJ Saecker, Kevin Teachout, and Jerry Gorman). It was recorded in Kevin Teachout’s basement 🙂 Love you guys!
Earlier this month it was an honor for Diane Martinson and I to play for Alyssah and Chase’s wedding reception in Minneapolis. The private dining room we were in at Café Lurcat was packed with their friends and family, but the feeling was cozy more than crowded. Having the two of us for live music gave them enough space in the room for dancing and socializing.
Our vocal / piano duo performed a variety of styles from one corner of the room, with me on the portable piano and Diane singing.
It was fun doing the music selections they had requested from our song list. One thing I love about our duo is the wide variety of songs we get to perform – Stevie Wonder, Alison Krauss, The Beatles, Elvis, and Sinatra all in one night. Alyssah and Chase chose a perfect selection of songs, judging by how often their guests sang along with us.
By the end of the event the newlyweds were still beaming with optimistic enthusiasm. Chase remarked that the rain outside was a good sign. I wish them continued happiness and closeness.
It felt great to be a part of Patty and Brian’s wedding celebration. They chose Diane Martinson as vocalist for the ceremony (with myself on piano) and our Jazz Trio for the reception. Both took place in the Fireside Room of the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest.
The wedding party consisted of the bride and groom, three flower girls, and a ring bearer. For the processional and bridal entrance they chose Canon in D. The young ring bearer was very poised escorting each of the flower girls separately. Then I brought up the music, playing the grandest section of the piece, for the bridal entrance.
For the solo between readings they chose the Apache Wedding Blessing. Diane and I wrote the music to this well-known blessing. You can hear the intent behind the words when she sings it. You can find a recording of it on Spotify or iTunes.
During the vows the groom, Brian, added words like “really” and “always” to what he was asked to repeat. It was a nice touch, and I also appreciated that Rev. Derek Kiewatt acknowledged that he “liked the embellishment” during the ceremony. It was obvious that he enjoys officiating and I found him personable and easy to work with.
The ceremony recessional was Purcel’s Trumpet Tune. The wedding party left to receive guests outside the room before returning for cocktails and dinner. Between the ceremony and reception we moved our portable piano and sound PA next to the dance floor for the jazz trio dinner and dance music.
The reception band was Diane on vocals, myself on piano, and Kevin Teachout on drums. We started off with light dinner music, and continued on to more upbeat dance music after dinner. Patty chose “All For Love” by Bryan Adams as a special request for the first dance. We arranged the song for the trio, and I must say that our rendition went over well. Later in the evening Patty told us that this was actually the first time they had ever danced together. They were out dancing for other songs with other couples joining in, as well as the kids having fun throughout the evening.
As we were packing up one guest said to us “Thank you, your music was wonderful. It was a heart-felt performance, very professional.” It gives me a sense of purpose to add an emotional element to the celebration, and it’s always a treat to perform with both Diane and Kevin.