Stitely Orchestra's talented keyboardist, Chris White is headed to the Birch Creek Music Performance Center to teach lucky students at the Jazz Vocal Camp from August 10th-15th.  Birch Creek Music Performance Center on Wisconsin's beautiful Door County peninsula is a young musician's dream. Founded in 1976, Birch Creek is a unique summer music school that provides talented students (typically age 14-19) advanced training as well as the opportunity to perform publicly alongside some of the top music professionals around.  The camp offers four 2-week resident summer sessions in Symphony, Percussion & Steelpan, and Jazz. The student-faculty ratio is 2-to-1, ensuring that students receive attentive hands-on mentoring from top music educators and performers.

Chris obtained a B.A. in English from the University of Toronto and then decided to focus his studies entirely on music. In 1997 he attended Indiana University’s prestigious Jacobs School of Music and pursued his Masters degree in Jazz Studies, graduating with a Phi Kappa Lamda award (National Music Honors Society). Gaining valuable experience in Indianapolis, he performed with The Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, David Baker, Jamey Aebersold and Oliver Nelson, Jr.  He has studied piano with Luke Gillespie, Lynne Arriale, Joanne Brackeen, Barry Harris and Andy LaVerne.  In August 2000 Chris was invited to perform in the Steans Institute for Young Artists at Ravinia hosted by James Moody, Rufus Reid and David Baker. Currently he is an instructor of jazz piano and theory at Lake Forest College, North Park University and North Central College.  He is also a combo and theory instructor at Midwest Young Artists in Highwood, IL.  Chris has performed at The Jazz Showcase, Andy’s, The House of Blues, Navy Pier, The Peninsula Hotel, the Coq D’or at the Drake Hotel and many more.  In 2010 he completed his Doctoral of Musical Arts in Jazz Performance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Here in Chicago, we have plenty of winter.  Depending on the year, it can start as early as October and last until early April.  And as any wedding professional will tell you, January through March are typically slow wedding months.  Snow, slush, unplowed Chicago streets…..these are just a few reasons to opt for warmer months.

But, brides who live in sunnier, warmer areas of the US and want to have a Winter Themed Wedding, can get their wish.  One of many companies providing that snowy winter wonderland look is Snow Business.  Working with both corporate and wedding ciients, they can create snowy effects ranging from gently falling snow to enough snow to stage a snowball fight.  And all without the cold!

In April 2013 we did a Music Monday post on Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue. Sunday afternoon, they helped wrap up 2014 Lollapalooza with a late afternoon set at the Bud Light Stage with an aftershow at the Vic Theater at 7pm.  I first heard Trombone Short on Letterman and just loved his funky, unique sound.  If you haven’t heard him yet, have a listen and if he’s back at Lolla next year, that’s just one more reason to go.

 

This weekend, August 1-3, Grant Park will once again host one of Chicago’s largest music festivals, Lollapalooza.  Organizers have a great line up of headliners including Eminem, King of Leon, Outkast, Arctic Monkeys, Lorde, Calvin Harris, Skrillex, The Avett Brothers Cage the Elephant and Foster the People, among many others.

2014′s summer weather has been fantastic, if you like it on the cool side and this weekend will be no different lots of sun and temperatures in the low 80′s.  So if you were lucky enough to score tickets, make the most of the weekend!

One of the hottest new trends in wedding proposals is the engagement ring box camera.  Invented by a team of students at Hope College in Michigan, the ring box with a tiny camera in it for filming the proposal has ensured that the priceless reaction of the bride-to-be is captured forever.  Ladies, would you like your reaction to your wedding proposal captured for posterity?

Chicago wedding band leader Derrick ProcellChicago Groove Collective’s dynamic and multi-talented bandleader, Derrick Procell, will be performing from Noon to 1pm at the Summer Courtyard Concert in Waukegan on  July 11, 2014.  Sponsored by the Waukegan Public Library, Derrick will entertain the lunchtime crowd with his unique blend of Country, R&B and Rock & Roll.  You can check out more about Derrick by visiting his web site at http://www.derrickanamerican.com/

wedding band song

I am generally not a fan of new bands and when I say new, I mean bands that were formed after the year 2000.  One Republic is an exception to that rule, as are the Black Keys, but that is a post for another day.

One Republic got it’s start in 2003 according to Wikipedia, but they didn’t hit my radar until my daughter hit her teen years.The band’s recent hit “Counting Stars” has become a highly requested song at the weddings where the Stitely Orchestra performs.  I heard their latest single from their 2013 album Native called Love Runs Out.  That title doesn’t scream “wedding song”, but there is just something about it that makes me think it will be requested by more than one couple.

Dancing to a Chicago wedding band

Stitely Orchestra, Chicago Groove Collective and 312 Chicago all get a kick out of learning fun new songs for our clients.  What do you think?  Will Love Runs Out be the next big wedding hit?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sE5WscjdNZs

Saturday, June 21st was 2014′s summer solstice.  What better day to begin a life together than on the longest day of the year marking the beginning of summer? Stitely Entertainment was thrilled to be a part of the special day of 5 very special couples.

Rod and Kim’s fabulous wedding reception was held atMaggiano’s in Oakbrook and featured the rockin’ sounds of the Stitely Orchestra.  Rod and Kim chose Chicago’s classic hit, “Your’re the Inspiration” as their first dance and wrapped up the evening with Chicago’s “Beginnings”.  The perfect choice for the beginning of their new life together.

Colleen andBrett both work at Notre Dame so they chose the lovely Morris Inn on Notre Dame’s beautiful South BendCampus as the location fortheir wedding reception.  Chicago Groove Collectiveset the tone for the evening’s festivities with the couple’s first dance song, Edith Pilaf’s La Vie en Rose and ended the night with the one of Journey’s greatest hits, “Don’t Stop Believin’”.

DJ Vincent kept Randy and Will’s guests dancing at Lincoln Park’s elegant North Pond Restaurant.  A gourmet meal by Chef Bruce Sherman, the love of family and friends and great dance music!  What better way to celebrate?

Philip and Victor chose the Warwick Allerton Hotel Chicago on Chicago’s beautiful Magnificent Mile as the location for their celebration.  Stitely’s DJ Kyle Mann provided sound, lighting and music to get their guests up on the dance floor!

Mark and Luis chose an elegant home in Glencoe to share their vows with family and friends. A Stitely Clasical Trio provided music as guests arrived and during the ceremony. The couple’s eclectic taste in music shone through in their musical choices for the trio. Their ceremony began with Stevie Wonder’s “Ribbon in the Sky” as their guests gathered to witness their vows and ended with the Flaming Lips beautiful song “Do You Realize”. Mariachi Ameca entertained guests during cocktails and dinner.

Congratulations to all our couples and Happy Summer!

 

I’ll bet when this bride was planning her beach wedding, she didn’t see this coming…

sea turtle

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s actually pretty cool. Check out the full story here

 

This song has been everywhere since its release in October 2013. “Happy” by Pharrell Williams has been super successful, topping the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and charts in 23 other countries. It started as the background music for the On Demand trailer of Despicable Me 2, and in 2014, the song was covered in the 100th episode of Glee. 

To coincide with the single release, 24hoursofhappy.com was launched to broadcast “the world’s first 24 hour music video.” The four-minute song is repeated with people dancing around Los Angeles and miming along.

Williams himself appears 24 times on the hour, and there are a number of celebrity cameos including Kelly Osbourne, Magic Johnson, Jimmy Kimmel, Steve Carell, Jamie Foxx, Ana Ortiz, and JoJo, along with the minions from Despicable Me 2.

The original video spawned many cover videos on YouTube in which people from different cities throughout the world dance along with the song, like this one from Paris.

I’m thinking we’re going to be getting a good amount of requests for this song at weddings. I hope so! What an amazing message for one of the happiest days of a person’s life.

Check out the official music video below, and clap along!