Archive for February, 2012

Classic Wedding Songs: Music Makes a Lasting Impression

Why do some love songs turn up as wedding favorites again and again? There isn’t a Top 10 list out there that doesn’t include at least 1 lasting standard. I gathered up some of our band leaders to ask them what they thought about it.

Clearly, what makes a great love song is personal. It is part great melody and thought-felt lyrics but, for couples, it’s all about the setting. Perhaps Unchained Melody by The Righteous Brothers just happened to be playing when you first kissed or Home, from Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, was on in the pub when you accidentally tripped and bumped in to her, spilling her Herbal Sour all over the bar. (People meet in funny ways, okay?!).

As personal and sentimental as love songs can be, there must be other motivators behind the resurgence and staying power of classic love songs. For our band leaders, the consensus seems to be that popular culture has a pretty huge impact.

‘Take the movie, Father of the Bride, for instance. I remember shortly after that movie came out we were playing a wedding and some kids, maybe 10 or 11 years old, came up to request Build Me Up Buttercup. So we play it. And suddenly everyone is on the dance floor, and everyone is singing along. Kids, teenagers, grandparents. I mean everyone. Movie play a big part.’ Kim McKinney, L’USA

Think about all the great love songs featured in films! Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On was made famous by the movie Titanic. Everyone remembers the scene in Ghost that features The Righteous Brothers’ Unchained Melody. But not every wedding scene translates to a big wedding hit. As great as this scene is, I’m not sure this song  made any Top 10 lists.

Here are a couple of popular and long-standing wedding songs in their featured movie spotlight! Don’t you just love a good movie scene…

But here’s the thing… it isn’t just movies. Think for a moment about all the other avenues through which we’re exposed to music. How many times have you seen the latest Apple commercial and thought, ‘well that’s a catchy tune’. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes Home was featured in a Palm commercial and became an instant hit. And while Etta James’ At Last has been a go-to wedding choice for, well, ever! The President and First Lady certainly didn’t do any harm choosing it as the song for their inaugural ball dance.

What is your favorite love song from a movie?

Lisa @ Lorio-Ross


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National Acts: The Association in Grand Rapids

The Association. A band known best for hits such as Windy and Cherish. These guys were 60’s pop sensations and they still put on a great show today!

On Saturday they did just that. Senior Event Coordinator, Sandee Singer, booked The Association for a private function at The B.O.B. in downtown Grand Rapids and they were a hit. Each year the Roskam Baking Company throws a corporate party and we’re always honored to provide the entertainment. Previous National Acts have included Joe Piscapo and Lovin’ Spoonful. This year Bob Jensen was also there to provide Lighting and Sound.

Joe Piscapo even made a special appearance!

The Association with Joe Piscapo          The Association

For flashback’s sake, check out some retro The Association!

What’s your favorite The Association hit? Need to book a national act? Give us a call 248.398.9711

Lisa @ Lorio-Ross

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Planning Your Party: Phantom of the Opera

As a full service Entertainment and Events company,  much of our time is spent creating and planning themed events. This is particularly the case when it comes to corporate parties and events but themes are also great for private parties, picnics and even weddings! Your choice of theme will influence the entire event from decor to food to music so it’s important to choose a theme that reflects the atmosphere you’re hoping to create. Hosting a themed party will make the event more interesting for your guests and give your event planner a clear direction.

We have executed countless themed parties and want to share our knowledge and expertise with you! We’re pretty sure the best way to do this is right here on the blog. We’re going to be sharing pictures of past events, making suggestions on decor, featuring great entertainment and presenting our best tips for tying it all together. Watch for these featured posts regularly. We’ll be titling them Planning Your Party (sums it up nicely, no?) and you can find the entire series by choosing Planning Your Party in the drop down categories box to the right.

By far one of our favorite themes is Phantom of the Opera! It’s sophisticated, it’s mysterious, it’s classic! It’s also a very versatile theme. The story of Phantom of the Opera is romantic so it makes for a fantastic option if you’re looking to throw a themed wedding reception or a Valentine’s Day party. This theme also offers a great opportunity for decadence and luxury; a great option for holiday parties. To add even more mystery and glamour, use a Phantom of the Opera theme as the backdrop to your Masquerade Party.

Theme: Phantom of the Opera

Description: The most popular and  successful musical of all  times. Even if you haven’t seen the Phantom you know the story. The Phantom of the opera is the longest running show in Broadway history. You enter the Victorian world with the beautiful décor of theater  Red draping, Statues and Fountains with red carpet entrances and chandelier lighting . Setting the visual Impact that is breathtakingly unique.

Suggested attire: Formal black tie and beautiful gowns.

Food and Drink: French Cuisine with Champagne and Fancy Liqueurs

Décor: Red carpet & Red Draped Tie Back with Gold Tassels at entrance and in the corners of ballroom, Gold and Black Urns with Fresh Palms to flank entrance and place throughout ballroom, Tall Candelabra Centerpieces with Black Feathers and Red Roses, Red Drape Valence and Tie Back Gold Tassels with Large Mask

Entertainment: Orchestrated Ballroom dancing

We’re really excited about starting this new series and can’t wait to offer more suggestions on themed events. We want your questions and suggestions! If there’s a themed party idea you’d like us to cover, please leave a comment!

Lisa @ Lorio-Ross

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Parades, Costumes, Beads – It’s Mardi Gras!

Okay, so we realize we’re a little late on this. Mardi Gras was officially yesterday. We’re going to blame our belatedness on one-too-many paczkis.

Mardi Gras is the ultimate party. It’s colorful, lively and eclectic. There’s booze and fancy donuts. And the carnivalesque festivities culminate with costumes and parades. The carnival season may only last a couple of weeks but Mardi Gras makes for a fantastic theme party any time of year. With myriad decoration ideas and a great color scheme, a Mardi Gras themed party is perfect for a corporate event, holiday party, birthday extravaganza or any other special occasion.

If anyone knows how to throw a Mardi Gras party it’s Joe Peraino, our CEO and corporate event guru. Complete with masks, beads, extravagant entrances, costumed jokers, fantastic music and spectacular decor, a Lorio Ross Entertainment Mardi Gras party promises to be as colorful, lively and eclectic as the real thing!


Mardi Gras


Thinking about hosting a Mardi Gras party? You can start by following our Mardi Gras Events board on Pinterest! Hosting a larger event? Give us a call and one of our seasoned event planners can help you start planning a party you’ll never forget.

Ever been to a Mardi Gras Party? Tell us about it!


Lisa @ Lorio-Ross

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“The Island Guys” to make a splash during Saks Fifth Avenue event

It’s beauty week at Saks Fifth Avenue! During this year’s event, Saks’ beauty experts will “take you on an exotic journey through the season’s hottest shades.” But it isn’t just the vibrant eyeshadow and enticing scents that are going to make this event unique! Once again, Lorio Ross Entertainment has partnered with Saks Fifth Avenue and we’re providing the perfect entertainment to match the mood.

The Island Guys performed during last Saturday’s events and were so fantastic we’re bringing them back this Saturday, February 25th, 2012. This duo is a fantastic mix of keyboard and steel drums and they’ll be performing reggae, calypso and island rhythms music! Shoppers are sure to enjoy this addition to beauty week and can take in the tunes on the first floor from 1:00pm – 4:00pm.

Check out their video for a sneak peek of what to expect this Saturday!

The Island Guys are available for a variety of events! Contact us with your event needs and we’ll be more than happy to help!

Lisa @ Lorio-Ross

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Dueling Pianos and the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra

Spontaneous! Candid! Performance in the true sense of the word.

This Saturday, Dueling Piano’s International of Lorio Ross Entertainment,  in partnership with the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, will be performing to a sold out crowd! The event will be taking place at The Heritage Center in St. Joseph, MI. We’re pumped to be a part of this; it’s going be a great show!

A High Energy, All Request, Sing Along, Clap Along, Rock N Roll, Comedy Piano show
where the audience is just as much a part
of the show as the entertainers.

Yesterday, Jason Scarcelli, owner of Dueling Pianos International, was featured on WSJM 94.9 In the Spotlight with Brenda Lane. It was a great opportunity for him to talk about the Dueling Piano’s experience. Joined by dueling piano player Michael McCaslin and SMSO Marketing Director, Mayatu Peabody, the broadcast gave listeners information on the great entertainment and pure fun they can expect Saturday night!

No script whatsoever! The beauty of Dueling Pianos is that the audience, for the most part, dictates what goes on on the stage.

A Dueling Pianos International show is all about audience participation. The players get a feel for the demographic of the audience and run with it, playing songs they know the guests will love. The audience ‘duels’ when the players pin them against one another to see who can sing the loudest. Requests are taken and if anyone is celebrating a special occasion, get ready for a surprise!

You never know who you’re gonna see at a Dueling Pianos show!

To find out more about this exciting event, listen to the broadcast here!

You can check out the SMSO’s event page here!

We’re hoping to have some great pictures and fantastic feedback after the event. Watch this space!

And if you like what you’ve learned about Dueling Pianos, contact Jason Scarcelli at Lorio Ross Entertainment for more information. 248.398.9711!


Lisa @ Lorio Ross

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Music Monday: Advice for Musicians

There is so much music chatter surrounding the Grammy Awards! What was your favorite performance? What do you think about Bon Iver’s decision not to perform? Remembering Whitney, ‘Sunday Kind of Love’ and Adele, Adele, Adele! 

Meanwhile, over here at Lorio Ross Entertainment, we’re talking about what makes a successful musician. There are the obvious characteristics, like talent and versatility and, in many instances, who you know. But for a company who books bands for all types of events and a variety of venues, there are other aspects to consider. So, we asked Jerry Ross, co-founder of Lorio Ross Entertainment and leader of the very successful The Jerry Ross Band, for his best advice. You may be surprised by what he offers!

How to become a successful musician

1. Keep your playlist fresh. What is the biggest and most impactful weakness of a band’s musicians? It’s not keeping up with the times. In other words musicians turn 39 or 40, they’ve been in the business for 20 years, they know a lot about the business, yes, but they feel like they’ve got their list of tunes and they’re set. They continue to play the same songs they’ve played since their career began. Maybe they have a dislike for newer music, but it’s a big mistake. It might work for a while, but sooner or later it’s gonna catch up to them. We’ve had several people audition – great musicians, fabulous singers, but everything they play is 30 years old. Sometimes new music is a huge leap to take, but once they get in to it, the more they do it, the more comfortable they will feel with it. It might be a little foreign at first but it will totally pay off!

2. Be a mature musician. So often I’ve been at events where the band will play tune after tune to an empty dance floor. These musicians are playing for themselves, not for the crowd. There are 2 types of musicians: immature musicians and mature musicians. It’s like this: when you’re a kid, you love to get gifts but when you’re an adult, you get pleasure from giving the gifts. Immature musicians just play music that they like while mature musicians consider their audience. It takes a while for musicians to get to a place where they get their kicks when they really please the people on the dance floor or in the audience. That’s a mature musician.

Thanks for the advice, Jerry!

What’s the best advice you’ve received throughout your musical career?

Lisa @ Lorio Ross

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