**************** 2010-2011 HOLIDAY PARTIES ********
To receive information on our services (entertainment only
or complete Event Planning packages) for a upcoming holiday party (Bastille Day (July
14), Mardi Gras (music or full Mardi Gras party), Christmas party, NY Eve, etc.)...simply
send us a request for info in our no-obligation questionnaire
or give us a call.
We save you lots of time in looking for a great band & entertainment;
after determining exactly what you want, we'll put together a demo package
of 5 to 8 bands that best fit those needs. This can save you weeks of phone
calls, waiting for demos, etc...it's all in one comprehensive package. Plus
we know which bands are the best at playing certain styles of music; we
do not accept bands who aren't at a top professional level. You'll have
each band's repertoire list, photo, demo, and clearly marked pricing, as
well as a "comparison page", making it even easier. For those
that want an Event Planner for a Christmas party or other event, we can
take care of everything-----getting the hall, setting up the menu/caterer,
decorations, entertainment, invitations, etc. Whether you'll want to follow
a traditional Christmas theme (carolers, Ms. Santa playing piano, dance
band including some Christmas music, elegant English Christmas meal, etc.),
or if you want to keep it politically correct and non-Sectarian (winter
theme, D.J. or dance band, food stations, or sit down dinner, etc.).....we'll
come up with a party that your guests will love. Simply fill out the questionnaire to receive the info, or call us
and Linda will get a demo package out to you. For those needing an event
planner, we can meet with you to see exactly what we can do for your party
that will fit within your budget.
OKTOBERFEST - We've got authentic options
to celebrate this month long German holiday usually accompanied with a myriad
of specialty beer brews. We can provide the food (German sausages, sauerkraut,
saurbraten, oven baked breads, hearty salads, cherry streudel, Viennese
pastries), music (festive polka bands in leiderhosen, dancers in costume,
yodelers, Viennese string quartet, etc.), walk around characters (Swiss
Miss caracturist, opera singers from The Valkeries, Nietsche doing German
beatnik poetry, Schwartzenegger look alike, Kissinger look alike, etc.).
HALLOWEEN (Oct 31 or the weekend before)
- We have some inventive party packages for this date...whether it be a
home costume party or a large Halloween ball. Perhaps you want an instant
photographer to come and capture your zany costumes (giving the "photos
in a frame" to your guests), or our M.C. can organize the costume contest.
Our collection of Halloween decor is quite extensive (graveyard, iron fence,
skeletons, pumpkins, etc.). We suggest you contact us at least 45 days before
event if you may want the decor.
THANKSGIVING (Nov 25, 2010) - most people
will celebrate at a family gathering. (if you would to sit around and sing,
after eating...we can send a solo pianist who can "play anything"
to accompany your family members). If you don't want to cook, we can come
cater the meal for you.
CHRISTMAS / DECEMBER PARTIES - (Also see our webpage just for CHRISTMAS PARTIES.
We have some excellent choice for versatile dance bands (3-9 pcs), as well
as bands that specialize (e.g. R&B & funk....or all rock and roll,
etc.). This year we not only have the wonderful Dickens carolers (quartet...dressed
in 1800's attire), we have a hip FEMALE ACAPELLA TRIO, singing Christmas
music in an R&B styles. We also have a delightful "MS.
SANTA" who plays piano and can help lead the singing of carols
and pop Christmas favorites. Another popular option is the musical toy soldiers
(3 horns and a drummer) in full toy soldier costume. For dance music, we've
got a wealth of bands to choose from, or if you prefer, we have 3 D.J.'s...also
an affordable D.J./karaoke combination.
NEW YEAR'S EVE - We have some excellent
dance bands (compact, medium and large show bands) that will really make
this your party as fantastic as you want. We also have some disc jockeys,
with music from all eras available. Another option for a smaller home New
Year's Eve party if you have a piano in your home, is a talented pianist....to
play background jazz in the beginning, and then being at your beck and call
to serenade you or accompany as your guests sing --with elegant 1940's show
tunes, well known R&B / Motown favorites, European (French, Italian,
etc.), Beatles songs, even classical arias---you name it.......and of course
"Auld Lang Syne" at midnight, as we ring in 2010. We have introduced
a novel activity last year which went over very well....a "Trivia Contest"
package. The guests loved it.
DAY (Feb 14 or weekend before)- It might be nice to set aside a wonderful
party to celebrate with your significant other (or a serious prospect).
If you want it quiet and elegant, we have the serenading solo violinist
(straight out of a 1930's movie scene), or a string quartet...or perhaps
an elegant pianist playing the great romantic standards of the 1940's, or
backing you up while you and your friends sing those songs. If you prefer
the folksy singing guitarist to set the tone for a more informal romantic
party, we can do that. If you want to whoop it up, we've got some hot dance
bands. If you're having several people of a like romantic mind over, let
us create the entire party package...including a fabulous supper followed
by a scrumptious spread of chocolate desserts. We actually have a fellow
that impersonates Cupid, complete with bow and arrow...who can make a surprise
MARDI GRAS (Tuesday before Lent ) but people celebrate
it whenever they feel like it) is a perfect opportunity to throw a party.
The best choice for music we recommend is a Cajun or New Orleans R&B
band. We also have bands that play other New Orleans style music (New Orleans
piano -originally played by Professor Longhair), Second Line (lots of horns),
trad jazz (early Louie Armstrong style), blues (Bessie Smith, Lil Armstrong,
etc.), and later styles (like Fats Domino, etc.). If you want more than
just music, hire us as your personal "Mardi
Gras Event Planner"----we take care of everything (including music) and have some fantastic Mardi Gras
menus, including slow cooked gumbo, red beans and rice, Jambalaya, black
eyed peas, greens, cornbread, pralines and beignets. We can decorate your
party to look like a New Orleans waterfront...and even give out those Mardi
Gras beads. Note the band "Linda
Wiggins & Finesse" has played several
Mardi Gras parties
(can play lots of fun Mardi Gras music!).
ST. PATRICK'S DAY (March 17, 2011) For
this Irish holiday, we have some wonderful options --solo bagpiper, solo
female accordionist, Irish jig trio, step dancers
..... For full Event Planning we provide not only the music, but
also a traditional Irish feast of corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, soda bread,
a green frosted cake, along with Guinness, and other Irish drinks. (If you
prefer a more extensive gourmet menu, we've got a zany but delightful "menu
of green dishes", which is fun also).
EASTER -(Sunday usually in April). For
those restaurants featuring a special Easter brunch, we can offer an elegant
musician (solo harp, or solo piano) who can include "Easter Parade"
in their repertoire. For children's parties, we can help put on the Easter
egg hunt, including having some live bunny characters to M.C. the contest.
A puppet show, and other children's characters can add to the fun. For adults,
we're most often asked for an elegant lawn party (wine, cheese, gourmet
hors d'oeuvres, egg tea sandwiches, petit fours,.....and for music a classical
string quartet, or solo harp...or for an indoors party, a solo pianist,
or elegant jazz combo).
CINCO DE MAYO (May 5, 2011) - This Mexican
holiday makes a great theme / opportunity for a party. We have about 8 options
for latin music------ a "mini-mariachi" group (3-5 pcs), a full
sized mariachi (8 pcs), a couple of romantic Mexican guitars.... a Tex-Mex
band, a Latin rock band (Santana style), a very hip latin jazz band or even
a full sized salsa band for dancing. Our catering menus for this theme are
lots of fun, and of course we can bring all along the requisite Margaritas,
as well as Mexican beers. (our "informal" Mexican buffet-to-go
goes over very well, with warmed chips and absolutely knockout guacamole....and
an extensive make-your-own burrito, and Mexican desserts. We can decorate
your patio, courtyard or indoor venue to really complete the scene. For
company "5 De Mayo" parties, we can do a complete "party
package" (food, drink, music, decor, venue) that is amazingly affordable
(and easy for you).
MOTHER'S DAY(Sunday in May) - Let us surprise
your mother with a romantic guitar serenade, or perhaps a string trio playing
elegant classical music. If she has a piano in her house, we can arrive
with a fantastic pianist to play (and sing) her favorite songs, or to play
for a family singalong. You won't have to lift a finger; we can cater a
scruptious backyard champagne brunch....with eggs Benedict, seafood platter,
elegant fruit and cheese display, Viennese dessert table, iced drinks, and
Espresso. If you give us a photograph, we can have our resident artist paint
or draw your mother's portrait (later to be framed and mounted) or for a
zanier approach, we can have our caracaturist on site, doing 5 minutes sketches
of the party guests, to give out as mementos.
MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND (last weekend in May)
Some people feel a 3 day weekend is a good opportunity for a huge backyard
barbecue party. We've got some great bands that can get your guests dancing
on the patio (R&B or perhaps New Orleans funk, or rock and roll....or
perhaps some background steel drums. We also have a vocalist who has an
entertaining show -- "Patriotic Music of America".
FATHER'S DAY (Sunday in June)You know which
type of surprise party might appeal to your father....a Hawaiian luau with
a roasted pork, grilled fish main course, with Mai Tais , Pina Coladas,
or cold beer to accompany, and authentic Hawaiian band (including a dance
troupe) or a steel drum band..............or perhaps a "baseball theme"
party, complete with BBQ, hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, apple pie....and
a fun country band to liven things up. Let us know what his favorite music
is; we can either provide a D.J. to play it, or a band that specialize in
his favorites (Jimmy Buffet, Rolling Stones, Creedence Clearwater, Van Morrison,
The Eagles, Lynyrd Skynryd, ....or something of a different generation (Frank
Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Louie Armstrong, Perez Prado, Chuck Berry, etc.)
or something totally different (steel drum band, jump swing band, female
singing group,"improv singing comedy troupe", etc.).
FOURTH OF JULY (July 4, 2011) - Everyone
loves to go to a party on this night (or you can do it the weekend following)...A
good rock and roll band, versatile band, bluegrass band, or a C&W band,
can set the mood....we have a piano player that can lead your guests in
old timey songs (or songs about the various states, about America, old rock
and roll, Broadway tunes, or whatever strikes your fancy). As Event Planner,
we can also take care of the food.....the most traditional menu would include
hot dogs (gourmet sausages with home made sauerkraut), grilled hamburgers,
salads, fruits, apple pie, pecan pie, banana cream pie, watermelon and beverages
to suit your tastes.
BASTILLE DAY (July 14, 2011) Ahh, soyons
heureux - let's have a party to celebrate the French's 4th of July....We
have a wonderful French chanteuse who can sing Edith Piaf songs, also small
trios that play delightful French 1920's waltzes, a fantastic French female
accordionist, a pianist that can play and lead "sing alongs" in
French (she supplies "les lyriques"), or how about a string trio
or pianist playing some delightful French impressionistic music by Debussy
and Ravel. If you want your backyard soiree catered, we have a menu magnifique
of traditional French hors d'oeuvres, cheeses, salads and plat du resistence,
served with French or California wine, your choice. (try a blindfold test).
If it's a larger corporate event, we can have some walk around French personalities.Also
see our Bastille Day Party Page.
LABOR DAY WEEKEND (Sept 2011) - For those
that stay in town, it's a good excuse for a backyard party... we have some
fun, affordable band choices (A wonderful funk / Motown band........another
band does al the oldies (1950's-1970's) rock.........another band does a
fun "roots" repertoire (New Orleans R&B, Cajun, rock and roll,
blues, etc.). (We've also got one band that can do a "American Idol"
type set, having your party guests come up and sing with the band --we can
provide the lyric sheets for them. (and if you want, we have the celebrity
look alikes for the judges (e.g. snotty Simon Cowell, fawning Paula Abdul
or Ellen DeGeneres, affable Randy Jackson).
************** GENERAL PARTY IDEAS *******************
If you want dancing, we have some c. 150 dance
bands....(including the most popular local show bands), and they'll
really make the party for you, playing songs that your guests will want
to dance to. We have some smaller (4-8 pcs), affordable dance bands (most
run between $1.5K and $4.5K. If you want something a little out of the ordinary,
we have some great "roots" bands (Americana rock, mixed with Cajun,
mixed with country) that will really get the party going. Or, perhaps an
island reggae band, or steel drum band would be
a good choice. If you want wild and crazy, we've got some wonderful affordable
rock and roll bands, as well as fun C&W bands. For those into the latest
trend - Cuban salsa , or even the long-lived trend - "jump swing"
and its fun 1940's vintage clothing...wonderful horn sections pumping out
that real danceable sound. If your party is more modest, perhaps a serenading
guitarist/vocalist, or jazzy trio..or even a D.J. (We have demo tapes and
photos available for all of our entertainment). Simply fill out the questionnaire to receive the info). We have some
non-musical party ideas --Quite popular
recently has been the group of "Hollywood look alikes" (classics
like: Marilyn Monroe, Cary Grant, Carmen Miranda, John Wayne, etc. also
newer like: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Paris
Hilton, Oprah, etc.) , T-V look alikes (e.g. the main characters from the
huge hit "Lost"), or political look alikes (Obama, Ron Blugoyavitch,
Nancy Pelosi, etc.) who will add pizzazz or humor to your event. We've got
a couple of game show party packages based on "Do You Want to Be a
Millionaire" (fun Regis Philbin impersonator, we bring the lights,
music, questions, etc.)....and "American Idol"Jeopardy".
Our popular "low tech" team building games (a multi media trivia
contest, or "in the room scavenger hunt" are going over very well.
Other options could be caracaturist, roving "close-up magician",
jugglers, "candy girls", photographer, elegant space vixen characaters,
mermaid, violin playing jester....all sorts of choices. And, of course we
can do complete event planning - to handle everything
from you from start to finish. (hall, catering, decor, music, photographer,
Some food/theme ideas: Elegant wine & cheese
party, we have some delightful violinists that can serenade you with Mozart,
Schubert and Debussy. (Since we do event planning, we can provide a very
elegant menu, for example.... of oysters, salmon mousse, Thai beef satay
and mango cheesecake. Or if, you'd prefer a fun Hawaiian luau theme party,
with a small Hawaiian or steel drum band to soothe your modern nerves, Pina
Coladas, barbecued coconut shrimp, pork in banana leaves....grass hut/bar,
etc. ). We have many other fun party ideas. How about a great dance band,
playing the funk hits from the 1970's...horn section, great vocalists? If
you'd like us to give you specific ideas and prices, just send us your tentative
date, location and preferences in a questionnaire
(absolutely no obligation).
For company holiday dinner/dance show, we can develop a "theme"
for the party. For example, in the past, for a "Hollywood theme"
party, we provided some "celebrity look-alikes", as well as a
hilarious comedian who brought down the house with his characterizations
of John Wayne, Phil Silvers, Peter Falk, among others. We finished up that
party with a D.J. playing the hits they had requested.
Another party, we provided a large high energy soul band for a party of
1,300 people in San Francisco. Another client tells us they loved the Renaissance
Christmas musicians we got for them....complete with colorful period costumes..really
set the old fashioned ambiance. For a corporate party in the Oakland hills,and
again at a real estate company in Palo Alto, we again provided "Ms.
Santa" (in red velvet andwhite fur trim, playing Christmas carols on
the piano). For an intimate home Christmas party in Palo Alto we provided
a female pianist who played tasteful jazz, Christmas songs, as well as show
tunes (Cole Porter, George Gershwin), and even some requested 1960's songs.
If you're ready to set up your Christmas 2009 party, ..let us know what
you need,(you can simply fill out our no-obligation questionnaire
and we'll get a proposal out to you right away.
Specialty Christmas Entertainment
* MISC "SPECIALTY" ENTERTAINMENT: Christmas carolers, Santa Claus,
toy soldier, singing angels, singing Christmas tree, doo-wop carolers, bell
ringers, juggling elves, photographer, caracaturist, magician, kareoke,
etc.....may be available.
December 2010 Holiday Party Pointers
****5 Common Mistakes in Planning Company Parties:***
1. WAIT TOO LATE TO START PLANNING- If you're planning a dinner/dance,
we advise you begin as soon as you can (especially if your party is 175
people or more). Disc jockeys and dance
bands get booked up, halls becomes unavailable, etc. and you'll have
less to choose from. It's just like everything else in life that suffers
from procrastination... it's actually harder if you wait. But on the other
hand, because we have a wealth of entertainers, we often can accommodate
last minute needs (solo pianist, jazz trio, dance band, D.J., Christmas
carolers, etc.). If you're considering having one of our local "celebrity"
bands we start booking those usually a few months in advance. (See
2. CHOOSE THE SAME BAND OR D.J. 3 YEARS IN A ROW- Even though some diehard
committee members want "The Blandtones" or "D.J. Brian"
back for a 3rd year, there are probably many more people who will be disappointed
to have a predictable repeat 3 years in a row. Same policy with food (ham
year after year gets stale)...or decor ( talking snowman was cute first
year, bearable 2nd year, and 3rd year engenders physical violence).
3. HIRE SOMEONE'S RELATIVE TO APPEASE COMMITTEE MEMBER - Everyone has a
brother, or uncle who dabbles in music, or catering, but really doesn't
do a professional job. (That's why they make their living selling garden
tools at Home Depot instead). It's kind of interesting for about 10 minutes,
and then you realize you've got to listen to it (or eat it) all night.
4. COMMITTEE MEMBERS FIGHT OVER DISC JOCKEY VS.
DANCE BAND - There's somewhat of a generation
difference in preference for D.J. vs. band, and there's no need to leave
out the wishes of 25% to 40% of your partygoers because 3 of the committee
members disagree with the silent majority of the employees. If you are at
a true impasse on this question, it can be solved by having a D.J./band
package. The band can play 2 or 3 sets (with the D.J. "playing"
on band breaks), and then the D.J. can finish out the last hour or so. Everyone
will be happy and they'll wonder why you didn't think of it before. The
package cost is less than the combined separate costs of D.J. and dance
5. COMMITTEE DOESN'T TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EVENT PLANNER
- If you've ever been in charge of the party committee, you know it's a
lot of work (on top of your regular work duties). People have been known
to go "bonkers", or at least "bananas" trying to take
care of all the details of party planning. Also there's the "nervous
host" syndrome; you want everyone to have a good time, but you don't
because you're frazzled worrying about all the details. We event planners
have a wealth of party experience to rely on, plus a calm demeanor in helping
you put it all together. And contrary to public opinion, we won't force
you on a champagne budget, if you prefer Chardonnay, or bottled water. *********************************
If you would like to take the first step in planning your party,
feel free to either give us a call, send us an e-mail, or fill out our no
FINESSE PRODUCTIONS - Corporate and Private Event Planning