Live Music for Parties

Parent Q&A

Select any title to view the full question and replies.

  • Hello,

    I'm organizing a staff appreciation event for the non-profit I work at and am looking for a small ensemble (up to four people?) to perform. Last year, we had a jazz trio and something similar would be great, though I'm open to suggestions of all all genres and instrumentation (including a cappella groups!), particularly for college-level or advanced high school-level musicians. This would be a paying gig. Please forward any suggestions of specific people or groups you might have to me. I've reached out to the music departments of local schools and haven't had much luck with responsiveness. Thanks so much!

    BHS Jazz Band!! We hired a quartet for an office party last year a they were outstanding! They were the talk of the 100+ people who attended. You can work with them on the size and instrument make up of the group. And they're very reasonable priced. You can contact them at:


Archived Q&A and Reviews


Great dance band for a wedding?

Nov 2010

Our daughter is getting married next summer in Sonoma. They are looking for a smallish band that will really get people (of all ages) up and dancing. Also doing the hora... They love every kind of music from Sinatra & Beatles to some current music. (They recently mentioned how embarrassing it was to hear a cover of Justin Timberlake songs -- thus SOME current music.) Recommendations? anon

The Martini Brothers are a class act. They played at my wedding 13 years ago and I still have people tell me it was the best wedding they've ever been to. The Martini Brothers are popular in SF and are 40's style genre. They've played at the top hotels in the City. Good luck, Rita Rita

A really fun band who play a lot of weddings and corporate events is Notorious (as well as a lot of local venues). I believe they were even written up in Modern Bride. Here is the website: Anon

A great band for weddings is The Peelers, based in San Francisco, but travel all over the bay area. They play a variety of music, including music from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and currently. They somehow manage to combine the performance energy of a live band with the versatility of a DJ who plays the regular standards. But they are much more than a cover band. While cover bands play the same songs from ten years ago, DJs accommodate everyoneC,bs tastes, bouncing from R to pop to hip-hop to classic oldies to rock and everywhere in between without skipping a beat. This is what these guys do and more. For instance, they can play a medley that connects Michael Jackson to Lady Gaga to the The Eurythmics to Usher. They are versatile, high energy, very professional and on time, which is important for a wedding. You don't want sound checks when the guests are trying to mingle. Go to their website and you can even check out their set lists. Needless to say, I loved them. Write to me if you want more info, but check out their website at SB

Music for outdoor wedding

Jan 2007

We are looking for someone to provide music with a casual/informal/fun feel for our outdoor wedding ceremony. We're basically open to anything at this point (harp, cello, violin, classical guitar, ukelele, or even bagpipes). We appreciate any and all recommendations on the subject. Thanks in advance. fk

We used the Music to Go! services from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music when we got married in 2001. They were excellent and possibly less expensive as the students are the ones providing the service. There are many musical instrument options for you to choose from. Good luck. Martha

Try Pauline Metzgar with Garden Strings ( Her phone number is (925)642-6099. She's great! dina

Band for 50th birthday party

Jan 2006

It is the big 5-0 for my beloved husband. I'm planning a party at the Ramp in SF, a great dive bar. Any ideas for a good party band? Cheryl

My husband (a Berkeley parent) plays in some bands that would be good; of course, it depends on what kind of music and atmosphere you are looking for. He has an awesome straight ahead jazz combo. You can hear them at The group can be tailored to fit your budget, i.e., more musicians, more money. Excellent jazz for serious music lovers. He also plays in a gritty blues band that might be perfect for the Ramp venue. You can hear that band at Then there is the jazz/punk/rock-y kind of band that you can hear at No vocals; edgy original music. And, if you really want to be cool, you could check out the go-go girls surf music group he plays in. They are called the Go-Going-Gone Girls. Jazzy surfy party music with three scantily clad (in a retro hip tasteful kind of way) women doing the dancing and singing thing. Very hip. All excellent musicians, including one former member of the DK's. Their website is under construction right now, but should up in a week or so. If you want to email me directly, I can forward some pics. Good luck. Kim Card

A friend of mine at work and his wife are in a couple of bands, and they do blues, rock, vocals, etc. He says they are not expensive, but they seem to be pretty busy. (They also teach Scottish country dancing, and can probably pull together scottish country dance music if you wanted). They also know of a funk band (Tower of Power, Stevie Wonder, etc) that lives downstairs from them that he said would be really fun. His wife also teaches rock bands for teenagers, and she has a couple of teen bands for other occasions if you'd be looking for only a few different songs. Bruce (my colleague) and Patti (his wife) are very eclectic, know all sorts of music, but call them directly for details. (They're also fun!) Patti & Bruce 415-826-2287 janet

Harpist for wedding

October 2005

Re: Photographer, Videographer For Wedding
Diana Stork is a great harpist and a great person. She does weddings, but she doesn't play traditional music. She is located in Berkeley. If her music doesn't suit you, I am sure that she can recommend someone local. Contact info at her website: