Any good party host will tell you that a fabulous band is vital to a great party. Since we know there are numerous wedding band options around Chicago, we have compiled a list of our 10 favorites to help you narrow down your search. Whether you’re looking for entertainment for your wedding, Mitzvah, corporate event or any other celebration, we’ve got a band for you.
THE GOLD COAST ALL STARS
From a wedding where the first set featured 41 people on stage (23-person choir and 18-piece band) to a private party backing a rock ‘n’ roll Hall of Famer, the Gold Coast All Stars have quickly become one of the country’s and Chicago’s top wedding and event bands. Founder Danny Chaimson, who’s had a remarkable solo career, has put together an all-star band made up of the best talent from the music scene, who can often be found headlining shows at local venues like Metro and Lincoln Hall. In other words: There are few bands that can pivot from R. Kelly to The Rolling Stones to Jay Z and Arcade Fire without missing a beat.
The Larry King Orchestra has been servicing the entertainment needs of private event clients spanning the globe for over 19 years. Approaching events from a musical perspective allows LKO to provide the ultimate in modern live performance. From ceremony and cocktails to dinner and dancing, the LKO audience travels on a sonic journey that accentuates the intended emotion and vibe from scene to scene. Whether it’s a fundraiser, gala, awards presentation or wedding, LKO creates a unique affair your guests will remember for a lifetime.
The Orchestra 33 provides high quality, sophisticated live music designed to insure the best musical entertainment for your special event. Its outstanding roster is comprised of four vocalists; a rhythm section of keyboards, guitar, bass and drums; and a horn trio of trumpet, alto sax and tenor sax complemented by three violins. While the complete 14-piece makes up the largest configuration, The Orchestra 33 is flexible in size to as small as 9 pieces, or something in-between, to fit your needs and budget.The Orchestra 33 performs from an eclectic repertoire of hundreds of popular and legendary songs, including hits from pop, swing, funk, Motown and classic rock. Whether your group is 100 or 1000, whether you’re pitching a client or pitching a tent, The Orchestra 33 will play the right music for your special event. It also has fabulous interactive dancers who help engage corporate and gala audiences with their beautiful costuming, exciting choreography and over-the-top energy.
The Gentlemen of Leisure Band and Review, affectionately known as the “Gents”, offers a musical smorgasbord to satisfy even the most discerning of clients. From Top 40 to the Standards, from Jazz to Hip-Hop, from Polka to Motown, they do it all. As one of Chicago’s favorite bands, they offer dynamic quality and class entertainment for all occasions.
LOWDOWN BRASS BAND
With a well-deserved reputation for breaking down the barrier between audience and performer, this horn-driven band offers a high-energy style of music that runs the gamut from street beat to metal. This talented group of musicians hails from Chicago and features dynamic vocalists, hip-hop MCs and plenty of body movement on stage that’s guaranteed to get even the biggest wallflowers up on their feet. The Lowdown Brass Band has lent its unique style of performing to artists such as G Love and the Special Sauce, The Stooges Brass Band and JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound in venues ranging from The Metro and Andy’s Jazz Club to the House of Blues.
Top 40? Rock? Swing? R&B? Hip hop? With star vocal talent, world class musicianship, band/DJ combinations and state-of-the-art sound systems , BKO offers an energetic and versatile live music experience for any event. Choose from 15, 12, 11 or 9 musicians, or a DJ/Band mix, to throw a raging party that your friends and family will never stop talking about.
MATT STEDMAN BAND & RING OF MUSIC ORCHESTRA
Since 2003, the Matt Stedman Band & Ring of Music Orchestra have been performing, both nationally and internationally, with its group of Grammy Award-winning talent and artists who have toured and recorded with legends such as Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy and The Black Crowes. Their expansive repertoire includes everything from the current Top 40 hits and rock ’n’ roll to classic music from the ’50s and ’60s. Have a favorite song or music style? The band is happy to customize an evening’s worth of music based on just that. The band also takes the experience beyond the music itself and taps into how their music impacts the audience’s mood, which helps to guide the performance and MC capabilities, ensuring a fun night for all. New to the group is the availability of a DJ for those who want the mix of a live band and recorded music.
For the last 20 years, Maggie Speaks has been working hard to change the image and sound of cover bands. Famous for their unstoppable melodies, seamless transitions and pitch-perfect performances, this Chicago band has shared the stage with The Doobie Brothers, Jay Leno, and Earth, Wind and Fire. Known for putting on a show that gets everyone singing along and up on their feet, Maggie Speaks provides customized music that suits a variety of tastes. From the most recent hit songs and ‘80s favorites to music from the ’50s, this energetic band has played it all.
KEN ARLEN EVOLUTION ORCHESTRA
Voted “Best Band on the North Shore” by Make It Better, the Ken Arlen Evolution Orchestra has ignited thousands of special events with its unique style, stage presence and contemporary music selection. It incorporates all of the greatest elements of the past in conjunction with several new featured performers, and offers an incredible energy geared for today’s brides and grooms. Using the latest technology, this Chicago wedding band is able to perform from any part of the room and make it sound like a live concert of the original artist.
With a priority of “packing the dance floor all night long,” the Don Cagen Orchestra works hard to customize their playlist and instrumentation to create unique events, memorable weddings and other notable celebrations around the city and country. Not only do they stay on trend with the best current dance songs, but they have a deep song list that can only come together when a band has been playing for more than 25 years. There’s a reason, after all, why the Don Cagen Orchestra has performed at more than 2,000 corporate events, including ones for The Lincoln Park Zoo, Lyric Opera and Museum of Science and Industry, to say nothing of being chosen to perform at the first inaugural ball of President Obama in Washington, D.C.