Tips for Cocktail Party Music

by Robbie Schlosser · 4 comments

Thanks in advance for reading this article. I appreciate your interest and hope you get a few good ideas. I'd love to hear what you liked. Please write me a little COMMENT below. Start a conversation. Tell me what you think, and I'll reply. Promise.
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Cocktail party music usually requires just a little planning, compared with preparing wedding ceremony music.  For an example, consider how we prepared for entertaining in the cocktail reception at the NewSpace 2010 Awards Gala dinner party.

Here we are, in the corner of a lounge bustling with scientists, entrepreneurs, social activists, politicians, adventurers, and their spouses.  Thanks to Alyssa Voightmann for the wonderful photo.

Do you ever plan a cocktail party?  Let me help make planning the music even easier next time.  At this party, the event planner and I already had only a few brief conversations (few, but the right ones) about several questions — the mood she wanted us to create, her schedule of speeches for us to coordinate with, who would be attending and any special music we’d need to prepare, where in the room to locate us, and where we’d re-locate to half-way through the evening.

While our pre-planning was relatively simple, cocktail party music always gets way more interesting for me once the party begins.  Because in every case, the guests usually gather with some “theme” in mind — a birthday, a wedding, an anniversary, or a conference — as was the case last week.

Finally, this is another hot tip about cocktail parties — prepare to socialize with guests as much as they want, and help then enjoy the party.  Here guests from a wide sweep of backgrounds got together to celebrate their conference and enjoy their special Gala.  When the cocktail party got rolling they’d request some of their favorite tunes, often suiting the conference’s theme.  Fielding these requests and keeping everyone happy is always a big part of my job, and almost always lots of fun.

What a congenial group it was!  And what a fantastic conference brought them together!  All these amazing people gathered in Silicon Valley to discuss their passion for opening space exploration to the private sector, rather than to government agencies.  REALLY!

Everyone in the room shared that dream.  So what songs were they requesting at their celebration?  We suggested a few, too, and I remember playing “Fly Me to the Moon”, “Over the Rainbow”, “Stardust”, “Blue Moon”, “Out of Nowhere/Startrek Theme”, “Stairway to the Stars”, “Moon River”, “Blue Skies”, “Moon Over Miami”, “Gone With the Wind”, “Moonlight in Vermont”, “Stars Fell on Alabama”, “Come Fly With Me”, “When You Wish Upon a Star”, “East of the Sun”, “How High the Moon”, “I’ve Got the World on a String”, and “It’s Only a Paper Moon”.

Can you add a few more songs to this list?

Playing cocktail party music is a treat.  Same with wedding reception music.  But that’s the subject for another day.  The Magnolia Jazz Band helps people planning music for ALL kinds of celebrations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.  If we can ever help you, please call us at 408-245-9120.

Please visit MagnoliaJazz.com for testimonials, music samples, videos, photos, and our public schedule, and catch us at an event soon.  Our next PUBLIC appearance is on Friday, August 13, in another cocktail party.  This one at a Gala dinner party in San Jose, following a two-day seminar hosted by the Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants (ACPWC). Interested to attend?  Please RSVP for this event on our website.

In the meantime, please join our Facebook “fans”, and you’ll get a reminder for each of our public events.  Thanks for reading my blog.  Please take a moment to SHARE this post, SUBSCRIBE, and send me a COMMENT.



Thanks for reading this article. I appreciate your interest and hope you get a few good ideas here. Got one or two? I'd love to hear what you liked. Please write me a little COMMENT below. Start a conversation -- I'll reply. Promise.

By the way, does a friend need help selecting wedding or party music? Do them a favor: EMAIL this article, or SHARE it on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.

And if you find my blog useful, please LIKE it, TWEET it, and SUBSCRIBE for more ideas. Use those cute little icons below.

Meanwhile, the Magnolia Jazz Band entertains at weddings and parties throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. If you are ever nearby, you’ll love catching us in action, seeing and hearing us create a great mood.

How can I help you? Call 408-245-9120 or use Robbie@MagnoliaJazz.com. Planning a celebration? Ask about our availability.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Ross

I never knew the Star Trek theme had a name… from out of nowhere? Must google it. You guys did a great job coming up with a space themed song list!
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magnoliajazz

Thanks for your comment, Ross, and I hope we’ll get together sometime. Actually, “Out of Nowhere” isn’t the Star Trek theme, but parts of the two are so similar they can be played simultaneously. “Out of Nowhere” was composed back in 1931, and Bing Crosby’s recording that year made #1 on the charts. The Star Trek theme was probably composed in the mid-1960s, and you can read more about it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theme_from_Star_Trek. You a trekkie?

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Ross

Well there you go! I’m going to have to dig up both songs for a listen. Always been a fan of Star Trek! Anyway, I’m sure your cocktail playlist was a big hit! I used to be a wedding DJ and I know it’s not always easy to make theme parties work on the two levels: playing music that’s relevant as well as playing music people want to hear. Looks like you got it right on both accounts.
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Magda

Jazz will be perfect for the occasion.

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