If the beat of a song can sync with our heartbeat, making us feel excited when we hear an upbeat rhythm or relaxed when the music is slow and even, then having the right wedding music is as important as having a dress that fits or enough food for all the guests. Whether it’s for the processional or recessional, entrance to the reception venue, first dance or after-party, Christine Hogg has sourced some mood-setting wedding entertainment options.
Mischa is a vocalist and songwriter whose style is perhaps best described by her moniker: “dreamfolk”. Influenced by Leslie Feist, Ellie Goulding and Eva Cassidy, her atmospheric, storytelling songs are often performed in a theatre setting, accompanied by various instrumentalists, including a harpist, cellist, drummer and more. But she also gigs solo, and has sung many brides down the aisle and entertained thousands of guests at wedding receptions. Her repertoire includes original music as well as stylised covers. She has, for instance, recorded the vocal for an electronic version of Peggy Lee’s ‘Fever’ by Joachim Pastor which has received over 1.7 million listens on YouTube. Or, accompanying herself on guitar, she does an ethereal, stripped down version of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Dancing in the Dark’. For her original work, she finds inspiration in the songwriting styles of Vashti Bunyan, Lorde and Sufjan Stevens. Her song ‘Drifter’ was featured on the TV ad for Kamers vol Geskenke in 2015.
THE HOT CLUB OF CAPE TOWN
Formed in 2016 by three experienced musicians, The Hot Club of Cape Town performs “the Hot Club sound” – a style that emerged in the 1930s, combining swing jazz with the rippling melodies of Parisian dance-halls and distinctive eastern-Mediterranean gypsy harmonies. Today the genre is often referred to as “gypsy jazz” or “jazz manouche”, and the mesmerising rhythm is known to get people of all ages dancing, wherever the group plays. Through adding a hint of Cape jazz, their sound is traditional, contemporary and local at the same time. But above all, it’s lively, romantic and suitable for intimate to large-scale set-ups. The Hot Club of Cape Town has played over 250 shows, both private and public, making many spaces swing with 1920s and 30s jazz standards, as well as covers of gypsy jazz masterpieces and original compositions within the genre.
With around 15 years’ experience, Dan Shout is a professional saxophonist who runs ShoutMC.com along with his favourite Cape Town musicians and DJs. They have a variety of wedding entertainment available, from solo artists to a 19-piece swing band, as well as professional wedding DJs. Using state-of-the-art sound systems, ShoutMC’s DJs play all styles of music depending on the client’s taste and are happy to take requests. Other options include an acoustic jazz duo, trio or quartet, a classical string trio, an African jazz quartet as well as ‘noughties packages’ and the party band Moonshine. For the noughties packages, DJs team up with jazz musicians, adding a live element to a set of well-known songs from the 2000s. A popular combination is DJ, live percussion and saxophone, but unusual requests for tailor-made collaborations are welcome. Featuring some of Cape Town’s hippest jazz musicians, Moonshine is an eclectic function band, playing “jazz with a kick”. Their repertoire ranges from the Roaring 20s prohibition era and swinging 30s and 40s, to 1950s classic rock ‘n’ roll and 1960s Motown tunes. Recently, they have added modern pop songs arranged in a Motown style to their set list. Moonshine performs toned-down background music as well as upbeat sets to get the party started.
Instruments: DJ set-up, saxophone, piano, trumpet, guitar, bass, strings, trombone, percussion, vocals
Genre: jazz, classical, pop, rock’n’roll, Motown, big band jazz
Website: www.shoutmc.com | Email: email@example.com | Tel: 082 785 3304
Zest Music is a carefully-selected network of jazz and classical musicians, offering an extensive repertoire for weddings. It was founded in 2015 by South African flautist, Louisa Theart, promising a personal service and effortless experience, “where music, musicians and finer touches are meticulously taken care of”. A variety of live music options are available – including harp, strings, flute and vocals, ranging from solo acts to quartets – and repertoires can include classical, jazz, tango, pop and more. All ensembles are happy to add to their set lists on request and are willing to travel to weddings outside of the metropolitan areas.
The Tiltman brothers perform acoustic original songs and cover versions of some of their favourite artists, such as Ed Sheeran, George Ezra, Metallica, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Oasis and The Beatles, to name a few. With their unique, stripped-down style, they add a soft touch, turning a heavy metal song into appropriate wedding dinner accompaniment. Having 34 years of guitar-playing experience between them, their repertoire consists of over 120 well-practised songs, covering a great variety of music. But – with the help of an app that has chords and lyrics for almost every song – they are able to accommodate crowd-requests for music they have never done before. If they are somewhat familiar with the song, they can play it. Normally Tiltman performs with two acoustic guitars, but for a fuller, upbeat sound, they incorporate a keyboard and looping pedal to create live backing tracks. Back-up accompaniment is never pre-recorded. They have their own sound equipment and are able to DJ or create a karaoke set-up.
Instruments: two acoustic guitars, vocals, keyboard, looping pedal
Genre: rock, grunge, rock’n’roll, alternative, heavy metal, pop, 1950s to current
Website: www.tiltmanmusic.co.za | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Tel: 076 255 5730
As a group of renowned local musicians, Palm Strings offer wedding performances in a variety of combinations: duo, trio or quartet. Founded by Titia Blake, who has been playing violin since she was 10, the ensembles are able to play a vast repertoire, in-concert or as background music, from classical to pop and jazz. Through continuously staying up-to-date with musical tastes, they are able to accommodate many requests and regularly add new pieces to their sets. The duo is made up of violin and guitar, and – through using a battery-powered PA system – they are able to play in most situations, even if the ceremony is held on a remote beach, far from any electricity. For the trio, a double bass is added for some musical depth, especially important if jazz music is performed. Made up of experienced chamber musicians, the string quartet features a traditional set-up of two violins, viola and cello.
Instruments: violin, guitar, viola, cello, double bass as well as an occasional trumpet and African pennywhistle
Genre: classical, jazz, pop
Website: www.palmstrings.co.za | Email: email@example.com | Tel: 082 974 1270
The Professors are a popular function band, having performed at over 200 private events, birthdays, festivals and weddings, as well as over 600 public live shows, from Cape Town to Zanzibar, including Amazon‘s 20-year anniversary. As a guitar-and-vocal duo using backing tracks, they are known to get a party started with an ever-growing repertoire, ranging from Ed Sheeran to The Beatles. To keep the vibe going, they will DJ in-between sets, but they are also able to do a full show using only acoustic guitars and vocals. Stripped-down or upbeat, Jo Popp is a versatile vocalist with a charismatic stage presence and Greg Schoeman is a highly accomplished guitarist with international experience. The Professors also own their own stage, sound and lighting equipment, so they are able to set up appropriately for up to three settings at one wedding, whether it’s a mellow sunset vibe or a rocking party.
THE MEZZANINE FLOOR
Made up of Kaylin Levendal, an experienced violinist and Patrick February, a self-taught guitarist with a rock’n’roll background, The Mezzanine Floor are a passionate duo, aiming to create fresh sounds. Playing covers, such as ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’, they are able to create a party vibe, getting the audience clapping and singing along. Their versatile experience allows them to perform a vast repertoire, from well-known pop songs to iconic jazz standards, upbeat or romantic.
With the vivacious Carla Louw on lead vocals and percussion, and the skilled Jonny Dosé on both acoustic and electric guitar, Cocolo are a dynamic musical duo. Together, they entertain wedding guests with a blend of original and covered songs, always performed in their own style. According to Carla and Jonny, it’s “the kind of music that goes well with cold beer and hot nights”. Depending on the nature of the event, Marné Gelderbloem may join on ukulele and percussion adding “a sultry dimension to the performance”. Cocolo can also be booked as a full band, with vocals, guitar, bass, drums, keys and saxophone.
Instruments: guitar, vocals, percussion (ukulele, bass, drums and saxophone can be added)
Genre: pop, jazz, blues, funk, country and rock
Website: www.myohmy.co.za / facebook.com/cocololive | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Tel: 084 428 2195