music for occasions.....
few thank you notes from
"Michael and his bassist did a fantastic job
playing for our wedding reception. These two musicians
are extremely talented and versatile—I had complete trust
in them that they would play the right music, and they did,
with minimal guidance from us. My only regret is
that we hired them as 'background music'.
They deserve to be center stage!"
Megan & Damien Frisch
"Thanks a million for the fantastic job
you did with the music for our wedding!
Given the variety of music we wanted,
it was everything we hoped for, and more.
Thanks for creating an unforgettable experience
through our joint musical collaboration."
Lisa & Ed Bryne
"Your performance really made the event.
The breadth of instrumentation and fluidity
of styles really set you apart from any music
I've heard at a wedding. It wasn't only that you
played beautiful harp music [on your keyboard]
before and during the ceremony, but that you
followed that up with a full West-African trio for
the reception. Everyone I talked to couldn't say
enough about how exceptional the music was
despite their lack of familiarity with your trio.
Thanks again—your music was exactly
what I was hoping for, and more."
"Thanks Michael. You did a great job of combining
solo jazz piano with our request of the traditional
Persian wedding song, 'Mobarak Bad'. In fact,
the transition from that song to Ellington's 'Caravan'
was magical, and we deeply appreciate
your contribution to the event."
"I wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed your music.
It was just right and made my daughter's day really special.
Thanks also for your great communication before the wedding—
I always knew that you were on top of things!
Extra bonus points for impressing my brother
with your saxophone player..."
Ardith M., Fairbanks
it was classic jazz, musical
meditations, brilliant blues, or the wonders
of a multi-instrumentalist, Michael Smolens
gave me another reason for remembering my
wedding as the best day of my life. He
listened to what we needed, offered a huge
repertoire, and delivered perfection."
David V., Berkeley
music was great. Everyone loved it.
It was perfect for the beach setting,
hearing your West African balafon and alto flute
over the crashing waves..."
I heard you interviewed on the jazz
station KCSM I thought you might be out of
our budget, but I was pleasantly surprised.
Your understanding and flexibility not only
made our lives easier, but exceeded our expectations."
Heather K., San Francisco
"Thanks again for the 17th! I thought you
and the soprano Katy Stephan did a wonderful job
on the classical songs and I got lots of positive feedback.
All the best."
Declan O., San Francisco
"Michael was easy to work with from the very beginning.
He came up with a variety of ideas for our wedding music
and we loved his suggestion of combining piano
with a classical/jazz cellist. We already knew the music
for the ceremony and both performers
knew the pieces well
and played them beautifully!
We also had a last minute
(48 hours before the wedding) and Michael
was very flexible and there were no issues
in relocating him there,
as well as bringing
his own instrument
as the new venue did not
have a piano. They played for our ceremony
and through the cocktail hour, creating an elegant ambiance
which our guests are still talking about!"
Stefanie C., Los Angeles
you so much for making this a
truly memorable day for our family. The classical
pieces that we picked-out by Bach and Fauré sounded
wonderful at the church, and your keyboard had
very convincing pipe organ and harp sounds."
Elizabeth D., Diablo
"Thank you very much for playing at our wedding.
We really loved the music that you played!
It made us feel very warm and personalized,
especially hearing our special requests.
Brenda & Wayne Phan
did a wonderful job at setting the tone
for my wedding, set in the redwoods. First he
played some classical flute with a guitarist.
People were arriving during this time and it was
as if they floated in on the music. He then
played a traditional Jewish piece "Dodi Li"
during our walk to the Chupah. His arrangement
reflected the depth of feeling contained in this
song. As people were moving to the reception
area he played some upbeat jazz to start the
festivities. The music really helped to weave
together the atmosphere we wanted to create.
It was enchanting."
Michelle B., Palo Alto