Tag Archive: Michael Taylor

What is the general rule when allocating space for a dance band?

Dance Bands typically need a stage, performance area or floor space of approximately 20′ wide x 12′ deep as a general rule. Some bands if told of space constrictions ahead of time can make equipment choices that would take up a little less room as well.

Corporate Event Music New York

Jazz Trio on Stage

Jazz Ensembles or Acoustic Trios or Quartets may be able to fit in a space
12′ wide x 10′ deep or a bit smaller. Variations would depend on the use of  an electric keyboard, or an acoustic upright or baby grand piano. Also if the ensemble includes a drummer, ( needs 6′ x 6′ for small drum set) or if there is the need to set up a sound system and microphones.

Wedding Ceremony Music New York

String Quartet

String Quartet a 10′ x 10′ square is fine. Usually 4 chairs set in a square arrangement are needed from the venue. It’s a compact group but allowances are made for lighted music stands and if needed, microphones and stands.

Corporate Event Music New York

Stage for Large Dance Band

Larger Dance Bands of 10 or 12 pieces or more may need 24′ wide x 16′ deep or larger. Typically bands of this size will have a larger sound board and need a larger “mixing area.” This can be placed on either side of the bandstand or along the wall opposite the stage. This is known as a mixing position in the “front of the house.”  Not every venue wants the mix position to be out in the room with the guests and remember there is a fair amount of cable that would be run to that position from the band stand.

We will always find ways of accommodating special circumstances… really all we ask is that we are told ahead of time so we can prepare.

Our Site: www.startalentinc.com


Star Talent’s Michael Taylor was the music contributor featured in The Perfect Wedding, a beautiful and informative wedding planning book by wedding expert and Brides Magazine fashion editor, Maria McBride-Mellinger.

The Perfect Wedding


Star Talent Wedding Music Expert

“I enjoyed that Maria really gets to the heart of the band’s contribution to the elegance of the evening.  Band member attire and presentation are crucial aspects that all too often go missed by some. I know we always pay lots of attention as to how we LOOK… in addition to how we SOUND.

There are a spectrum of moods to be created by the music during a wedding ceremony, cocktail party, dinner, dance reception and on through to the after party. Whether elegant and sophisticated, retro and funky, hard driving rock’n or dance club pulsing – the music creates the movement from one atmosphere to another.  The author fully understands that when music is properly planned, its performance should define and convey the bride and groom’s personal taste and style.  Great Book ! ” –  Michael Taylor

The Winter issue features The Essential Guide for New York Brides — to many NY Brides this is the only Wedding Vendor List anyone will need.  Here’s what they said about us:

Wedding Band New York

New York Magazine Wedding Issue

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At  Star Talent Inc. our clients enjoy working with us to personalize every aspect of our musical performance.

From customized play lists and Dance Band attire to performance style and presentation, our passion is to reveal each wedding couple’s distinct musical vision for their guests to experience and enjoy.

Other New York Magazine profiles:

Reggae Stars Band New York

New York Magazine Weddings Names Star Talent’s Michael Taylor their Wedding Ceremony Expert

In the new issue of Brides Magazine, Star Talent’s Michael Taylor was asked for the top song requests our 8 Wedding Dance Bands are getting this summer.

The feature article,  A Packed Dance Floor – Guaranteed provides a great resource for planning song requests for up-coming parties.

In addition to the strong demand for Pitbull, Pink, Rihanna, Beyonce, Jay-Z and Top 40 hits, we have been getting a definite song request trend toward

90’s Dance Hits including:

“This is How We Do It”  – Montell Jordan 1995

“Another Night” – Real McCoy 1994

“This is Your Night” – Amber  1997

“Beautiful Life” – Ace of Base 1995

“Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” – C+C Music Factory 1990

and even “No Diggity” – Blackstreet featuring Dr. Dre 1996

For an informative list of Star Talent’s Most Popularly Requested Songs – CLICK – for PDF.

Michael Taylor Star Talent Brides Magazine Weddings New York Band

Wedding Reception Music New York

Wedding Bands New York

The Knot Magazine’s National Issue interviewed only one Wedding Pro for each vendor category for their “Wedding Planning Bible.”

Star Talent Inc.’s founder, Michael Taylor was selected to give his take on a few of today’s most important Wedding Music planning concerns.

The Knot Magazine Music New York Best Music

The Knot Magazine’s Winter 2012 Issue “Wedding Planning Bible”

The Knot Magazine Music Advice Michael Taylor Best Music New York

The Knot Magazine names Star Talent Inc’s founder Michael Taylor their “Music Master”

The Links:

About our Star Talent Dance Bands

Celebrity Weddings

Wedding Ceremony Ideas

Star Talent Inc. web site


Michael, Founder of Star Talent Inc.

“I have spent my professional career listening carefully to corporate event planners, hotel catering directors and brides & grooms, providing each with the finest level of musical talent. Industry trend setting and innovative performances that are always produced with complete integrity and an unsurpassed level of customization for each client’s musical style. The way I see it, event production is complex enough. Entertainment buyers should have a reliable and uncomplicated relationship with their music services firm.”

Founder of Star Talent Inc., a boutique entertainment production company representing the event industry’s premier roster of customized Music Services, Dance Bands, Classical Ensembles, DJs and Celebrity Headline performers for events throughout the NY Metro area and beyond.        www.startalentinc.com

Over the past 24 years, created and produced thousands of turn-key entertainment performances nationwide for major corporate, private and non-profit organizations including 10 New Year’s Eve Galas at The Waldorf-Astoria, Performances for Three US Presidents, a G. W. Bush Family Event at The White House, Microsoft, The Walt Disney Company, Coca-Cola, Greenwich Capital, Pfizer, The World Economic Forum, The Belmont Stakes, American Cancer Society, NASCAR and other Fortune 500 Firms, Sporting Events, Charitable Organizations and private individuals.

Extensive experience booking and producing Celebrity Performers for Corporate events. Recent productions have included performances by Tony Bennett, Sheryl Crow, Sting, Natalie Cole, Rihanna, Lionel Richie, Frankie Valli, Earth, Wind & Fire, The Doobie Bros., Dana Carvey, Bon Jovi, KC & The Sunshine Band, Ashford & Simpson, Taylor Dayne, Neil Sedaka, The Jersey Boys, Liza Minnelli, Paul Anka, Frank Sinatra Jr, Jewel, Blues Traveler, Jay Leno, Robin Williams, Darrell Hammond and other headline performers across a variety of industries including Pharmaceutical, Banking, Jewelry, Law, Trade Associations, and Charity Galas.

Recently appointed the musical director of the Trump Soho Hotel in New York City.

Talent Buyer and Producer at Celebrity Direct Inc. www.celebrity-direct.com

Music Expert to Wedding Industry press and Contributor to these fine books:

The Portable Wedding Consultant: Invaluable advice from the Industry’s Experts for Saving Your Time, Money and Sanity by Leah Ingram / Contemporary Publishing Co.

The Perfect Wedding by Maria McBride-Mellinger / Harper Collins Publishers


Also a professionally trained Opera and Symphony Conductor who studies privately with Maestro Vincent La Selva of the New York Grand Opera and at The Juilliard School. Regularly attends Master Classes in Conducting given by notable conductors from Rome, St. Petersburg and London Music Conservatories.

New York Wedding Band Music

Wedding Reception Music New York

Wedding Bands New York

Star Talent Anthony Peters Dance Band, Rock & Pop Strings and Star Talent DJ were reviewed on Eventwire.com for their performance at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

Corporate Event Band String Ensemble DJ New York

Eventwire.com 5 Star Review for The Anthony Peters Band, Rock & Pop Strings and DJ

Hamptons Wedding Band Our Star Talent Galaxy Dance Band performed at a beautiful Hamptons wedding last week:

Dear Michael Taylor,

We had to make our first “thank you!” letter to you as we feel the our whole party’s wonderful success rests squarely with your fantastic Galaxy Band.

Our guests raved to us from the first dance set, asking us “Where did you find such a great band!”  I simply said I trusted my planner’s suggestions and I’m so glad we did.

The ceremony ensemble performed beautifully, and the bandleader was spot on when it came to presenting everything in a tasteful manor. Back when we began the process of looking for a band we were so concerned about the “taste level” of so many bands that you see.  Well these guys were such a class act.

I have to mention the effort that I know the band put into learning some of our special requests. All I can say is they played everything we asked from Akon, Pitbull and Rihanna to all my dad’s classic rock songs and they knew just how to work them in to the playlist.  We absolutely could not have been happier and they truly exceeded our very high expectations !!

We gave your name to Seth’s law partner and I know he will be calling to book them as soon as they get their date.

Thanks so much for all your great advice and I hope to see your band on many occasions in the future.

You made us so very happy!

Jennifer & Seth

Reggae Band New York City  Hamptons

New York Magazine Weddings Issue Profiles Star Talent’s Reggae Stars

Our Reggae Stars were recently profiled in the Summer 2011 issue of New York Magazine Weddings.

They have performed for an NFL Owners Meeting at the Super Bowl in Miami, Weddings on Hampton Beaches, opened for Sting and Madonna at the Gianni Versace memorial concert, played at Carnival in Trinidad, and even a spot entertaining the delegates at the Republican National Convention.

Super reliable because they are committed to performing at private engagements throughout the NY metro area and wildly fun because they are the most authentic Reggae and Caribbean band in NYC.  They perform Reggae, Ska, Calypso, Soca, and even play some Hip Hop with a fresh Reggae Vibe.

Listen to the Sounds of our Reggae Stars

Stir it Up

Reggae Band New York


Waiting in Vain

No Woman, No Cry

New York Wedding Music

Jodi_Applegate_Michael_Kay_Wedding_Plaza Hotel

Jodi Applegate WPIX News Anchor

Dear Michael Taylor,

The wedding music was wonderful!!

From the ceremony right thru the reception, so many people have raved about the whole evening— but they always focus on how great the band was. Including very musically knowledgeable people. Lots of people ( especially older types and VIPs ) who say they never dance— were out there dancing!!

Thank you so much for all the hard work and extra effort!!!

Please pass along to Charles St. Paul and the Band

how pleased we both are!!


Jodi Applegate & Michael Kaye

New York Wedding Band Music

Wedding Reception Music New York

Wedding Bands New York

New York Magazine Weddings Issue Summer 2011

New York Magazine Weddings Issue Summer 2011

Our Michael Taylor was interviewed by New York Magazine Weddings for his top Romantic Musical Themes for wedding ceremony processionals.  Having produced some of the most beautiful wedding ceremony music programs in anyone’s memory for an impressive list of Celebrities, New York Society and music enthusiasts alike, he has created individualized programs and Wedding Ceremony Soundtracks for some of the most magical memories of peoples lives.

“I am the enthusiastic advocate for creating unique and personalized music selections for a wedding couple’s most important moments. I have a vast responsibility. I draw upon all musical repertoires including Classical, Opera, Film, Rock and Pop in order to evoke the desired musical impression. Whether it be Romance, Joyfulness, a sense of Royalty or something Chic and Contemporary, there are numerous ways of creating suspense and uniqueness so that guests build their anticipation for the Bride’s procession. I believe the music program must spark and ignite what is about to become Fireworks between Bride and Groom” – Michael Taylor Listen to Ceremony Music Ideas

Listen to the selections listed above:

Intermezzo – from the opera Cavalleria Rusticana by Mascagni

O Mio Babino Caro – from the opera Gianni Schicchi by Puccini

Love Theme – from the film Cinema Paradiso soundtrack by Morricone

Listen to wedding ceremony music ideas from Star Talent String Ensembles our Rock Repertoire, The Opera House, Film Score Repertoire, Traditional Repertoire and Fun Music for Children in the wedding processional.

New York Wedding Music

It was our pleasure to participate in a great Bridal Bloggers and Press event hosted by the Trump Soho Hotel. Our Michael Taylor presented a discussion on ceremony music trends and the great variety of songs brides and grooms are selecting for their “Wedding Ceremony Soundtrack.” All performed by Star Talent String Ensembles, Harp Ensembles, Rock String Quartets, Gospel Choirs, Symphonettes and Original Tracks Systems.

Wedding Ceremony Music New York Star Talent

Our String Ensembles perform beautiful arrangements of Popular Love Songs, Rock Themes and Music from Film Scores for customized “Wedding Ceremony Soundtracks”

“For Brides and Grooms today, its all about individuality. Every couple wants to reveal their unique musical tastes for their guests to experience and enjoy.”  – Michael Taylor

Some of the audience favorites included:

Prelude – Theme from the movie “Il Postino”

Bridal Party – Here Comes the Sun – George Harrison

Music for Ring Bearer and/or Flower Girl – Pure Imagination

from the original film “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”

Bride Processional –  Intermezzo from the opera “Cavalleria Rusticana”

Recessional – Seasons of Love from the Broadway Show “Rent”

Michael was joined by Michael Seaberg (Trump Soho), Ron Ben Israel (Cakes), David Hechler (Photography), Jessica Pallay (Floralia Decorators) and  Merry Phengvath (Alpine Creative Group stationery)

To listen to other Ceremony Music Ideas: ceremony music from Film Scores

Wedding Reception Music New York

Wedding Bands New York

When we have a client meeting to program Ceremony Music, we ask many questions that will lead us to create an inspired, revealing and personalized Wedding Ceremony Soundtrack. Frequently a client at Star Talent seeks music that is traditional, very romantic and a selection that is familiar, yet not heard too often.  Maybe a classic that they may also hear again at some point in their future.  When we are asked for a  musical selection that evokes a “Joyful and Romantic” sound, we often delve deep into repertoire of some of the most beautiful music ever composed, the Arias and Themes of Opera.

Ceremony Music_Star Talent Inc

We have used all of the following beautiful and romantic themes for wedding ceremonies and have been told on many occasions that our ceremony programs should really be trademarked to our company.  Well we like to share.  Making everyone aware of the various methods and ways to create beautiful, romantic and personalized ceremony music programs has given us a lot of enjoyment, satisfaction and pride. – Michael Taylor

Listen to Romantic Opera Themes and Instrumental Versions of Beautiful Arias.

1.   Flower Duet from Lakme – Delibes

2.  Meditation from Thais – Massenet

3.  Nessun Dorma from Turandot – Puccini

4.  Vissi D’arte from Tosca – Puccini

5.  Musetta’s Waltz from La Boheme – Puccini

6.  Humming Chorus from Madama Butterfly – Puccini

7.  Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana – Mascagni

8.  O Mio Babbino Caro from Gianni Schichi - Puccini  *

* This aria, O Mio Babbino Caro from the Puccini opera, Gianni Schichi is sung by Lauretta in the opera as she asks for her father’s permission to marry the man she loves.  Taking place in Florence, Italy she pleads for his blessing, reassures him that her love is true, and sings that if her love was in vain she would go the Ponte Vecchio and throw herself into the Arno River.  We feel this shows a great level of commitment, don’t you think?

Here is a helpful link to a list of the Most Popularly Requested Ceremony Music we are asked to perform:  Wedding Ceremony Music

Star Talent Inc wedding music new york The selection of music for children during a wedding ceremony can be a chance to have a little fun.

This opportunity to customize what we like to call the Wedding Ceremony Soundtrack reveals an insight into the wedding couple’s own personality, as well as a musical treat for their guests. Sometimes it’s a nice breather from the seriousness of the moment.  Remember right after the Ring Bearer and/or Flower Girl, the very next entrance and musical selection is for the Bride.

Our Ceremony Ensembles may feature violin, cello, piano, flute, acoustic guitar, harp, chimes and a variety of other instruments to convey the perfect musical impression.  –  Michael Taylor

Listen to Fun Songs for the Flower Girl and Ring Bearer

1.  When You Wish Upon a Star – Disney’s  Pinocchio

2.  Feather Theme – Forrest Gump Soundtrack

3.  59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy) – Simon and Garfunkel

4.  Pure Imagination – Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

5.  Isn’t She Lovely – Stevie Wonder

6.  You’re So Cool – True Romance Soundtrack

7.  All You Need Is Love – Beatles

8.  Somewhere Over the Rainbow  – The Wizard of Oz

Of course there are many Disney songs in the repertoire, like:  “Some Day My Price Will Come”  /  “You’ve Got a Friend in Me”  /  “Hakuna Matata”  / “Beauty and the Beast”  /  “Lets Go Fly a Kite”

However for this list, we wanted to be a little less predictable.


To add a bit of “wow” factor in what we at Star Talent like to call a couple’s personalized 

Wedding Ceremony Soundtrack, our Brides and Grooms enjoy selecting ceremony music from our very extensive Rock Repertoire.

All are transcribed and arranged for String or Guitar Ensembles by one of our very talented staff.

The following are just a few of many songs we are asked to perform. The repertoire extends from Classic Rock & Alternative to Metal & Today’s Current Hits.

Listen to how string arrangements of popular Rock Music blends elegance, tradition and contemporary ideas.  –  Michael Taylor

Listen to Ceremony Songs from our Rock Repertoire

1.  Clocks  – Coldplay

2. Wonderwall  - Oasis

3.  Fields of Gold  – Sting

4.  All I Want Is You –  U2

5.  In Your EyesPeter Gabriel

6.  Here Comes the Sun  – George Harrison

7.  Don’t Stop Believing  – Journey

8.  Landslide  – Fleetwood Mac

Star Talent’s Michael Taylor contributed and was interviewed by the the author of  Club Date Musicians: Playing the New York Party Circuit, a definitive chronicle of the birth and evolution of the Dance Band business in New York.

Club Date Musicians: Playing the New York Party Circuit

by Bruce A. McLeod

Star Talent New York Wedding Band

“New York-area club date musicians play from memory, often drawing on repertoires spanning fifty years of popular music to produce arrangements on the spot. Impressive as their skills are, though, they occupy an ambivalent position: their art must be background, never overshadowing the event, whether a Wedding Reception Music, Corporate Event Entertainment, or a Debutante Ball.  Bruce MacLeod leads the reader to discover why New York musicians don’t use written music, how rock & roll and Top 40 has affected the occupation, and why musicians are attracted to this particular segment of the music industry.  I submit its about the satisfaction derived from creating the excitement for 100’s of guests on a weekly basis, and in the case of a wedding, on one of the most important nights of a family’s life.”  – Michael Taylor

New York Wedding Band Music

Wedding Reception Music New York

Wedding Bands New York

Star Talent’s Michael Taylor was very pleased to be included as the Music Industry Expert interviewed for music advice in Leah Ingram’s book:

The Portable Wedding Consultant: Invaluable Advice from the Industry’s Experts for Saving Your Time, Money and Sanity

Star Talent Wedding Music Expertby Leah Ingram

Topics included ceremony music selection, how to buy a band and new reception music trends.

“Its a terrific compendium of expert advise from leading planners, photographers, catering executives, decorators and other nationally known wedding pros and it was great fun contributing my part.  Leah stitched together several interviews in a very easy to read an informative manner. Her presentation distilled down the best advice from each of us and I really believe the book will be a valuable tool for any bride.”  –  Michael Taylor

Star Talent All Stars Dance Band 5 Star review on WeddingWire.com.

Best New York Wedding Band Music

All Stars Dance Band 5 Star Review on WeddingWire.com

How do I Plan a Successful Celebrity Meet & Greet?

Most celebrity performers and speakers will accept requests for a VIP meet & greet at your event.  However, there are very important procedures that should be taken to ensure success.

From the very start, the meet & greet needs to be negotiated as part of the initial contract with the artist. As with most details of any booking, the larger the name, the more requirements they have. Keep in mind, that although your organization may have contracted to have a Celebrity performer at your event, this does not mean that the artist will automatically have dinner with the CEO, take a picture holding your product, give a quote about your charitable cause, attend the cocktail reception, sit on the dais or stay after the performance and mingle with the guests.

Corporate Event Celebrity Performer

The Photo Op

It is usually helpful to define the purpose of this “meet the artist” opportunity. It should be a gathering of your organization’s most important VIPs, a photo and an autograph opportunity and a chance to have an experience that will long be remembered.

Just about every performer has a preference to do the meet & greet either just prior to their performance or immediately after. It’s important to find out and plan for it in your timeline.

For additional advice when booking and producing celebrity performers contact our sister company at www.celebrity-direct.com

The following is reprinted from an Artist’s Meet & Greet Guidelines:

We hope you understand that it is our aim to meet the desires of the client within a slim interval of time so that the Artist is able to approach the impending show with as much energy and focus as possible.

If these specific points are adhered to then we are confident that all parties will be satisfied. Communication and coordination of the meeting here is key. If everyone knows what to expect, all should proceed smoothly.

1) The meeting must take place immediately prior (maximum 30 minutes) to Artists on stage performance. This cannot take place much earlier before the concert nor can it take place after the concert.

2) Please have the meeting take place in a room of suitable size in the backstage area ideally adjacent (but not within) the dressing room.

3) There must be a person assigned, that is familiar with the VIP group, who will be responsible for coordinating the group during the meet & greet process.

4) Artist will take pictures with the VIPs. No more then 15 pictures can be taken. Therefore, if more then 15 people are present, then a series of group shots should be taken.

5) In the case of group shots – please have the groups assigned and allocated prior to Artist entering the room.

6) Please ensure that a professional photographer familiar with the meet & greet process is present to take the shots.

7) Once all the VIPs are completely assembled and it is certain that no persons may enter the room other than those invited, Artist will enter and remain in one spot at the end of the room.

8 ) On invitation of meet & greet coordinator, each group or person may approach Artist separately in succession. Artist will shake each person’s hand and then pose for the shot and then they should move out of the room while the next group or person approaches Artist.

9) Once the room is empty – we know we are done.

10) Please note that due to time constraints and in order to preserve energy for the performance, there will be no time for chit chat other than the introduction and greeting. Similarly, there will be no time for picture taking with personal cameras.

With the grand opening of downtown’s newest luxury hotel, Trump Soho names Star Talent Inc as their recommended music and entertainment service provider.

Corporate Event Music New York

The Official Ribbon Cutting…

The Hotel boasts The Soho Ballroom, Hudson Square with a great outdoor covered space and located on the hotel’s 46th floor, SoHi, an intimate setting with spectacular views of lower Manhattan and beyond.  We are providing Dance Bands, Club DJs and various music ensembles to Corporate Events, Weddings and Social Galas coming up this season.  BRAVO to the team at Trump Soho for creating a true downtown event destination with sleekness and luxury.Star Talent Event Entertainment


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