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ABOUT DUELING PIANOS INTERNATIONAL
Dueling Pianos Weddings, Corporate, College, and Military
In March of 1994, Dueling Pianos International consulted with their first client for a corporate event in Troy, MI. Since that time, Dueling Pianos International has orchestrated over 400 Dueling Pianos wedding receptions and 500 Dueling Pianos corporate performances from New York to Los Angeles and from Seattle to Miami, as well as Canada, Europe and Australia.
Our success is a direct result of the professionalism we demand of our entertainers and the high standards we hold when placing entertainers on high-profile events. With our recent success in the college and military markets, Dueling Pianos International is clearly the nation’s leading source for hiring Dueling Pianos talent.
In 2011 alone, Dueling Pianos International has scheduled over 100 weddings, 100 college performances, 50 engagements with the United States Army, and over 75 corporate functions. With this success, we are proud to have increased our administrative support to serve our brides, corporate purchasers, schools and military installations better.
With a roster of over 250 full-time, dedicated veteran Dueling Piano performers and 17 self-contained teams who regularly perform for private events nationwide, Dueling Pianos International is awarded the luxury of keeping performance fees reasonable. Our staff works hard to create routing for our entertainers so we can maximize their time spent “on the road” while lowering costs for our clients.
If you are planning a Dueling Pianos wedding or corporate event, call us today. One of our friendly agents would be happy to assist you: 248-398-9711.
ABOUT THE DUELING PIANOS CONCEPT
Dueling pianos (also known simply as "sing-along") is a form of entertainment, usually on stage with two grand pianos, each played by a professional player who sings and entertains; humor and audience participation are prevalent. Usually these types piano bars have substantial sound systems, and most of the songs performed are rock and roll, "classic rock", Top 40, R&B, or country, played primarily by request. The modern format originated in late 1986 at Alley Cats in Dallas, TX, and was based on the old-style dueling pianos still found at Pat O'Brien's in New Orleans, LA.
Literal "dueling pianos" can be verified as early as the late 1890s, when ragtime piano players would actually "duel" in an effort to see who could play better and faster. In 1933, when B.H. O'Brien and Charlie Cantrell opened Pat O'Brien's Bar in New Orleans, they included a room where two piano players would entertain the crowd on copper-topped baby grand pianos. Players would take turns singing songs requested by the audience, written on cocktail napkins.
In 1986, a piano bar called Dallas Alley (aka "Alley Cats") opened in Dallas as an attempt to copy the piano bar style of New Orleans. Players at this club started redefining the style of dueling pianos by playing more contemporary rock and roll music, coupled with humorous bits that involved lyric substitutions and audience participation. These "bits" would become commonplace at many dueling piano clubs over the years, as a staple of the industry. From there, many dueling piano clubs and chains opened, and there are currently over 300 different clubs across the United States. The name of the concept has also evolved to be called "sing-along" since the goal of the players is not generally to work against each other, but rather to gain audience participation with singing and clapping. This is widely accepted as the current incarnation of dueling pianos / sing-along.
A typical dueling piano show normally features two - four piano players. They work in teams throughout the night, taking audience requested songs. Generally, tips are expected when a song request is made, and priority may be given to a song with a larger denomination bill. Upon a tip, the players will often play the fight song of whatever college is requested too, which often results in bidding wars between alumni and students of various universities in attendance. Patrons can also request that an audience member be brought on stage. Generally, this is to celebrate a birthday, bachelorette party, bachelor party, anniversary, or other occasion. The player then performs a "calldown" in which the participant (or participants) is embarrassed in a light-hearted fashion. Calldowns may be parodies of well known songs, or simply original material intended to generate a reaction from the audience.
"Bits" are comedic routines or audience participation, many woven in the songs themselves. A commonly used bit can be found in the song Joy to the World by Three Dog Night as one piano player will teach the crowd "sign language" that accompanies the song, then bringing up an audience member to demonstrate.
Video Example of Dueling Pianos, "The Devil Went Down to Georgia"
Commonly requested songs at a dueling piano bar can include almost any genre, and are generally accompanied by a monetary tip.
- Don't Stop Believin'
- Piano Man
- Tiny Dancer
- Great Balls of Fire
- Bennie and the Jets
- Sweet Caroline
- Friends in Low Places
- Baby Got Back
- Paradise by the Dashboard Light
- Hotel California
- Brown Eyed Girl
- Joy to the World
- Bohemian Rhapsody
- The Devil Went Down to Georgia
Many of the songs requested do not fall into the typical "piano bar" category, and many dueling piano players pride themselves on their ability to perform songs that are generally not considered as such, like those from hard rock and rap genres.
Dueling piano players come from varied backgrounds, including previous solo piano bar players and keyboardists from various bands. Currently, there are between 300 - 400 dedicated dueling piano players in the US. As the number of dueling piano clubs increases, the demand remains steady for these entertainers.
Jason Scarcelli, Entertainment Consultant - LORIO-ROSS STERLING ENTERTAINMENT
505 South Lafayette Avenue, Royal Oak, Michigan 48067-2518
PHONE: 248-398-9711 FAX: 248-545-0447 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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