Viewing entries tagged
jazz band

Catch Me If You Can, Austin

We had the opportunity to perform for an event hosted by Frank Abagnale who was portrayed by Leonardo DeCaprio in the film "Catch Me If You Can" based on his true story.   We love Austin and hope to be back again soon!

Improvisation and New Music

For thousands of years mankind has placed music at the center of community gatherings, celebrations, and social functions. It is truly a universal language. You can feel this at live shows. There is nothing quite like it. There is an energy that flows from live performers and is reciprocated by the audience, and everyone involved is somehow lifted by the experience. We love to perform, we've all been doing it since we were young kids. Over the years we've honed our craft and learned how to best respond to each live setting, crafting and performing our set specific for each event. We've been having a lot of fun lately creating textures and even songs right on the spot at live events to fit the mood. Conn is actually really good at coming up with lyrics to fit the moment- a skill he has developed over many years of constant song making. You start to see the world differently the more you use the lens of music in your life.

We feel like a musician needs to be a craftsman- a great deal of care needs to be put into the way the music is presented. There is a spirit to creating that is infectious- and we're really caught up in it now. We're excited to be working on new original songs for an upcoming album release. In the meantime, you'll find us improvising and stretching boundaries on stage- working out new ideas, trying to make moments count, and sharing in the celebration of music that brings people together better than anything else. It feels like the world needs that more than ever these days. Til' next time- we hope to see you out on the road this year.

-GS

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Kenny Aronoff's 7 tips for success as a musician (or in anything you do)

I recently attended the NAMM convention in Los Angeles. Ever since I was 10 years old, I've been watching and following pro drummers and idolizing them for their incredible skill. The chance to meet a few of my drum heroes this weekend made attending the convention a really special experience. I got to meet Kenny Aronoff, known as one of the very best drummers in the world. He has shared the stage with countless A-List artists like Adele, The Smashing Pumpkins, Celine Dion, Bob Dylan, Elton John, and the list goes on and on. He has played on albums that have collectively sold 300 Million copies. I had the chance to attend a lecture by Kenny that gave a brief synopsis of the book that he just had published. I've heard it is getting rave reviews. In his lecture Kenny explained the 7 keys to success in life or in any pursuit. He was also completely hilarious- so full of vitality, humor, and positivity. I think his advice is really fantastic for any musician who is serious about their craft, or for anyone who wants to be successful in their career.

Kenny Aronoff's 7 tips to be successful and stay successful in your career:

  1. Self-discipline: make yourself do something you don't necessarily want to do. Put in the work to be great. Once you learn self-discipline in one thing you can apply it to everything else in life. Stay on it. You will get further. 
  2. Hard work fueled by passion and dedication, keep learning and educating yourself. This is the gasoline to drive you forward. 
  3. Create a plan that you execute to reach your goal. Lots of people have ideas but don't do anything with them. 0=0. If you haven't applied yourself and put the time in you're not gonna make/sustain it. Think like a running back. You're gonna get hit, you need to focus on getting to the end zone. Don't feel you have to make it in one day or week or year. There are no shortcuts.
  4. Teamwork/Communication skills: make the sessions or the work better that you're involved with, it's about the attitude that you bring. 
  5. RPS: Repetition of anything you do is the Preparation for Success. He does 30 min warm up techniques for every show before and after. He's always so vigilant to repeat his warm-ups and prepare to play his absolute best at every gig.
  6. A healthy life is a wealthy life. Mentally physically and emotionally. Even if you just regularly do Push-ups or Planks, you need to stay physically strong and fit. It keeps your hormone levels up. This fights off cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Cardio- it exercises the most important muscle in your body- your heart. Stretching. Diet is about what you DON'T eat. Stay away from sugar and processed foods. Eat fruit, more veggies, less meat. Multivitamin. Vitamin D are great for immune system. Fish oil. B complex. Water. You should drink ounces of water every day that are equal to half of your weight. So if you weigh 160 pounds, you should drink 80 ounces of water per day. Get enough sleep. Practice meditation- it reduces stress.
  7. Today: Stay focused to be relevant. Don't worry about what you've done in the past. 
    The past is the past. Focus on what you're working on today. Always focus to the future.

I hope these tips are helpful to you. They have clearly worked incredibly well for Kenny. 

-Bart

Me with the great Kenny Aronoff. Such an incredible musician.

Me with the great Kenny Aronoff. Such an incredible musician.

-Bart

From San Francisco to Washington DC: Gold Standard's Holiday events 2016

We had a great holiday season this year performing for events around the US!  From an amazing San Francisco city view rooftop party to MGM grand's opening of their new Casino in National Harbor near Washington DC, we had a great time.  

This weekend we will be in the luxurious Amangani Jackson Hole for their New Year's Eve celebration.  We will start off in our time-tested format with nostalgic jazz classics, gradually escalating the party into popular music and remixed versions of the classics, incorporating more and more the electronic DJ elements until it's a full-tilt dance party for NYE revelers.   

Here are a few pictures from our adventures this past month!

 

 

 

 

A Summer Mountain Wedding at the St Regis Deer Valley

We had a fabulous time at this St Regis Deer Valley Wedding.  As with most outdoor summer Park City weddings, we performed for different stages as the event progressed, at cocktails we performed fun nostalgic classic jazz tunes like "The Way You Look Tonight" and "What a Wonderful World" then as guests were seated for dinner, we were there to greet them with current pop hits and remixed jazz classics like "All of me" by John Legend and "Love me Like You Do" by Ellie Goulding.  As the plates were cleared and speeches finished we performed the couple's first and parent dances, then we rolled up our sleeves and dg into some DJ+Drums+vocals dance music a la Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, The Weeknd, Justin Timberlake, and others, eventually transitioning into DJed music for a full-tilt dance party.  

We love performing at the St Regis Deer valley!

Photos by Britt Chudleigh

Jazz Music and the Civil Rights Movement

Jazz music’s popular rise during the early half of the 20th century helped pave the way for the civil rights movement of the 60s. The music’s appeal was universally enjoyed by people regardless of race or political belief. 

As early as the 1920s, black and white jazz musicians would play together secretly in after-hours jam sessions.  Benny Goodman in 1935 was the first to hire a black musician to be part of his group, contrary to segregation laws and social norms.   By the 1940s more and more bands were performing publicly with both black and white musicians.  And it wasn't just the bands that were getting along, it was the audience:

Louis Armstrong wrote about one of his "most inspiring moments" in a 1941 letter to a jazz critic: "I was playing a concert date in a Miami auditorium. I walked on stage and there I saw something I’d never seen. I saw thousands of people, colored and white, on the main floor. Not segregated in one row of whites and another row of Negroes. Just all together naturally. I thought I was in the wrong state. When you see things like that, you know you’re going forward.” 

According to Michael Verity (jazz historian), jazz “provided a culture in which the collective and the individual were inextricable, and in which one was judged by his ability alone, and not by race or any other irrelevant factors."  

Jazz historian Stanley Crouch said, “Once the musicians who played it and the listeners who loved it began to balk at the limitations imposed by segregation, jazz became a futuristic social force in which one was finally judged purely on the basis of one’s individual ability. Jazz predicted the civil rights movement more than any other art in America.”

Enjoy this video showcasing the first integrated band, the Benny Goodman Quartet with Teddy Wilson, Lionel Hampton and Gene Krupa with "I Got A Heartful Of Music". 

Crooners

Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and Frank Sinatra performed a historic show in Las Vegas in 1965. It was at the Kiel Opera House in St. Louis, and it was broadcast and fed live to movie theaters all across the US. In this show you'll see a youthful Johnny Carson set the stage with his classic quick wit and polished delivery. It's fitting that such a popular TV personality would start the show because this was the heyday of crooners. These three men epitomize the art of crooning in this 1965 broadcast, taking the solo vocal lead while backed by an impressive big band. They brought a sense of style and effortlessness to the way that they performed, putting the audience at ease and always making sure each attendee came away from the performance thoroughly entertained. We look up to these performers not only for their vocal skill, but also for their style and their rapport with the audience. Watch Frank Sinatra sing "I Only Have Eyes For You" and pay attention to the way his vocals sort of dance across the groove the band is laying down. Frank had the best timing, he really knew how to lay back in the groove and take command of the feel of the song. 

 

While we're a long way from the heyday of this kind of vocal performance, we feel the art of the crooner is still alive and well. Back then it took over 20 people on stage to create a big impressive sound to back up the vocalist, but now there are incredible ways to create big impressive sonic palettes with the kind of amazing technology that we have for creating music these days. Gold Standard is all about taking the best elements of the style, presence, and skill of a classic crooner and blending it with electronic and acoustic elements that create a powerful backing to that lead vocal. We hope to bring even a small element of the kind of style, presence, skill, and art that these classic crooners brought to the stage in 1965. With all of the vast changes in music in the past 50 years, one thing hasn't changed: style is still just as important as execution.

Gold Standard featured in the Knot's Best 50 weddings across all 50 States

Gold Standard was happy to be featured in the Knot at this gorgeous Fuse destination wedding for their annual "Best 50 Weddings Across all 50 States."  Photos by Kendra Elise Photography.

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The wedding was an example of Gold Standard at its best, integrating live music throughout ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing. 

Rob miked the officiant and groom with lightweight lavalier clip-on wireless microphones during the ceremony, to ensure that all guests could enjoy the ceremony and vows crystal clear over the state-of-the-art EV sound system.  Conn sang "Better Together" and other favorites as requested during the ceremony, then Bart and Rob joined in to perform jazz and popular classics to entertain guests as the couple and family took pictures.  

Conn and Rob Perform Jack Johnson's "Better Together" during the wedding ceremony.  

Conn and Rob Perform Jack Johnson's "Better Together" during the wedding ceremony.  

Gold Standard then moved inside the tent to invite guests to be seated for dinner with fun remixes and jazz remakes of current and past hits.  

The wedding dinner ambiance was set with remixes of current and past hits performed by Gold Standard. 

The wedding dinner ambiance was set with remixes of current and past hits performed by Gold Standard. 

Toasts and thank you's were given by the Bridal party and family, using the high-quality wireless hand held microphone which is available at any Gold Standard event.  A wireless mic allows guests to stand and give toasts anywhere in the room, rather than being restricted by a wired microphone near the band.  The wedding party sang the couple's Alma Mater theme song, and a few tears were shed as family and friends joined in to congratulate the newlyweds.

The couple's first dance was performed live by wedding jazz band Gold Standard.  

The couple's first dance was performed live by wedding jazz band Gold Standard.  

  After Gold Standard performed the couple's first and parent dances, it was time to party with DJ lights, electronic beats, and fun popular music.  After the guests had their fill of live music it was time to take it up a notch with EDM and old-school hip hop hits DJed by Rob, keeping the party going late into the night.  

A Brief History of Gold Standard

It all started back in about 1963 when Douglas Curran (Conn Curran's father) and Serge Benson (Rob Bennion's great uncle) sang together in a group in college called the "Intervals". (Doug Curran on the Left Serge Benson next to him on the right)

The Intervals (1963)

The Intervals (1963)

Much further down the road, Rob joined a group with Bart Olson, called "The Shriners of Ska". 

The Shriners of Ska

The Shriners of Ska

 

A little while later Rob joined a group with two of Conn's older brothers, Quinn and Shane Curran, known as "The Groove at Mikes Deli". Conn was just a little tike at the time, attending lots of their shows.

The Groove at Mike's Deli

The Groove at Mike's Deli

 

Then in 2006, Rob joined another Curran band. Another one of Conn's brothers, Sean Curran, started a hip hop band called "Wreck Room".

Wreck Room

Wreck Room

 

During this time Bart Olson was performing and touring around the country signed to Capitol Records with a band called Ryan Shupe and the RubberBand. 

Ryan Shupe & the RubberBand (2005) Colin Botts, Bart Olson, Ryan Shupe, Roger Archibald, Craig Miner

Ryan Shupe & the RubberBand (2005) Colin Botts, Bart Olson, Ryan Shupe, Roger Archibald, Craig Miner

 

Then in 2011 Rob, Conn, and Bart became the group "Gold Standard", blending elements of Jazz, Electronic, Dance, and Soul music. In the past 5 years they've performed across the globe from Japan to New York, as passionate as ever about sharing the gift of music.

Performing at the White Party in SLC

Performing at the White Party in SLC

Gold Standard in San Francisco

Gold Standard in San Francisco

Hiring a Band vs. DJ for your wedding

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Music is an essential part of a wedding, and the decision to hire a band or a DJ can be difficult.  Here are a few things to consider:

What is the feel or vibe you are going for?  Music is often what people remember most from a wedding.   

Whether you hire a band or a DJ for your event, a variety of music is needed to appeal to the age range which attends a wedding, keeping your grandparents and the bridal party entertained.    

Budget can be an important factor in the decision making process.  If you hire a string quartet for the ceremony, a jazz band for the cocktails and dinner portion, and a DJ for the dancing, things can get more expensive.   Swing bands can consist of 25 people or more, while DJs often come alone to do the event.  

How much room do you have to set up in at each point of the wedding, and how many different locations will music be needed?  Weddings can have up to 5 different locations for ceremony, cocktails, dinner, reception, and dancing.   Is the band or DJ able to provide music in each of these locations?  Will they need to move from one to another, or do they have enough equipment to set up multiple sound systems or speakers?

Will the band be able to keep the music going while they are on breaks?  No band will play music continuously for the 3-8 hours needed for a wedding.  What is the plan for when they take a break?

Do you want to hear music exactly as you know it, or do you want to hear a musician's interpretation of the hits?  Some bands play songs much like a karaoke track, nearly exactly like the original, some bands remake them to be their own.  Will you have a band perform your first dance, or are you thinking of having it played by a DJ?

It’s good to see the band or DJ perform live.  Also, long before the event a good band or DJ will ask you questions about your musical preferences, family songs and special song requests to make sure your event goes smoothly.  

Because Gold Standard integrates a DJ into the band, our clients can have the best of both worlds: DJ or live music for ceremony, live band for cocktails and reception, and DJ for dancing. 

 

Gold Standard performed for chart topping country duo Haley and Michaels' wedding

We have had the honor of performing for celebrities and fortune 500 companies across the country. Recently we performed for the popular Country duo Haley and Michaels at their wedding which made national headlines. The setting was breathtaking, nestled in the high hills of northern California wine country, we were able to perform for this incredibly talented couple. They were truly some of the nicest clients we've ever had. They saw us performing at the Sundance Film festival earlier in the year and just had to book us for their wedding. It was a real honor to be invited to sing for a musical group known for their incredible voices and striking harmonies. They told us that when they came across our performance at the Sundance Film Festival they thought they were listening to a recording- to their surprise they realized that it was a live band with live vocals. We thought that was such a huge compliment coming from such an amazingly talented vocal duo. 

The intimate setting was a perfect location for heartfelt toasts and an unforgettable first dance. Haley and Michaels actually debuted a new song at their wedding called Giving It All To You, which was played as they walked down the aisle during the ceremony. We felt honored to be present at the worldwide debut of this gorgeous song which they performed on national networks shortly after their honeymoon.

Haley and Michaels listening to toasts from guests.

Haley and Michaels listening to toasts from guests.

Their wedding was one to go down in the history books. The guests came from all over the US and the setting couldn't have been more beautiful. The weather was perfect and it was even more special to be located at one of their favorite venues. The duo has performed in the impressive amphitheater onsite several times over the years. You can see the amphitheater in the photo below.

Northern California Wine Country- Amphitheater 

Northern California Wine Country- Amphitheater 

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Holiday Party at Rice Eccles Stadium Tower

The holidays are a busy and special time for us. We had the pleasure of performing for several corporate holiday events around the nation in 2015, from New York to Salt Lake City, we performed for some of the best parties happening during the holiday season.. This event in particular was held at the Varsity Room on the 6th floor of the Rice Eccles Stadium Tower. It was an amazing experience to perform holiday music while watching the sun set behind downtown SLC. The Reliable Controls Corporation was a fantastic crowd! Thank you for having us!

The decor was top notch. We love working with such great party planners. They set a perfect vibe for crooning out jazz trio standards overlooking the Salt Lake skyline. (Photo credit: Really Photography, http://really.photography)

The decor was top notch. We love working with such great party planners. They set a perfect vibe for crooning out jazz trio standards overlooking the Salt Lake skyline. (Photo credit: Really Photography, http://really.photography)

Warming up to set the mood for the party. Live music overlooking Utah from the tops of the mountains, not a bad way to spend an evening.  (Photo credit: Really Photography, http://really.photography)

Warming up to set the mood for the party. Live music overlooking Utah from the tops of the mountains, not a bad way to spend an evening. (Photo credit: Really Photography, http://really.photography)

Conn added perfect percussion touches to his vocal performance. A truly multi-talented live jazz singer!  (Photo credit: Really Photography, http://really.photography)

Conn added perfect percussion touches to his vocal performance. A truly multi-talented live jazz singer! (Photo credit: Really Photography, http://really.photography)

We love working for such kind and gracious clients. What a party!  (Photo credit: Really Photography, http://really.photography)    

We love working for such kind and gracious clients. What a party! (Photo credit: Really Photography, http://really.photography)

 

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Summer Mountain Weddings

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Summer Mountain Weddings

We love outdoor summer weddings in the mountains.  The fresh air, beautiful flower arrangements, and natural surroundings make Utah an ideal place to get married in the summer.  Here are a few pictures taken by our good friend Mikki Platt at a Utah Summer Wedding.

Mountain Summer Weddings in Utah are always a good idea.

Mountain Summer Weddings in Utah are always a good idea.

Utah Summer Wedding

Utah Summer Wedding

Utah Summer Wedding

Utah Summer Wedding

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