Saturday, November 28, 2009

DJ V.S. Live Music: Jewish Wedding Scene

I recently had the pleasure of attending a Jewish wedding here in Houston. The groom had hired a band although he was also considering a Jewish one-man-band in the area. The issue was ihat the band he hired was unfamiliar with religious Jewish music whereas the one-man-band was and would be more economical. In the end he opted for the band because his fiance really wanted a band for the wedding. The one-man-band was friendly with the groom and offered to play a dance set at the wedding since none- of the grooms friends for the most part would even know the kind of music this band would play. When the one-man-band showed up he explained to the band leader he just wanted to play a short dance set for the grooms friends but the bandleader said he was going to be playing lots of horas and frielach sets and there would be no room for him to do so. In the end he just played the people into the room and featured a dinner set of the more recent compilations sung by artists like Boruch Levine, Dovid Gabay, Avraham Fried and Yaakov Shwekey. The problem many people had with the band was it was more of a DJ than a band. For the first 20 minutes he played an old project x CD with his drummer, saxophone and clarinetist attempting to follow along ( considering they had not sheet music the opted to quit a min. or so into it). The band leader couldn't sing the songs as he had no idea what the words were. In the end they tried to make it seem as though they were playing the music when in fact it was all pre-recorded. The band was a strange set up to begin with: a violinist, drummer, saxophone and a keyboard player. Since there was no guitarist they opted to use the auto accompaniment keyboard and play along with it when they were not DJing . The use of auto accompaniment was because the keyboardist was most likely a clarinetist who played keyboard just a bit and perhaps wasn't so familiar with playing left hand bass. The whole thing in my opinion was most unfortunate and young couple would of been much better served hiring the one-man-band and perhaps a DJ separately.If they don't know the Jewish wedding music they should play the material they do know or DJ but not pretend to play: that just made them very laughable. Here is an article on how to be your own DJ and some of the pros and cons of Jewish DJ VS Live band or music.

4 comments:

N said...

DJ's at jewish weddings are consistently a spectacular failure!

musicluver said...

I've seen DJ Hy (Cahim) Haddad at some Jewish weddings and I think he does a pretty good job, since he extremely familiar with the Jewish material. Although, I personally would still opt for a one-man-band since I find it less primitive.

Kippah said...

Interesting post :)

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