Frequently Asked Questions
What experience does Larry have playing at weddings?
Larry played for his first wedding in 1973. I have been honing and developing arrangements that go over well for weddings for decades. I understand that although I’ve played in public hundreds (if not thousands) of times, your wedding is unique. And no venue is too big or too small.
Walking down the aisle?
This is your big moment. I’ll work with you to customize the music for your ceremony. Is there a special song you’d like to walk down the aisle to? I’d be happy to play that for you.
For cocktail/dinner, what repertoire? How selected? Are special requests possible?
Think “classy piano bar” and that’s a good start. Then I will work with you so the repertoire fits your event like a glove. To pique your imagination, I’ve recently done the jazz standards “Laura” and “Emily” for brides of that name, “Waltzing Matilda” for a wedding group from Australia, a Jeeves-and-Wooster-based playlist, as well as many, many others. Requests at the event itself? Absolutely! For example, at a recent wedding, someone held up the iPod for “Hotel California” to my ear while I created a piano arrangement on the spot.
How far in advance to book? What is the cost?
The earlier the better — it’s surprising how often multiple people need the same date. Most people book 2-3 months in advance. I’m presently taking bookings up to 15 months in advance. That said, feel free to get in touch last-minute – I’d like to help if I can! Fee is based on duration, location, and whether or not you need Larry to supply a keyboard and/or sound system. Please contact me for a quote.
How to book? When to pay?
When booking an for an event, we’ll agree in writing on the details, and then I’ll ask for a non-refundable deposit. The balance is due on the day of the event, ideally before I begin playing.
I know I want piano, but I may want more instruments or a singer as well. Are ensembles possible? What are the considerations?
Absolutely! I work with all types of musicians, and can coordinate virtually any combination suitable for your event. You may have a multi-part event (e.g. wedding) in which you want a piano for the ceremony and either piano or an ensemble for later on. I work with a number of ensembles (e.g. duo with drums, guitar, bass or a singer, or jazz trio with drums and either a singer or a lead instrument (e.g. trumpet, sax, etc.)). Larger ensembles are possible, too. I’d be happy to work with you on this, and supply example mp3s as well.
Will Larry require any sound equipment?
This depends on the room size and the availability of a piano. A grand piano at your site almost never needs to be amplified. If there’s no piano onsite, you’ll need me to supply a keyboard and, depending on venue size, attendance, etc. you may need me to supply an amplifier and speakers.
Does Larry attend wedding rehearsals?
Generally, you don’t need me at the rehearsal. I have enough experience that coordinating with the officiant before or on the day of the wedding should be sufficient. If you would feel more comfortable with me there, though, this can be arranged.
I would like Larry and/or an ensemble to play for my wedding ceremony and reception/dinner. They are at different locations or have a long gap in between. How does this work?
A common arrangement is to have piano at the wedding and piano at cocktail hour or piano/ensemble at dinner following cocktail hour. If it’s just me, then pricing is straightforward. If different musicians are required at different times/venues, then pricing is done according to how long you need each musician. Is a piano available at either or both locations? If not, keyboard logistics need to be worked out.
Travel outside Ottawa area?
This can be arranged. Transportation time may need to be charged depending on distance, venue, how long booked, etc.
I usually wear a black suit and tie with a white shirt. If you have a theme that requires something else, I can accommodate.
If I’m playing a piano on site, I’ll arrive at least 10-15 minutes before the event so we have the opportunity to go over last minute details, etc. If you need me to supply equipment, I’ll arrive enough in advance to set up, do a sound check, etc. In most cases, an hour early is plenty, but you may need me there earlier. If much earlier, additional charges will apply. We’ll need to coordinate this together.
What does Larry need at the location?
I need a chair with a back, and enough light to read the music. If you inform me, I can supply lighting if need be. If you need me to bring any electrical equipment (e.g. keyboard, amp, light, etc.), I need to be able to plug into AC power at the location you need me to play.
Provided the weather is not inclement or too cold, I can play for outdoor events. If it’s too cold, I can’t play because my brand of piano is technically intricate and requires warmed-up fingers. If it’s too hot, I may do without the jacket. If it’s raining, either a real piano or keyboard would be damaged, so I’d need shelter. The client should hopefully have an alternative indoor location available in case of bad weather.
How much experience?
Larry has appeared in public hundreds, if not a thousand, times and has hundreds of very happy clients through many and varied musical pursuits. I did my first wedding in 1973 I’ve been operating continuously as a professional musician since 1991.