What songs should you play at a dinner party?

Cooling temperatures mean fewer barbeques and outdoor gatherings, but it also means more
dinner parties inside, more evening chats over glasses of wine by the wood-burning stove.
Whether you’re hosting a vegetarian dinner party, a formal dinner party or a birthday dinner
party, we’ve hand selected some tunes that are sure to set the perfect mood for your guests.
Billie Holiday – All of Me


There’s no better way to start the night off than with a well-known jazz standard from the iconic
Lady Day. First published in 1931, this tune revolves around the emotional despair of a
heartbreak, yet, with the repetition of high notes, it has an almost jubilant feel to it.
WJ3 All Stars – I’ve Never Been In Love Before

A heartwarming instrumental jazz song like this provides a lowkey and sophisticated background
great for sipping on cocktails and munching on hors d’oeuvres. Bruschetta anyone?


Andy Williams – Moon River


Even if your guests aren’t jazz enthusiasts, they’ll most likely recognize this song, which won an
Academy Award for Best Original Song when it was first performed by Audrey Hepburn in her
1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Then, a year later, Andy Williams covered the song, and it
became the theme to his T.V. show. The Moon River Theatre in Branson, Missouri was also
named after Williams’s cover of the song!


Jimmy Durante – Make Someone Happy


Enjoying good food with loved ones is bound to make everyone happy, just like this 1965 song!
Durante’s gravelly voice and his Lower East Side accent and style also create a nice ambience to
light up a cigar after dinner and settle into a comfy armchair.


Dean Martin – Ain’t That A Kick In The Head


After everyone has relaxed and digested their food for a bit, it might be a good time to dance to a
swinging big band jazz arrangement like this one. Martin originally performed the song in the
1960 film Ocean’s 11 and surprisingly, it did not end up charting. But no matter, it’s still one of
Martin’s most beloved songs, and it will still get you swirling around and tapping your toes with
a dance partner!


Lorca Hart Trio – Bye Ya


Eventually, to everyone’s’ dismay, the hour gets late, and the night must come to an end. But
first, one last laugh and hug! While guests are putting on their coats and kissing cheeks goodbye,
this upbeat, jovial instrumental, with a slamming drum solo to boot, will keep everyone
marching happily along and remind them of all the fun you had that evening.

If you’re looking for more lovely jazz music to play at your elegant dinner party, we recommend
Lorca Hart Trio’s album, Colors of Jazz, and the WJ3 All Stars’ album Lovers & Love Songs,
both of which are available in our store and on all major music platforms today. And

What songs should you play at your wedding reception?

Your Facebook feed is probably brimming with photos of brides glowing in white gowns, bridesmaids in pastels and grooms grinning in their tuxes at the end of the aisle. Yes, you know what that means—wedding season is in full swing! 

With all the “I dos,” bridal showers, wedding cakes, glittery jewelry, decorations, and receptions, you may find yourself thinking about your own wedding plans. Whether you’re engaged, awaiting or planning a proposal, in a committed relationship, or you just simply enjoy daydreaming about your own special day, it’s never too early to start thinking about what songs you might want to play at your wedding! Or maybe you’re serving as a maid-of-honor or best man sometime soon and you need to help the lucky couple make their playlist. Either way, we put together some classic wedding songs that are sure to put hearts in everyone’s eyes.  

Earth, Wind & Fire – September

This song is great for the bridal party to make their grand entrance or to help open the dance floor because everyone instantly recognizes it. Once they hear those first notes on the keyboard and that famous line—Do you remember, 21st night of September?—your guests will be pulling each other onto the dancefloor as fast as they can! Who knows, maybe your crabby, old uncle will even surprise you all with some groovy, disco moves! 

Elvis Presley – Can’t Help Falling in Love

It’s always difficult choosing a song for the newlyweds first dance. Maybe you have that one, specific tune that played on the radio during your first date, or that one song that you both love belting at the top of your lungs in the car. Or maybe, you’re not a very musically inclined couple and you’re drawing a blank. Well, you can’t go wrong with this 1961 Elvis ballad, the melody of which is actually based on a popular French song composed in 1784—who knew? 

Frank Sinatra – The Way You Look Tonight

This 1964 classic is perfect to play for the mother-son or father-daughter dance, which usually happens sometime after the first dance. You know that the parents are cherishing and soaking up every single moment of their children’s big day and that some day when they’re awfully low, when the world is cold, they’ll be thinking of the way that their child looked on their wedding night.  

Ray LaMontagne – You Are the Best Thing

This upbeat folk single, released in 2008, is honestly one of my favorites and it’s very versatile—could be nice for a slow dance or a group bridal party dance. Ray LaMontagne’s gravelly voice, the sweet lyrics and guitar create such a beautiful love song. The way you move me, it’s crazy…

WJ3 All Stars – First Time I Saw Your Face

This lovely instrumental jazz song is excellent for a swaying slow dance, or even to have as a backdrop during the cake cutting festivities. The heartwarming melody will bring you and your guests on a romantic journey through the ages!

If you’re looking for more love songs, I’d check out the new album from the WJ3 All Stars, Lovers and Love Songs! It’s available in our store and on all major music platforms. And if you’d like to book one of our musicians for your wedding reception, please contact us today!  

5 Tunes to Get You Movin’ on International Dance Day

Whether it be Zumba, ballet, belly dance, hip hop, shuffle dance or the waltz, we all have a sweet spot, or secret talent, for some kind of dance style! And even if you don’t think of yourself as a great dancer, you have to admit, dancing makes you feel alive, so why not get your groove on this Thursday for International Dance Day?

WJ3 All Stars – I’m An Old Cow Hand

Originally sung by Bing Crosby in 1936 for the movie, Rhythm on the Range, this rollicking tune was a huge hit in its day and could always get people clapping and tapping their toes. Now, nearly a century later, the song is brought back to life by world-class artists, Willie Jones III and his All-Stars. This smooth and snazzy rendition is a great song to warm up those dancing muscles of yours!

Fred Astaire – The Way You Look Tonight

We all know and love the Frank Sinatra version of this song. It’s a staple at most weddings is a very popular first dance song. But did you know that “The Way You Look Tonight” was first performed by Fred Astaire in the 1936 movie “Swing Time” and that it won the Academy Award for the Best Original Song? Well, nothing says International Dance Day, like the famous dancer, Fred Astaire, for whom the ballroom dance franchise was named! You’ll definitely want to grab a partner and get on the dancefloor for this classic!

Little Willie John – I’m Shakin’ 

With the lyrics, I got a knocking in my knees and a wobble in my walk, I just don’t know how this song won’t motivate you to get up and bust a move! Little Willie John, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, was a notable figure in R&B music of the 1950s, and he certainly knows how to give your legs the jitters!  

Lorca Hart Trio – Dayne

As part of their new Colors of Jazz album, the Lorca Hart Trio have created a vivid tribute to Miles Davis and Wayne Shorter, who were certainly some jazz stars that could get you on your feet! This upbeat, fast-paced song evokes the image of a bright yellow sports car, speeding down the road, and will be sure to have you twistin’ and groovin’, or at the very least, snapping your fingers along to the beat! 

Etta Jones – Till There Was You

Let’s slow things down a bit with this last one. Etta Jones’s lovely version of this 1957 song is so soft and heartwarming that it’ll make you just want to melt into the arms of your sweetheart during a slow dance, which to me sounds like the very best way to end a long night of movin’ and shakin’. 

If the songs by Lorca Hart Trio and WJ3 All Stars caught your fancy, then look no further. Both of these groups newest albums are available right now in our shop. And if you’d like to book one of our musicians for an upcoming party or event, contact us today.

Five Love Songs To Woo Your Sweetheart this Valentine’s Day

When you’re going through a breakup, it’s comforting to belt out the lyrics to contemporary love songs, like Selena Gomez’s Lose You To Love Me and Lewis Capaldi’s Someone You Loved. But when you’re falling in love and trying to woo your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day, you want some more upbeat and classical tunes. Here are five jazz songs that’ll create that flirty, fun, and romantic mood to get you and your Valentine dancing, twirling, and kissing all around the room.

WJ3 All-Stars – From This Moment On

Nothing says, “Happy Valentine’s Day!” like this iconic jazz standard. Originally written by Cole Porter in 1950, this song has been recorded again and again by stars including Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Lena Horne and The Supremes. And recently, in 2020, world-class artists Willie Jones III and his All-Stars have released a heartwarming rendition that brings the song back to life in a new and inspiring way. WJ3 All-Star’s instrumental rendition will get you and your sweetheart smiling and tapping your toes this Valentine’s Day.

Billie Holiday – Let’s Do It

This playful, flirty and clever classic was a popular song written in 1928 by Cole Porter. It appeared in a few Broadway shows and a Hollywood movie in the 30s. And it’s perfect for impressing a new love interest on a first date because the suggestive comparisons and double entendre of the lyrics (“birds do it, bees do it… let’s do it, let’s fall in love”) will help break the ice and make you and your lover giggle and fall in love.

Bill Elliot Swing Orchestra – Somebody Loves Me

Sweep your sweetheart off of his or her feet with this exciting celebration of love, recorded by a 19-member band based in Los Angeles. Whether you’ve been going steady for a while or you’re in a budding relationship, this song will really get you on your feet, swinging around in each other’s’ arms.

Chet Baker – My Funny Valentine

Slow down the pace with this smooth and signature rendition of the 1937 show tune turned jazz standard. My Funny Valentine has appeared in over 1,300 albums, but Chet Baker, also known as the “prince of cool,” is the only artist to have his version inducted into the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry. This silky song is perfect for cuddling up together with a glass of champagne and box of chocolates.

Lorca Heart Trio – Here’s That Rainy Day

All good things have to come to an end and this modern and vibrant rendition of the popular song from 1953 will provide a great backdrop for you and your valentine to look into each other’s’ eyes and say that wistful goodbye.

Find the Best Jazz Love Songs at Night is Alive

If you’re looking for new tunes to create that romantic night you’ll never forget, or if you’re looking for valentine’s day gift ideas we can help. Night is Alive is proud to offer two albums that can allow you to begin writing your very own love story. Check WJ3 All-Star’s Lovers and Love Songs and Lorca Heart Trio’s Colors of Jazz. Both are available right now in our store. And if you’d like to book one of our lovely musicians for an upcoming party or event, contact us today.

Night Is Alive Featured in Downbeat – February 2020

Night is Alive featured in February 2020 Issue of Downbeat

Kathy Salem, managing director of Night is Alive, opens up about her journey from a small, boutique Jazz agent, to becoming a nation-wide Jazz Powerhouse.

“We started off very small: I was only doing management for jazz musicians,” said Kathy Moses Salem, managing director of Akron, Ohio-based Night Is Alive Productions. “But musicians come to me all the time, asking Can you ‘do this, can you do that?’ We realized that there were bigger needs, and we ought to be 360-degrees.”

That’s how Salem’s five-person company expanded from focusing on artist management to a mind-boggling list of services. Night Is Alive’s purview includes audience research, social media curation, digital and physical media design, advertising and promotion, and recording and production for the company’s new eponymous record label.

But Salem, at 75, is a newcomer to most of these aspects of the music business. And at first, she didn’t even plan on working as an artist manager. Salem’s background includes advertising at the Cleveland Plain-Dealer and lobbying in Washington, D.C. But after her husband passed away in 2004, she decided to channel her energy into a lifelong love of music.

You can read the full article here!

Marketing Insights: Night is Alive and Lovers and Love Songs

There is no right answer when it comes to marketing, whether you are a small business or large corporation. Though numerous studies have attempted to solve the riddle behind effective marketing tactics, users generally report that roughly 70% of all marketing is either ignored or disliked – and that leaves only ¼ of all marketing to be considered effective.

Thinking monetarily, when only $.25 of every dollar is spent “productively”, you would think that those working in the marketing field would spend a majority of their time and energy trying to resolve the issue and win back consumers. However, fear begins to play a large role in methodology. Businesses tend to rely heavily on “what works” with little positive growth rather than risk new methods that could yield worse results. That said, there are a couple of general marketing tactics that stand out when attempting to reach a wide audience.

Targeting

The safest approach to cultivate and grow interest is targeting. This is a game of attention, the end goal to maximize audience engagement. Simply put, you make changes to who receives your ads and finesse your audience to maximize engagement. Using metrics, or measurable values that demonstrate the effectiveness of campaigns, to track marketing goals is effective here. Targeting is a tried and true formula that has immediate feedback, especially in today’s internet age where nearly all ad platforms provide analytics to the marketer.

MailChimp is one example of an email marketing service that does a wonderful job of targeting. After sending an email campaign, the marketer receives data on how many clicks, opens, bouncebacks, etc. their email yielded. It provides instantaneous feedback for future, similar campaigns.

Personalization

The trickier, but much more rewarding, process is innovating and personalizing the style of content you are delivering to your audience. A compelling ad campaign can cross demographics and bring in audiences you might not reach using standard targeting. Night is Alive is taking an alternative reality marketing approach for the upcoming release of Lovers and Love Songs. Without giving too many details away, the idea is to create an environment that encourages interaction between the audience and the promotion. This interactive experience will allow people to feel more directly involved and connected to the campaign itself. Creating a storyline within a scavenger hunt environment is one method: the audience can find clues, solve puzzles, and, ultimately, reach the finish line. This could set the stage for a rewarding exchange of information.

Crafting a positive community around your brand is a lofty goal for any business or agency. This “holy grail” focuses on building lasting relationships, not solely on the number of clicks their ads receive (not to discount the importance of targeting, which has a time and place!). While cultivating a community comes with many potential benefits for both the business and the audience, it also runs the risk of consumer exploitation. Users are much savvier than they used to be, and they will be quick to call out any marketing behavior that attempts to hijack their emotions or intelligence. Therefore, if you want to make the marketing experience exciting and rewarding, it is always best to respect your audience from the start.

For more information about Lovers and Love Songs and the musicians with Night is Alive, please visit our web page (http://nightisalive.com/) or contact directly via phone.

Article by Benjamin Lehman and Elizabeth Carney, Content Editor, Night is Alive

Press Release: Lovers and Love Songs

Night is Alive Album Release September, 2019: Lovers and Love Songs

Night is Alive, under the leadership of Managing Director/Producer Kathy Moses Salem, is thrilled to announce the release of Lovers and Love Songs on September 9th, 2019.

After selling out two concerts in Fort Lauderdale and Fort Myers, FL, Ms. Salem suggested bandleader Willie Jones III and his All-Stars take their performances to the next level and create a studio recording. The group, made of big-name bandleaders in their own right, so thoroughly enjoyed playing together that they agreed, thus leading to the birth of Lovers and Love Songs.

Along with Willie Jones III (drums), the album features Terell Stafford (trumpet), Ralph Moore (tenor saxophone), Donald Vega (piano), Steve Davis (trombone), and Gerald Cannon (bass). It should also be noted that Eric Reed (piano) and Robin Eubanks (trombone) were involved with the two live concerts but were unable to record.

The excitement felt by the musicians was almost tangible in the studio, revealed by the following first-hand comments Ms. Salem documented during the recording process:

“One of the best recordings I have made in the past ten years.” – Ralph Moore

“So relaxed and smooth.” – Terell Stafford

“This is my first time to play with the band…what fun!” – Donald Vega

Gerald Canon, showing his commitment to the album’s success, hosted a rehearsal at his apartment, while other musicians insisted on recording extra takes to “fix two wrong notes”.

The album features the following:

1.) I’ve Never Been In Love Before
Terell Stafford, melody
solos by Terell Stafford, Ralph Moore, Steve Davis, and Donald Vega

2.) First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
Donald Vega and Ralph Moore, melody
solos by Ralph Moore and Donald Vega

3.) I’m An Old Cow Hand
Ralph Moore, melody
solos by all members

4.) From This Moment On
Terell Stafford, Steve Davis, and Ralph Moore, melody
drum solo by Willie Jones III

5.) Gee Baby Ain’t I Good To You
Ralph Moore, melody
solos by Ralph Moore and Donald Vega

6.) Here’s That Rainy Day
Donald Vega and Terell Stafford, melody and solos

7.) Cry Me A River
Steve Davis, melody
solos by Steve Davis and Donald Vega

8.) Jitterbug Waltz
features trio Donald Vega, Gerald Cannon, and Willie Jones III