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Eight Years Of Performances By The Guitar Trio For EXL

It was great to see EXL’s Marketing Manager Allison Thompson (first photo) again when we had the pleasure of performing for the eighth year at their annual client dinner; it's also nice to see the continued success of EXL as it grows year after year. The creative photo was taken by Mark Liflander of Liflander Photography LLC. From Allison’s Linked-In endorsement: “Always a pleasure to have Chuck Braman and team in the house! I could listen to their smooth jazz all night! How great to be back in person and to have this long standing relationship with such great musicians!”

The Saxophone Quartet at Celestine

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Fun music with my band, a wonderful bride and groom, a friendly photographer (China Jorrin), and a beautiful Spring day. From the bride’s review: “We received enormous praise from all our guests about having this jazz band at our reception. Their talent and professionalism are one of the kind.”

The Vocal Quintet at Ninety Acres

What a spiritual lifeline it was for us to be able to make music in August 2020! It was by far the highlight of our summer, and to make it even better, besides the bride and the groom both being wonderful people, the groom was a serious jazz fan whom we've all kept in touch with since. From his review: “The best jazz band and most impressive (and professional) jazz band leader in the New York City (NYC) metropolitan area. We were fortunate enough to have Chuck and his group at our wedding, and they simply knocked it out of the park. We cannot recommend them enough!”

The Vocal Quintet at the Grand Ballroom of the Plaza Hotel

The Vocal Quintet performing in the Grand Ballroom of the Plaza Hotel at the Annual Awards Gala for the International Association of Top Professionals. President Stephanie Cirami is one of the nicest persons we've ever worked for, and she generously took the time to write this review of us the following day: “This band, hands-down, is phenomenal. I hired them for my annual awards gala at the Plaza hotel because I needed a classy ensemble to complement the prestige of the Plaza! My guests loved them and they made the evening beautiful, elegant and memorable! So easy to work with and will definitely use them for future events.”

The Versatility of the Piano Trio

One wonderful aspect of the piano trio is how many settings the music can fit appropriately. The same music we might perform in a nightclub or concert setting can also be appropriate in the settings of a birthday celebration in a private home (photo 1) or at a Bar-Mitzvah luncheon at a country club (the impromptu portrait photos 2–4 taken on the bandstand between tunes and generously shared by Mark Leslie Photography). From the client: “Chuck and his trio were fantastic! Really, I could not have been more pleased. I had high hopes and expectations and they exceeded them. Many people commented to me about the quality of their performance.”

The Quintet at City Winery

My quintet and I had a really fun time performing at The Community Preservation Corporation's 45th-year celebration event at the City Winery. Athena Johnson, the Communications Coordinator, was a real pleasure to work with and couldn't have treated us any more nicely. Photos 2, 3 and 4 courtesy of Ronald Glassman Photography. From the client: “Everyone loved the band! Great, Great job!”

Our third year atthe eFront Client Forum

The Guitar Trio recently enjoyed performing again for the third year in a row for the eFront Client Forum. The four photos include two professional photos generously shared by photographer Gage Zanghi. From the client: “Working with Chuck and his band is always a wonderful experience. They are professional, punctual, polite and it is a pleasure to work with them, and above all, they are incredible musicians. Attendees at our event always comment on how good the band was. We are so satisfied with our collaboration that we have hired them for the fourth year in a row for our Annual Client Forum. I would highly recommend using them for any special event you have coming up.”

Goodbye to a wonderful summer: 15 concerts for 8 organizations

By far my favorite part of summer is playing outdoor concerts with my bands throughout New York City. This summer was particularly fun, with 15 concerts for 8 organizations and concert sponsors (with only one rainout!), including the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, Jazz Forum, Live At The Gantries, and Sunset On The Hudson where these were taken, the first two by photographer Max Guliani (@maximusupinnyc). From Ian Kaley, organizer of Sunset On The Hudson: “Chuck Braman and his bands have been performing in Hudson River Park for the past 5 summer seasons. Chuck is fantastic to work with, and always leaves a smile on the face of the event attendees.”

The Quintet preparing for the first of several concert performances this summer

My Quintet has been together now for fifteen years and is working this summer with six different organizations for as many concerts. This is always my favorite season!

The Piano Jazz Trio at Snug Harbor Cultural Center

A very fun time playing the client’s jazz requests for their wedding cocktail hour. From the bride: “Thank you for the wonderful two hours of jazz! We heard great reviews from our guests and it was an absolute pleasure to meet you guys and hear you play.”

The Vocal Trio, Guitar Quartet, Saxophone Quartet, Quintet,
and Vocal Quintet at 583 Park Ave

I think this was my favorite client of all time, a true jazz fan who took the time to research each of my sidemen and had the very cool idea of hiring five of my bands (sharing the same rhythm section), each with their unique instrumentations and repertoires, to play his wedding! Photos courtesy of Nathan Smith for Ira Lippke Studios. From the client: "I can honestly say that the caliber of musicians that Chuck assembled is unmatched on the NY scene in general, and simply blows away any other 'wedding band'… Chuck is one of a kind and his bands are killer. I wish I had a soundboard recording of the evening!"

Four Years performing at the LEDucation Trade Show

It was our pleasure to be invited back for the fourth time to the New Hilton Midtown to perform for the LEDucation Trade Show this year. As before, the Trumpet-Saxophone Quintet first performed an instrumental set of jazz compositions and then were joined by our vocalist for a second set of Great American Songbook standards. The first 3 photos are from this year, the last photo from last year. They were very generously shared with us by photographer Edward Tsang.

The Vocal Quintet back at Rosie O’Grady’s

It was great being asked back again to perform for the third year in a row for the FEXCO Merchant Services event at Rosie O‘Grady’s.

Three years performing for Ruckus Marketing’s Holiday Party

For the past three years, we’ve had the pleasure of performing for Ruckus Marketing's annual holiday party. What made the past two year’s events especially fun was our client’s idea of combining the Trumpet-Saxophone Quintet with the Vocal Quartet, doubling our repertoire and creating two bands in one.

Four years of holiday parties forOmni Eye Services

Every year we've come to look forward to performing for Omi Eye Services‘ Annual Holiday party, and this year's event at The Newark Museum was no exception. Of these four photos, the first two were taken by our vocalist during an instrumental number, the second two by myself from near the drums following an informal sound check. From our client this year: “Truly wonderful!”

The Guitar Trio at the United Nations Plaza

The Guitar Trio performing for an international event sponsored by the Edsol Group, before and after the arrival of the guests: first, in the lobby (minus drums; and it actually got quite a bit more crowded moments after I snapped this photo!), and next in the dining room.

Longevity! The quintet (together 17 years) performed this week at three longstanding concert series (25+, 10+, 5 years)

It’s great to be able to enjoy musical and professional longevity. My Quintet, which has been together with the same personnel for the last 17 years, performed last week at three different outdoor concert venues that have regularly featured my bands each summer, one for over twenty-five years, another for over ten years, and the third for the past five years. What a fun week! And there's more… we’ll be performing next week at fourth outdoor concert venue that has also featured us for the past several years.

Performing again for the Mission of Kazakhstan to the UN

It was recently our pleasure to be invited back Mission of Kazakhstan to the UN to perform for cocktail party celebrating Kazakhstan’s membership in the United Nations Security Council.

The Quintet at Sunset on the Hudson

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The first of three dates from our fourth summer of concerts on the Christopher Street Pier for the Sunset On The Hudson concert series. Photos courtesy of Max Guliani. We love this gig, from the beautiful setting to the friendly, appreciative organizer and his helpful and accommodating staff, to the appreciative (and sophisticated) listening audience it attracts. And best of all, it's great to get asked back every year (and looking forward to our fifth season)!

The Vibraphone Quartet back at the Edison Ballroom

Back at the Edison Ballroom for our 2nd year performing for Motorola’s yearly event.

The Vocal Trio at India House

These photos are of the Vocal Trio preparing, posing with the bride and groom, and accompanying the groom singing "I'm Glad There Is You" to his bride, a great standard that he requested that was new to me. It was a wonderful moment that was inspiring to witness. They were both extremely nice people, and each took the time to write us reviews, one for Google, and the other for Yelp. From the bride: “Chuck Braman Band is just amazing… they really upgraded our wedding. We were so lucky to have them.” From the groom: “Everything was perfect—I would love to call them again for our wedding but unfortunately there will be no more wedding in my life… so I definitely recommend this band to anyone else who plans anything serious for their lifetime event.”

The Quintet at Chelsea Piers, Pier 60

A really fun gig with the Quintet performing at Pier 60 for Whiskey Live. Very well received, not to mention the nice invitation and opportunity to join in the festivities after the conclusion of our performance!

The Vocal Trio at the Rainbow Room

Here are some photos taken from an event we played at the Rainbow Room for Maureen Data Systems. The ones featuring the band performing are courtesy of the photographer for the event, Andrew Warne. The client was himself an accomplished pianist, and so was a pleasure to work with, and the Rainbow Room fit us like a glove; just the right size for the sound of our trio to fill the room, excellent acoustics, and a perfect match in style. From the client: “The music was so apropos for the immensely elegant atmosphere of the Rainbow Room space… I would gladly and gratefully recommend you anytime, for any sort of event.”

The Piano Trio at the Appel Room, Lincoln Center

This was a corporate event with a very sophisticated international clientele, the evening headlined by the Broadway Tenors. From the client: “The trio delivered a true NY jazz evening and the global audience could not have enjoyed it more.”

Olympus launch at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

The Guitar Trio enjoyed performing on the deck of the Intrepid Museum for the Olympus Imaging America, Inc. launch of their FZ-1 model camera. From the client: “You guys did a great job. The sound was excellent from the get-go and you really helped establish the mood. In fact, we were saying later that it might have been nice to have you guys set up later in the night when our guests were back on the flight deck for the photo stations and the fireworks.” (That photo of the lift is of my drums being hoisted up to the ship, a nerve-wracking sight for me if ever there was one!)

The Quintet at Sunset on the Hudson (yes, again!)

The last of my quintet’s four dates on the Christopher Pier, one of very many outdoor concerts my groups perform throughout the summer every year. I wish summer would never end!

The Guitar Trio at Bryant Park

This was a really fun concert featuring guitarist Khabu Doug Young and bassist Carlo DeRosa. It turned out to make a lasting impression on a young listener, who coincidentally also heard the Vibraphone Quartet at a summer concert for Grand Central Partnership a year later, recognized me as the same bandleader, introduced himself, and then (unsolicited) wrote on my Facebook page: “I saw The Chuck Braman Quartet this week. They were playing a FREE show between Park & Lexington Avenues on 40th Street. This was the best jazz concert that I saw all summer. Chuck Braman is a drummer who is the leader of several jazz ensembles. He's great in all of them, and so is his jazz sideman. He only works with the best jazz players in the business. I saw him play last year with a jazz trio. That group played a lot of Thelonius Monk music. This year's quartet played a lot of Gary Burton music. I think that Chuck Braman is an underrated jazz player. He should be playing week-long gigs at The Blue Note and other jazz venues that feature high-end jazz players. If you get a chance to check out Chuck Braman this year, you won't be disappointed. He can play bebop from the past or jazz fusion from the future. Whatever he does, you'd better believe, it will be a great jazz show.”

The Guitar Trio at Elihu Island

Our longest commute from Manhattan ever ended at a beautiful venue in Connecticut. A lovely couple and lots of friendly help from wedding planner Adrienne of Ruffles & Tweed helped make this a fun gig. Great-looking guests, too! From the groom: ”The wedding was so amazing, and I wish cocktail hour could have gone all night!” From the wedding planner: ”They were amazing—not only in terms of their music, but also in the way they presented themselves—such a pleasure to work with during the planning process, friendly as could be in person, and flawless in their musical execution.”

The Vocal Trio at 620 Loft and Garden

Our client picked a beautiful day to have their wedding ceremony and cocktail hour at the 620 Loft and Garden. Our pianist performed the ceremony, joined by our bassist-vocalist for the cocktail hour. Later they joined me indoors as the trio performed for the dinner and toasts. Great venue with friendly management, Meaghan from Creative Edge Parties was also a pleasure to work with, and a very nice wedding couple and family.

The Vocal Quintet at Maritime Park

This wedding at Maritime Park was almost like a concert, with the guests erupting into applause after every tune! A warm and friendly couple and a friendly and helpful manager at the venue made the event a pleasure all the way around. The excellent photography is courtesy of Bōm Photography.

The Piano Trio at New Leaf Restaurant and Bar

A really wonderful couple and a fun wedding for the piano trio, including an opportunity to perform with the bride’s father for a couple tunes! From the couple: “Thanks so much for yesterday. We had a wonderful wedding! The band sounded great. We loved your repertoire—it set the mood beautifully, and we really appreciated your calm professionalism as well as your generosity in letting my dad step in for a few tunes! Please pass on our warm thanks to your guys too.” Photos courtesy of Kyo Morishima Photography

The Vibraphone Quartet at Cipriani’s 42nd Street

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The Vibraphone Quartet was invited back again to perform our third event in as many years for The Doe Fund at Cipriani's 42nd Street. The second photo shows the view of the cocktail hour as taken from the bandstand.

The Saxophone Quartet at the Sunset on the Hudson

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This is the saxophone quartet performing the first of four dates as part of the Sunset on the Hudson Concert Series. Beautiful setting, great listening crowd.

The Vibraphone Quartet at Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

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These photos of the Vibraphone Quartet are taken from a concert series we took part in called “Jazz: Brooklyn’s Beat in the Heart of Brooklyn” at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and provided courtesy of the organization “Heart of Brooklyn.” A really fun concert that attracted a receptive and enthusiastic listening crowd. From the organizer: “It was fabulous to have your group join us for the AMBLE event. What a really terrific day! Congrats to you and the band for a gorgeous afternoon of music!”

Photo-Shoot for David’s Bridal Catalogue

My band and I had a fun experience as part of a photo shoot for an issue of David’s Bridal Catalogue. We were simultaneously a part of the set, as well as providing entertainment for the models and staff.

Providing music for the “X-Men: First Class” Premiere

This was one of two Hollywood premiere parties we were asked to perform within a two month period. Just as we had been asked to perform 1930s-era songs for the premiere of “Water For Elephants” a month earlier, similarly, we were asked to perform 1960s-era Great American Songbook songs for the X-Men: First Class premiere, as the latter movie is set in the latter era. Simple enough; we prepared a song-list that was a mixture of 1960s-era standards. But once we arrived at the Zigfield Theater, we had to do some quick adaptations to fulfill some new requests of the client on-site: first, to wear dark sunglasses (which meant we couldn't read music), and second, to make the music go-go dancer-danceable (which meant that we had to abandon the Great American Songbook repertoire we had planned). However, once we got into the groove, so to speak, the clients, dancers, and celebrities all seemed very pleased with us. Kevin Bacon even gave us a smile and gesture of approval as he passed by. The unscripted boogaloo medley that we played lasted without a break for almost the entire two hours!

The Piano Trio at the River Cafe

A fun wedding at The River Cafe. Photos courtesy of China Jorrin Photography.

Let me help you choose the perfect jazz band for your needs

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—Chuck Braman, bandleader/drummer

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