Post # 1
I wrote a post on my local SoCal board asking if anyone knew live bands that could play “Jewish” music beyond Havah Nagila, but was also wondering what other brides did who also wanted more Jewish/Israeli music.
Did you end up using a DJ for parts of the reception to make up for the gap in your band’s knowledge of specific music? Were you successful in finding a band with the right song set?
Here is what we are intersted in: the band themselves don’t have to be Jewish, and the wedding won’t be very religious, but we do want to honor our background with some traditional/folk Israeli music as well as some Israeli pop music (I guess we can have a DJ play it, as we don’t expect any local band to sing in Hebrew) but MOST importantly, and I know this is super specific, but they MUST be able to cover MATISYAHU, the Jewish Reggae singer – both of ours favorite musician.
Post # 4
The DJ can always play anything–usually they’ll even find MP3s of stuff for you, but if you have hard to track down music (i.e., Israeli artists that maybe they can’t get a CD of) then if you provide the CD the DJ will play it.
As for the Matisyahu music, just ask any band. Most bands will agree to learn a certain number of new songs for you (mine guaranteed to learn first dances, parents dances, and any ceremony music). That said, it takes a lot for a band to learn a new song, especially if they are unlikely to be playing it at future gigs so be prepared for them to say no or only willing to learn 1-2 of his songs (I find it unlikely you’ll find a band that knows any already).
Post # 5
We decided to go with a Jewish band that could play other styles very well. It was important to us that the Jewish music be of high quality, and we also wanted a lot of jazz/big band, swing standard stuff. Plus, we also wanted different kinds of Jewish music (simcha dancing, klezmer, Israeli songs, etc). The versatility was important to us. It just seemed more liky that a Jewish band would have the most flexibility to do what we wanted and to do it well, whereas a non-Jewish band may be able to play some Jewish music, but since it wouldn’t be necessarily familiar to them (besides Hava Neglia), it might not sound as good or have the flavor we wanted.
The band we chose plays lots of non-Jewish weddings, as well as Jewish weddings of every observance level. Have you looked at http://www.chossonkallah.com? You can search for vendors in your area, and link to their websites.
Post # 6
@Rugelach: I didn’t know about the website – thank you!