Dinner Music

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Dinner Music

Postby goodknightdj » Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:57 am

OK folks, I am looking for something different.

Typically for dinner I play Frank, Dean, Michael Buble, Harry Connick, and so on. I also have a 80's mix that I use from time to time.

Honestly, its getting old and I'm looking for some fresh ideas to try. And yes, I do ask my clients but most of the time they don't really have an idea of what they want.

What are some different lists I can use?
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Postby dokai » Wed Apr 11, 2007 2:56 pm

I try to mix in a little Sade once in a while. There's a jazz mix of "Smooth Operator" that works well, but even the standard version fits well in a dinner set. "Is It a Crime" and "Sweetest Taboo" also work well, and since they sound familiar, they seem to help set the mood for dancing later.

I've also incorporated some St. Jermaine to good reviews. An artist that I've mentioned before here, Erik Mongrain, has also sparked some interest from listeners. And Corinne Bailey Rae has been recommended, too.

There's another thread on dinner music here.
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Postby Dj Sean » Wed Apr 11, 2007 6:40 pm

Dokai, its St. Germain with a G (might help with the searching goodknight), and thats a great recommendation for some more up to date loungy music.

Might I suggest some ethnic diversity, such as,

Buena Vista Social Club
Los Dandys - great latin guitar dinner music, stuff you would hear at a great italian resturant.
Ottmar Liebert - has a great cover of Santana, again latin guitar.
Josh Groban
Shibua Jazz Classics - great jazz
Thievery Corporation - (Album)Mirror Conspiracy. newer lounge album, great for the young hip newly weds.
(album) Blue note trip, saturday night - great compilation of jazz
Jazzanova - (album) In Between - new contemparary jazz and lounge

Hope that helps a little. I'm glad to see your branching a little, that is always good to do.
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Postby dokai » Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:41 pm

Dj Sean wrote:Dokai, its St. Germain with a G (might help with the searching goodknight), and thats a great recommendation for some more up to date loungy music.


DOH! Sorry about that! :oops:
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Postby Bryan Durio » Thu Apr 12, 2007 7:22 am

Another thing to do is to play a mix of familiar non-danceable tunes. I find that it keeps people actively listening for good tunes they haven't heard in a while. They don't need to be played at dance floor volumes, just in the background. I currently have 1600 songs in that category, and I have OtsDJ randomly pick the songs every time. That keeps it from getting stale.
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Re: Dinner Music

Postby Michigan DJ » Fri Apr 13, 2007 12:42 pm

Norah Jones and Erykah Badu are two I will mix in a lot.
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Postby Dj Sean » Fri Apr 13, 2007 8:03 pm

I second those picks Michigan DJ. Great choices.
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Re: Dinner Music

Postby SteveCie » Sun Apr 15, 2007 11:24 am

goodknightdj wrote:OK folks, I am looking for something different.

Typically for dinner I play Frank, Dean, Michael Buble, Harry Connick, and so on. I also have a 80's mix that I use from time to time.

Honestly, its getting old and I'm looking for some fresh ideas to try. And yes, I do ask my clients but most of the time they don't really have an idea of what they want.

What are some different lists I can use?


Check out Maynard Ferguson's music. Some really great standards re-arranged and sound great for dinner music.
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Postby jbrown157 » Mon Apr 16, 2007 6:57 am

Bryan Durio wrote:Another thing to do is to play a mix of familiar non-danceable tunes. I find that it keeps people actively listening for good tunes they haven't heard in a while. They don't need to be played at dance floor volumes, just in the background. I currently have 1600 songs in that category, and I have OtsDJ randomly pick the songs every time. That keeps it from getting stale.


I'm with Brian. I like to mix some familiar 60's-70's-80's songs that everyone knows with a "love" theme. I start slow with songs like "Into the Mystic" (Van Morrison) and gradually increase the tempo. By the end of dinner I'll be playing tracks like "I Do" (J.Geils) or "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" (Frankie Valli). I watch the guests. If I am seeing people singing along or toe and finger tapping, I know that I'm on the right track. This is a good time to learn what your guests will like.

Like Brian, I am also on computer (PCDJ), so I have a different mix every time. I don't want to listen to the same stuff every time either!
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Postby Bryan Durio » Tue Apr 17, 2007 6:02 pm

Bingo, Jack! Great minds think alike!
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Postby Dave Miller » Tue Apr 17, 2007 7:26 pm

jbrown157 wrote:... songs like "Into the Mystic" (Van Morrison) ...
That was my wedding song. Surprising to learn how feew DJs carry it (It's not on VM's Greatest Hits).

But I do similar stuff. Soft rock, non-danceable oldies. Toe tappers.

I don't own any Michael Bubbly or any of that other 'music-to-have-your-teeth-drilled-by' crap.
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Re: Dinner Music

Postby DuneTunes » Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:27 pm

Depending on the age and demographic:

Thievery Corporation has some great Acid Lounge that is great during cocktails / dinner. Check out the OM Lounge CD. I've never had a complaint on any of the Acid Lounge and Chill Lounge selections during dinner (choose the less techno selections).

Cool recognizable Latin selections such as "Oye Como Va" go over well, you'll always see someone groovin in their chair!

Urban Smooth Jazz remakes of pop R&B hits please younger listeners, and make more contemporary choices palatable to older guests. There are great versions of 1-2 Step, Shake Ya Tailfeather, Yeah, In Da Club, Candy Shop, etc.

My favorite group for these is "Tha' Hot Club" (with an "A").

One client jokingly called it "Elevator Hip Hop" - appropriate!
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Re: Dinner Music

Postby jbrown157 » Thu Apr 19, 2007 5:38 am

Thanks for the tip on Tha' Hot Club. I sometimes use Urban Jazz from Hidden Beach "Unwrapped" (Mike Phillips & Co.) or "Streetwize" (Kim Waters). I see that Tha' Hot Club is also a Kim Waters project. I ordered the CD and will be anxious to hear it. I think it will be a nice addition to the others.

I've come to enjoy mixing Cocktail and dinner music. There are a lot of different possibilities & combinations. Sure beats the old "Kenny G's greatest hits" days!
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