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Graham Howes Musical Services

Toronto , ON
CONTACT US
CONTACT US

LOCATION

Toronto, ON M8V 2P9 CA (map)

PHONE

416-251-8853

WEBSITE

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ABOUT US

I have been a professional musician in the GTA (Toronto and environs) for over twenty years. As a keyboardist/singer I've led my own band, concentrating on the special event industry:... Read more
I have been a professional musician in the GTA (Toronto and environs) for over twenty years. As a keyboardist/singer I've led my own band, concentrating on the special event industry: weddings and corporate events (fundraising balls, employee recognition etc.)

Classically-trained, I perform for all aspects of the wedding day: solo or duo for ceremonies, jazz duo/trio for cocktails and dinner and my party band for the dance portion.

My band is generally 6 to 8-piece in number but we perform as large as 19-piece, providing great dance music for weddings of all sizes. The musicians are all full-time professionals - and that makes a big difference! With a repertoire of over 1600 songs and a wealth of experience, we keep the dance floor full. Read less
Band

INFO FOR BAND

Are you an agency or a band?
Band
What is the size of your band?
Large (6+ musicians), Medium (4-6 musicians), Small (1-3 musicians)
What music genre does your band play?
50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, Classic Rock, Classical, Dance, Funk, Jazz, Motown, Oldies, Pop, R&B, Rock, Soul
Do you have liability insurance?
Yes
What is your band's usual attire?
Band attire really reflects the client's wishes. Any professional bands are going to have black tuxes but I only recommend that if the guests are all in 'black tie'. Otherwise, we use a 'men in black' look: black suit and black shirt (optional straight tie); you can see this on our website - it's professional-looking but not as formal.
Do you offer live sample performances or CDs?
Yes - for solo piano, jazz trio and party band
Are you willing to learn songs that you do not currently know?
Certainly! Although with a 1600+ song repertoire, chances are good that we already play it.
How much time do you usually need for setup?
For the party band - roughly an hour - depending on ease of access to venue.
 
 For solo keyboard, duo or trio - about 15 minutes but I'm usually on site an hour in advance.
How much space do you usually require?
For the party band - if there is staging, risers, etc. then allow roughly 16' across and 12' deep. Risers are usually in 4' x 8' or 4' x 6' units. With no staging, i.e. set up on floor/carpet, then allow 12' across and 8' deep.
Do you have a sign or banner that you use at events?
We do - but only if the client wishes it. The signage is high-class and professional.
What (if any) special equipment, such as disco balls or lighting, is offered with your service?
Fully equipped with instruments, amplification and PA. Wireless mic(s) are available without charge for client's use.
Do you usually emcee the event, or talk between songs?
While I'm happy to emcee, I always recommend a relative or friend of the couple perform this function. It's more personal that way.
 
 While I do talk between songs, I try to keep it to a minimum. I'd rather keep people on the dance floor.
How would you motivate the crowd if no one is dancing?
Usually, people do dance. If not, it's more likely to be a matter of changing the genre of music.
 
 Sometimes, though, not many people are dancing but one can tell that they are still enjoying things: conversation continues, people aren't leaving etc. In that case, don't fight it!
What is your policy on taking breaks? If you need a meal break, do you require that the client provide your meal?
I keep the breaks short and, if possible, coinciding with something such as speeches, bouquet toss etc.
 
 We may request 'supplier' meals, depending on the amount of time that we there, when we have to arrive etc. This is discussed during the contract stage.
 
 At some events, some or all of the musicians may not be starting to play until later in the evening (after dinner), in which case we will not require meals.
 
Do you play recorded music during your break?
Yes
If one or more of the band members is unable to attend, what is your backup plan?
For any of the players, we have at least three other musicians who are familiar with out style and will fit in without anyone noticing. This is what professional, full-time musicians are trained to do.
 
 Having said that, on most events the band make-up does not change.
What is your overtime rate?
Pro rata of the band fee. This is discussed at the contract stage.
Do you charge for travel expenses? If yes, how much do you charge?
Generally when playing in the GTA of Toronto area, we are looking at traveling in a 50 km radius roughly around the city. We do not charge any travel expenses for these destinations. 
 
 For out of the city, I will charge a per person allowance as well as potentially charging for overnight accommodation on a shared room basis.
What is the required deposit to secure your services?
Generally 25% on the signing of the contract with the balance to be paid on or before the day of the wedding.

REVIEWS

4.9
out of 5.0
4.7/5.0
5.0/5.0
5.0/5.0
5.0/5.0
5.0/5.0
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Kristine
Wedding:
6/14/2014
5.0/5.0
I booked Graham almost one year and half in advance because I loved the way he played jazz. He was reasonably priced and great to work with. He also was able to do a duet with my sister who sang my first dance. He was able to do one practice with her and it went great! They really set the vibe during our cocktails! Thanks so much Graham!!!
I booked Graham almost one year and half in advance because I loved the way he played jazz. He was reasonably priced and Read more...
I booked Graham almost one year and half in advance because I loved the way he played jazz. He was reasonably priced and great to work with. He also was able to do a duet with my sister who sang my first dance. He was able to do one practice with her and it went great! They really set the vibe during our cocktails! Thanks so much Graham!!! Read less
Services Used: Band
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S
Wedding:
8/31/2013
4.8/5.0
We found Graham at a venue open house where he was playing background music. After doing some rearch and listening to his music, we decided he was perfect. Graham offers electric keyboard, 3 piece band with keyboard, bass and sax/flute, 9 piece band and even 9 piece band with vocals. Whatever you need he can provide.

We selected Graham and his 3 piece band for the ceremony, reception and dinner music. Of course, being the younger generation, the bride and groom wanted music that wasn't so traditional. Graham knew almost everything they wanted and when he didn't know it (or wasn't up to his standards) he would practice and/or suggest other options that were as good or even better.

Graham is interesting to work with. He's not a formal, need a contract and half the fee now kind of person. He respects you as a client and believes a handshake and your word is as good as any formal contract. Thus, you wonder if he is really as good as he seems. And he is!

A week or so before the wedding, he contacts you to ensure everything is in place, answer any questions and make sure whatever you need is ready. He arrives early, gets set up, then disappears and reappears looking quite dapper in his performance suit!

His band members were friendly, professional and did a lovely job. They were able to move quickly and efiiciently between the ceremony location, reception hall and back to the ballroom for dinner with minimal disturbance or musical breaks.

Great job Graham! Many thanks for being part of our special day.
We found Graham at a venue open house where he was playing background music. After doing some rearch and listening to his Read more...
We found Graham at a venue open house where he was playing background music. After doing some rearch and listening to his music, we decided he was perfect. Graham offers electric keyboard, 3 piece band with keyboard, bass and sax/flute, 9 piece band and even 9 piece band with vocals. Whatever you need he can provide.

We selected Graham and his 3 piece band for the ceremony, reception and dinner music. Of course, being the younger generation, the bride and groom wanted music that wasn't so traditional. Graham knew almost everything they wanted and when he didn't know it (or wasn't up to his standards) he would practice and/or suggest other options that were as good or even better.

Graham is interesting to work with. He's not a formal, need a contract and half the fee now kind of person. He respects you as a client and believes a handshake and your word is as good as any formal contract. Thus, you wonder if he is really as good as he seems. And he is!

A week or so before the wedding, he contacts you to ensure everything is in place, answer any questions and make sure whatever you need is ready. He arrives early, gets set up, then disappears and reappears looking quite dapper in his performance suit!

His band members were friendly, professional and did a lovely job. They were able to move quickly and efiiciently between the ceremony location, reception hall and back to the ballroom for dinner with minimal disturbance or musical breaks.

Great job Graham! Many thanks for being part of our special day. Read less
Services Used: Band
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Cyprise
Wedding:
5/29/2010
5.0/5.0
Graham and his band sounded and look great! They kept us on the dance floor, which in turn really invites our guests to party away!
Graham and his band sounded and look great! They kept us on the dance floor, which in turn really invites our guests to Read more...
Graham and his band sounded and look great! They kept us on the dance floor, which in turn really invites our guests to party away! Read less
Services Used: Band

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