Jessi Marsh conducted this interview. She is a nonprofit executive, magazine contributor and social media expert.
You’ve probably heard of Spags and her cutting edge, show-stopping fashion runway performances or electrifying nightclub gigs. What you may not be aware of is that Southern California’s finest violin entertainer is also the recipient of several prestigious Wedding Industry awards and recognitions (Note her five-star rating and numerous rave reviews on this site.) She is highly skilled at shifting her powerful, edgy style into a more alluring, elegant experience that perfectly matches the intended atmosphere of a wedding. I sat down with Spags to ask her to describe her unique services so that an event planner, wedding coordinator, or Bride/Groom-to-be can get an idea of the experience this talented artist can provide.
What does Spags Music provide?
I can provide a range of styles from classical to top 40 to hip hop for all parts of a wedding or commitment ceremony, including the actual ceremony, the following cocktail hour, dinner service and the dancing portion of the evening. I offer half-day packages and full-day packages to cover all of your wedding entertainment needs!
How would you describe the services you can offer?
If you want to be totally original and add a musical flavor to your event that ev
eryone will be talking about the next day, I’m the performer for you. I have developed my style over the years – I play with joy and passion – emotions that should be expressed at every wedding. Additionally, as an accomplished, classically trained musician, I am able to shift into a more classic style, for the ceremony, for example, that blends in with the event as is appropriate. My desire is to communicate with you to create the exact experience you are hoping for, utilizing my full repertoire of music (from Sinatra to your favorite current radio songs), costumes (from subdued but on-trend attire to edgy, fashion-forward ensembles) and playing styles (I can blend into the backgroud or do an attention-grabbing full performance intended to be watched by your attendees.)
What are some new trends you’re seeing with music at weddings?
A live musician jamming along with a DJ is the latest trend. I work with several local, high-end DJs who are experienced in this new type of entertainment. It goes over very well with the crowd. Additionally, I have noticed an increased demand for a show-stopping performance – a service I offer that involves a short (10-15 minute) number or medley intended to be watched by your attendees that involves elaborate costuming, choreography and a truly unforgettable experience. I thoroughly enjoy custom creating these performances to reflect the mood of the event. Whether your style is romantic and demure, funky and fun or edgy and mysterious, it’s guaranteed that you and your guests will be touched, impressed and entertained!
Can I choose the songs for my event?
Of course! I can provide you with a large selection of songs I can play (see list below) and I am even willing to learn a special song for you if you have something particular in mind.
Can your musical selection entertain both my grandmother and my 12 year old nephew?
You bet. I am experienced with weddings and one thing is clear – all generations present will want to enjoy the music. We can work together to develop a set list that you’re comfortable with, taking your guests ages and tastes into consideration. One unique aspect of my music is that it is all instrumental, which means I can take a favorite rap or hip hop song (of which the lyrics may not be appropriate or reflect the elegance of the event) and turn it into something recognizable, yet styled to match the tasteful setting. I always perform with customized backing tracks to enhance the quality and depth of the music.
I notice a lot of your performance attire is very edgy. Do you dress differently for a wedding?
I do. I get information from the couple or the wedding planner to understand the intended flavor and atmosphere of the wedding. Typically, I wear a tasteful dress or trendy pantsuit and heels. My goal is to blend in with the event and reflect the ambiance you have created.
What can I expect to pay for your services?
I have a variety of packages to suit a variety of budgets starting at $1,500.00
ADDITIONAL HELPFUL INFO FROM SPAGS:
Booking: I require a signed contract and 50% deposit in order to secure a date – booking early is suggested!
Arrival Time: I arrive 2 hours prior to my start-time for half-day bookings and 3-4 hours prior to my start-time for full-day bookings. This ensures plenty of time for set up and sound check.
A/V needs: Typically, I bring all of my own equipment and can handle all set up. (Larger, more elaborate or remotely located events may require additional staffing.) I do need access to a power source but I have 100 foot extension cords to give flexibility.
Violin: I always play my electric violin – the sound can be adjusted to reflect a more classical tone or a more modern sound, depending on the music and setting.
Pre-Ceremony Music: I have two style choices for this (we can discuss additional options if something specific is needed.) They are Traditional Classical and Classical Twist (see my extensive song list below.)
Ceremony Music: I transition from pre-ceremony to ceremony music as the wedding party enters. I play at the typical times during a ceremony as requested, usually including the processional and recessional and perhaps a special moment like a candle lighting or prayer. Music for this can be selected from the list below.
Cocktail Hour: Immediately following the ceremony, I relocate to the reception site in time to begin playing as guests enjoy cocktails. I recommend upbeat and recognizable songs that reflect the tastes of all generations present.
Dinner Music: Once dinner service begins, I start my set. I do a strolling violin style, playing subdued, often romantic-type music, making every effort to get to each area of the room and providing a few moments of up-close performance for each table.
Jamming with the DJ: Torn between a live band and a DJ? This is the hybrid you’re looking for. An electric violinist and a skilled DJ together will provide that unexpected, unforgettable twist that will have everyone talking. I can coordinate with your DJ to offer an experience reflecting this hot trend.