The Usual Suspects @ Marie & Ben’s Dunbar House Wedding

Some happy snaps from Marie & Ben’s wedding last Saturday that Marie was lovely enough to send us before jetting off to Europe. Thought we’d share:

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Entering the reception to The Usual Suspects rendition of Marry You (Bruno Mars):

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Sharing their first dance to Al Green’s classic Let’s Stay Together (our favourite shot of the night. AMAZING dress Marie!):

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And The Usual Suspects in action. Thanks to Lynette from LCB Productions for this one:

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As you can see it was a beautiful evening. Wonderful as always to work with Lynette from LCB Productions and the ever fabulous team at Dunbar House – thanks for all your incredible effort and direction in creating such a perfect night. And congratulations to Marie & Ben. You both look so over the moon and it’s just amazing to see! Thanks for letting us at Funkified Entertainment be a part of your night, it was truly a privilege. Looking forward to seeing more pics when you’re back! X

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Ellipsis Jazz at Pendolino for Laura & Dave’s Wedding

Upon contacting us for her wedding entertainment, Laura remarked that Pendolino was ‘quite a dark and moody venue – not typical for a wedding at all. We thought a little jazz group would be appropriate’. And with that, it was obvious that Ellipsis Jazz would be a perfect fit for her vision. The reception kicked off with an atmospheric double bass set downstairs at The Strand; before guests moved into the restaurant to be treated to food and wine that was reportedly ‘delicious beyond words!’ Laura and Dave shared their bridal waltz to Ellipsis’ stirring rendition of Jamie Cullum’s Please Don’t Stop The Music, spending the rest of the night on the dance floor with their guests – always wonderful to see. Furthermore we were truly touched when Laura emailed us the consecutive Monday with the following:

“Dave and I literally still can’t wipe the smiles off our faces and are beyond thrilled with how it went from beginning to end… The boys in Ellipsis were the coolest, loveliest and most talented musicians I could have hoped for and everyone had a ball dancing the night away. And the song selection was excellent… Thank you for making it all so easy.”

Such a pleasure. Props to Ellipsis Jazz for another amazing job well done, and a huge congratulations to Laura and Dave from all of us at Funkified Entertainment! You guys have an incredible future ahead of you. X

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Steve from Ellipsis downstairs at The Strand.

Artist Interview: Steve Foxe from Ellipsis Jazz

We sat down with Steve Foxe, bass player/band leader of  Ellipsis Jazz, to bring you a little industry insight from the perspective of one of our most popular acts. Enjoy!

Q. What was it that made you want to get into music?

Steve: I grew up in a musical family, so it’s always been a big part of my life. My earliest memories are getting out Mum’s pots and pans and hitting them whenever my Mum and Dad would play a duet.

Q. How long have you been playing with Ellipsis Jazz?

Steve: I started playing with Ellipsis in 2011 with my two best mates from the Con (the Sydney Conservatorium of Music) – Danny May and Steve (Slam) Lamante.

Q. What’s your favourite party song to play with Ellipsis?

Steve: I think I would have to say Valerie by Amy Winehouse. We always slip this in towards the middle of our last set. People just love the beat of this tune and will always join us on the dance floor.

Q. What, in your opinion, is the best Bridal Waltz song, and when have you seen this song work well?

Steve: I think it would have to be My One and Only Love. Where have I seen this done well? At my own wedding of course!

Q. What’s the strangest request you’ve ever had whilst gigging with Ellipsis, and how did the crowd receive it?

Steve: We did a gig in Hobart earlier this year closing for a corporate dinner. These guys had been down in Tassie all week for a conference, and by Saturday night they were ready to let their hair down and have a good time. The song that was requested was Thriftshop by Macklemore. As a jazz band, we’d never even thought of playing it! Fortunately we had two things going for us – WiFi and a drummer who knew the song, and more importantly was willing to sing it. We performed it in the very next set and it went down with the crowd very well! Obviously an office favourite.

Q. What’s your favourite new song to play with Ellipsis?

Steve: Favourite new song would definitely be Justin Timberlake’s Senorita. Awesome groove. The crowd always love singing along with Edo as well.

Q. And your favourite classic?

Steve: I can’t go past I’ve Got You Under My Skin. We do the Frank Sinatra version, and it doesn’t get much better than that. Swingin!!

Q. What do you think was the best gig you guys have ever done and what made it so?

Steve: Ellipsis did a gig back in October 2012. Despite being only myself (bass), Danny (keys) and Edoardo (vocals), we were still able to get all the guests up on the dance floor for our last set. Edo is such a natural with this – weaving into the crowd, mixing it up with the guests and getting them to participate by finishing off a line to a classic like Mustang Sally. I’m always proud of how well Ellipsis engages with the guests, and how the guys are always able to bump it up a notch right when it’s needed. I reckon we’re the hardest working jazz band in town – the boys give it their all and there is never anything left to chance.

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Love your work Foxey, keep it up!

Hearts for Kid’s Gala Dinner

The Usual Suspects were honoured to play during the Hearts on the Harbour Gala Dinner, a fundraiser organised for Hearts for Kid’s Cancer Research and The Kid’s Cancer Project. It was such a special night, and so wonderful to see so many people get behind these phenomenal organisations. We were later informed that the final amount raised was around $75K, which is fantastic news!

A highlight of the night was watching Ruby King, a 12 year old cancer survivor, sing What A Wonderful World with The Usual Suspects, resulting in a well deserved standing ovation. Ruby has an astoundingly beautiful and sophisticated voice, and it was so moving and so inspirational to see her perform with a confidence and poise well beyond her years. I don’t think anyone could quite believe that such a big voice was coming from such a little girl! This one is definitely going places.

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Again, it was such a special night, and truly humbling to play a role in it. Particular thanks from us at Funkified Entertainment to Lynette from LCB Productions, Kim from The White Idea and the team from Opera Point Marquee, for all your wonderful direction and assistance. And Congratulations! What an outstanding outcome. Truly amazing to see all those hours of work come together in such a beautiful event 🙂

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(Photos courtesy of La Tessa Photography)

Salt String Quartet @ the Fine Wine Partners Henschke ‘Feast for the Senses’

The Fine Wine Partners Henschke tasting dinner, hosted amidst Sydney’s spectacular harbour views at Quay restaurant, was a truly fresh and innovative event. Pairing each wine bracket and chef Peter Gilmore’s delectable 3 course menu with a specifically selected musical introduction (courtesy of the wonderful Salt String Quartet), each element of the evening was perfectly chosen to complement and enhance the wine, food and music on offer. Furthermore, the dinner occurred during Sydney’s celebrated Vivid Lights Festival, creating an evening that was truly a smorgasbord for the senses.

Fiona MacDonald, PR Manager at Fine Wine Partners, worked very closely with our team in the lead up to the event; to hand-pick musical pieces that would heighten and reflect the Henschke wines presented. The results were quite amazing! The anticipation and drama of the tango Por Una Cabeza was a succinct likeness to the experience of the full-bodied Mount Edelstone Shiraz and the Cyril Henschke Cabernet. Likewise, Vivaldi’s Summer, 3rd Movement was a perfect counterpart for The Henschke Hill of Grace, with its inherent sense of romance and intensity.

Caitlin, the head violinist of Salt String Quartet, reported that the attentiveness and enthusiasm of the audience made them a delight to play for; and it was a pleasure from all of us at Funkified Entertainment  to contribute to such an original and wonderfully designed night (the fact that we all happen to be massive fans of Henschke wines didn’t hurt either!). We’re looking forward to many more such events. It really doesn’t get much better then a literal feast of outstanding, wine, music and food!

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The Salt String Quartet girls, enjoying Sydney’s Vivid Lights