Private Events

Creative, contemporary

& unique.

It’s hard to beat the sound of a live acoustic guitar at a special event.

It’s intimate and versatile. It’s open and interpretive. It’s poignant and dramatic when you want it to be—yet settles seamlessly in the backdrop when you don’t. It can be contemporary and casual, or traditional and formal. You can dress it down for a cottage party, or dress it up for an elegant corporate gala.

Performing at special events is one of my favourite things to do. I’ve had the honour of working at hundreds of unique events over the past 12 years. Highlights have included campaign launches at Trent University and the Women’s College Hospital Foundation… Corporate conferences at Malaparte, Langdon Hall and the JW Marriott Muskoka… and private parties everywhere from Rosedale to the Kawarthas.

There’s a creativity with modern events that I absolutely love. Each client has their own style, and I enjoy the process of finding the perfect sound—connecting with their audience in a creative, contemporary and unexpected way.

Humble beginnings.

My career as an event guitarist began like most fascinating turns in life… by accident. 

As I followed the unexpected path unearthed by my sister’s wedding (read full story), a new one quickly developed. Many venues started referring me to their private-event clients. 

Though excited by the requests, I was nervous at the same time. These were some big events—for some big companies—and I was unsure if my playing would translate into this forum. Furthermore, there were so many different kinds of events—everything from large corporate galas to intimate dinners, and milestone birthdays to casual cottage parties. 

Each step presented a challenge that pushed my performing in new directions. 

Finding the perfect sound for corporate and private events.

As an original musician, I’ve always placed a high priority on authenticity. To me, music needs to be genuine to three things: the performer, the material, and the audience.

In expanding my playlist for private events, I started where every event needs to start—with the client. Some clear questions came to mind: How diverse was the audience? What kind of mood did they want to set? What playlist provided something for everyone, yet had a continuity and sound unique to the event?

As an acoustic guitarist, there are some obvious places to start—Neil Young, the Hip, the Rolling Stones, John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Mumford & Sons, and so many others. There’s no shortage of great guitar music. That said, private events pushed me beyond the usual suspects… searching for unique acoustic guitar threads in artists like Shawn Mendes, Ariana Grande, Carly Rae Jepsen and Justin Bieber.

Needless to say, it has taken my guitar-playing, and my career, to a place I never even dreamed it could go.

From Pfaff BMW to British Royalty and beyond.

Fast forward 12 years later… and here we are… 500+ events down the road.  

I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked with hundreds of incredible clients, at some of the most beautiful, stunning, and unexpected venues across the province.  

There’s been everything from major-donor events at the Women’s College Hospital to campaign launches at Trent University. Exclusive events at PFAFF BMW to a Lakefield College School event hosting British Royalty. 

While the story continues to evolve, the approach has remained the same—a commitment to clients, creativity, authenticity, and craftsmanship. 

Authenticity, diversity, creativity and craftsmanship.

Live acoustic guitar drives an event in a way that nothing else can. There’s such a natural charm with the instrument and so many ways to make it highly personal, unique and memorable.

As a musician, there are some primary themes in my work: diversity and creativity in material; and authenticity and craftsmanship in its execution. I’ve always been inspired by great songs and sounds—and staying true to what makes them great. The Tragically Hip or Mumford & Sons don’t sound right without custom tunings. Creative interpretations of Justin Bieber or Ariana Grande fall flat if you don’t really do your homework.

Music that bridges a gap.

Music for an event needs to prioritize two things—on equal footing: the client, and the music.

Much like with my sister’s wedding, everything starts with the client. Music for an event needs to bridge a gap. It needs to be both reflective of the client’s individual style, and connect with a diverse audience. Every client I’ve worked with has been surprised at the level of creativity with which we can approach this.

One of my favourite parts of the process is finding this unique balance for each client.

A diverse, creative and contemporary playlist.

There’s a certain sound that just works well for private events. It covers the spectrum from dreamy and reflective, to happy and upbeat. It nods its head to the past, but is firmly planted in the present.

Having a diverse and creative playlist is a cornerstone of my work. Demographically, event audiences vary widely. There’s an art to finding the right markers for each generation. For me, great music is great music no matter what era it’s from—and what drives it is style, craftsmanship and artistry.

Building this list has been no easy task. Over the past decade, I’ve spent countless hours finding the right songs. Not just songs that are popular, but ones that are great works in their own right. Plus, they need to sound great on an acoustic guitar—taking advantage of its warmth, charm, intimacy, expansive depth, and unique tunings.

This journey—driven in large part by client requests—has taken me all over the map. As a result, you’ll find a playlist that’s rich, well-rounded and unexpected. You’ll hear not just songs from every end of the spectrum, but GREAT songs from every end of the spectrum. 

Jump to featured playlist.

The charm of a highly-personalized live performance. 

Live music adds so much to an event. Acoustic guitar performances have a unique charm that is open to interpretation. Classic songs have a retro flair, especially when placed next to modern selections. Different genres of music can have a high contrast—yet a unique continuity—when placed next to competing selections. 

On an acoustic guitar, you can go from the Tragically Hip to Justin Bieber; Frank Sinatra to Ed Sheeran; the Beatles to James Bay… and it’s seamless. 

When working with clients, my job is to develop a highly-focused soundtrack that makes an event highly-personal and memorable. 

 

Concert quality sound.

No discussion of music is complete without talking about sound.

As a musician, I naturally place a high priority on sound. While clients may not be aware of the technical details, they appreciate their impact. Great live sound for an event is clean, clear and not overbearing. There’s a level of art, science and experience required to achieve this kind of impact—especially in some of the unique locations I find myself in.

Gibson and Martin Guitars.

My set-up starts with great instruments—Gibson and Martin acoustic guitars. These are simply the best acoustic instruments made. In extremely intimate settings, the guitars are compelling enough in their own right, and require no amplification.

BOSE amplification. Crystal clear and invisible.

When it comes to amplification, I use a BOSE L1 system. It’s tall, narrow, lightweight and almost invisible. Unlike traditional speakers, sound radiates 180 degrees—allowing it to be placed almost anywhere with minimal physical impact. Working with a wireless transmitter, I have complete flexibility in where I can set-up. This is great for two reasons: 1) I can set-up based on YOUR floor plan, and not the other way around; and 2) It will always sound great.

These features are paramount with creative wedding locations. I’ve had speakers hidden in gardens, lodged in the Muskoka woods, and high on the balcony of the Berkeley Church. Not only does everything look good, but it sounds phenomenal—spacious, expansive, crystal-clear, and never overbearing.

Space and impact.

Over the past 12 years, I’ve had the pleasure of performing at some of the most creative, unique and stunning event locations in Ontario.

Each space, large and small, has not only been a rewarding experience, but also an enriching one. Different settings bring out different shades and hues in music—from the pure physics of sound, to the overall feel of the event. Live music plays a unique role in every situation, and I love the process of working closely with clients, coordinators and physical spaces to provide an exceptional result.

Fun, seamless and worry-free.

Unless you’re an event planner, most people aren’t used to booking musicians or running big events. There are a lot of moving parts, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

When working with clients my approach is simple: I take care of the details so you can have fun choosing music.

In terms of logistics, I’ll walk you through everything step-by-step. With weddings, there are only a few key planning decisions. From there, everything can easily be managed between myself and the venue.

Building the perfect playlist.

Most of my private-event clients have a clear vision for their event. The main decisions centre around audience demographics and specific song selections. 

To this end, I’ve always found it more efficient and effective to speak with clients directly—either via phone or video-conference. It gives us a chance to get to know each other better—combining your knowledge of the audience with my experience. From there, I put together a draft playlist for review, and make final amendments as required. 

Making easy work of the details.

Whether you’re having a small backyard event, or working with a large venue, my goal is to make the planning process easy, efficient and worry-free. With just a few basic preparations, we can make fast work of the planning when we meet—walking through everything step-by-step. 

From there, all you have to do is enjoy your event. 

Humble beginnings.

My career as an event guitarist began like most fascinating turns in life… by accident. 

As I followed the unexpected path unearthed by my sister’s wedding (read full story), a new one quickly developed. Many venues started referring me to their private-event clients. 

Though excited by the requests, I was nervous at the same time. These were some big events—for some big companies—and I was unsure if my playing would translate into this forum. Furthermore, there were so many different kinds of events—everything from large corporate galas to intimate dinners, and milestone birthdays to casual cottage parties. 

Each step presented a challenge that pushed my performing in new directions. 

Finding the perfect sound for corporate and private events.

As an original musician, I’ve always placed a high priority on authenticity. To me, music needs to be genuine to three things: the performer, the material, and the audience.

In expanding my playlist for private events, I started where every event needs to start—with the client. Some clear questions came to mind: How diverse was the audience? What kind of mood did they want to set? What playlist provided something for everyone, yet had a continuity and sound unique to the event?

As an acoustic guitarist, there are some obvious places to start—Neil Young, the Hip, the Rolling Stones, John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Mumford & Sons, and so many others. There’s no shortage of great guitar music. That said, private events pushed me beyond the usual suspects… searching for unique acoustic guitar threads in artists like Shawn Mendes, Ariana Grande, Carly Rae Jepsen and Justin Bieber.

Needless to say, it has taken my guitar-playing, and my career, to a place I never even dreamed it could go.

From Pfaff BMW to British Royalty and beyond.

Fast forward 12 years later… and here we are… 500+ events down the road.  

I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked with hundreds of incredible clients, at some of the most beautiful, stunning, and unexpected venues across the province.  

There’s been everything from major-donor events at the Women’s College Hospital to campaign launches at Trent University. Exclusive events at PFAFF BMW to a Lakefield College School event hosting British Royalty. 

While the story continues to evolve, the approach has remained the same—a commitment to clients, creativity, authenticity, and craftsmanship. 

Authenticity, diversity, creativity and craftsmanship.

Live acoustic guitar drives an event in a way that nothing else can. There’s such a natural charm with the instrument and so many ways to make it highly personal, unique and memorable.

As a musician, there are some primary themes in my work: diversity and creativity in material; and authenticity and craftsmanship in its execution. I’ve always been inspired by great songs and sounds—and staying true to what makes them great. The Tragically Hip or Mumford & Sons don’t sound right without custom tunings. Creative interpretations of Justin Bieber or Ariana Grande fall flat if you don’t really do your homework.

Music that bridges a gap.

Music for an event needs to prioritize two things—on equal footing: the client, and the music. 

Much like with my sister’s wedding, everything starts with the client. Music for an event needs to bridge a gap. It needs to be both reflective of the client’s individual style, and connect with a diverse audience. Every client I’ve worked with has been surprised at the level of creativity with which we can approach this. 

One of my favourite parts of the process is finding this unique balance for each client. 

A diverse, creative and contemporary playlist.

There’s a certain sound that just works well for private events. It covers the spectrum from dreamy and reflective, to happy and upbeat. It nods its head to the past, but is firmly planted in the present. 

Having a diverse and creative playlist is a cornerstone of my work. Demographically, event audiences vary widely. There’s an art to finding the right markers for each generation. For me, great music is great music no matter what era it’s from—and what drives it is style, craftsmanship and artistry. 

Building this list has been no easy task. Over the past decade, I’ve spent countless hours finding the right songs. Not just songs that are popular, but ones that are great works in their own right. Plus, they need to sound great on an acoustic guitar—taking advantage of its warmth, charm, intimacy, expansive depth, and unique tunings. 

This journey—driven in large part by client requests—has taken me all over the map. As a result, you’ll find a playlist that’s rich, well-rounded and unexpected. You’ll hear not just songs from every end of the spectrum, but GREAT songs from every end of the spectrum.  

Jump to featured playlist

The charm of a highly-personalized live performance. 

Live music adds so much to an event. Acoustic guitar performances have a unique charm that is open to interpretation. Classic songs have a retro flair, especially when placed next to modern selections. Different genres of music can have a high contrast—yet a unique continuity—when placed next to competing selections. 

On an acoustic guitar, you can go from the Tragically Hip to Justin Bieber; Frank Sinatra to Ed Sheeran; the Beatles to James Bay… and it’s seamless. 

When working with clients, my job is to develop a highly-focused soundtrack that makes an event highly-personal and memorable. 

 

Concert quality sound.

No discussion of music is complete without talking about sound.

As a musician, I naturally place a high priority on sound. While clients may not be aware of the technical details, they appreciate their impact. Great live sound for an event is clean, clear and not overbearing. There’s a level of art, science and experience required to achieve this kind of impact—especially in some of the unique locations I find myself in.

Gibson and Martin Guitars.

My set-up starts with great instruments—Gibson and Martin acoustic guitars. These are simply the best acoustic instruments made. In extremely intimate settings, the guitars are compelling enough in their own right, and require no amplification.

BOSE amplification. Crystal clear and invisible.

When it comes to amplification, I use a BOSE L1 system. It’s tall, narrow, lightweight and almost invisible. Unlike traditional speakers, sound radiates 180 degrees—allowing it to be placed almost anywhere with minimal physical impact. Working with a wireless transmitter, I have complete flexibility in where I can set-up. This is great for two reasons: 1) I can set-up based on YOUR floor plan, and not the other way around; and 2) It will always sound great.

These features are paramount with creative wedding locations. I’ve had speakers hidden in gardens, lodged in the Muskoka woods, and high on the balcony of the Berkeley Church. Not only does everything look good, but it sounds phenomenal—spacious, expansive, crystal-clear, and never overbearing.

Space and impact.

Over the past 12 years, I’ve had the pleasure of performing at some of the most creative, unique and stunning event locations in Ontario.

Each space, large and small, has not only been a rewarding experience, but also an enriching one. Different settings bring out different shades and hues in music—from the pure physics of sound, to the overall feel of the event. Live music plays a unique role in every situation, and I love the process of working closely with clients, coordinators and physical spaces to provide an exceptional result.

Fun, seamless and worry-free.

Unless you’re an event planner, most people aren’t used to booking musicians or running big events. There are a lot of moving parts, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

When working with clients my approach is simple: I take care of the details so you can have fun choosing music.

In terms of logistics, I’ll walk you through everything step-by-step. With weddings, there are only a few key planning decisions. From there, everything can easily be managed between myself and the venue.

Building the perfect playlist.

Most of my private-event clients have a clear vision for their event. The main decisions centre around audience demographics and specific song selections. 

To this end, I’ve always found it more efficient and effective to speak with clients directly—either via phone or video-conference. It gives us a chance to get to know each other better—combining your knowledge of the audience with my experience. From there, I put together a draft playlist for review, and make final amendments as required. 

Making easy work of the details.

Whether you’re having a small backyard event, or working with a large venue, my goal is to make the planning process easy, efficient and worry-free. With just a few basic preparations, we can make fast work of the planning when we meet—walking through everything step-by-step. 

From there, all you have to do is enjoy your event. 

Music – Artists.

Event music that’s unexpected. 

There’s a certain sound that just works well for private events. It covers the spectrum from dreamy and reflective, to happy and upbeat. It nods its head to the past, but is firmly planted in the present. 

What’s always drawn clients to my work are unique sounds and artist selections. They’re generally looking for creativity and balance. I’ve focused on an artful approach to framing and blending music so that it’s memorable, interesting and authentic. And of course, doing so in a way that provides a beautiful backdrop for an event. 

When it comes to specific music selections, there’s no shortage of incredible material to draw from. One of the greatest things about the acoustic guitar is its versatility. It’s the bedrock for so many classic songs both past and present—in so many different genres of music. 

On an acoustic guitar, you can go from the Tragically Hip to Justin Bieber; Frank Sinatra to Ed Sheeran; the Beatles to James Bay; Radiohead to Ariana Grande… and it’s seamless. 

My current playlist sits at just over 130 songs, and new ones are being added all the time. As the list has evolved over the years, there’s been a stable core of marquee tracks that are quintessential markers for each generation. 

Details.

Making things fun, easy and worry-free.

When working with event clients, my number one goal is to make things fun, easy, seamless and worry-free.

Below you’ll find a quick overview of the booking and preparation process, along with answers to the most common questions.

Ensuring the right fit.

Once we connect via e-mail and I get some basic details about your event, I will pass along some pricing information and a complete playlist.

When we’ve established that there’s a good fit, most clients will formally secure their date with a contract and deposit. That said, I’m happy to have an initial consultation via phone/video-conference to answer any questions.

Securing your date—contract and deposit.

To formally secure your date, all that is required is a signed contract and deposit.

The contract is straightforward—clarifying the details of the event, along with basic requirements. The deposit amount is 50% of the final balance and is non-refundable.

First-right-of-refusal: You are also welcome to ask for the first-right-of-refusal for a date. In this instance, we would have a draft contract on file. If another client wishes to book the date, you would have the first option to formally secure it with a deposit.

Fees, timing and what’s included.

When charging for a private event, I always do a customized flat fee. No two events are alike, and prices vary with travel and other minor requirements.

As a business, my priority is to provide exceptional service at a reasonable price. An important part of that is keeping things simple—with a firm, fixed quote that includes all travel, sound-equipment and tax.

Standard event performance: I offer a flat fee for up to 3 hours of performing. This accommodates the length of most events.

Pre-event meeting: The fee includes a meeting prior to the event where we review details and audition songs live—in-person or via video-conference.

Location changes: Many events involve one location change (i.e. from cocktail hour to dinner) and are not subject to any additional fee.

Choosing music.

The only way to choose music is to listen to it exactly the way it’s going to be played. Not only is it faster and more efficient, but it’s also incredibly fun.

                                   To this end, I’ve always met with clients—either in-person or via video conference—to make song selections. We’ll do this anywhere from one to three months prior to the event date.

Once you start hearing your selections played live, everything comes to life, and making decisions is much easier. As we get to know each other through this process, we can explore creative boundaries and build the perfect soundtrack for both you and your guests.

Making easy work of the details.

Whether you’re having a small, backyard event, or working with a large venue, my goal is to make the planning process fast, easy and efficient. With just a few basic preparations, we can make fast work of the logistics when we meet—walking through everything step-by-step.

I’m also happy to liaise directly with your venue and event planner regarding technical requirements.

From there, all you have to do is enjoy your event.

The
Venues.

From Canoe to the Canadian Canoe Museum.

There’s a creativity with modern weddings and events that I absolutely love… especially when it comes to venues.

Locations have varied as much as styles…with everything from rustic-chic barns in Muskoka to the urban charm of the Berkeley Church. The quintessential wine-country experience of Cave Spring Vineyard, to Malaparte at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Islands in the Kawarthas, to the grandeur of Graydon Hall, Langdon Hall and Casa Loma.