On a warm evening this summer, we set up shop for a scenic Dumbarton House wedding in a setting of early 20th century elegance. We’re really pleased to have worked with Ashleigh Bing Photography who was kind enough to share these stunning shots.
B+J came to us with some specific needs. We appreciated the opportunity to try our hand at a different set of services: pairing a trained jazz vocalist with my DJ set to bring a hybrid performance of jazz standards and dance music. My only regret is that I didn’t get the memo about the ’20s and ’30s vibe until showtime as I have a mean linen ensemble that didn’t get to come out and play this summer. The rest of the spiffily attired guests had to suffice.
The rain threatened off and on and we made a last minute decision to move the ceremony back to the lawn after setting it all up under a tent first. You have to be prepared to hang with curveballs in this business and thankfully the final result was smiles, laughter, happy tears and glamour.
Palm fronds, pastel floral arrangements and gilded serving ware evoked Great Gatsby styling as summer cocktails and hors d’oeuvres were enjoyed. My selections consisted of a number of electronic reworks of classic jazz artists to mesh the past with the present. Some tracks included Mark de Clive-Lowe‘s remix of Shirley Horn‘s “Return To Paradise” and Ella Fitzgerald‘s “Wait ‘Till You See Him” remixed by De-Phazz. The latter actually served as the ceremony processional and had a thematic significance as well.
At dinner, I settled into my set with vocalist Imani Grace Cooper. She gracefully handled a string of standards with the warmth and skill of a Howard University jazz studies graduate. Guests swayed to standards like “Summertime”, “Ain’t Misbehavin'”, “April In Paris” and “Bye, Bye, Blackbird.”
Imani dipped into some more contemporary dance tunes as we brought the lights down later, getting the party going with Chaka Khan‘s “Ain’t Nobody” and “I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross. I finished them off with Stevie Wonder‘s “Sir Duke”, some Bruno Mars and Calvin Harris before we wrapped the night with a club mix of Donna Summer‘s “MacArthur Park.”