I am so thrilled to introduce an great company to you today. I was out at their studio a few months back and I have to tell you I was very impressed.
Hi Leigh, Have you been with Jerry Bruno Productions long? What do you do there? What’s the best part about your job?
I have been with Jerry Bruno Productions since July of 2005. I started out just a couple days a week, then began doing event coordination but realized sales isn’t for me. So I proposed to take over website editing and begin internet marketing, which is in line with my degree and experience in Public Relations. I love getting a chance to utilize creative skills and learn about internet marketing daily.
In 2006, Jerry put together a new band called The Avenue and invited me to be one of its singers. I asked a friend that I used to sing with in a girl group at Pickwick & Frolic, Tiffany Marchak, to join, and we pieced together the rest of the band via connections and ads.
(Leigh, singing with The Avenue)
When did Jerry Bruno Productions begin as a company? How did it get started?
The Bruno family has long standing music roots in the Cleveland area. Jerry Bruno moved to Los Angeles in the 80s and created The Jerry Bruno Music Network there. His clients included the likes of President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan, Princess Di, and the casts and crews of “Cheers” and “Taxi.” He conducted a string ensemble for Bon Jovi’s after-Oscars party in 1990.
Jerry returned home to Cleveland in 1995 and began growing what is now known as Jerry Bruno Productions.
Your website describes your company as a “wedding entertainment source,” what do you mean by this?
About 90% of our booked jobs are at wedding ceremonies and receptions. But in addition to over 20 bands and 20 DJs, we represent countless musicians and acts for all aspects of an event. We’ve booked string quartets to play everything from Bach to Metallica at ceremonies, and Elvis impersonators to entertain at rehearsal dinners.
We also have a lot of clients needing entertainment for corporate events and private parties, as well.
If a couple walks in, who should they expect to talk to?
Currently, most of the booking and event coordination is handled by DJ Scott Jones and and Geoff Short. Scott is our General Manager and has been working at the office for a decade, and Geoff is band leader of and singer in The Avenue. They both have extensive experience planning and performing for weddings at all the major local venues.
(The amazing Scott Jones)
When would you recommend a DJ for a wedding and when would you recommend a band?
It can be a matter of taste and/or price. Some feel that a band provides an air of class, while others just want someone to be in charge of playing music at the right time and making announcements.
There are exceptions, but most of our bands excel at playing a wide range of popular genres and songs, which is great if your guests range in age from 8 to 80. If most of your dancing crowd is younger and into primarily modern music, a DJ might be a better fit. Many clients hire a band for the first four hours and then a DJ for the final hour or two, for the younger crowd.
What unique qualities does each have to offer?
A DJ is usually more affordable than a fully stocked band, and you’ll hear the original, familiar versions of all your favorite music. A band will provide more crowd interaction and bring more energy and personality to the room. (Our DJs pretty much stay at their booth, no dancing on speakers or singing along.)
If a bride is interested in a particular band, how far in advance should she be sure to book?
At least a year. As of July of 2010, we already have some bands and DJs booked for dates in October of 2011.
If a couple has no idea what the best entertainment choice is for their wedding, can you help guide them to a perfect match?
Absolutely! First, we can narrow choices down using availability for their date. Then, we can show them some choices on DVD. If a client isn’t feeling the vibe of a band or DJ, we’re pretty good at reading that. No problem, we move on to other choices. We’ll find out about their venue, their budget, their guests and their favorite music, and usually one or two bands or DJs will come to mind as a good fit.
What question should every couple ask their entertainment before booking with them?
They should find out if the individual they are meeting with, or those featured in the video, will be the same individuals who will be performing at the event. Some companies book under one name, then farm out the work to anyone available. But one song can sound VERY different sung by different singers, and different DJs have very different personalities. Not to mention one song list doesn’t fit all bands.
At the same time, conflicts can occur. Once or twice a year, we may need to replace a lead singer or DJ due to illness. The fact that we have a pre-screened talent roster in our pocket is a major plus to booking through an agency. We can easily fill-in a role at the last minute if needed, and the bride won’t be bothered with added stress the day of her wedding.
Leigh, thank you so much for your time. I look very forward to working with you guys in the future.