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The Jewish Chronicle - JC Magazine - - Entertainment -

F YOU want to cel­e­brate like Wills and Kate, call upon Xtatic, who per­formed in Trafal­gar Square dur­ing the betrothal of Prince Wil­liam to Kate Mid­dle­ton. More than 100,000 peo­ple par­tied hard to their mu­sic —in­clud­ing Lon­don Mayor Boris John­son. Al­though your guest list will doubt­less be some­what smaller than that of the Royal cou­ple, Xtatic prom­ises to send a line-up of tal­ented artists who, when they are not per­form­ing at func­tions, are sought-af­ter record­ing and ses­sion mu­si­cians for the stars.

Xtatic’s man­ager Sarah Bal­four de­scribes it as a “mu­si­cian’s band”, with no mim­ing, no karaoke and no bizarre cos­tumes — just great mu­sic-mak­ers.

Led by bassist and com­poser Paul Carmichael, the band — which can be booked in for­mats from six to 14 mu­si­cians — per­forms in a va­ri­ety of mu­si­cal styles. As well as rock, soul, Mo­town and jazz, the reper­toire in­cludes tra­di­tional Jewish and Is­raeli. Xtatic is also pre­pared to travel for wed­dings abroad and has en­ter­tained in Is­rael, Spain and Por­tu­gal.

The days when num­bers such as Oh How We Danced and Al Jol­son tear­jerk­ers were the best-loved song at wed­ding par­ties are long gone. To­day’s wed­ding mu­sic is louder, live­lier and bang up to date.

At The Hit Squad, owner Jezz Baker says his team of pro­fes­sional DJs of­fers ev­ery­thing from rock classics to cur­rent chart favourites, all spun against a spec­tac­u­lar light show back­ground.

“The en­ter­tain­ment is as im­por­tant as hav­ing ic­ing on the wed­ding cake,” he re­marks. The Hit Squad has a team of hand-picked DJs, comic en­ter­tain­ers and ma­gi­cians.

Cov­er­ing all parts of Lon­don as well as Dorset, Hamp­shire and the Home Coun­ties, the com­pany also of­fers nov­el­ties such as ban­ners, stream­ers, pop­pers, bal­loons and sparklers, glow-sticks and even flash­ing sets of false teeth.

The Hit Squad also of­fers to pro­vide a full range of wed­ding ser­vices, in­clud­ing pho­tog­ra­phers, ac­ces­sories for stag and hen par­ties, lux­ury cars and toast­mas­ters and can point you in the di­rec­tion of cater­ers, bar sup­plies and venues.

A klezmer band can cre­ate a haimishe at­mos­phere with “Jewish soul mu­sic” — the per­fect blend of tra­di­tion and fun.

One of the top klezmer groups is Klez­ma­nia, fea­tur­ing Chris Haigh (fid­dle), Philip Clouts (pi­ano) and Alex Keen (dou­ble bass). Their reper­toire cov­ers a broad range of styles in­clud­ing the clas­sic Is­raeli hora and Ro­ma­nian folk mu­sic. The lively, ec­static mu­sic evokes both the spon­ta­neous verve of Eastern Euro­pean Jewish vil­lage wed­dings and the jazzy and so­phis­ti­cated Yid­dish-speak­ing com­mu­nity of New York. The band can be aug­mented by other in­stru­ments such as the clar­inet, drums, gui­tar and a singer. Mr Haigh was not brought up in a Jewish mu­si­cal back­ground, but he finds klezmer in­vig­o­rat­ing and pos­sess­ing a “world of mem­o­ries.”

At din­ner, mem­bers of Klez­ma­nia are pre­pared to play around the ta­bles, ser­e­nad­ing guests with klezmer, gypsy and ro­man­tic tunes per­formed with a fid­dle and an ac­cor­dion. They can also cool the at­mos­phere with mel­low jazz and Latin num­bers, while be­tween the cour­ses, a des­ig­nated ex­pert can lead your guests through tra­di­tional dances such the hora, line dances, tray dances, bot­tle dances and hand­ker­chief danc­ing.

For those whose fam­i­lies hail from Scot­land or Ire­land, Klez­ma­nia also of­fers Jewish-Scot­tish and Jewish-Ir­ish wed­ding mu­sic and danc­ing to give a true Cale­do­nian lift to the oc­ca­sion.

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