Yelp does not provide enough stars to give proper credit to Dave Swirksy and Expressway Music. Five stars doesn’t do it.
When I started planning my daughter Julia’s bat mitzvah party over a year ago, I swore that we would not have a DJ. I have had so many miserable experiences as a guest at mitzvah parties (and weddings) where the music was deafeningly loud, so loud that the walls and floor seemed to vibrate and you couldn’t have a conversation with the person standing right next to you unless you literally screamed in their ear. I have been to more than one party where I sat there with earplugs, unable to socialize or enjoy myself or even hear myself think. So when Julia expressed a wish to have dancing and games, initially I said no. I said no the second, third, and fourth times she asked as well. Finally, I began to worry that she wouldn’t have fun at her own party and agreed to look into finding a DJ that both kids and adults alike might enjoy. I was skeptical, to say the least.
Fast forward to November 18, 2017, when Julia and our guests — kids and adults alike — had the time of their lives thanks to Dave, who was our DJ, and the incomparable Alberto as emcee. Dave has an uncanny ability to read the room, play music that will be fun for all the guests, and meet the host’s goals and take the host’s wishes into account. I honestly wasn’t sure how this was possible, but he did it. It takes enormous talent and sensitivity – not to mention good taste – to accomplish this, and the experience was so amazing that it far surpassed anything I’d expected. The music was at an appropriate volume so that people could dance and enjoy themselves, but also so that people who weren’t necessarily dancing could enjoy themselves as well, whether at the bar, in small groups of people having conversations, etc. Alberto the emcee just charmed the kids with his sense of fun, creative games, whimsical dances, and more. He was so much fun, even adults joined in. (Yes, I tried to limbo!) When both your 13-year-old daughter and your 81-year-old father are raving about the entertainment at your party, you know you found the right talent.
From the time I started my initial search for a DJ to the date of the party, Dave and his wonderful assistant, Charissa, were professional, responsive, courteous, thoughtful, and kind. They addressed my questions, listened to my wishes and concerns, put my mind at ease, and treated me with the kind of professionalism one can only hope for when planning a big event. Charissa also put together the most delightful photo montage of my daughter for our guests, unfazed by my requests for last-minute changes to it.
Planning a party like a mitzvah or a wedding is a substantial investment financially and an even greater investment emotionally because it celebrates a milestone of enormous personal and cultural significance. My daughter was so proud of what she had accomplished in preparing for her bat mitzvah and could not have found a better way to celebrate than with music and dancing guided by Dave and Alberto. I honestly don’t think I ever saw my child so happy. As a parent, one’s happiness is often determined by the happiness of one’s kids. That was certainly true here, but not entirely, because I thoroughly enjoyed myself in the moment as well and will remember it all for a very long time. I am really grateful to Dave and his colleagues and cannot recommend him highly enough.
Archives for February 2017
A New York City Bat Mitzvah
Bat Mitzvah Service
I was very confident going in that Aliza’s Bat Mitzvah this past Saturday Night at the Manhattan Penthouse was going to be extra Special. Aliza and her family have a natural way of making everyone (from Vendors to Guests) feel welcome and included. The service was also held at the MP and here is a snapshot of towards the end of the service.
We provided an Ipad Playlist that hooked into the venue’s system during cocktail hour. I made the list of great songs from the 60’s through the 90’s as requested and while Adults were enjoying everything in the front room the Kids came into the main room for a little Karaoke with me (DJ) and our Emcee Alberto.
Introduction of the Bat Mitzvah Girl
Aliza wanted to be introduced at the end of cocktail hour to her friends only. Here it is with our DJ Alberto making the announcement.
Our clients almost always have us bring Karaoke to their kids Bar/Bat Mitzvah but i have to say this group of children could not have been more into music and singing and dancing. At the end of the party there were still over 20 song slips left! * Please note if you are worried that karaoke will “take over” your child’s party not to worry. I don’t ever put on a karaoke song if it’s going to disrupt the dancing on the dance floor. On this party, because the Karaoke was in such demand with the kids, i was going back and forth between singing and dancing and it was seamless for over 3 in a half hours!
If you think there was a lot of singing you would be right but it didn’t come close to the amount of Dancing Aliza and her friends did(and the adults!!!)
In Addition to being a Busy NYC Emcee(and DJ) Alberto is also an active Dancer who performs at Lincoln Center almost every night. In the video below you will see that one of Aliza’s friends didn’t need Alberto’s help leading this particular dance!!!! (JuJu on that beat)
Our Expressway Music Photo Booth was once again a huge hit. Our Photo techs are easy going and great with guests and we bring fun props for guests to dress up in. Our Customized strips come in either Color or Black & White. Here are a few photos of guests having a blast with our booth!
Projector and Screen for Montage
One of Aliza’s friends did a great job making her Montage. We brought along our Projector and Screen to play it.
Quite often our Emcee and/or Dancers will hand out raffle tickets to kids every time they participate in a game, or are dancing or answer a trivia question correctly. This is done often throughout the party so kids are always interacting. Towards the end of the party our emcee will tell kids to collect their tickets. Our emcee (or the Bar/Bat mitzvah girl or boy) will call out raffle numbers and whomever wins gets prizes like gift cards, ear buds, etc. Here is a photo of Emcee Alberto conducting the raffle.
DJ Dave and Emcee Alberto
We have worked together often and have a great chemistry. We compliment each others strengths and weaknesses very well
THANK YOU FROM MOM
Sent: Tuesday, February 7, 2017 5:00 PM
Subject: Thank you!
Thanks for everything, Charissa. Aliza, friends, and family all had a fabulous time. The music, photos, dancing, karaoke, montage were all terrific. Alberto got rave reviews, and you and Dave were amazing from start to finish. We will be recommending you guys to all our friends. Thanks for all of your patience, attention to detail, and professionalism.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Central Park West
New York, NY 10023
Thank you so much to Aliza’s parents Tony and Hilary for having us provide the entertainment for this amazing Bat Mitzvah.