Customizing the Perfect Music for Your Event


Five-Star Singing Guitarist on GigSalad

Dennis Winge Ensemble on Gig Heaven

Are you looking for music that:

  • perfectly suits for your type of event?

  • your guests will rave about?

  • is reasonably priced?

Featured on Zola

Finding the right live entertainment that everyone will love and will make your event memorable yet also fits your budget can be a daunting task that may make you feel nervous or even overwhelmed.

However, we believe that everyone has the right to the perfect music that serves the exact vibe they’re envisioning for their event.

Now on my second marriage, I know what it feels like to plan a wedding, and all the headache that can go along with it.  Because I play scores of weddings, corporate events, and private parties every year and run several different bands, I know how to help take the burden for finding the right music off your shoulders, and I am proud that many couples say “Dennis was super-easy to work with and a good communicator.”

As my bio states below, I have been playing gigs since I was 16 years old.  I have played at Carnegie Hall, the L.A. F.A.M.E. Awards, the original CBGB’s, Grassroots Festival, in several countries, and with some well-known musicians (see bio below).  I have 9 albums out as a leader (see reviews below) and have appeared on dozens of others.  I run Guitar Lessons Ithaca, and I actually still take lessons myself!

Here’s what to do

1. click on the band or service in the list below that best fits the type of music you’re looking for
2. contact Dennis to inquire about your date and availability
3. book with secure agreement & deposit
4. plan the details such as special requests and timing of your event

We promise that we’ll do everything in our power to make sure that you and your guests will have an amazing time!

When you book with me or one of my bands, you’ll a) have the perfect mood set for each portion of your event, whether it be solo guitar for your ceremony, chill background music for cocktail hour or dinner, or in-your-face dance music for the reception  b) hear lots of songs you love c) impress your family & friends of all ages d) be able to hold conversations easily because the volume is perfect e) have the flexibility to either plan out every minute of your event or be completely spontaneous (or anywhere in between) and have the luxury of the band adapting easily

If you book elsewhere, you may get a more ‘cookie cutter’ band and thus not ultimately be able to remember your event as well, or the musician(s) may not exactly fit with what you are looking for or perhaps play too loud or too soft, and your friends and family may be disappointed.

If you decide we are good match and you book me or one of my bands, you’ll be relieved that the music for your event will be perfect and you’ll be excited knowing that looking back you’ll always have many fond memories of the event!

Live Music Services

most popular choices:

other options:

Dennis at Carnegie Hall, New York City, age 20-something.

Be sure read Dennis’ article on How to Find a Great Band for Your Event here.  If it’s a wedding, read his article “Why I Love Playing Weddings” which shows his  personal philosophy about playing music for those special events.

Reviews

Jazz historian and author of 11 books Scott Yanow calls Dennis “a talented guitarist-composer who is well worth discovering” who “has an original sound on his guitar” and “is a flexible improviser with a versatile sound” who “never seems to run out of inventive ideas.”

Kyle Simpler from All About Jazz says “Winge’s diverse musical background [fills his music] with a wide range of styles, including fusion, blues, funk, and world music influences as well.  [His] guitar work is exceptional and [his compositions are] well crafted, intelligent without being pretentious.  [Winge’ playing] “reminds us that good music can also be good fun.”

George W. Harris, editor at Jazz Weekly, says [Winge’s compositions] “never feel like they are an exercise in gimmickry for its own sake” and of Winge’s improvisation he said “playful playing.”

Editor of Contemporary Fusion Reviews Dick Metcalf says “one of the most impressive things about Dennis’ [music] is the variety of styles you’ll hear,” calling it a “high-energy jazz adventure.”  He says “[Winge’s] guitar work encompasses several styles of music, all the way from rock/blues to funk, world and  eclectic jazz…total talent and dexterity.

Jules Brown, editor-in-chief of jazz guitar online magazine, writes “[Dennis has] such a varied, genre-spanning selection of music, it is hard to pin any all-encompassing labels onto [it]. The common thread is perhaps Winge’s ability to paint a picture; to send the listener to a time and place beyond the here and now.  Candy sweet melodies give way to melancholic blue notes, whilst clean guitars gradually crescendo into overdrive, entirely changing atmospheres in the space of a few bars… [There are] Shades of Tal Farlow, Les Paul, John McLaughlin, Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana…Winge demonstrates his wide appreciation of all genres of guitar playing and music in general. He seems deliberately unconstrained by ‘jazz’, ‘rock’, or the other ‘boxes’ we put ourselves in, and the result is some really special music.  It is intelligently conceived and passionately delivered.”

Testimonials

Monks-on-the-Commons – Ithaca, NY

“My name is Joshua Fogarty and I manage Monks on the Commons in the Ithaca Marriott downtown on the Commons. We have hosted the Dennis Winge trio for about 5 months now, and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that they are just absolutely sublime. I always look forward to hearing them every week. The rotating cast of musicians that Dennis brings are about as skilled as anyone around, and their attention to the atmosphere is really, really impressive. They have the ability to play at an entrancing ambient level that really encourages conversation, or they can be in a limelight of their own making. If you are looking for an excellent musicianship that will definitely always draw a crowd, look no further than the Dennis Winge trio.”

Finger Lakes House – Elmira, NY

“My name is Bill Mott, the owner of Finger Lakes House in Elmira. We’ve had [Dennis’ Trio] play [on a regular basis] for several months now and we get a good crowd that likes to follow [the band]. They play good music and they play quiet[ly] so peojazz trio 5-14ple can talk to each other. I’ve had nothing but good comments about them and highly recommend them to anyone who may want to hire them.”

Mix – Ithaca, NY

“Hello, my name is Shayne Johnson and I’m the owner of the restaurant of MIX in Ithaca New York. We can’t say enough about Dennis Winge and the musicians he surrounds himself with. He championed the concept of our Sunday Jazz and Blues Jam. Which has increased revenue and turned Sunday into an exciting night at MIX. It has been two years and Jazz and Blues night is going strong. I must say it is refreshing to have a hands-off event each week as Dennis handles all the preparations to the last detail. So, if anyone is looking for fantastic music and a very professional host look no further. We highly recommend Dennis Winge!”

Hosmer Winery – Ovid, NY

“The Way played here today.  It was absolutely terrific, their repertoire was exceptional, just great songs.  Everybody was singing along, dancing, and we were real happy with them.  And we had a lot of diverse people here; we had young people, old people, and everybody enjoyed them thoroughly.  I would recommend them highly.” – Cameron Hosmer

Testimonial from Client whose wedding ceremony & reception Dennis played:

“[5 stars].  It was a little nerve wracking to hire a musician for my wedding – but Dennis exceeded all my expectations. I would rate him 10/10 and recommend to ANYONE looking for a wedding musician. Everyone at the wedding loved the music. Thank you for making our day awesome!

Here are the following reasons Dennis is fantastic:
1) Great communication
2) Friendly & easy-going
3) Flexible with requests (especially considering the current state of COVID19.)
4) Professional in both conduct and technical skill.
5) Detailed personal website and many samples on Youtube”

– Amy N., 2020

Testimonial from client whose engagement event Dennis played:

“[5 stars] Dennis did an excellent job performing for a surprise proposal. He learned two new songs that I requested and played them to perfection. He also did quite the acting job to help sell the surprise. I could not have been more pleased with Dennis’s musical performance and would highly recommend him for any events! [This customer rated you highly for work quality, professionalism, and responsiveness].” – Arib R.

Latest News!

Dennis’ brand new album For Music Geeks Only features a performance track plus educational content on 82 exotic and common musical modes!

Musicians: check out Dennis’ new monthly column called “Sailing Your Musician Ship” published by Inside:Cool Music Magazine.

Check out Dennis’ 2021 album “What Are The Odds?” which got rave reviews from All About Jazz, Contemporary Fusion Reviews, & Jazz Weekly!

Listen to Dennis’ interview on the “More Than Music” podcast with Kara Conrad on Spotify or  Apple Podcasts.

Read an interview with Dennis from All About Jazz called “Take 5 with Dennis Winge.”

Experience

A professional guitarist living in Ithaca, NY, Dennis brings:

– decades of musical experience
– a genuine desire to create a win/win situation for venues, patrons, and musicians
– a wide versatility of styles/ bands/ musicians so that he can customize the perfect musical setting for each event/ venue
– a free consultation about finding the perfect music for your event

Dennis Winge has performed at Carnegie Hall, the L.A. F.A.M.E. Awards, the original CBGB’s, Grassroots Festival, and many other prestigious venues over his 30+ years as a freelance guitarist.  At present, he has released 8 instrumental albums (see originals tab) plus 1 with vocals as a leader and has performed on scores of other artists’ tracks & albums.

Having started to learn guitar at age 7 and bass at age 12, Dennis has studied with some of NYC’s finest jazz and rock guitarists including Ron Parmentier and Jack Wilkins.  Winge played his first bar gig when he was 16, and has been a bandleader since his early 20s, when he headed the main campus function band “The Institutionalized” while attending Manhattan College. Later, he became the musical director for Ikonographics Videos, Inc.

Some of the names he has played with in the rock world are Jon Cobert (who played with John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen); Cheetah Chrome (who played with the Dead Boys); Clifford Carter (who played with Paul Simon, James Taylor, Dolly Parton).

In jazz he has worked with Bill Crow (who played with Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan); Gene Bertoncini (who played with Buddy Rich, Tony Bennett); Shunzo Ohno (who played with Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock); Bob Meyer (who played with Joe Lovano, John Abercrombie); David Budway (who played with Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Regina Carter).

As for off-Broadway productions, Dennis has played in the pit on Les Miserables, All  Shook Up, Footloose, 13, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, as well as portions of Rock of Ages, Wicked, Aida, All That Jazz, Jeckyl & Hyde, The Wiz, and In the Heights.

Winge currently performs at weddings, private parties and events of all kinds throughout the entire Finger Lakes Region of NY including Auburn, Binghamton, Buffalo, Canadaigua, Cooperstown, Corning, Cortland, Elmira, Fulton, Geneseo, Geneva, Hamilton, Hornell, Ithaca, Jamestown, New Hartford, Norwich, Olean, Oneonta, Oswego, Penn Yan, Rochester, Rome, Syracuse, Trumansburg, Utica, Watkins Glen, etc.

Online Courses

Dennis currently offers three online music courses for all instruments:

Albums

For Music Geeks Only (2022 trio album plus educational package for all instruments of exotic and common modes )

What Are the Odds? (2021 trio album

with special guests of “odd meters & other types of fun”)

Fly on the Wall (2020 solo guitar album of covers from a variety of genres)

One Small Step (2019 double-album of 19 originals with Trio).

Check out a great review from JazzGuitar.com here and the one from Contemporary Fusion Reviews here.

Come Out and Play (2018 standards live with Trio)

Just the One of Us (2017 solo acoustic originals)

Dennis also wrote 60% of the material and leads the trio on this debut album from “Not From Brooklyn” (2020 originals):

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Click on the calendar to see where you can catch Dennis this month.   Thanks for visiting!

Thumbtack Best of 2016