Are you looking for a Band or DJ alternative? Spencer Bates is a DC based singer/pianist/entertainer available for your event! Spencer performs nightly at solo and dueling piano bars across the country. His performances combine musical talent and charisma, and his repertoire includes nearly 3000 songs spanning every genre and decade. Spencer has performed at weddings, special celebrations, benefits, and corporate events for over ten years. He is available to perform solo or dueling piano sing-a-long/dance-a-long style receptions with comedy and crowd interaction, performance style receptions, and ceremony and cocktail music (with or without vocals). For all dueling piano events, Spencer performs along with a trusted and experienced colleague. Instruments and equipment are provided upon request. Performances can include guest requests and/or a pre-selected/pre-approved song list. Spencer is available to MC the entire event as well. Spencer guarantees personalized service based on your distinctive vision, needs, and desires!
Spencer is a self-taught musician. He is a singer-songwriter who has written, recorded, and self-produced three albums. Having said that, music and performance have never been far from his grasp. Spencer devoted much of his time as a teenager to musical theater, where directors were quick to take advantage of his surprising vocal range. During those early years, his primary artistic focus was film, which he began studying formally upon entering college. But the drive to perform loomed large. Inspired by a one-time performance at the end of high school, in which faculty and student musicians alike backed him on renditions of classic pop tunes, Spencer began spending every free hour at the piano, an instrument that he had previously never played. As it happened, he had a natural ability to learn the instrument that matched his innate vocal gift. Some might interpret Spencer’s lack of formal training as a handicap. But, to the contrary, it’s one of his greatest assets: his melodies are clear, direct, and indelible. Spencer can hear a song and then play it. His memory for lyrics is unmatched. And, Spencer’s witty humor and knack for entertainment only add to his performance. Spencer and his music have been called “Editor’s Pick” by TheWashingtonPost.com, “A Ben Folds prodigy!” by Discoveringartists.com, and “An artist of substance.” by The Georgetown Voice. The Missoula Independent commented, “You may not know the words well enough to sing along, but you feel compelled to try,” while The Phantom Tollbooth explained “Let the fun, whimsical talent of Spencer Bates give you a mental vacation,” and EarCandyMag.com shared, “A lot like Elton John during his Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy period.”
“We knew he was the guy for us after it sounded better than any radio cover of our favorites ever. We knew that our guests would be transported to a true concert-type/piano bar environment. Spencer’s song list is amazingly diverse as well – he does everything from classic piano bar tunes to modern songs like Mumford & Sons, Britney Spears, SNL skit songs like “I’m on a Boat,” to country songs. We decided to use Spencer for the ceremony, emcee, and cocktail hour entertainment as well. He was very thorough before the wedding day about making sure he had all of the music that we wanted to hear, information for all of the introductions/speeches/first dance/dance party/dinner. He learned three new songs for our ceremony…I cried before I walked down the aisle because of how beautiful his singing was before the ceremony. During the reception, he was highly professional with our friends and dealt with several last minute song requests, that weren’t even on his song list. All of our guests had nothing but raves for Spencer.” – Kimberly
“I turned to Spencer B to make my engagement proposal truly unforgettable. Having Spencer for a private engagement in which he played hand-selected songs couldn’t have been more perfectly executed. When worrying about delivering one of the most important questions in life, one can never feel fully reassured that the “big proposal” will go off without a problem. Spencer reassured me that everything would be taken care of and without another bit of effort on my part he provided exactly what I had envisioned — and it left my fiance speechless.
Naturally, we turned again to Spencer for our wedding entertainment/music. Everyone raved about how much fun they had with his music, and the fact he could “keep the party going” even beyond the time frame we expected from him. It was a far drive for Spencer and yet he stayed up late and everyone was so grateful for his services. He not only provided the music and entertainment but also brought the equipment and made announcements during the event. His impromptu musical additions were a great compliment to speeches and requests made by guests and he never placed himself in the way of the action but rather was able to wrap himself around it with his unparalleled musical talent.
The piano became the most popular spot for our guests at our outdoor wedding and for good reason – thank you so much Spencer. – Jon,
For my rooftop lounge-style wedding reception, my husband and I wanted a truly memorable and unique experience for our guests. Typical choices like a small quartet or DJ seemed “expected”. We hired Spencer to play his piano and sing our favorites during our entire event, which was very “fluid” in nature (no formal sitdown dinner). Just Spencer, his piano, heavy hors d’oeuvres and cocktails on a beautiful rooftop lounge overlooking DC’s monuments. For the “formal” moments, like a bride-and-groom dance, Spencer beautifully delivered a rendition of a Dean Martin song of our choosing. Afterward, our guests had a really fun time making requests to him from a song book – just like at a piano bar – and they danced and sang along in our intimate setting. He nailed every tune, from the expected requests for Elton John to the unexpected requests for Lady Gaga and Alicia Key’s New York. In short, his performance was perfect, fun and memorable. – Jennifer
Spencer played at our wedding reception in Williamsburg, VA in September. Just by luck, we saw Spencer play in Georgetown, and were amazed at the range of music he played, including his own pieces.
We rented a baby grand piano for the reception and Spencer had the room dancing in no time. While hurricane Hanna blew gusts of rain against the windows, guests hardly noticed. The crowd included 20 somethings – all the way to 80 somethings, and NO ONE could sit still.
The biggest nightmare for any wedding is a rogue DJ. We never worried about this with Spencer, and in fact on a few occasions more people were bellied up to him at the piano than at the bar.
We whole heartedly recommend Spencer without any reservation. The reception turned out to be as elegant as planned, and much of that we owe to Spencer and his talent. He read the crowd and knew what would make the night shine!
P.S. Our wedding song was Everything by Michael Buble – which he did justice to, and even played it for us again 3 years later when we popped in to [a venue to] say Hello! – Brad
Spencer played at an event at my house several years back. But I also see Spencer fairly often at [a] regular venue in Georgetown. Spencer plays a wide variety of material in a variety of styles and will even learn some new material if needed for a particular event. That is, he is very open to customizing his repertoire to meet the needs of the event organizers. We plan to use Spencer again in the near future. – Terry
Spencer was a major part of the success of our party at the Newseum in May. He provided both ambient instrumental music and sing-along vocals at different times in the night. Our guests really enjoyed his style and the variety of songs presented. I also very much appreciated how easy it was to work with Spencer and his team in the planning of our event. He will definitely be a go-to entertainer for future parties for our organization. – Jon, AIA|DC President
Spencer said he would take care of us and he definitely exceeded our expectations. Originally we planned to hire Spencer and a DJ to mix up the entertainment at our wedding, but after Spencer assured us he could give us everything we wanted, we decided to hire him to play from cocktails to the last dance. He can play anything and even did some nice remixes that had everyone on the floor dancing – there was never a moment where the dance floor wasn’t packed. People loved making requests and following the wedding I was approached by a number of guests about how it was the most fun they had ever had at a wedding, in fact my parents are trying to come up with an excuse for another party to have Spencer attend. He brought his own equipment – all we provided was a power outlet. He also doubled as MC for all of our special wedding dances. Spencer is extremely talented and was one of the most memorable elements of our wedding. – Cori .
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