2014 & 2015 "Wedding Wire Couple's Choice Award winners & "The Knot" Best Wedding Pick!
With over 800 weddings in 8 states!
“GAZZE LEAD SINGER ON STAGE WITH PRINCE”
GAZZE lead singer Dwight Weems was picked by Prince to join him on stage during a stop on the “Musicology” tour. “My wife and I were in the front row of a sold-out performance at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford New Jersey” said Dwight. Halfway thru the set Prince motions me to join him on stage! “The next thing I knew I'm on stage with the legend, dancing and doing my thing. Then Prince smiles, points at me and says, "He's a Baaadddd Man!" to the entire crowd! I didn’t think he was ready for how crazy/fun I can be!
Then, Prince leads me all over the stage (in the round) pumping up the crowd and interacting with the band. The band was INCREDIBLE! I was slapping high-fives with Prince, partying with Maceo Parker, Candy Dulfer and the entire NPG Band. At one point Prince yells to the drummer,
(John Blackwell) to give him/me a beat. Then the drummer and I start playing/dancing together. Then Prince takes me over to Mike Scott (Guitar) and the 3 of us (Prince, Mike & I) start doing this dance step while the crowd went nuts.” “I did the same thing on stage with Prince as I do every weekend, I had fun in the music!”
In the audience for the star-studded performance were Lenny Kravitz, Denzel Washington, Max Weinberg (drummer for Springstein and Conan OBriens’ band), Rev Al Sharpton, Members of the Tonight Show Band and more. “Prince put on a terrific performance! And I know I pleasantly surprised him by showing him that I too……….am a Party Man!”
Dwight’s band “GAZZE” is a 10-member band based out of Baltimore Md. For more info go to www.thefunband.com
GAZZE Lead Vocalist "Shannon Ramsey" Mentored by Gloria Estephan and featured on National TV Broadcast
“GAZZE Lights Up the Stage With Technology”
GAZZE, www.thefunband.com, continues to set the standards for “live” performing, by adding a new $6,000 lighting system. “Thru-out our tenure we have continually raised the bar in ‘live” performing standards” said Dwight Weems, founding member of GAZZE. “ Our commitment has always been to provide the best total evening of entertainment, and lighting is an important tool to enhance a musical performance. Imagine going to a concert or disco with great music, but no lighting. You would be missing a tremendous amount of energy! I’ve seen some artists perform in the dark, or with 2-3 lights on a pole! But we’ve always had higher standards! We’ve always had good lighting, and now it’s even better!”
The new GAZZE lighting system uses the latest technology, to allow it to expand/contract to each venue. With this latest technology the lighting system can provide tremendous visual energy without overpowering any room. The new system will debut in February 06’.
GAZZE, the Baltimore based band, has been performing in the Mid-Atlantic area for 3 decades. One of the areas premiere Wedding/Corporate bands, GAZZE has performed in 8 states. Gazze’s collection of songs from the 40’s to today has continued to make them a favorite for wedding/corporate parties.
Pick up a copy of Bridal Guide Magazine and enter yourself or a friend in Bridal Guides “Bride of the Year!” contest. The winning couple receives a $90,000 free wedding package. Music by GAZZE, reception @ Tavern on the Green in NYC plus loads of other great gifts. This is the one of the largest wedding give-a-ways in the nation! Pick up your copy of Bridal Guide Magazine , or log on to www.thefunband.com or www.bridalguide.com for more info.
GAZZE performs “live” for the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center Telethon from 2-7pm on ABC 2 in Baltimore. Please call in a pledge to support this great cause.
Join us for the “wildest party” in town Zoomerang! The Maryland Zoo’s black-tie fundraiser. This past year we invite you to come out and Party with the Primates!
On June 10, hundreds of Zoo supporters will gather on the beautiful grounds of the Zoo to dance to GAZZE while enjoying tantalizing cuisine from more than 70 of the area’s finest restaurants. This event supports the great work at the ZOO and is one you will talk about for months! Don’t miss the best gala in town!
“GAZZE Featured in National Magazine”
GAZZE, www.thefunband.com, was featured in several issues of Bridal Guide Magazine! Pages 308-312 highlight the “Bride of the Year” wedding at the historic “Tavern on The Green” in New York Citys’ Central Park! The Baltimore Maryland based GAZZE, was the featured entertainment for the Global-Themed celebration. GAZZE performed its’ 700th wedding in 04’ and has been featured in The Baltimore Sunpaper, Fox, ABC, PBS Television and recently contacted by the L.A. Times.
“We are honored to be featured in Bridal Guide Magazine,” said
Dwight Weems founder & member of GAZZE! “Bridal Guide is a national periodical with 4.6 million readers plus per issue! Their magazine is set to the highest standards!”
GAZZE is one of the Mid-Atlantic areas premiere Wedding/Corporate bands, and has performed for weddings and corporate events in 7 states plus Washington DC since the 1970’s.
The Bridal Guide Magazine was on sale at area newsstands and bookstores across the U.S.
GAZZE members performed live on FOX 45 Morning News as GAZZE participated in the FOX 45 Dream Wedding Contest.
GAZZE will be the featured band during the Johns Hopkins Childrens Center Telethon on ABC 2
The wedding singers
After 33 years on the reception circuit, the Gazze band might appear to be married to the job. Tonight, the group marks a milestone -- No. 700.
By Rob Hiaasen
November 6, 2004
QUEENSTOWN -- They've kept their day jobs but come the weekend, they still come out to play weddings -- affairs of the heart, under the stars, under tents and always under the influence of music.
Introducing Gazze, as if the group needs any introduction after working Maryland for 33 years. Once a fixture on the bull roast and crab feast circuit, the former Dundalk garage band played its 699th wedding reception here last week. Gazze headlined at the wedding of Kristen Henel and David Lillis, who are honeymooning in Europe as we speak.
Gazze (a name meaning nothing, but it does rhyme with jazz) has played everywhere from the Patapsco Drainage Basin to New York City's Tavern on the Green. Tonight, the band plays wedding No. 700 in Hunt Valley.
"What I've learned all these years is that people really want to have a good time," says lead singer Dwight Weems. "And people are still falling in love and families still love to do things like this to pull everybody together."
Weems is one of two members from the original East Baltimore crew of 1971. He and keyboardist Don Bogert join seven other musicians for 40 dates a year, including corporate jobs. They have a choreographer but not a manager. They own tuxedos. They have a road crew that sets up for them. This addition, more than wireless technology, has kept the band together. "We would have killed each other," Weems says.
In the early years, Gazze played 80 dates a year, often four gigs a weekend. Its first paid gig was a teen dance at Patapsco Senior High School. (The band's ballpark fee now is $5,000.) Bogert remembers the night the equipment trailer passed his car on the road. The hitch had become unhitched. Gazze's musical guts ended up rolling across an Eastern Avenue bridge. A tornado once knocked power out at a performance. Al Keitz, bassist and master electrician, scrambled to find a generator to give them enough juice.
After 33 years, the equipment trailer doesn't pass them in their cars anymore. Some of the band members are married, some work in TV, engineering, computers and nursing, and some have grown children. Gazze played at Bogert's daughter's wedding.
Weems, the front man, is 52 and resembles Harry Belafonte and still moves like a one-man Temptations group. Bogert is 59 and sings backup to OutKast cover songs. While he does not shake it like a Polaroid picture, Bogert can play hundreds of songs. Gazze prides itself on playing about any song -- just give the members a heads-up so they can learn an Etta James, Beyonce or Pavarotti song. And they still rehearse at Forest Methodist Church in Sparrows Point, where Bogert is the resident organist.
Weems is keeper of the glowing e-mails:
"You had everyone up on their feet! What a great Louie Armstrong rendition of 'What a Wonderful World'" read an e-mail from film director Barry Levinson, who attended an Annapolis wedding this year where Gazze played.
"Dwight, your performance [and the rest of the band] was incredible. We know that you are called to do what you do. This is not a job for you, but an incredible calling," wrote Casey and Kristjana Cook.
"Your band kept people on the dance floor all night," another former bride wrote Weems. "My dad was sore the next day from pulling every muscle in his back -- still hanging on to youth as if there is no tomorrow! I loved it."
And from a future customer, who was also invited to see Gazze in Queenstown:
"There's a lot of people who are coming to our wedding that are a bit crazy, in a fun way! I'm going to have you send the contract to my parents' house in Annapolis since they'll be the ones footing the bill," Kerri Moreland wrote.
No wonder the band members never took a manager; word-of-mouth feeds them. When DJs emerged in the 1970s, Gazze realized it couldn't compete in the club scene anymore, Weems says. So, the band focused on the wedding market and never looked back. Cake is cake, garters are garters, but if you have bad music at your wedding, people will never forget.
Everyone wants Dad pulling a muscle as he dances to the Commodores' "Brick House." It might be the only time we want to see Dad dance.
The man, the music
An hour before the 7:30 p.m. start, Gazze's stage is set under a tent on the 18th-century grounds of Houghton House, a Georgian mansion and part of the Aspen Wye River Conference Centers. This is no bull roast. This is a famous locale. Downstairs, there's a photograph of Bill Clinton, Yasser Arafat and the kitchen staff. The bride, Kristen Henel, is being photographed outside in a drop-dead fall sunset.
The band trickles in. Bill Mitchell, who was in a rival band before joining Gazze in 1980, changes into his tux behind his Ludwig drum kit. Leo Szymanski, engineer/trumpeter, wears a musical-note embroidered cummerbund. Singer Donna Cameron looks over her song list, knowing full well Weems calls every song on the spot. It's an art: judging an audience and making snap song decisions. "I'm a country chick, but we have to know it all," says Cameron, a nursing student.
The man arrives.
Dwight Weems is not a shy man -- he recently was at a Prince concert and was plucked out of a front-row seat by Prince, who wanted Weems to dance onstage. He did. If Weems had no trouble keeping up with Prince, he's probably not going to let any wedding party down.
Gazze begins its "dinner music," and a couple is already dancing. "This is a good sign," Weems whispers. He's reading the crowd and forever plotting. He will pick songs when the salad is served. He will pick songs at weddings to give the kitchen staff time enough to fill glasses for the toast. "We're not here to be the stars," Weems says. "We're here to fill in the blanks."
You're just too good to be true ... can't take my eyes off of you, Weems sings for openers. It's a corny, wonderful song. "You Can Call Me Al," "Fly Me to the Moon" and just in time for salad, "How Sweet It Is" follow. So far, the party is skewing older. Sensing the typical first-set nerves of the crowd, Weems tells the band to play the great Jerome Kern tune, "The Way You Look Tonight." If people don't dance to this song, they need to reassess their priorities.
Ten couples get on the dance floor. "Stay there," Weems says, launching into Van Morrison's "Brown-Eyed Girl." It's the oldest wedding band trick in the world: Start 'em slow, get your hooks in, then bust out with a fast number to keep 'em on the floor. Then comes "New York, New York," and who can't swing to that? Gazze slows it down. Weems does a nifty Ray Charles impersonation and sings "Georgia On My Mind." Complete with rocking.
Because no reception is complete without music from the Charlie Daniels Band, violinist Bonnie McManaman leads Gazze in "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." The bridesmaids kick it up. Definitely country chicks in this crowd.
Gazze's first set ends, and the band retreats downstairs to the pool room, where beer, Cokes and tuna sandwiches in ribboned wedding bags await. Hold everything. "Anyone know the score of the Maryland-FSU game?" Al Keitz asks. Someone says Maryland is ahead, but it's early. Things could change. Or tonight could be really special.
Icing on the cake
Babe, I got you, babe. And, babe, you got a little cake there on your chin. David and Kristen eat cake as Gazze sings the Sonny & Cher signature tune. For their first dance, Weems breaks out the white handkerchief, dangles it to his side, and sings "What a Wonderful World" in his Satchmo voice. As he sings, Cameron mouths "Soul Man" to Bogert and guitarist Dave Leoni. Be ready.
Weems kick-starts Gazze into "Soul Man" and then "Mustang Sally," drawing the parents out to the dance floor. Cameron takes over the lead for Aretha Franklin's "Respect." Dads might have sore muscles in the morning. Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" is next, and the floor belongs to the ladies.
There comes a moment at every reception when greatness appears and tonight, the moment arrived in the form of a certain Florida State football team losing to Maryland and the moment when Wye River's Houghton House became a Brick House, with tenor saxman Buddy Rizzo (is there a better name?) leading Gazze. Guests are on the stage -- everyone is a Commodore. A woman wraps her arms around Weems from behind, as he uses his mike stand as an air guitar.
We have a new hero, and his name is Dwight Weems.
Getting late now. The night, cooler. Evening, don't end. When will all these fine people be together again? Some funeral? Tonight, the perfect neckties were set free. Dessert is history, and Gazze's 699th wedding is about history. Leo Szymanski has been playing trumpet for Gazze for 26 years. How could this not feel like just a job sometimes? How many times can a body play "Play that Funky Music White Boy"? But it's something Szymanski said hours ago about the band. Nothing profound, just the point.
"We all enjoy it," the trumpet player said. "People leave happier."
For No. 700 tonight in Hunt Valley, Gazze rehearsed this week at the Methodist church in Sparrows Point. The band members worked on Bruce Springsteen's "Jersey Girl" and Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are." They'll play those songs, so people will leave happier.
They're always falling in love.
Copyright © 2004, The Baltimore Sun
GAZZE, www.thefunband.com, has been selected by Bridal Guide Magazine to perform for their “Bride Of the Year” Dream Wedding in New York City! One lucky couple, out of thousands of entries, has been selected “America’s Most Romantic Couple” and will receive a $90,000 Dream Wedding @ “Tavern on the Green” in New York City’s Central Park.
GAZZE, the Baltimore Maryland based band, has performed over 800 weddings in 8 states and the selected entertainers for the Bridal Guide “Bride of The Year” Dream Wedding in New York City! GAZZE is one of the Mid-Atlantic areas premiere Wedding/Corporate bands, and has performed for weddings all across Maryland, DC, Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware, Massachusetts and more!
“We are pleased to be associated with Bridal Guide Magazine,” said Dwight Weems founder & member of GAZZE! “Bridal Guide is a national periodical with a circulation of 224,000 plus per issue! Their magazine is set to the highest standards!”
The winning couple receives a reception at Tavern on the Green in New York City, Music by GAZZE “The Fun Band.com”, gowns from Priscilla of Boston, diamond bands from Scott Kay, tuxedos from After Six, honeymoon from U.S. Airways/Breezes Superclubs-Bahamas, gifts from Cuisinart, Things Remembered, T-Fal, J.A. Henckels, Linens and Things, Avon Salon & Spa, Mitchell Gold, Pfaltzgraft, and much, much more!
The “Bride of the Year” couple will be announced at a party in NYC and will be featured in upcomong issues of Bridal Guide Magazine.
New Year's @ Hyatt Regency Resort / Cambridge MD GAZZE, www.thefunband.com, and the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina, created Maryland’s most memorable New Years Eve ever!! The Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort & Spa is the pinnacle of resorts in Maryland, with 35,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space, six food and beverage outlets, 18,000 square foot spa, extensive multi-level indoor/outdoor swimming pool and children's recreation center. Located on the majestic Choptank River, 40 miles from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Cambridge, The Hyatt Chesapeake Resort and GAZZE, www.thefunband.com did a New Years Eve second to none!
GAZZE is one of the Mid-Atlantic areas premiere Corporate/Wedding bands, and has performed for functions all across Maryland, DC, Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware, Massachusetts, New York and more!
“The Hyatt is first class all the way,” said Dwight Weems founder & member of GAZZE! “We have a history of performing New Years Eve at some of the finest facilities in Maryland and again we continue to raise the standards of excellence!” “ New Years Eve is a great way to celebrate with GAZZE and then getting your energy revitalized with a massage at the Hyatt’s 18,000 sq. foot European Spa!”
GAZZE recently announced an August 02' release date of the original single "We Will Be Free". Click on Press Releases Section for more info!
GAZZE performed for the Natl Foundation of Corvette Clubs Convention. The Corvette celebrated it's 50th anniversary and GAZZE kicks off onening night of the 3 day convention. Thousands of vintage Corvette owners from across the US will be attending and partying to the sounds of GAZZE!
GAZZE Rocks the Gubenatorial Gala! Over 4,000 people danced the night away at the Baltimore Convention Center! GAZZE closed out the night with a high energy performance that kept the crowd on it's feet!
GAZZE introduces the GAZZE Total Video Experience! This optional set-up takes your party to the next level! The GAZZE Total Video Experience gives everyone a front row seat to all the fun! Using multiple cameras and exciting video clips the GAZZE Total Video Experience brings all the fun up close!
GAZZE rang in the year 2002 in grand style! For the third straight year Gazze perfomed at Martins West in Baltimore. The jam packed crowd danced the night away to music that spanned the generations and witnessed the GAZZE Total Video Experience which showed live images from Martins as well as New York and Baltimore's Inner Harbor!
GAZZE performed a wedding in Cape Cod, MA for Olympic figure skater Paul Wylie! Click on the Press Releases section for more details!