If you are looking for tasteful and sophisticated music that will have you tapping your feet, please spend a moment with us to take a look and give a listen. Planning a simple cocktail hour or a larger celebration for an entire morning, afternoon, or evening? We are here for you!
Creating an enjoyable, fun atmosphere with a touch of class is our priority. Our repertoire provides you with tastefully arranged jazz and Latin standards as well as perennial pop classics - the Great American Songbook tunes of Gershwin, Porter, & Ellington to those of Burt Bacharach, James Taylor, Patsy Cline and more. As seasoned professionals, vocalist Mary Ellen Desmond and pianist Robert Pallies, we have entertained audiences in venues from the renowned Keswick Theater just outside of Philadelphia to the legendary Tavern on the Green in New York City's Central Park West. We pride ourselves on our unique sound, our professionalism, and our ability to meet and exceed your needs and requests to make your occasion special.
Here is some of what the critics have said :
"The most refreshing voice in jazz." Bruce Klauber of JazzTimes Magazine
"Chanteuse Mary Ellen Desmond - a Philadelphia treasure." A.D. Amorosi of The Philadelphia Inquirer
"First rate jazz balladry." CADENCE Magazine
"A consummate musician with a superb voice." Vic Schermer allaboutjazz.com
"She's a first class singer you really must hear." Philadelphia Press Review
and here's a bit more background on us ...
Mary Ellen Desmond has been performing professionally in the Philadelphia / New Jersey / New York area for the past 30 years. During that time she has also accepted invitations to perform engagements in Japan. JazzTimes Magazine has described her as a "confident, musical, swinging stylist who is simply a joy to hear. Her voice is sweet, clear, and pure with a deceptively wide range, attractive vibrato, and superior intonation." Classically trained she is recognized as a crossover artist covering a variety of styles and repertoires with a primary focus on jazz standards and the American Songbook. She can be heard singing at area clubs, concerts and churches. Ms. Desmond teaches voice on the faculties of Philadelphia's University of the Arts and Community College. She has released three CD recordings to date.
Her collaboration with pianist Robert Pallies is gaining them attention for increasing concert performances and entertainment for private functions. They share an affection for the repertoire of the Great American Songbook genre as well as pop classics, making them a well matched duo in their musical tastes and skills. Mr. Pallies takes pride in his original arrangements of standard material and Mary Ellen is nothing short of enthusiastic to add to the interpretations. The repertoire they have chosen is ideal for them - the Great American Songbook, and beyond, featuring composers and lyricists from Rodgers & Hart, Cole Porter, Johnny Mercer, Hoagy Carmichael, George & Ira Gershwin, and Duke Ellington to Burt Bacharach, James Taylor and the hits of Patsy Cline. They are a quintessential jazz duo performing a wide variety of tastefully arranged material that listeners find at once sentimentally familiar and uniquely enjoyable.
Robert Pallies began his music career at age 15 playing the organ at St. Rose of Lima church in Haddon Heights, NJ. He studied music and piano at Rutgers University. Then he continued his studies with the renowned jazz teacher Dennis Sandole. In 1988 He won a silver medal in Downbeat Magazine's national competition in Orlando, Florida. Robert has continued to perform in the Philadelphia area in many venues, including opening for the Manhattan Transfer at the Keswick Theater and being featured several times at the First Night Haddonfield New Years festival. He also teaches piano, theory, and composition to private students in the Philadelphia and South Jersey area.