Danny Chaimson loves weddings. “I love hearing the speeches and I’m interested in people; you get to know them through the whole [wedding] process. And on that one night, it’s like standing behind a window and watching a little slice of the most intimate part of the day in someone’s life.” As owner and manager of the Gold Coast All Stars, a two-year-old wedding band gaining steam in the Windy City, Chaimson (who plays the keyboard) has been privy to more than a few of these intimate moments.
It was while preparing for his own wedding a few years ago that Chaimson approached his father-in-law and asked permission to arrange the entertainment. “I picked every song from start to finish, and not the generic wedding songs.”
Both the wedding and the entertainment were a hit, and Chaimson’s friends soon began pushing him to start his own wedding band. “I felt ready to start this type of band because of the many lessons I had learned from playing in so many different bands and at different types of shows throughout my career,” Chaimson said. Thus the Gold Coast All Stars were born.
The musical mindset comes as a result of the successes Chaimson found on the West Coast and abroad before returning to his native Chicago in 2009 to settle down. But for the past near-decade, he played alongside artists such as Of A Revolution and George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic and in such well-known venues as The Fillmore in San Francisco, The Gorge Ampitheatre in Oregon and The O2 Arena in London. In the crowded wedding industry, the All Stars stand out because of their authenticity. “Every wedding band tries to play current music, but when it’s a group of 50-year-old guys playing, you can’t take them seriously. But when a rapper is actually performing a hip hop song, it feels authentic.” To boot, one of Chaimson’s eleven band members is a rapper and can convincingly cover everything from Sublime to Stevie Wonder to Jay-Z.
“I run the All Stars differently from many other bands,” Chaimson explains. “I want my guys to have original projects; I want them to still have hope. I think a lot of musicians end up in weddings bands not by choice but because it’s something they have to do. My band is there because they want to be there.”
With this mentality, the future of the All Stars look promising—they’re booked solid into next year—and Chaimson hopes to eventually start a second band in Chicago. 312-898-4073; firstname.lastname@example.org