Chicago Skyliners Big Band - What They Are Saying

A letter from a satisfied bride.


We knew it was fate that we would have your band at our wedding. We first heard your band a year ago at the John Hancock Building. We were having a few drinks with some friends before we headed to a wedding that evening. Your music was wonderful. It was the perfect backdrop to our conversation and it put us in a great mood for the celebration that evening. As we were not yet engaged at that point, I was surprised when my future husband approached you for your phone number. Who would have guessed that almost a year later we would be dancing to your fantastic music at our own wedding reception.

We want to thank you on so many levels. To start with, you were so accommodating to all of our requests. Thank you for organizing all of the reception music from the piano during cocktails, to the jazz quartet during dinner, to the 14 piece band with 2 vocalists for dancing, everything was spectacular. I want to especially thank you for learning “Peg of My Heart” for my father/daughter dance. My dad who is always quiet and reserved, had a smile from ear to ear. He sang every word to the song. You went the extra mile throughout. I appreciate your calming phone calls the week of the wedding. During a time when my voice mail was maxed with vendors in need, it was so reassuring to have you call to say everything was covered and I didn’t need to worry about a thing.

We really wanted to be certain that we had a band that did justice to Preston Bradley Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center. Only your band could catch the elegance and timelessness of the room. Your group is not only a wonder to the ear, but a wonder to the eye. Our guests of all ages couldn’t wait to get on the dance floor and they stayed on it until the end of the night. You did an excellent job of reading the crowd and playing the music that kept everyone dancing all night.

Bill, we greatly admire your ability to make a career out of your art. You surrounded yourself with a talented band that enjoys working together and is professional at all levels. We hope many other couples have the good fortune of having you perform at their wedding.

Thank you again for everything.

Peggy and Kevin Raihle

P.S. Thank you over and above for playing at our wedding despite it being your own anniversary. Not only is that dedication, but it also shows that you have a wife and family that is as committed to your success as you are.

Just a word to tell you how terrific your concert was at Northbrook last night. I was totally blown away by the power of the band and your extended drum sole on Sing, Sing, Sing. Your vocalist Leslie Beukelman reminded me of Anita O’Day with her perfect phrasing. Bill, you are the logical successor to Buddy Rich. Keep up the incomparable work in keeping the big band sound alive.

- Jack Coombe, ABC Disc Jockey
Hey Bill,

Just got back from the Countryside Concert in the Park. Wow, you guys were really swinging tonight. The sax choruses were really great. Drums sounded good as usual. Nice bass drum sound, nice thump, good crisp snare. Great solo on Sing Sing Sing. I envy your soloing ability.

Anyway, I don't think that you guys ever have a bad night. Everytime I hear you and your Band, it's like the top of your game.

And as for Leslie.......What can you say........She's like a fine wine that just gets better and better.

All in all, a great concert. Hope to see you in River Grove.

- Bob Dworak - Drummer

I saw your gig at Fitzgerald’s last night. Outstanding performance! I loved the hard-driving, no-nonsense charts you play! The guys/gal you have on the stage are fantastic! The arrangement of Clifford Brown’s “Joy Spring” was over-the-top!

Keep jammin’, Bill! Loved it!

Blair S. Nuccio, Ed.D.
Assistant Superintendent
Indian Springs School District #109

It was good hearing your CDs. Even better than I remember. I misremembered my favorite Sammy Nestico chart. It was “Dimensions in Blue” - such a great melody, and I love how the band sounds, brawny and robust. It’s also worth noting that Sammy’s music brought several Grammys Basie’s way in the 70s & 80s. It was also great to hear Kirk play “Where is Love” again. I heard him play it in person many times. Brought back good memories of all the great music there was in Chicago, and hope there will be again. Thanks again.

Peter Coppock
Jazz lover and Radio Jock

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