For those itching to listen to music in its rawest form by a group of genuinely passionate performers, look no further than the Teahouse Music Company. Designed to be a boutique music booking agency that offers a range of different genres, the company specializes in instrument-centric performances, highlighting styles ranging from jazz to bluegrass to classical to Irish music.
The performers within the Teahouse Music Company remind their audiences of the beauty and simplicity of classic musical instruments.
“I call myself a modern-day minstrel,” explained Chris Murphy, president and lead musician of the Teahouse Music Company. “I give you the equivalent of what’s been going on for thousands of years: I, along with band members, go to various events and serenade audiences with violin music, much of which I wrote and composed myself.”
With a violin and a PA system in the back of a 2003 Honda Odyssey minivan, Murphy travels from venue to venue epitomizing the organic way of playing and performing music.
The Teahouse band members specialize in string-oriented instruments, such as the guitar, bass, and mandolin, as well as percussion and vocals.
“It’s interesting that in today’s modern world, with all of this digitally generated information, the artistry of being a minstrel is still alive and well,” Murphy said.
With an emphasis on providing pure high-quality music, the Teahouse performers are split into bands amongst themselves according to the kind of ceremony that they are playing for. The musicians are grouped by the genre they mesh best with.
“I pick my musicians based on their reliability, originality, and musicality,” Murphy said. “We have six bands on the Teahouse Company roster. Each one has a different focus.”
For example, the two jazz bands include the Blind Blakes – a group known to harmoniously blend jazz, blues, and swing – and the Wine and Roses Band – a “hipster jazz band” that can incorporate rock, pop, and even Latin musical styles.
As for classical music, the Black Canary Strings are known to fuse the elements of power and drama into their performances. Teahouse solo musicians are available as well and are able to perform both with acoustic and/or electric instruments.
For bluegrass fans, the musical options include the Devil’s Box (bluegrass, country and folk) and the Silver Mountain String Band (bluegrass, folk, and Cajun spice).
Lastly, those who prefer more unique or exotic musical stylings can explore the World Music band options, with the Bracken Band (traditional Irish) and Sora Nova (Flamenco, Tango, Bossa Nova, Italian, Middle Eastern, and more) as well-rounded choices.
“We take the flavor of all of these style sand make them our own,” Murphy said. “We are always improvising and changing the music, reacting to whatever situation we’re in.”
With such a variety of music to choose from, it’s no wonder that the Teahouse Music Company seems to have no limits when it comes to the type of event they are open to performing at.
“We’ve done all sorts of gigs, from weddings to dedications to square dancing to even spiritual wakes,” Murphy said. “We’ve been everywhere from San Diego to San Francisco.”
Murphy said that due to such expansive capabilities of the music company, Teahouse is able to “musically cater” to its audiences.
“There’s going to be a major difference in what’s musically appropriate at a bright, sunny wedding versus a late night bar,” Murphy said. “Our music is very adaptable.”
The Teahouse Music Company has also had its share of opportunities at high-profile events, such as playing for Jennifer Lopez’s birthday party or performing at Kevin Costner’s residence. Other noteworthy clients include celebrities like Robert Downey, Jr. and Ellen DeGeneres as well as large venues like the Four Seasons Hotels and the Getty Museum. Recently, Murphy played violin at the 2014-2015 Golden Globe Awards.
More important to Murphy than all of the accolades, however, is the role and value of music at every life event.
“Music does more to the atmosphere and the mood than any other factor does,” Murphy said. “I can’t encourage people enough to have live musicians at an event. It adds life to the event.”
Murphy has been playing music for a living for 25 years.
“When they hear our music playing, I want people to be captivated,” Murphy said. “We’re in the business of enchanting people.”
The Teahouse Music Company prices its packages based on factors including equipment, venue, travel time, and setup.
For more information, call 310.651.8913 or visit teahouseco.com.