• "I have never seen a crowd charge the dance floor at the beginning of a wedding."Hoban-O’Donovan Wedding, The Blackstone Hotel

  • "It was picture perfect in every way."Kelly-Ryden Wedding, The Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

Rendezvous is an eleven to fifteen piece contemporary dance band and is considered the gold standard in the private event industry. Led by master of ceremonies and vocalist Toni DiDonato, Rendezvous brings unmatched musicianship, superior vocal talent and explosive energy to every performance. Make a date with Rendezvous for a spectacularly fun, sophisticated and timeless affair!

View Rendezvous’ Song List »

The above video features original song ‘Never Thought I’d Find You’© performed by Rendezvous and written by Rendezvous music director Kevin Connelley.

Meet the Band

Click the images below to explore the Rendezvous band profiles.

Vocals

Toni is a diva without the attitude. She is Rendezvous’ consummate leader and master of ceremonies, as well as a beautiful and talented vocalist. While keeping an ear to the music, she keeps an eye on the mood of the audience, expertly guiding the flow of every event. Her modus operandi is professional, warm and sincere. Clients appreciate her commitment to excellence.

Sophisticated, warm and witty.

Toni started singing at age three and hasn’t stopped honing her craft. After earning her degree in vocal performance at Northwestern University’s School of Music, she earned accolades as a member of the prestigious Chicago Symphony Chorus. Toni has performed throughout the United States at celebrity bashes, annual corporate gatherings, operas, political functions and other high-end events. She is one of the few vocalists who can sing it all, from classical to jazz to contemporary pop.

Vocals

Multi-genre recording artist, songwriter, and producer Jamel ‘JL’ Lewis possesses a musical artistry that blossomed at an early age. His smooth stylings and contemporary sound are reminiscent of Michael Jackson, Ne-Yo, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye.

‘JL’ can move, groove and leave nothing to prove. 

In 2013, Jamel was named a Top 10 finalist on BET’s Sunday Best, a nationally-televised gospel singing competition. He was a featured artist at The Chi-Lites 25th Anniversary Concert as well as Ebony Magazine’s Black Family Reunion Tour. JL’s electrifying stage performances earned him the Midwest Concert Series “Artist of the Year” award. He has also shared the stage with MC Lyte, Jeffrey Osborne and Steve Harvey.

Vocals

This fiery R&B vocal powerhouse will blow you away with her range and contemporary finesse. Bridging the decades with a rich soulfulness that is modern and timeless, Candice channels Rihanna, Christina Aguilera and Aretha Franklin.

The Pint-Size Diva

Candice is the winner of the 2011 Budweiser Superfest Vocal Competition and her hit single “I Wanna Go” recently made its national debut on Chicago’s V103. She has opened for a variety of artists such as Jill Scott, R. Kelly, Josh Groban and Chico DeBarge. Candice is currently in production on her first solo album.

Vocals

Heads turn when Steve Taylor sings. A world-class high tenor with amazing versatility and an enviable range, Steve blends talent, style and authenticity into every song. Whether singing a classic rock or Sinatra ballad, audiences are awestruck by Steve’s vocal prowess.

He’s a pretty nice guy, too.

Steve has appeared in many of Chicago’s top venues including the Park West, Allstate Arena, House of Blues, Vic Theatre and The Riviera. Steve has backed national acts Joe Walsh, Deep Purple, Kansas, The Allman Brothers, Grand Funk Railroad and Robin Trower. He can also be heard on numerous radio and TV commercial spots for Kraft, McDonald’s, Coors and Walmart.

Guitar

Young gun Bill Grady’s got it what it takes. With astonishing skills and an electrifying stage presence, he fires up the crowd with brilliant solos and blazing riffs.

Born to Rock

Bill graduated summa cum laude from the acclaimed Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has appeared at The Bitter End in New York City, Chicago’s Hard Rock Cafe and has performed with both regional and national acts including Mr. Blotto, the Marshall Tucker Band, and Robert Randolph and the Family Band.

Drums

Kevin lays it down like no other drummer in town. He’s the master groove-maker. He’s the boom in the room. He puts the time to the rhyme.

And he’s the heartbeat of Rendezvous.

Kevin is a graduate of Northwestern University’s School of Music, president of Kevin Connelley Drum Instruction, and a member of the Vic Firth Education Team. His portfolio includes television and radio commercials for McDonald’s, Bud Light, Sears and Weber Grills, over 25 album recordings, and an appearance on the NBC Chicago Emmy’s. Kevin also serves as musical director for Rendezvous.

Piano and Keyboards

‘We’re all in the mood for a melody and Kent’s got us feelin’ alright.’ Kent is a master on piano and synth, providing the harmonic anchor and tonal texture for a multitude of styles from pop to jazz to classical.

You say it, he can play it!

Kent has accompanied well-known stars including Yo-Yo Ma, Joel Gray and Frank Gorshin. He served as musical director for two nationally televised PBS specials and also maintains a thriving teaching practice in Park Ridge.

Bass

Hips don’t lie when Wally’s playing the bass. Wally’s muscular sound lays the foundation for Rendezvous’ infectious dance grooves.

The real Ace of Bass.

Wally has performed all over the globe. He has recorded with drummers Vinnie Colaiuta (Sting) and Kenny Aronoff (John Mellencamp, Smashing Pumpkins), and guitarist Steve Lukather (Toto, Michael Jackson). Other album and touring credits include John Denver, Phoebe Snow, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Dave Mason, and Mike Stern (Brecker Brothers, Miles Davis). Wally can also be heard on many national radio and TV commercial spots.

Saxophone

Sax man Rocky Yera goes the distance every time he performs. With his devastating tone and contemporary voice, Rocky’s talent is undisputed.

Sax to the max.

Cuban born Rocky Yera had already won two Downbeat Magazine performance awards and toured Japan and Korea with Tito Puente Jr. before completing his Master of Music from DePaul University. He has performed with Wynton Marsalis, Dave Koz, Arturo Sandoval, Eliane Elias and Frank Catalano. Rocky is the winner of the prestigious Union League Civic and Arts Foundation Jazz Improvisation Competition 2010, and can be heard at some of Chicago’s top music venues including House of Blues, The Jazz Showcase and The Green Mill.

Trumpet/Flugelhorn

Versatility and brilliant tone are his hallmarks. Terry is one of those rare talents that is equally at ease playing lead trumpet or crafting a memorable solo. No matter what he’s playing, he does it with precision and panache.

Brassy, sassy and classy.

One of Chicago’s finest, Terry was awarded the Louie Armstrong Award and was recognized as Best Jazz Soloist by the International Trumpet Guild. He has performed or recorded with many well-known artists including Ramsey Lewis, Kurt Elling, David Sanborn, Roberta Flack, Julie Andrews, Bernadette Peters, Sheena Easton and Buddy Rich.

Trombone

From clubland to big band to Dixieland, Matt travels well. Bold and passionate, he slides right in with the mighty Rendezvous horn section.

The brass tacks.

Matt holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies from Northern Illinois University. He has performed with jazz notables Chris Potter, Sean Jones, and Rodney Whitaker, and was honored to be the featured artist at the Chongqing International Music Festival in China in 2013. In 2015, Matt released his first album of original music entitled “Bella e Angelica” in honor of his late grandmother.

Violin

Heather is equally at home performing a Vivaldi concerto, a Coldplay tune or fiddling a Charlie Daniels country hit. She’s beautiful, masterful, and rocks the stage with flair.

Pop Queen of the Stradivarius

Heather earned degrees in Violin Performance and Music Business from DePaul University. She is Secretary-Treasurer of the Theatre Musicians Association and serves as musician contractor for the Goodman Theatre. Heather has performed with the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Drury Lane Theater, Court Theatre, Marriott Lincolnshire and numerous orchestras throughout Chicagoland. Her favorite ‘glamour gigs’ include sharing the stage with Aretha Franklin, Andrea Bocelli, and Barbra Streisand.

Photo credits:
Beale & Wittig
Marc Perlish Photography
Fandl Photography
KingenSmith