Make no mistake about it. Soul music is party music. Crowd-pleasing, dance floor-filling, memory-making party music. Born in Detroit, Memphis, and New Orleans in the 1950s and 60s, these timeless gems have never lost their sonic splendor. Back in 2001, eight veterans of the New York City music scene first came together to play sweet soul music just for the thrill of it. We've been at it ever since.

Over the years, we've stocked our Dukebox with only the finest soul singles: smooth ballads, steamy love sermons, and soul-stomping lightning rods. Throw in some classic rock n' roll, low-down funk, and tasty jazz standards, and you've got yourself quite a party. All killer, no filler.

soul at your service

Now, let's address to top six questions fired away in that first phone call:

  1. The Duke brings its own sound equipment, so you can cross that off your list.
  2. We'll learn up to three special request songs for each client. While soul, rock n' roll, funk, blues, and jazz are the band's "wheelhouse" styles, we've performed everything from Ibrahim Ferrer, to Maurice Chevalier, to Celine Dion. The latter still keeps the Duke up at night.
  3. Individual band members are available for your ceremony and/or cocktail hour, at an hourly rate of $100 per musician.
  4. Convenient nearby lodging for all band members is expected, and will be tacked onto our rate.
  5. Soul requires sustenance. Studies show that failing to feed a band is the leading cause of empty dance floors.
  6. As for attire, you may choose the formal, "all black" option donned by the Duke in DC embassies and Newport mansions alike. "But, sir," you might ask. "what if my shindig's happening in a rustic barn on Martha's Vineyard?" Well then, our Duke Baxter Band service station shirts will do the trick. Trust us; when you see our trombonist in a mechanic's jumpsuit, you'll know your event is in good hands. Tell your cousin Janice to put her fork down. It's time to dance.

contact us

Please use the form below to get in touch about bookings, references, information, or thoughts about James Brown's behavior in his later years:

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You may also contact us directly by phone: (917) 992-2846

Duke Baxter Band is active in the New York Metropolitan and New England areas. For references please call or email us!

quotes from happy customers

We had such a blast throughout the wedding, but the music was a highlight. You all drew everyone, old and medium and young, to the dance floor, and they all raved about it. Some of Brady's friends who normally eschew dancing were leading the "One more song" chant. In short, thank you for making the evening so spectacular!

- Claire Willett (2014)

The Duke Baxter Band had our wedding guests on the dance floor all night long. They are incredibly accommodating and have a great upbeat vibe and a phenomenal stage presence. My wedding was two years ago and I still have friends and family talking about how fantastic the music was.

- Annie O'Connor (2014)

The night was so magical, the music so wonderful that Tom and I think we want to do the whole thing all over again for our 50th anniversary in 2017!! As soon as we make a date, I'll let you know. We'll need/want you there! Thank you so so much for playing that night - over and over again we heard how fantastic the band was! You're the best!!

- Sheila Urmston (2013)

I come from a musical family and background, so I was really on a hunt for "THE" perfect wedding band. I knew exactly what I didn't want - a guy in a pink bowtie with a mullet singing "Celebrate Good Times". I wanted a real band, with real musicians - people that knew what they were doing, and enjoyed music the same way that I do.

I knew from the second that I spoke with Darren, the lead singer, that I had found that band. The whole process with DBB was easygoing, no-pressure, and just downright friendly. I could write a recommendation based on their phone demeanor and ease of communication alone! After listening to a few tracks on the website and seeing their video clips, I was convinced. It had to be them.

On the day of our wedding, when I say they brought it - I mean they BROUGHT it. They were hands-down the best wedding band I have ever heard, and I felt honored and privileged for them to play at our wedding. The FIRST thing that EVERYONE that has talked to me in the month after our wedding has said was, "Where did you find that AMAZING band??! They were out of this world!".

Having the Duke Baxter Band at our wedding was an experience I will never forget, in part - because it was my wedding, but also because I had the best possible time because of these guys. It was like having (extremely well dressed) old friends that are unbelievable musicians rock the house down.

- Lara Hummel (2008)

The Duke Baxter Band really made my 30th birthday a night to remember. The set list was filled with the kind of hot groovin' songs you want to hear at a party - everything from old Temptations to James Brown - and most importantly, got everyone to dance all night long. The guys really know how to get a crowd into a party and the sound filled the room perfectly. I could not have asked for anything better. Overall, a memorable evening, thanks guys!

- Dave Catanuto's 30th Birthday (2007)

If you want a band that will make your special event fun and unforgettable, you want the Duke Baxter Band. They play soulful and energized music that pulls people out of their seats and makes them want to dance. Duke Baxter Band helped us fulfill our biggest wish for our wedding — that our party was a fun-filled night that everyone enjoyed. Many of our guests told us that the Duke Baxter Band was the best band they had ever heard at a wedding. We even received two calls immediately after our wedding from guests who wanted to hire them for upcoming events they were having. All of the band members are extremely talented, and the lead singer has an amazing voice and great stage presence. The band's repertoire is filled with great songs. We also asked them to learn some songs especially for us, and they nailed them. In fact, when they started playing our song for the first dance, we actually thought for a quick moment that someone had put in a cd for the song because it sounded so much like the original recording. We highly recommend the Duke Baxter Band for any party you will be giving.

- David Duffy & Liz Leonard's Wedding (2006)

the dukebox (our song list)

Our song list is stocked with both heavy rotation crowd favorites and shamefully lesser known classics; just drop a quarter on the links below to hear us do our thing. If you don't see you must have listed below, tell the Duke and it shall be done.

  • Ain't Too Proud To Beg (The Temptations)
  • At Last (Etta James)
  • Big Bird (Eddie Floyd)
  • Brick House (The Commodores)
  • Bring It On Home To Me (Sam Cooke) Listen to our version
  • CC Rider (Bobby Powell)
  • Celebration (Kool & The Gang)
  • Cupid (Sam Cooke)
  • Devil With The Blue Dress (Shorty Long)
  • Easy (The Commodores)
  • Everybody Needs Somebody To Love (Solomon Burke)
  • Fever (Little Willie John)
  • Fly Me To The Moon (Frank Sinatra)
  • Get Ready (The Temptations)
  • Groove Me (King Floyd)
  • Have A Little Faith In Me (John Hiatt)
  • Here I Am Come And Take Me (Al Green)
  • I Can't Get Next To You (Al Green)
  • I Can't Turn You Loose (Otis Redding) Listen to our version
  • I Feel Good (James Brown)
  • I Heard It Through The Grapevine (Marvin Gaye)
  • I Take What I Want (Sam & Dave)
  • I Wish (Stevie Wonder)
  • If You Want Me To Stay (Sly & The Family Stone)
  • In The Midnight Hour (Wilson Pickett)
  • It's Your Thing (The Isley Brothers)
  • Knock On Wood (Eddie Floyd) Listen to our version
  • Let's Get It On (Marvin Gaye)
  • Let's Stay Together (Al Green) Listen to our version
  • Look At Granny Run Run (Howard Tate)
  • Mercy Mercy (Don Covay)
  • Midnight Train To Georgia (Gladys Knight And The Pips)
  • Money that's what i want (Barrett Strong)
  • Mr. Pitiful (Otis Redding)
  • Mustang Sally (Wilson Pickett)
  • My Girl (The Temptations)
  • Papa Was A Rolling Stone (The Temptations)
  • Play That Funky Music (Wild Cherry)
  • Sex Machine (James Brown)
  • Shakey Ground (The Temptations)
  • Sir Duke (Stevie Wonder) Listen to our version
  • Sittin' On The Dok Of The Bay (Otis Redding)
  • Some Kind Of Wonderful (Soul Brothers Six)
  • Sweet Soul Music (Arthur Conley)
  • The Way You Look Tonight (Frank Sinatra)
  • Thank You Fallettinme Be Mice Elf Agin (Sly & the Family Stone)
  • Tracks Of My Tears (Smokey Robinson)
  • Try A Little Tenderness (Otis Redding)
  • Tupelo Honey (Van Morrison)
  • Twist And Shout (Isley Brothers)
  • What's Going On (Marvin Gaye)
  • You Are The Sunshine Of My Life (Stevie Wonder)
  • You Didn't Know It But You Had Me (James Carr)
  • You Send Me (Sam Cooke)

duke youtube clips