Our clients say it best...

Rita Hayworth Gala (Hilton Chicago) – Saturday, May 13, 2017

Ken--many thanks for doing an amazing job on Saturday night!  The dance floor was packed and our guests loved the music!

You were wonderful to partner with and I appreciate all that you did.

Many thanks,

Ann Marie Arzt, President, EventScape, Inc.

UNICEF Hope Gala (The Geraghty) – Saturday, April 29, 2017

Caitlin, what can we say – you hit it out of the park again! Our guests are raving about what a wonderful job you and the entire orchestra did at our Hope Gala. Thank you for rolling with our special requests and handling them wonderfully. We really appreciate your partnership!

Elizabeth and Meghan with UNICEF USA

UNICEF Hope Gala (The Geraghty) – April 9, 2016

Ken and Caitlin, I just wanted to thank you for playing a part in an incredible night on Saturday at our UNICEF Hope Gala! We had such an amazing event, and feedback from our guests has been overwhelmingly positive. The opening song was AMAZING! Such a fun element to add to the gala!! All our guests loved dancing along with the Orchestra throughout the night, as usual! You guys are so wonderful. Look forward to working together again in the future!

- Meghan Doetschman, Officer, Midwest Region, UNICEF

Bravo Des Moines Gala - February 6, 2016

Ken, you have been responsible for making the Bravo gala our community's premier event, in large part.

I know I speak on behalf of our community when I say, "thank you."

Last night, I tried to keep track of how many people told me that the band was fantastic. I lost count at 200. Those who had not heard you previously were in awe. The depth of the orchestra is remarkable. When we left at midnight, the crowd was over 300 strong. This is the only event where that many people are still having fun at that hour. The passion with which all of you perform is really what makes our gala so amazing.

Thank you so much for everything.

- Suku Radia

UNICEF Gala - Message of Hope (Four Seasons) – April 17, 2015

Thank you so much for the incredible performance on Friday at our Hope Gala! Caitlin – you and the band are so fun, professional and talented! Our dance floor was packed more than it’s ever been before,  you did a terrific job MCing between our event elements, and we’re getting rave reviews from our guests.

I hope to have the pleasure of working with you again.

- Elisabeth Kasdorf-Torney, Events Manager

Chicago Lights Gala of Hope – March 6, 2015

You smashed it again! I’m so thankful for the way you put that extra something out for us. Just awesome!

-Stacy Jackson, Executive Director 

Bear Necessities Gala – February 28, 2015

Caitlin and Evolution were amazing at our Bear Tie Ball! Caitlin was so flexible and easy going and happy to jump in if I needed impromptu announcements. The crowd loved the band and was dancing down to the last second.

 Everyone had such a great time thanks to them!

- Hilary Fash, Director of Special Events

Boys Hope Girls Hope of Illinois Gala – February 21, 2015

We cannot thank you enough for partnering with us! Everyone has wonderful things to say about you and Evolution! All of your belief in our kids and our mission came through in your energy at our gala. Thank you!!

-Stella Boyle, Chairperson

Bravo Greater Des Moines 10th Anniversary Gala – February 7, 2015

Thank you for your support of Bravo’s 10th Anniversary Awards Gala. The work of you and your professional staff were essential to making this event a success and a night to remember for the sell-out crowd of 1,500 people who joined the party.

The gala was an outstanding celebration of the vibrant organizations that bring arts, culture, and heritage alive in central Iowa. Your efforts helped to top our guests’ expectations and make sure that the Bravo Gala remains central Iowa’s premiere event.

Once again, your orchestra provided the perfect accompaniment to the evening, ensuring our guests had an amazing time dancing the night away! I am absolutely certain that the Ken Arlen Evolution Orchestra is a key ingredient to the event’s success and we are grateful for your 10 years of commitment to being part of our celebration.

Thank you again to you and all of the musicians that made last Saturday a truly sparkling event!

-Sally Dix, Executive Director, Bravo Greater Des Moines

Nicole Granacki and Bhargav Kunnamkode - Saturday, August 30, 2014

Caitlin was awesome on 8/30 at Café Brauer!!!  EVERYONE was on the dance floor.  At one point, I don't think there was a single seated guest.  

- Ken Severin, Senior Sales Manager, Blue Plate Chicago 

"I just wanted to say thank you and your Orchestra for making the Derby Gala a huge success once again! Your performance was outstanding, and it was thrilling to see all of the guests dancing the night away. Over the past 4 days, I had over 100 phone calls, texts, emails, etc., telling me that it was the best Gala ever and the greatest band/orchestra ever!

I sincerely thank you for your flexibility, loyalty, humor, enthusiasm, and of course, talent!

Hope to see you back in Louisville. Wishing you and the Orchestra continued success and happiness."

- Kathy Cox

Co-Chair, Kentucky Derby Museum

"In 2010 the Gala committee contracted the services of the Ken Arlen Orchestra for the event entertainment. Ken had previously provided the entertainment for the Gala in 2006 so, we were aware of his professionalism and the quality of his work. We know that the evening would be fun and high energy. But we didn’t know that the services supplied by Ken and his group would be so much more.

The evening of the event, severe storms hit our area and sent rain water flooding through the tent. It looked like at the very worse the event would be cancelled and at the very least that people would be angry with the situation. Once the band came on stage and started to play, they had the crowd in the palm of their hands. The band played as if the evening was perfect and completely changed the mood of the event. The guests stayed, partying and dancing until 12:30 a.m. We have had numerous compliments on the event and our choice of entertainment.

We can’t thank Ken and his band enough for the professionalism and great attitude that they displayed that evening. They refused to let a little water interfere with giving our guests the best performance they could and in fact, by doing so helped save our event."

- Lynn Ashton

Executive Director, Kentucky Derby Museum

itatesti"As you know, ITA Group has operated special events worldwide for some of the largest companies in this country. We have utilized a wide variety of both top-names as well as entertainment local to the areas where we do business. In all of my years in this business, I have yet to see anyone get the audience more engaged than the Ken Arlen Orchestra. The energy and professionalism of your team is simply off the charts. Your music, ranging from Frank Sinatra to Charlie Daniels to the Beatles and everything in between, is played to perfection.

I am speaking for everyone involved in the BRAVO event when requesting that you express your appreciation to your entire orchestra for making this the premiere event held in our community each year. If ever asked to provide a reference, I would simply say, 'You'd better arrange for a much larger dance floor than you were thinking.'"

- Steven G. Chapman
Chairman, President and CEO
ITA Group

"Without the Ken Arlen Orchestra, the Bravo gala would have gone down in history as another “very good” event which did a lot for the cultural and arts organizations in Central Iowa. But, my friend, you saw to it that the bar was set as high as possible because you know how to really make a fundraiser an event, which brings a community together.

Please thank every one of your talented artists on our behalf. We cannot wait to have you back. My wife ordered me to work harder so that we can afford the Ken Arlen Orchestra when our two daughters (ages 17 and 14) get married. I hope that is still a little down the road!

Again, thank you for bringing so much excitement to our proud community. "

- Suku V. Radia

Vice President, CFO
Meredith Corporation

wingedkeeltesti"I am very happy to highly recommend Ken Arlen and his band to you. 

This past October, I was one of the people responsible for the organization of the 25th anniversary celebration of the M. Financial Group, one of the leading financial services organizations in the country. Ken and his band made the event a smash hit. I have never heard such rave reviews for a band before. Even the geriatrics in the crowd were up on their feet dancing! The staging, lighting, music, video, and singers were all superb. Simply put, Ken and his band made the event.

Not only was the band brilliant in their performance, but Ken also lent assistance to us in choosing the venue and a variety of other details that were invaluable in making the event a big success. I couldn't recommend him more highly."

- Campbell T. Gerrish

Winged Keel Group, Inc.

mfinancialtesti"In October 2003, the Ken Arlen Orchestra provided the musical entertainment for M Financial Group's 25th Anniversary Gala Celebration. Over 600 guests, including the CEOs of some of the nation's largest insurance companies and representatives from some of the most successful financial services firms in the country, attended this spectacular event in Chicago's Navy Pier Grand Ballroom.

The celebration of this significant milestone was one of our company's most important events and the involvement of the Ken Arlen Orchestra made it truly special. Throughout the evening, Ken's enthusiasm, vitality and stage presence, as well as the talent of his vocalists and orchestra members, energized our audience, encouraging them to dance and enjoy each other's company. By all accounts, the event was one of the most successful in our company's history. 

With that said, it is without hesitation that I recommend the Ken Arlen Orchestra for your company's anniversary celebration. I am confident that Ken's professionalism and experience will meet your expectations and enhance the quality of your event."

- Susan M. O'Sullivan
, M Financial Group

 "It is a tradition in our organization to recognize outstanding contributions made by groups or individuals to us. Therefore it is with great pleasure I present you with this Virtuoso Performance Award. The feedback on your performance was unanimously positive. If I heard it once, I heard it one hundred times, how fabulous the performance was. It was truly a highlight of our gathering.

Thank you again for your group's incredible energy and artistry. It is with sincere appreciation and respect that I present you and the Ken Arlen Orchestra with this award.

- Matthew D. Upchurch, CTC

Chief Executive Officer
, Virtuoso Performance

bushtesti"Dear Ken: Thank you for performing at the 2005 Inaugural Ball. Your talent and energy helped make the evening special for everyone who attended. And you provided wonderful memories for a crowd celebrating a great tradition!

We appreciate your role in making the 55th Presidential Inaugural festivities such a success. "

- George and Laura Bush

The White House


whitehousetesti"On behalf of the 55th Presidential Inaugural Committee, we would like to thank the Ken Arlen Orchestra for their oustanding performance during the Inagural festivities. Those attending the Inaugural Ball that they performed at were highly energized and entertained by their incredible stage presence and superb musicianship."

- Dennis "Wemus" Grubb

Deputy Director of Entertainment

The White House

 "Dear Ken, I am having a difficult time putting into words just how phenomenal your orchestra is. After listening to the tapes of approximately 10 other bands in the Chicago area, I was beginning to give up hope of ever finding an exciting, entertaining, talented and patient orchestra that would be willing to orchestrate our first ever Colgate Talent night as well as get our employees "rocking." After so many frustrating days of trying to find the right band, a colleague in Chicago recommended your orchestra as being the "best" and I couldn't agree with her more.

Many thanks to you and your orchestra for working with our Colgate employees to make sure our talent night was a huge success and for playing such great music that kept everyone dancing all night. It is also a tremendous accomplishment to keep those who did not dance in the room listening all night as well as go into overtime. On Wednesday morning everyone was energized and talking about what a wonderful time they had had the previous night.

You were extremely instrumental in making our product launch such a success. If you ever need a reference, please do not hesitate to give your prospective clients my name and number."

- Lynn Scaturro
Meeting & Event Planner

Colgate Palmolive Company

"When I became aware that our company conference would be at our hotel ... / knew it would be an extremely detailed, important and high level event. We were determined to create the finest meeting and events that our company has seen.

I knew I could depend on you to help me create the "Celebrate the America's" Ball that I envisioned. Your ideas, concepts and efforts were extraordinary ... The event was spectacular! ... The Salsa Music, Merengue, Cumbia, Samba, and of course, the more traditional musical choices exceeded everyone's expectation. The comments that I received from our executives, most from around the world, were that Ken Arlen's 21was the best they had ever heard.

...I can never thank you enough for creating such an incredible evening."

- Steven B. Thompson
Director of Catering, 
Standard Club
Chicago, IL

"Thank you for helping to make our Gatsby event a huge success! I could not have hoped for a more talented, professional group of musicians to give the evening an authentic Roaring Twenties feel. Everyone had very positive things to say about the band-please pass on my gratitude to all of your musicians. I look forward to working together again the next time we have a Chicago project!"

- Elyse Kazam
Civic Entertainment Group
New York, New York

"Dear Ken: A great big thank you to you and your entire orchestra for a job well done. The music at The John G. Shedd Aquarium for the Sony Corp. was outstanding. They all loved it and you couldn't have done it better. The singers were fabulous and made the party really jump. So, from The Sony Corp. and Creative Printing & Parties we thank you and applaud you for a job well done. Music does make the event and you did a real number - it certainly was a pleasure working with you and together we produced a smashing evening. Looking forward to doing it again."


Joyce Pollakoff
Creative Printing & Parties

"Dear Ken: Now that 1999 is almost behind us, I am writing to the key people responsible for making ATGs events such a success. Without the wonderful music provided by you and your orchestra, our events would have been ordinary and average - to say the least. Your staffs unending support and enthusiasm are truly appreciated. Ken, thanks again to you, your musicians and your administrative staff. It is always a pleasure working with you. I look forward to working with you in 2000!"


Kelly A. Flynn
Events Coordinator

Attorneys' Title Guaranty Fund, Inc.

"Dear Ken, Just a note to say thank you for your generous participation in Event Solutions Expo in Chicago. Your performance at the Chicago Showcase Event was stunning to say the least...you and your orchestra are an impressive group. I also heard compliments about how wonderful everyone was to work with. You can be sure you will be recommended whenever the opportunity arises. Thanks again for everything and please call if there is anything else I can do for you."


John Baragona
Event Solutions

"Dear Ken: On behalf of the Catering Executives Club of America, we would like to thank you for the great entertainment your orchestra provided for our Spring Ball on April 26, 1999 at the Fairmont Hotel. The music kept us dancing all night long. We received many compliments from our members.

Thanks again for all your efforts to make our Spring Ball a huge success."

Very truly yours,

Richard A. Lareau, President

Victor Ertmanis, Treasurer
Catering Executives Club of America

"Ken Arlen's 21is excellent! We have had the orchestra at our annual holiday party for the past five years. The music the orchestra plays is versatile and includes a wide variety of musical selections. Ken is very creative, accommodating, full of wonderful suggestions and is very easy to work with. Because everyone is always having such a great time, we always have the orchestra stay for additional time."

- Sharyn Murphy, Executive Secretary
Household Retail Services, Inc.

"Ken Arlen's 21 provided us with a terrific evening of music for our conference and awards banquet. The orchestra even customized a song specifically for us. The quality of music is top notch - the vocalists as well as the instrumentalists. Ken is very flexible and easy to work with.”

- Bob Baker, Marketing Department

Sears, Roebuck & Co.

"Thank you for all your assistance with the grand opening of The Rookery Building ... the parties would not have been the success they were, if it had not been for your help.

Your music selections were the perfect choices..."

- John W. McDonald
Executive Vice President,
Baldwin Development Company

"Year Number Three has proved to be the best of all...as always, your orchestra gave the evening its holiday spirit with variety and class."

- Amy Mandel

Tetra Pak

"...Ken can be counted upon to provide the best selection and service, offer creative ideas, and conduct his organization with a high standard of professionalism.

Ken Arlen's 21 ... draws large numbers of people during its performance on Pioneer Court for the tenants of 401 N. Michigan Avenue and NBC Tower. Our tenants really appreciate their musical excellence."

- Patricia L. Mayes
Property Operations Manager,
Compass Management & Leasing

Chicago, IL