By: Maggie Griffin
What a pleasure it was to have the American band that people are raving about--“Maggie Speaks”--stop by Maggie’s Corner and talk to Maggie Griffin! “Maggie Speaks”, the band that travels across America, is comprised of Dave Calzaretta - lead vocals, Dayna Malow - lead vocals, Chris Siebold - guitar & vocals, Shawn Sommer - bass & vocals, and Blake Cooper – drums. “One of the things that 'Maggie Speaks' has built quite a reputation for is their corporate work all over the globe”, said Dave Calzaretta. Booking close to 200 events a year, we often see the band “Maggie Speaks” playing at events for various special venues around the globe-- including Fortune 500 companies--and they have been seen at these following locations:
Barcelona, Spain; Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Puerta Vallarta – Mexico; Cancun, Mexico; The Bahamas; Los Angeles, CA; Las Vegas, NV; Denver, CO; Naples, FL; Dallas, TX; Detroit, MI; New York, NY; Boston, MA; Milwaukee, WI; Chicago, IL; Orlando, FL; Anaheim, CA; Phoenix, AZ; Scottsdale, AZ.
The Corporate list they play for is a combination of names we all hear of. Playing at events for Abbott Labs, Starwood Properties, Gartner, All-State Insurance, State Farm Insurance, Ameriprise Financial, McDonald’s, Wrigley, Citrix, Klein Tools, Bridgestone / Bandag, Exxon Mobil, Scottsdale Insurance, Deluxe, RW Baird, Hewitt Associates, Georgia Pacific, National Hockey League, Chase, LPGA, IBM, Novo Disk, Chicago Bears, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, Chicago Blackhawks.
“Maggie Speaks” about expansion, called “Maggie Speaks Presents”. The concept of “Maggie Speaks Presents” is in several markets where they travel for different types of events. In 2006, another creation of the band was born based on the volume of requests they receive. Collectively forming 20 more musicians employed by them, presenting what their audiences expect when they request “Maggie Speaks”, using their own name of their band.
There are three versions of “Maggie Speaks”. They are “Maggie Speaks”, “Spoken Four” and “Final Say”.
“Maggie Speaks has won the following awards”:
2010 – Event Solutions Spotlight Award for Best Entertainment Ensemble
2009 – American Entertainment Magazine Best Duo of Group
2009 – Finalist in the Chicago Music Awards for Best Pop Artist (winner was Jennifer Hudson – other finalists were Kanye West, R Kelly and Wilco).
Dave Calzaretta states; “Throughout the recession, Maggie Speaks has continued to grow, performing at corporate events throughout the country for some of the world’s largest companies. During these difficult times, it is important for companies to still meet and motivate their employees and sales staff. It is important to network and share best practices. While some companies came under fire for hiring the likes of Jimmy Buffet and Sheryl Crow, many companies went the route of hiring Maggie Speaks to come in based on their ability to entertain the entire company from the Board Room to the Mail Room without creating a negative impression on share holders.”
The band’s secret to success in this economy is a diversified portfolio. Calzaretta along with band mates Blake Cooper and Shawn Sommer, bring a specific skill set to the stage creating their diverse performance offerings. When Maggie Speaks plays a corporate event as opposed to a national act, they play different hits all night while national acts typically only cover their small catalog of hits—clients get a better deal and a more appealing show. The band artfully covers current hits of today along with chart-topping favorites from the last four decades, seamlessly transitioning from one song to the next.
Maggie Speaks has evolved into the Midwest’s most popular touring cover band. Because of their diverse song list, the band appeals to anyone from the CEO to the mailroom attendant at a corporate event or from Grandma and Grandpa to the younger generation at a private wedding….they are the ‘un-cover band’ getting everyone motivated to hit the dance floor together! Large corporations are feeling the pressure of budget cuts yet they still need to entertain and celebrate successes so they book Maggie Speaks to provide numerous acts at a much lower price point than national recording artists.
Calzaretta explains, “We found four more musicians and replicated our show. They play the same songs with the same arrangements and instrumentation as Maggie Speaks; we compare it to a Starbucks or McDonald’s model of business where folks don’t mind where they get their latte or Big Mac as long as it’s the same product.” With this branding concept in mind, they were able to book over 150 shows in Spoken Four’s first year of operation, capitalizing on all of the opportunities that came their way. Bookings continued to increase for both Maggie Speaks and Spoken Four, inspiring them to ‘replicate the brand’ again in 2007 creating “Final Say.” With the same concept, four more musicians, identical set lists and ongoing bookings, the empire continues to grow.
To date, Magnificent Events, Ltd employs 13 fulltime musicians and vocalists, 3 fulltime sound engineers and 3 fulltime crew members – covering nearly 500 shows annually. Maggie Speaks and Magnificent Events are creating jobs during this nation’s challenging recession. Calzaretta is proving that it doesn’t always pay to pursue a white collar career. Unlike many other rock musicians, he is thriving, not simply surviving, as this young entrepreneur notes, “Follow your dreams, not your wallet and your wallet will catch up.”
MAGGIE SPEAKS MAKES COMMITMENT TO GO GREEN, Chicago Band Implementing Eco-Friendly Initiatives. Maggie Speaks evolved into the Midwest’s most popular touring cover band and has set its sights on going green. Taking small steps in order to make a huge difference in the environmental battle, members of the popular Chicago band Maggie Speaks have begun doing their part to lower their impact on the environment. Perfectly timed with Earth Day, the band says it will be ready in April to fully launch its green movement called aptly, LISTEN GREEN. Lead singer Dave Calzaretta believes, “We only have one planet Earth and we want to be part of the solution to preserve it for the generations that follow. The grass is GREENER on the Maggie Speaks side. Calzaretta along with his band mates Blake Cooper and Shawn Sommer believe in the urgent need to REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE and have committed to the following GREEN efforts:
-Concert date flyers printed on recycled paper using soy ink.
Using reusable stainless steel bottles on stage to avoid the waste from plastic water bottles.
-Offering fans eco-friendly, certified organic cotton T-Shirts, designed with water-based ink by domestic producers.
-Upgraded its van to a more fuel-efficient, lower-emissions model.
-Actively making the switch to hybrid vehicles for transport to and from shows.
-Using low-wattage LED lights and high-efficiency sound equipment to reduce power consumption.
-Using electronic payroll service and receiving only online statements from vendors/business partners in order to reduce paper consumption.
The event implemented green efforts during the show including recycling bottles, reducing waste and utilizing recyclable trash bag liners. Founded in 1987, Keep Chicago Beautiful, an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, is a nonprofit organization that works with Chicagoland’s business community, schools, neighborhoods and government agencies to improve our environment through education, public awareness and community involvement. *Keep Chicago Beautiful has nominated Maggie Speaks for its 2009 Innovation Award. Blake Cooper emphasizes; “We work hard to maintain our fan base, which is our strength in our energy. Like a Hallmark, for our fans, we deliver the very best”.
Songs we heard from the movie the Hard Easy , were written by David Calzaretta and Jimmy Riley. They are:
“The Hard Easy” – The Theme, “Yell”, “DeLeah”; Hard Easy Starring: Henry Thomas – “E.T.”,David Boreanaz – “Bones”,Vera Farmiga – “The Departed”,Bruce Dern – “Big Love”,Peter Weller – “Robocop”,Nick Lachey – musical 98 Degrees,Gary Busey – “Buddy Holly Story”
Dave Calzaretta is the President of Magnificent Events, Ltd. And can be reached at
(815) 230-3770,(888) 376-6537, www.MagEvents.com
Board of Directors, International Association of Corporate Entertainment Producers
“Maggie Speaks”, the Winner of the 2010 Event Solutions Spotlight Award for Best Entertainment Ensemble.
Visit Maggie Speaks at: www.MaggieSpeaks.com
Spoken Four at: www.SpokenFour.com
Final Say at: www.FinalSay.com
I will collectively add that if a forth version of “Maggie Speaks Presents” is born, it will be an honor for me to have it named “Maggie’s Corner”.
Check Out “Maggie Speaks”the Band everyone across the globe has heard about: