You are not just hiring a party band, but the party itself! High energy performances by professional musicians along with a top production staff guarantees a night you and your guests will be talking about for years to come!
BKO has earned their fantastic reputation. Whether on the dance floor or watching from their seats, your guests will be entertained!
We have a passion for great music and focus on building the right energy and playlist for the dance floor. We love what we do, and will make sure you love it too!
The faces behind the sound.
Becca Kaufman | Band Leader | Vocals
Becca feels privileged to have a life and career in music.
Leading her own Becca Kaufman Orchestra for the past eight years, Becca brings style and verve to every celebration. Becca’s passion and love for all genres of music—Top 40, R&B, 80s, Motown, Jazz Standards—shine through every BKO performance. From elegant weddings to galas to intimate backyard occasions, Becca and BKO have performed throughout the Chicago area, as well as in other states. Showcasing a wealth of Chicago event experience, prior to BKO, Becca performed with numerous Chicago society bands, including The Ken Arlen Orchestra, The Don Cagen Orchestra, Orchestra 33 and The Ralph Wilder Orchestra, and led The Wilder 2 Orchestra for five years.
A native New Yorker, Becca moved to Chicago to attend Northwestern University’s renowned theatre program. Beginning her career as one of the most sought-after jingle writers/session vocalists in Chicago, Becca quickly expanded her talents to producing musical showcases and albums, providing commercial voice overs, and becoming a wedding expert featured on TV and radio—including her own radio show “I Do, I Do” on 105.9fm, WCKG. Becca has appeared on stage with performers such as Lily Tomlin, Brooke Shields, Phoebe Snow, Tony Roberts, and Ellen Burstyn. Becca was cast in the role of a comedic cabaret singer for Scrooge & Marley, a feature film scheduled for released 2012. Recently, she performed in front of 18,000 people for Millennium Park’s Broadway in Chicago concert as one of the wives in First Wives Club. And, should you wonder where her hometown loyalties reside—she has sung the National Anthem for both the world-champion Chicago Bulls and her forever-losing New York Knicks. Becca is ecstatic to be working with such a dynamic and versatile group of musicians for such great clientele.
Phillip Armstrong | Vocals
A graduate of Millikin University, Phillip pursued a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Bachelor of Arts and Science in Communication. During his career in music, Phillip has performed in the Chicago Children's Choir and Lookinglass Theatre’s production of Sita Ram, debuting the role of God Brahma/King Janaka, and serving as an understudy for the role of Hanuman. Phillip has made several appearances as a lead vocalist for the Steve Harvey Gala; Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Inaugurations; and has been featured on Fox News, WGN News, and ABC News. Throughout his performing career, Phillip has found his ultimate calling to educate, enlighten, and inspire through the power of music. He was recently featured, as an alumni, in the Chicago Children's Choir vinyl record, entitled "We All Live Here”. Phillip supports and strongly encourages the youth to find their voice within their own community. As a current educator, it has become an honest goal to follow in the steps of one of his greatest mentors, Josephine Lee. Bringing change to communities, inspiring youth, and engaging social change, are all attributes to the power and world change music brings to many. Gospel music and Jazz are essential elements of his soul, and that's what you will hear in all elements of Phillip Armstrong's music, particularly in his explosive performances with BKO.
Angie Pope | Vocals
Angie Pope sings it and brings it to the BKO stage! An amazingly talented and powerful vocalist, Angie can sing Etta James to Whitney Houston to Kesha. Angie has been performing professionally across the country since the mid-1990s. Her versatility makes her a consummate entertainer–from rock, to pop, to R&B, and jazz—Angie sings it all! She has an eclectic background of stage experience, including musical theatre (Bailiwick Repertory, Drury Lane Water Tower), children’s theatre (TheatreBAM Chicago), and improv comedy (Second City). Angie is the founder and artistic director of “Miss Angie’s Music”, which offers early childhood music classes at various locations throughout Chicago’s south suburbs. In her rare spare time, Angie eagerly works on a variety of music performance and recording projects in the Chicago area. Angie’s vast musical background and unique theatre experience create a magical combination that makes Angie a focal point on the BKO stage.
Darryl Boggs | Guitar | Vocals
Guitarist/Vocalist Darryl Boggs is BKO’s solid gold! A professional musician for over 40 years, Darryl has traveled and performed in clubs and arenas around the country since 1972. Along with his work in commercials and theatre touring companies, Darryl has played or opened for Tony Bennett, Tyrone Davis, The Imaginations, Bunky Green, Sunnyland Slim, Buddy Charles, Ray Charles, Harry Caray, Frank D’Rone, The Treniers and others. Darryl is also passionate about music education and has taught for over 30 years, along with being a respected children’s recording artist. Darryl can sing any Green–Al to Cee Lo–and is most certainly BKO’s secret weapon. You must see him in action to understand why.
Mike Pinto | Guitar | Vocals
Mike Pinto is BKO’s rock man, hitting the gritty styles of John Mayer and the Rolling Stones. He is in demand as a guitarist, composer, and arranger in Chicago and internationally. Mike performs and records regularly with a variety of groups, including the Unknown New, which also features fellow BKO members Paul Mutzabaugh and Rich Stitzel. He has performed at major festivals and conferences in Italy, France, Germany, England, Malta, and Croatia, and he has performed with such artists and groups as Luciana Souza, Jen Hartswick, Joel Cummins and Kris Myers (Umphrey’s McGee), Peter Himmelman, Regis Philbin, and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. He is on the jazz faculty at Elmhurst College, where he directs several ensembles and teaches guitar, improvisation, and arranging. In addition to his fabulous guitar and vocal presence on the BKO stage, Mike’s talents as an arranger have helped to craft BKO’s unique and dynamic stage sound.
Chris Clemente | Bass | Vocals
Not just a consummate bassist, Chris can sing the Beatles to Prince, and is sought after as a Chicago area music producer, composer, and musician. His recording work has extended into Chicago Public Radio and Oprah’s Harpo Studios. Chris has had the privilege of backing many well-known talents such as Kanye West and Jennifer Hudson. He is also a teaching artist for Ravinia Festival’s Music Discovery Program and a professor at Kennedy King College. When he’s not anchoring the BKO stage, Chris serves as tech advisor and the mastermind behind the live tracks heard at every BKO gig.
Paul Mutzabaugh | Keyboard
Keyboardist Paul Mutzabaugh works consistently in both live and studio settings throughout Chicago, enjoying a wide variety of musical genres. In addition to BKO, he divides his time between performing and producing/arranging, working regularly with notable local artists & ensembles such as John Elmquist’s Hard Art Groop, Chris Siebold’s Psycles, Scott Anderson’s Nia Quintet, Aaron McEvers’s M13, Ryan Shultz Quintet, Juan Pastor’s Chinchano, Wes John Cichosz, Heather Headley, Willow Chicago, & The Renegades. Additionally, he leads an original jazz-ish group, The Unknown New, for which he plays electric bass and composes all of the material. More information on this, his most current musical endeavor, can be found at www.soundcloud.com/paul-mutzabaugh.
Rich Stitzel | Drums
Fort Worth, TX native Rich Stitzel is a third generation professional musician and educator. His father plays trumpet; is a composer and arranger; and is director of jazz studies at a college in Fort Worth. His mother plays woodwinds and is director of instrumental music at a boarding school in St. Louis. His uncle was a top call Nashville session drummer in the 70’s & 80’s, and his grandfather was the founder and executive director emeritus of The International Association of Jazz Educators. Needless to say, music and education run deep. Rich began studying drums in the seventh grade and continued to study throughout high school with many great teachers including FWSO principal Preston Thomas, UTA’s Rich MacDonald, UNT’s Randy Drake, and St. Louis’ Kevin Gianino. After high school Rich attended the University of North Texas where he played in the various ensembles and lab bands while studying with Mike Drake and Ed Soph. After playing professionally in Texas for a little over a decade, Rich decided to make his home base Chicago where he has lived since 2001. Rich’s creativity, energy, knowledge, and professionalism allow him to maintain an extremely vibrant and diverse career in the music industry as a drummer, percussionist, author, composer, and educator. As an educator Rich has given drum set & percussion masterclasses, rhythm section clinics, and has taught small group, big band jazz, and rock camps all over the country. He also does artist residencies for the Ravinia Festival (summer home of the Chicago Symphony) where he visits underfunded Chicago Public Schools and exposes kids (and teachers)to jazz and classical music. As an Author Rich is working on his second book entitled, “Drummantra: The Art & Science of Polymetric Groupings”which is a system to develop the understand-ing and mastery of multi-limb polymetric cycles through a meticulously comprehensive and progressive series of exercises. As a performer Rich has toured all over the United States as well as Mexico, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Greece, and Egypt. He has worked with an extremely diverse group of artists ranging from progressive jazz-fusion violinist Christian Howes to Jefferson Starship’s vocalist Cathy Richardson; from White Snake guitarist Joel Hoekstra to Ray Charles’ organist Bobby Floyd; from soul legend Mary Wilson of theSupremes to Mexican pop group Banda Eclectika; from The Jim Widner Big Band to country music superstar Miranda Lambert, and many others. This is a testament to Rich’s love of musical diversity. He has always strived to play with a huge variety of artists. Rich proudly endorses Craviotto Drums, Evans Drumheads, Vic Firth Sticks, and The BoxKit canons.
Michael Levin | Saxophone | Flute | Clarinet
Michael Levin is BKO’s “Mr. Versatility.”His unparalleled ability to move from instrument to instrument has made Michael a staple of the Chicago music scene, whether the music is classical, klezmer, jazz, or rock. Michael holds an M.A. from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Communications from the University of Illinois. Michael has performed and/or recorded with The Temptations, The Four Tops, Clark Terry, The Supremes, Jerry Lewis, Salsa con Soul, Ella Jenkins, Bobby Vinton, Diane Schuur, Ben Vereen, The Chicago Jazz Ensemble, Cerqua Rivera Art Experience, and The Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, just to name a few. His solos are prominently featured in recordings by producers of Chicago House Music such as Vic Lavender, Terry Hunter, Jere McAllister, Mark Grant, Glenn Under-ground, and more. Michael’s musical diversity beautifully compliments the wide variety of music BKO offers.
Andrew Ecklund | Trumpet/ Vocals
Andrew Ecklund is a graduate of Elmhurst College, where he earned degrees in Jazz Studies and Music Business. His time at Elmhurst was spent studying under Grammy Award Winner, Doug Beach, and playing in the internationally ac-claimed Elmhurst College Jazz Band. Andrew can currently be seen playing in The Heisenberg Uncertainty Players, Jazz Community Big Band, and leading the Andrew Ecklund Quartet. Andrew has played large international stages in Serbia, Bulgaria, and Chile, and has played with some of the best jazz musicians in the world, including Jeff Hamilton, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and Byron Strip-ling. Andrew also has a very busy writing career, writing music for large scale national advertisements. His compositions feature his instrumental and vocal performances, and can be heard accompanying the brands of McDonald’s, Allstate, Kelloggs, State Farm, Payless, and more. Between his trumpet skills and his incredible voice, he’s an invaluable addition to the BKO stage!
Jeff Livorsi | Trombone
BKO’s slide man, Jeff Livorsi, studied music at DePaul University under Tim Coffman, Thomas Matta, and Dr. Bob Lark. During his time at DePaul, Jeff played both tenor and bass trombone in the big bands and received a B.S. in Music (sound recording) with a physics minor and a M.A. in Jazz Studies. Jeff has been lucky enough to share the stage with some of the world’s best musicians, including, Phil Woods, Jeff Hamilton, Ira Sullivan, Cornell Thigpen, Calvin Rodgers, and Malik Yusef. You can also see him perform with Bumpus, Terrible Spaceship, Big Band Boom, and B.S. Brass Band. Along with those bands Jeff started his own funk, soul and hip hop brass band, J-Livi & The Party. Aside from performing Jeff also directs the DePaul University Screamin’ Demons Pep Band and teaches private lessons throughout the Chicagoland area. Jeff not only plays a mean trombone solo, but is also BKO’s horn arranger.
Dennis Calito | Percussion
A percussionist since the age of 10, Dennis Calito’s infectious rhythms and passionate playing have made him a much-sought-after live and studio musician. Dennis has had the privilege of recording with Latin Artists such as Grupo Niche, Jerry Rivera, Willy Torres, Kevin Ceballo, Van Lester, Yomo Toro, Frankie Negron, Alex d’Castro, and others. Around town, Dennis has shared the stage with artists such as Joe Rendon, Tina Crawley, Havana, Samuel del Real, and Jesus Enriquez. Dennis also has had the opportunity to perform with Christian artists such as Darlene Zschech, Hector Hermosillo, Maria del Sol, and Ernesto d’Alessio. For the last ten years, he has been an integral part of Casa De Luz Worship Team along with BKO’s keyboardist, Paul Mutzabaugh. During the day, Dennis shares his love of Latin music teaching kids the roots of latin percussion in the public schools. When he’s not jamming with BKO, he and his brother Byron can be seen headlining their own band, Rica Obsession.
DJ Zach | Turntablist
Chicago native DJ Z began spinning at 14 for 300 kids at summer camp. At 16, DJ Z was discovered by one of Chicago’s premiere production companies. Whether it is a corporate or social event, DJ Z creates customized mashups, remixes and party breaks. His unique skills and distinct ear for the freshest sounds and deepest beats have gained Z huge respect in the DJ scene and beyond. DJ Z’s eyes never come off the dance floor which guarantees the music that YOUR client wants and not just what he wants to play. His professional personality, can-do attitude and drive for success has led him to perform all over the world and in every major city in the US. With over a decade of experience in the industry and satisfied clients such as The Bacardi Live Tour with Mix Master Mike, Disney Cruise Line, Nike, and many more, DJ Z is going full speed ahead. Keep a look out for him around the country and at a club near you!
Steve Weeder | Sound Engineer
Steve Weeder is BKO’s resident sound architect! Since 1988, Steve has been recording and mixing music–from rock to country to jazz to jingles–and everything in between. Studio or Live, Steve makes it all sound fabulous. Steve’s mixing prowess has been sought after by some of the top names in music including Janet Jackson, Madonna, Kurt Elling, and Buddy Guy. Steve has also worked stageside for some of the nation’s best musical festivals such as Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and Coachella. Steve’s magic behind the sound board helps create a sonic atmosphere perfect for any rocking BKO crowd!
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Performing at over 60 events a year, BKO’s social and corporate clientele list is extensive
for some of our more recent clients.
Feel free to reach out to review our full list.
Becca, Words cannot express how much fun we had on Sunday and so much of that has to do with you and your amazing band. The dance floor was PACKED all night because of you. Everyone repeatedly came up to us to say they could not believe how good every single member was and that they have “never” heard a band as good as yours. The aura was absolutely epic and every-thing we hoped for. The special Nelly set was amazing and so thoughtful of you to make it come to fruition for Justin and his New Jersey buddies. They rapped every word along with Mike and it was absolutely hilarious and entertaining. The Motown set at the end of the night with proud Mary was unreal-it felt like we were watching a show. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all that you and your fabulous band did to create a night we will always remember. You are the best!!
All the best,
Kara and Justin Green
I just wanted to tell you guys that you literally BLEW us and everyone else there away. You guys were so amazing and exceeded every vision we had for the night. You guys literally killed it. Not exaggerating to myself and my parents and Jeff combined we had no less than 100 people there text or call us saying how the band was the best band they had ever seen. (There are a few people specifically calling to inquire this week) There were a handful people there who asked for your info and are going to be contacting you soon also. Since all my friends are going to be engaged this year I know i will be seeing you a ton soon!! But I would love to grab a drink or dinner with u guys some time in the city or burbs, or we can stop by your office and say hi! Sorry I cut some of the songs I chose off the list, I was anticipating the adults staying out on the dance floor longer but you guys adjusted perfectly and did THE BEST job of mixing all the songs and getting everyone dancing. You made it so the adults and kids could have fun simultaneously and you made the ending so special with the “I get by with a little help from my friends” song. The ceremony was something so amazing that I don’t think would’ve been the same without you guys. You nailed every single song and gave the exact vibe i wanted. Everyone said the ceremony songs gave them the chills and you made everyone cry (in a good way!) I can’t wait to see the video of everything and you guys are welcome to use anything you want!!!! We love you guys and BKO!!! if you ever want me to do posts for you or on my blog I would love to, or we can collaborate in any way. I seriously can’t stop talking about you guys. I was so impressed and blown away.
Thank you again, you guys made the day so perfect and it would not have been the same with-out you all.
Shanna and Jeffrey Rotenberg
A heartfelt thank you to you and your band from both of us and everyone at our wedding! You all helped set a tone of excitement, joy and energy that carried the party. We have heard from so many of our guests who have said, “I haven’t danced like that in years!” And we have both reminisced with big smiles about how much fun we had on the dance floor. Se here’s to you! We hope you are having a fantastic summer!
All the best, Mrs. & Mrs. Ricketts
The party is over, but the memories of your incredible music lingers on an on. I wanted to personally thank you, your band and Mike for the incredible part you created at Sarah and Aaron’s wedding on 8/15/15! The Four Seasons was rocking from the time the doors were opened until the very end. Our guests have overwhelmingly complimented us on the fun factor of our wed-ding and this is directly because of your talents. From the beginning stages of planning, we all agreed that we wanted our guests to dance the night away and that they did. You fulfilled our early request and we could not have made a better choice. We will recommend you to anyone who will listen as we know they will never be dis-appointed.
With our appreciation and gratitude,
The Wise Family
Becca & Mike,
Thank you for making our wedding the perfect day of our lives. Your willingness to work with in our budget was so appreciated. We are so happy that we got the full sound of hours and the DJ. Your advice and insight to the celebration made 3.14.15 a wedding that all our guests say was the best wedding they have attended. BKO is an amazing orchestra – so willing to work with us and so very talented. The vocals are as diverse and strong. You had every guest on the dance floor all night long. Thank you! Thank you for editing the music to our flash mob. That is a task that never entered our minds to be so cumbersome. Thank you Mike. We are so blessed to have had you host our ceremonies, cocktail hour, and reception. Thank you friends!
Scott & Terry – The Wellingtons
Becca – OMG!
Thank you so much for the best night of our lives! All of our friends will not stop talking about how AMAZING the band was! Literally you guys made the night. We had SO much fun and you guys were so fabulous! Talk about just exceeding all expectations. It was the PER-FECT night and we could not have asked for a better band to share it with! A formal thank you is to follow, but I wanted to quickly shoot this over to you guys to say THANK YOU!!!
Love you guys!!!
Christie and Ryan
Becca & Mike,
What a party that was on Saturday – you guys ROCKED the house!!! Every single person said how much they loved our band and how they want it for their own wedding. I’m sure you’ll get some referrals from that dance party! I have never seen a wedding where the dance floor was so packed the ENTIRE night. It was so amazing! You guys killed it. Thank you so much for making it the best day of our lives!
Molly and Jon
Thank you so much for providing music for the Barack Fundraiser. I think it added so much to the party. People stayed to drink the wine, eat the food, network with each other and move to the music. I’m sure they would have left right after the Senator did if the music hadn’t been there to keep the party going strong. It was a pleasure to have you.
Elise Dysart, Host of Barack Obama Fundraiser
Chris and I wanted to thank you for the amazing music you provided for our wedding! We are still getting compliments from our guests on the music and how wonderful it was! You were so professional and easy to work with. We can’t thank you enough for getting the party started and keeping it going until the very end. We loved every minute of the music!Thank you again for everything!
Ginger and Chris Witte
It’s not even 48 hours since the wedding and I already have a request for the name and information for our amazing band! A friend got engaged on Wednesday and was at the wedding Saturday – she said she loved you guys and can’t wait to get in touch when they officially start planning!This is NOT your official thank you – I am still too tired to fully express how grateful we are for you and your band – but I did want you to know In short, however, you are amazing – beyond amazing – we had the time of our lives and so much of it was thanks to you.
How do we we even begin to thank you? Because of you, our wedding became the most incredible, magical day of our entire lives. Thank you for helping us and guiding us when we were down. Thank you for surprising us and creating amazing moments. And thank you for your energy and love. It is and was contagious. We will cherish your talent and your friendship always. Thank you for being you. Your team is incredible!
Nick and Julie
We can honestly say that it was love at first meeting. From our initial conversation with you back in September 2011, through our meetings and endless emails to create the PERFECT set list (including the band learning several new songs just for us!), to our magical wedding night – you were the most professional, creative, and fun person to work with. To us, the choice of band for our May 2012 wedding was of the utmost importance – and we could not have been happier with our decision to hire BKO. You single handedly turned our wedding into the best party we have ever been to. The next day, our guests could not stop talking about how fun our wedding was and about how sore their legs and feet were from dancing the night away, which is a true testament to an amazing band. BKO played all of the contemporary songs that are currently on the radio (even if they just came out!) just as well as the original artists. THANK YOU BKO for making our wedding extraordinary!
Hailee + Kyle Zabrin
You turned our wedding into the best party we’ve ever been to! Everyone was talking about how great the band was and Rob and I couldn’t agree more. Thank you for everything! You’re the best!
Amanda and Rob Lemein
Fill out the form, send us an email or give us a call! We would love to sit down and meet with you. We have flexible office hours including evenings. We look forward to learning more about your event!
3200 Doolittle Drive
Northbrook, IL 60062