The Sax Man’s Choice Wedding Cocktail Hour (Volume 1)

The 98th installment of the wedding cocktail hour series has been compiled by musician and sax man Joseph Grillo.  Joe is a lifelong professional musician with a long and impressive resume.

This set is inspired by Joe’s recent selections playing during wedding cocktail hours with Ambient DJs.  Joe typically plays his tenor sax over instrumental backing tracks (many custom arranged).   These performances hit the right chords with listeners, as it is not uncommon for wedding guests to applaud or even tip him!

Joe’s track selections cross multiple genres.  What the songs have in common is BEAUTIFUL MELODIES.  Representative artists include Billy Joel, Hall & Oates, Steely Dan, Quincy Jones, Grover Washington Jr. and Gato Barbieri.


Sax Man Joseph Grillo

For a signature drink, we’ve selected the “Sentimental Melody” – an upscale daiquiri containing grapefruit, pomegranate and St. Germain Elderflower liqueur.  To learn how to mix one, see Difford’s recipe by clicking here.

Enjoy Joe’s set list on the Spotify playlist below, and be on the look out for Volume 2 – coming soon!

The Sax Man’s Choice Wedding Cocktail Hour – Compiled by Joseph Grillo

  1. New York State of Mind – Billy Joel
  2. Overjoyed – Stevie Wonder
  3. Sara Smile – Hall & Oates
  4. Georgy Porgy – Toto
  5. Josie – Steely Dan
  6. Waiting for a Girl Like You – Foreigner
  7. Mercy Mercy Me (the Ecology) – Marvin Gaye
  8. I’m in the Mood for Love – Stefano Bollani Trio (jazz standard)
  9. Autumn Leaves – Paul Desmond (jazz standard)
  10. Georgia on My Mind – Ray Charles
  11. Harlem Nocturne – Quincy Jones
  12. Pick up the Pieces – Average White Band
  13. Just the Two of Us – Grover Washington, Jr.
  14. Europa (Earth’s Cry, Heaven’s Smile) – Gato Barbieri
  15. Careless Whisper – George Michael

Listen on Spotify (Unmixed)


About Ambient DJ Service

Ambient DJ Service is an award-winning mobile DJ entertainment company  specializing in weddings and servicing New Jersey, New York City and eastern Pennsylvania.  To book Joseph Grillo or Ambient DJs’ “Musician Fusion Package” for your wedding or other celebration, connect with us online at   Ambient DJ is available for destination weddings.

To view our 2018 Wedding Music Master Class that contains links to our other 97 themed cocktail hour playlists, click here


The 80s Power Ballad Wedding Cocktail Hour

In this 86th installment of the wedding cocktail hour series, we’ve set our sights on the power ballads of the 80s.  Think big hair with lots of hairspray, big drum kits, big vocal buildups and high drama!  Representative bands include Journey, Motley Crue, Poison, Firehouse, Whitesnake, KISS, Foreigner, Bon Jovi and Van Halen.  Besides cocktail hour, any of these tracks would represent an interesting surprise for dinner music or a slow dance.

Our selections span from 1978 to 1990, with most tracks being released in the mid-1980s.  Take a trip down memory lane by viewing any of these songs’ music videos on YouTube.

For an accompanying signature drink, we’ve selected a popular beverage of the Eighties – a Bartyles_James_Wine_Cooler Bartyles & James Wine Cooler.

Immediately below the playlist, listen to the playlist on our Spotify channel.

The 80s Power Ballad Wedding Cocktail Hour – Compiled by DJ Gregg Ambient

  1. Lights – Journey
  2. More Than Words – Extreme
  3. Home Sweet Home – Motley Crue
  4. Love of a Lifetime – Firehouse
  5. When I See You Smile – Bad English
  6. Is This Love – Whitesnake
  7. Reason to Live – KISS
  8. I Want to Know What Love Is – Foreigner
  9. Never Say Goodbye – Bon Jovi
  10. Glory of Love – Peter Cetera
  11. The Search is Over – Survivor
  12. Can’t Fight This Feeling – REO Speedwagon
  13. Sister Christian – Night Ranger
  14. Alone – Heart
  15. Babe (I Love You) – Styx
  16. Open Arms – Journey
  17. Dreams – Van Halen

Listen on Spotify (Unmixed)

About Ambient DJ Service

Ambient DJ Service is an award-winning mobile DJ entertainment company  specializing in weddings.  Connect with us online at

To view our 2017 Wedding Music Master Class that contains links to our other 85 themed cocktail hour playlists, click here


The A List B-Side Wedding Cocktail Hour

For this episode of the wedding cocktail hour series, we’re excited to welcome guest blogger Darrell Gartrell.  Darrell is an author, entrepreneur, teacher and music lover.  Born in 1958 in Los Angeles, he was raised in a gang-ridden neighborhood.  Darrell re-invented himself in Japan where he launched an English language academy named Wisdom21.  At its pinnacle, Wisdom21 was a stunning success with over 800 students and multiple locations across Japan.  Darrell later owned and operated one of Japan’s only rhythm & blues clubs, “The Savannah Bar & Grill.”  You can read all about Darrell’s business and cultural adventures – as well as his musical influences in his 2016 memoir “21 Years of Wisdom – One Man’s Extraordinary Triumph in Osaka Japan“.

As per Darrell, “There are times when top 40 R&B just won’t do. For the true spinmaster with the discerning ear, feast your headphones on this sampling of some of the hottest B-side tracks in rotation over the past several years. Give yourself high marks if you can identify half of these tracks.  Your guests will thank you. And your score for being a top performer will elevate just like the unheralded tunes you discover here. “

For an accompanying signature cocktail, Darrell has selected his special recipe for a Black Russian – Kahlua, Milk and Hennessy.  Cheers!

For more information about Darrell and his book, visit

The A List B-Side Cocktail Hour – Compiled by Darrell Gartrell

  1. You Got Me Looking for Your Love – Adriana Evans
  2. It’s Your Body – Johnny Gill
  3. Lie About Us – Avant
  4. Tell Me – Bobby Valentino
  5. Love Me Back – Kenny Lattimore
  6. The Best of You – Andrea Martin
  7. Fiend – Jaheim
  8. Let Me Love You – Mario
  9. Lake By the Ocean – Maxwell
  10. Beautiful Girl – Kenny Lattimore
  11. Better Days – Joe
  12. Beautiful Surprise – Tamia
  13. Will He Ever Love Me Back – Nodesha
  14. Imagine Me – Kirk Franklin
  15. I’ll Make Love to You – The Braxton Brothers

The Spotify Set

note: we used a substitution for Adriana Evans as Darrell’s original pick was unavailable.

Bonus Content

Enjoy a visit back to Japan with this Osaka Sessions set mixed by DJ Gregg Ambient.  Gregg was an exchange student in Osaka during the early 1990s.  The Osaka connection was how he and Darrell became acquainted.

The 60s Gold Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist

While the 1960s pre-date the age of all of our music mixologists, we appreciate the high quality and happy nature of this musical decade.  The idea for this playlist was spawned while performing at a house party over this past weekend and learning that the wife of Micky Dolenz (of the Monkees) was in attendance.  Of course, Micky is a legend in the family, and the guests hit the dance floor hard when I played several Monkees tracks.  It was a wonderful moment!

The following playlist contains some of our favorite tracks and artists from the 1960s, and is sure to set a happy tone for your wedding cocktail hour!  Can you guess which song from the 21 selections below was not recorded in the 60s, but has a distinctly 60s sound?

Our selected signature drink is “The Zombie” in a nod to one of the musical artists on the playlist.  To learn more about this potent libation, click here.

Immediately below the playlist, you can listen to all tracks on our Spotify channel by clicking on the player.

The 60s Gold Cocktail Hour Playlist – Compiled by DJ Gregg Ambient

  1. Time of the Season – The Zombies
  2. California Dreamin’ – The Mamas and the Papas
  3. Happy Together – The Turtles
  4. Wouldn’t It Be Nice – The Beach Boys
  5. Do You Believe in Magic – The Lovin’ Spoonful
  6. Up, Up and Away – The 5th Dimension
  7. Joy to the World – Three Dog Night
  8. I Got You Babe – Sonny & Cher
  9. Oh, Pretty Woman – Roy Orbison
  10. She Makes Me Laugh – The Monkees
  11. Chapel of Love – The Dixie Cups
  12. Sugar, Sugar – The Archies
  13. More Today Than Yesterday – The Spiral Starecase
  14. Mrs. Robinson – Simon & Garfunkel
  15. Hooked on a Feeling – B.J. Thomas
  16. The House of the Rising Sun – The Animals
  17. Magic Carpet Ride – Steppenwolf
  18. Spooky – Classics IV
  19. All You Need Is L0ve – The Beatles
  20. For What It’s Worth – Buffalo Springfield
  21. Somebody to Love -Jefferson Airplane

For More Info

For more information about the NJ wedding and event services of Ambient DJ Service, visit us online at



The New Years Eve Style Wedding Cocktail Hour

While New Years Eve is nearly a week gone by, this fun party atmosphere can be re-created any night of the year. New Years Eve is a time to reflect upon the year past – with all of its memories good and bad. It’s a time to get sentimental. It’s also a time to look forward with hope for the coming year.

The tracks on this playlist compiled by our DJ Gregg Ambient reflect the sentimental, festive and often flamboyant nature of a New Years Eve celebration. Representative selections include tracks from the late 70s and early 80s (Herb Alpert, Chuck Mangione, George Benson), dramatic sax players (Kenny G, Gato Barbieri) and a slew of upbeat disco and R&B artists (Whitney Houston, DeBarge, George McCrae, Cerrone) and many more. The later section of the set introduces more danceable selections in anticipation of the dance party to follow.

For New Years Eve, you’d better be uncorking a bottle of fine champagne! As a signature drink, we’ve selected a tasty bottle of Moet & Chandon. Cheers to you!

Listen to The New Years Eve Style cocktail hour on our Spotify channel by clicking here. For a 2016 New Years Eve dance mix by DJ Gregg Ambient that includes a cocktail style opening followed by a vigorous best of 2015 dance set, see the link to the Mixcloud set immediately below the track listing.

The New Years Eve Wedding Cocktail Hour

  1. Rise – Herb Alpert
  2. Feels So Good – Chuck Mangione
  3. Europa (Earth’s Cry, Heaven’s Smile) – Gato Barbieri
  4. Brazil – Kenny G.
  5. I.G.Y. – Donald Fagen
  6. Kiss on My List – Hall & Oates
  7. Love’s Theme – The Love Unlimited Orchestra
  8. Tangerine – The Salsoul Orchestra
  9. Love in C Minor – Cerrone
  10. All Night Long – Mary Jane Girls
  11. Rock Your Baby – George McCrae
  12. More, More, More – Andrea True Connection
  13. Give Me The Night – George Benson
  14. Let’s Go Dancing’ (Ooh La, La, La) – Kool & The Gang
  15. Rhythm of The Night – DeBarge
  16. Everybody – Madonna
  17. I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me) – Whitney Houston
  18. Dancing on the Ceiling – Lionel Richie
  19. Nightlife – Jody Watley
  20. Strike It Up – Black Box

Listen to DJ Gregg Ambient’s 2016 New Years Eve Dance Party mix on Mixcloud by clicking here.

Listen to The New Years Eve Style cocktail hour on our Spotify channel by clicking here.

Recap of Previous Cocktail Hour Playlists

Here are our prior submissions:

  1. Alternative Rock Cocktail Hour, Craft Beer (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  2. The Quintessentially Mixed Cocktail Hour, Long Island Iced Tea (DJ AQ). Click here.
  3. Good Vibes Cocktail Hour, Pina Colada (DJ Iron Mike). Click here.
  4. Head to Shoulder Dip Cocktail Hour, Hairy Navel (DJ Gary G). Click here.
  5. Retro Soul Cocktail Hour, Ciroc Havana Coconut Martini (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  6. Smooth Sail Cocktail Hour, Malibu Bay Breeze (DJ Mike K). Click here.
  7. Back to the Eighties Cocktail Hour, Midori Sour (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  8. Beach Themed Cocktail Hour, Red Stripe Beer (DJ Spinz). Click here.
  9. Classic Wedding Cocktail Hour, Tanqueray & Tonic (DJ Garrett B.). Click here.
  10. International Excursions Wedding Cocktail Hour, Sangria (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  11. Country Wedding Cocktail Hour, Manhattan (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  12. Crooner Wedding Cocktail Hour, Jack Daniels on the Rocks w/Splash of Water (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  13. Chanteuse Wedding Cocktail Hour, White Lady (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  14. TV Theme Songs Wedding Cocktail Hour, Coca-Cola with a side of Popcorn (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  15. Christmas Wedding Cocktail Hour, Eggnog (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  16. Boardwalk Empire / Great Gatsby Wedding Cocktail Hour, Rum Punch for a Crowd (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  17. Classic R&B Wedding Cocktail Hour, Ciroc Blue Ocean (DJ Iron Mike). Click here.
  18. James Bond Wedding Cocktail Hour, Vesper Martini (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  19. Valentines Wedding Cocktail Hour, Godiva Chocolate Martini (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  20. Miami Vice Wedding Cocktail Hour, Cuba Libre (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  21. The “Super Happy Hour” Wedding Cocktail Hour, The Bob Marley (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  22. The Brazilian Wedding Cocktail Hour, Caipirinha (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  23. The New Jersey Homegrown Wedding Cocktail Hour, Boat Beer (Microbrew) (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  24. The French Connection Wedding Cocktail Hour, 2010 Canon-la-Gaffeliere (Bordeaux) (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  25. The Disco Love Wedding Cocktail Hour, Sloe Gin Fizz (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  26. The Super Funky Soul Wedding Cocktail Hour, Funky Cold Medina (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  27. The Acid Jazz Wedding Cocktail Hour, Gimlet (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  28. The 70s Soft Rock Wedding Cocktail Hour, Miller High Life (DJ Iron Mike). Click here.
  29. The New York State of Mind Wedding Cocktail Hour, Bronx Martini (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  30. The Disney Wedding Cocktail Hour, Vibrant Orange Juice Frosty (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  31. The Summer Pop Wedding Cocktail Hour, Jameson & Ginger Ale (DJ Spinz). Click here.
  32. The Colorful Wedding Cocktail Hour, Shot of Goldschlager (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  33. The Inspiring Ladies of Music Wedding Cocktail Hour, Brandy Alexander (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  34. The Psychedelic Wedding Cocktail Hour, Death in the Afternoon (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  35. The Surf’s Up Wedding Cocktail Hour, The Italian Surfer (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  36. The 90s Grunge Rock Wedding Cocktail Hour, Whiskey Sour (Guest Bloggers Pash & David). Click here.
  37. The Nice and Easy Wedding Cocktail Hour, Dirty Martini (DJ Greg Nice). Click here.
  38. The All Beatles Wedding Cocktail Hour, Bass Ale (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  39. The Savannah Southern Charm Wedding Cocktail Hour, Sweet Tea Vodka Lemonade Mojito (Guest blogger Cindy Brown). Click here.
  40. The All Cover Versions Wedding Cocktail Hour, Tecate Beer (Team Ambient) . Click here.
  41. The Giants of Jazz Wedding Cocktail Hour, Jazz Martini (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  42. The Smooth Jazz Wedding Cocktail Hour, Kahlua & Cream (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  43. The Vintage Soul Wedding Cocktail Hour, Old-Fashioned (Guest Blogger DJ Ali Gruber) . Click here.
  44. The Acquired Taste Wedding Cocktail Hour, Fernet Branca (Guest Blogger DJ Toad) . Click here.
  45. The Jamaican Love Song Wedding Cocktail Hour, The Hummingbird (DJ Jazz) . Click here.
  46. The Motown Wedding Cocktail Hour, The Last Word (DJ Spinz) . Click here.
  47. The Broadway Wedding Cocktail Hour, The Fuzzy Greyhound (Guest bloggers Kris & Wesley) . Click here.
  48. The 50 Shades of Grey Wedding Cocktail Hour, Bottle of 1999 Bollinger La Grande Annee Rose . Click here.
  49. The Hip Hop Wedding Cocktail Hour, Bottle of Cristal Champagne (DJ Iron Mike) . Click here.
  50. The Tropical Tradewinds Wedding Cocktail Hour, Barbados Rum Punch (DJ Marti Gras) . Click here.
  51. The Reggae Wedding Cocktail Hour, Dirty Banana (DJ Sully) . Click here.
  52. The Mellow Country Rock Wedding Cocktail Hour, Southern Comfort Cherry & Cola (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  53. The Space Travelers Wedding Cocktail Hour, Astronaut (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  54. The African Safari Wedding Cocktail Hour, Castle Lager Beer (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  55. The Sunset Sessions Wedding Cocktail Hour, Mojito (Guest Blogger DJ Troy Michael) . Click here.
  56. The 70s Soft Rock Wedding Cocktail Hour (Volume 2), Scotch on the Rocks (DJ Iron Mike) . Click here.
  57. The Bar Life Wedding Cocktail Hour , Margarita (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  58. The New Orleans Wedding Cocktail Hour , Hurricane (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  59. The Catchy Covers Wedding Cocktail Hour , Southern Revival (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  60. The Blues Wedding Cocktail Hour , Blonde Manhattan (DJ Marti Gras) . Click here.
  61. The 80s 90s Something Wedding Cocktail Hour, Zima (DJ Gregg Ambient).  Click here.
  62. The Lush Boutique Hotel Wedding Cocktail Hour , Botanist Cocktail (DJ Cloak Dagger) . Click here.
  63. The Boy Bands Wedding Cocktail Hour , Bubble Martini (DJ Iron Mike . Click here.

About Ambient DJ Service

Ambient DJ Service is a full-service mobile NJ DJ entertainment company based in Central New Jersey that specializes in wedding DJ entertainment. Ambient DJ is a 2016 winner of the Knot Best of Weddings award as well as of the WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Award. We have a deep passion for the music that we play and enjoy collaborating with our brides and grooms to create unforgettable parties! For more info and to read our wedding reviews, visit us on the web at