My siblings and I recently commissioned Boise Bernard Queen to play piano at our mother's memorial and following life-celebration social gathering, held on April 21st. We made the perfect choice in Mr. Queen.
Boise, because he had the time, was able to come some time before people gathered and things started. It gave him time to 'get to know' the baby grand he was to play, which he loved and is his prefered type; it also gave my wife and I, both deep music aficionados and performers of vocal music, a great and unexpected opportunity to talk with him and gain some insight into both his passion and gift for playing, and his personal journey and the resulting things that have broadened and deepened his love and desire for his sharing of it. This is a gift he enthusiastically enjoys giving, and it became obvious in his performing that followed later.
I had commissioned Mr. Queen to begin playing once the initial memorial service was concluded for the social that would follow, but because of his early arrival (which may or may not be within his ability for other events, I should add to those who would/should hire him in the future), he was able to play self-selected pieces during the arrival of guests that set just the right tone, so to speak. Once the celebratory social began, Boise played continually for the next two hours until things wound to a close; he did not take breaks or find distractions, but simply played, enjoyably and impeccably! It exemplified what he shared about his love for piano and music and the giving of it- and his personal standards- with us after his arrival.
I- my siblings and I all- were busy socialising with the many friends and family of mom who came to celebrate her life, so none of us had time to listen to Boise continually, only intermittently, but we still were all in agreement both during and after that he was divine. His song selections, which I left completely to him to allow for the artist that he is, came from a vast and varied repetoire, and all played 'by ear' (sans written /sheet scores), and as well he displayed an impressive technical and artistic command, those aspects leading to bright, thoughtful and creative interpretation of his piece choices that were quite top-notch, and I heard many comments from guests during the event speaking to that, as well as to pure enjoyability. (I should as an aside note that Mr. Queen came impeccably dressed and carries himself with dignity, something that does matter for an event such as ours. I should also note that he and I communicated extensively in the weeks prior so that all aspects of the gig would be clear, something I very much appreciated.)
I'll say in conclusion, which should be obvious to those reading this review, that Mr. Boise Bernard Queen was the perfect choice of musician for our day; he helped make it memorable and special to all, and added a good degree of lustre to a special gathering. I recommend him highly from both a musical and personal standpoint!
Sincerely, with regards, Tom Richards