Founded by Ken Arlen, Arlen Music is a Chicago-based entertainment company that specializes in providing live customized music for special events. Winner of the 2015-2019 Best Band by Make It Better Magazine, Arlen Music is recognized as the leader and trendsetter within the Chicago special event industry. Its premier band, the Ken Arlen Evolution Orchestra, has also developed a nationwide presence with performances ranging from New Year’s Eve at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, to the Presidential Inaugural Ball in Washington, D.C.
Take two minutes to learn about Arlen Music with our fun whiteboard video, and then scroll through the thumbnails below to learn more about our unique process: The Effortless Entertainment Experience!
ARLEN MUSIC TEAM
The unique individuals that make up the Arlen Music service team blend expertise in all disciplines of music and performing arts, which allows effortless management of each event with expertise, enthusiasm and attention to detail.
Tim has been heading up the Arlen Music office team for the last 14 years, and takes the lead in working with new clients as they begin the exciting process of planning the music for their special event! Tim is also heavily involved in developing our unique product line, and establishes long-term goals and strategies to keep Arlen Music as the leader in this sector of Chicago’s special event industry!
Tim was trained from an early age in percussion and piano, and after two degrees in classical performance he eventually returned to Chicago to pursue a dual career in performance and music business. Shortly after beginning at Arlen Music in 2003, he auditioned for and began a 6-year run as a frequent member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra percussion section. In addition to performing for local concert series at Symphony Center and Ravinia, Tim also traveled with the orchestra to Carnegie Hall, Germany, England, France, Italy, and Switzerland. He can be heard on several live recordings under the CSO Resound label.
Tim resides in Wilmette, IL with wife, Andrea, and his two children, Addison and William.
Pam has worn many hats at our office over her 15 years at Arlen Music, including event booking, musician scheduling and client services. Before joining us, Pam was an entertainment manager for Princess Cruises, recruiting singers, dancers, and musicians for the luxury cruise line’s production shows. She is also an excellent musician who has worked in every aspect of the music industry throughout her career, and spent seven years travelling around the world as a featured pianist/vocalist for Princess.
“I find it fascinating to follow the blueprint of each event, from our initial contact with clients through the process of our creative team and musicians bringing the best to our wonderful clients for their special occasion.”
Mike is responsible for managing the technology and infrastructure of the business, and he works closely with clients who are planning events that require smaller ensembles. In addition to his customer service role, Mike is also a staff arranger. His renditions of contemporary Top 40 hits such as Happy, Cake By The Ocean, and Shake It Off are performed by all of the Arlen Music bands.
Mike is also an active pianist, accompanist, arranger and music director in the Chicago area. He has an extensive background in musical theater and has performed with The Hypocrites, Light Opera Works, ShawChicago, Big Noise Theater, Up & Coming Theatre, and many other regional theater companies.
Dan Sherer manages and oversees the Arlen Music sound department. With multiple bands out on any given night it is Dan’s job to ensure all of our events have the equipment they need to deliver flawless performances. Dan’s role in the company requires him to wear many hats such as Front of House engineer, Monitor Engineer, RF Tech, Production Manager, Stage Manager, Client Relations, Playback Engineer, System Tech, Repair Technician, Lighting Designer and more. In addition to being an experienced and talented engineer, Dan is a classically trained pianist. Outside of his work at Arlen music he has spent time performing around the Chicago area as a keyboardist. Having been born and raised in Evanston, Dan is happy to have found a place close to home to put all of his technical and musical abilities to work at Arlen Music.
As a sought-after orchestra leader and saxophonist, Ken Arlen has been a featured entertainer for numerous celebrities and dignitaries, from the President of the United States to Hollywood stars. Ken is also the founder of Arlen Music Productions, a Chicago-based entertainment company that specializes in providing live customized music for special events. He has led the transformation of the impact of music on this industry in Chicago, and over the last decade has brought this force to the national event scene through his performances with the Ken Arlen Evolution Orchestra.
Known as one of the most talented guitarists in Chicago, Lloyd has been key in leading special event bands over the last 6 years with great energy and attention to detail for his clients. Locally, he has performed with Girl Next Door, Green 14, Rendition, Hello Nuvo, and Hey Jimmy. He has also shared the stage with major artists such as Blues Traveler and Nate Ruess. As one of the great young front men in Chicago today, Lloyd’s style is inspired by Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, John Mayer, among other great virtuosos. Lloyd has already made a huge impact on Evolution, and we are excited to promote him to co-leader with Evolution beginning in 2019.
Dan Nicholson is an accomplished bandleader and virtuoso musician hailing from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Before making his home in Chicago, Dan attended the University of North Florida where he studied saxophone and flute under the legendary Bunky Green, who called Dan "a musical force to reckon with." Dan developed his bandleading skills on the East coast and in Chicago before he joined the Arlen Music organization four years ago as the lead arranger and music director for Front of House. Dan also serves as the lead saxophonist and soloist to the nationally renowned Chicago Jazz Ensemble. With a Master's Degree in composing and arranging from DePaul University, Dan creates spectacular and exciting arrangements for all of the Arlen Music bands, including the Ken Arlen Orchestra. Dan is well-known for his personable and energetic style, his fun and easy flair, and his ability to call a great dance party while incorporating a client's vision.
David Sherman has been singing professionally for over 20 years. He has performed in rock bands, swing bands, a mambo-rock band and with his original orchestral pop group The Steak House Mints. In 2008 The Steak House Mints released their debut album, Out of The Sky, to critical acclaim. He has opened for such legendary artists as James Brown, Carlos Santana, Harry Belafonte, Maceo Parker, and Pancho Sanchez. David has played in 42 of the 50 United States, in Cuba, and in Dubai. He has appeared in various theatrical productions in Chicago and at The I.O. Theater on one of their performance teams. He can been seen just about every Thursday night at The Green Mill Lounge with Chicago’s finest swing band The Swing Shift Orchestra. David is excited to be leading Front of House and enjoys living with his wife and his cat in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood.
Leslie Hunt is a musical phenomenon, an outstanding vocalist and a natural bandleader who has been performing professionally since she was ten years old. By the time she was fifteen, she was already an established songwriter, working alongside songwriting legend Jim Peterik (Eye of the Tiger, Vehicle, Hold On Loosely). At seventeen, she inked a development deal with Sony and went on to write and release three solo albums by the time she was in her mid-twenties. In 2007, she was a semi-finalist on American Idol, landing a spot in the top ten females out of over 104,000 contestants. Leslie has also been touring the globe with her rock band District 97 as their high-energy front person since 2008. Before she became the leader of Entourage in 2014, she was the female lead singer, music director and co-leader of the Ken Arlen Orchestra, as well as vocal producer for Arlen Music Productions. Leslie is beyond thrilled to be leading Entourage, as her detail-oriented, quality-focused and fun band leading style promises to make every event a successful one.
Well-versed in rock, pop, R&B, and jazz, Erik Martinez is thrilled to be a part of the Arlen Music family. He has performed all over the United States at many of the finest venues from Los Angeles to New York with artists such as Kurt Elling, Fred Hersch, Norma Winstone, Darmon Meader, and Bobby McFerrin. He has performed in 80's bands, funk bands, and party bands and has 15 years’ experience as a professional singer. Before singing professionally he received a Bachelor of Music degree from Western Michigan University and toured with the acclaimed vocal jazz ensemble Gold Company all over the United States and abroad. He has also been seen entertaining audiences in Mexico, the Bahamas, Spain, South Africa, and Turkey. He now enjoys using his experience singing all over the world to create amazing customized musical experiences for Velocity's fantastic clients. When not singing Erik enjoys working as a Physical Therapist, coaching baseball for his twins, and running ultramarathons.