Big Ray & the Kool Kats Reviews

130 | Charlottesville, VA
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130 Reviews for Big Ray & the Kool Kats

Recommended by 100% of couples

5.0 out of 5.0
  • Quality of service 5.0
  • Professionalism 5.0
  • Flexibility 5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Average response time 5.0

Awards

130

28 User photos

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  • J

    Jackie · Married on 02/10/2021

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Big Ray and the Kool Kats

    We have had Big Ray and his KK's for two weddings....without hesitation we give him our highest endorsement...Big Ray is engaging , attentive, and responsive. He listens to the preferences, sets the appropriate feeling, delivers beyond every expectation on presentation, and will make your event the most memorable you could ever imagine. Don't miss an opportunity to allow Big Ray and his team to join you for your special event.

    Sent on 10/28/2019
  • Jordan

    Jordan · Married on 11/01/2020

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Truly incredible!!!

    Big Ray and the Kool Kats are INCREDIBLE!!!! As a wedding planner myself, I have heard and worked with a lot of different bands, and Big Ray and the Kool Kats top them all! They had the dance floor packed all night long and our guests have been raving about them since our wedding in January. Ray is fantastic to work with both leading up to your wedding day and then at the actual wedding. He continuously checked in on myself and my husband, as well as our parents. My parents were worried about a band being too loud, and Ray heard that concern before the wedding and honored it. No one's ears were ringing the next day and no one was trying to escape loud music! Their playlist is extensive and their ability to put together sets is fantastic. Our outdoor send-off was impossible due to a giant thunderstorm and I was amazed watching Big Ray and the Kool Kats sing and dance our guests into a big tunnel of love for an indoor send-off. We cannot thank the band enough for making our reception entertainment dreams come true!!

    Sent on 10/30/2020
  • C

    Christina · Married on 09/19/2020

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    10/10 and then some!

    Big Ray and the Kool Kats made our wedding day unforgettable. Hands down one of the best decisions we made for our wedding. Ray took the time out to really get to know us as a couple before the wedding and was just a joy to work with. They are so professional and talented. 10/10 would recommend. We love Big Ray and the Kool Kats!

    Sent on 10/26/2020
  • Sasha

    Sasha F. · Married on 06/10/2020

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Could not have been better

    Big Ray and the Kool Kats were amazing- we had so many compliments throughout the night! They were super easy to work with, had extremely talented performers, and kept people dancing all night! True professionals!

    Sent on 10/29/2019
  • Caitlin

    Caitlin S. · Married on 03/10/2020

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Absolutely Amazing

    We could not have asked for a better band than Big Ray and the Kool Kats for our wedding. After a extremely tough year of planning through a pandemic my husband and I made the tough choice to host a micro-wedding this year and postpone our larger party. When we were deciding on the essentials for our smaller event we could not imagine doing it without the band- happy to say we made an excellent call there. Not only was the music amazing but Big Ray went above and beyond to be supportive and professional throughout the process. We switched to an outdoor setting in light of the pandemic and discovered day-of that that it wasn't equipped to connect to Bluetooth speakers for our dinner playlist. Big Ray heard about this and offered to have the band play through dinner- we could not have appreciated his kindness and adaptability more. It made a huge difference to have such an incredibly supportive vendor during these exceptional times. Great news is we get to have Big Ray and the Kool Kats again for our larger post-pandemic event and we could not be more excited!

    Sent on 10/27/2020
  • A

    Alex S. · Married on 02/09/2020

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    If you can book Big Ray - You book Big Ray! They are The Best!

    Big Ray and the Kool Kats rocked our wedding! Every guest commented on how great the band was - they brought energy, entertainment and fun.

    Bottom line: if you have a chance to book Big Ray and the Kool Kats - do it and don't look back. You have just made one of the best decisions about your wedding!

    Sent on 10/29/2019
  • J

    Jennie P. · Married on 11/22/2019

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Big Ray and the Kool Katz - so incredibly talented

    Big Ray and the Kool Katz were absolutely amazing. We planned our wedding in 10 weeks and and in just a few weeks, Big Ray and the Kool Katz learned new songs for us including an ABBA medley which everyone loved. They added so many personal touches to our wedding in a way we couldn’t have imagined. We are so grateful to Big Ray and the Kool Katz for making our wedding reception so amazing. Each one of the band members are incredibly talented and you will not regret booking Big Ray and the Kool Katz for your wedding.

    Sent on 12/01/2019
  • M

    Michael F. · Married on 11/02/2019

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Exceeded expectations!

    Big Ray and the Kool Kats exceeded our expectations in every way. Ray worked with us to provide strings for our ceremony, Jazz for the cocktail hour, and absolutely brought down the house during the reception. He also worked with my sister who sang our first dance song, it was a beautiful moment. Ray was open to any idea we had musically. Highly recommended.

    Sent on 11/06/2019

    Big Ray & the Kool Kats's reply:

    So glad you were pleased. GREAT party as well as your special day. And your sister can REALLY sing btw. Ray
  • J

    Johnsie · Married on 09/28/2019

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Beat Band Ever!

    Yall, this is the highest quality band you can possibly get for your special day! Ray was so willing to meet with us before the wedding (multiple times, thanks to me making changes), accommodated my silly requests with a smile on his face and a complete calm, and maintained a level of professionalism throughout the weekend while also seeming like someone we’d known for years. His experience in the music industry is unmatchable and literally everyone at our wedding was out on the dance floor for entire night. He is able to host/MC in a way that makes him feel like a guest of the wedding but also not the center of the night. He even had one of his crew members run out to the nearest store when a bridesmaid requested a mixer the bartender didn’t have. How amazing is that?! He knows how to read a crowd and truly made our night perfect. Not to mention the absolutely beautiful music he and his band members provided for our ceremony and cocktail hour. Would recommend a million times over!

    Sent on 10/03/2019
  • K

    Kim · Married on 09/27/2019

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Stop researching bands and hire Big Ray!

    You will not regret hiring Big Ray and the Kool Kats for your wedding!! Ray was so easy to work with throughout the wedding planning process. He's a true professional, allowing us to sit back and trust his guidance. He even spoke with my dad during the planning process who had a musical surprise for me during his toast. Ray made our day so special and was really fun to work with! All of our wedding guests raved about the music, from the ceremony musicians' beautiful music to the great party and dancing songs played by the full band at the reception! They were even gracious enough to entertain a few guests and flower girls on stage with them :) Highly recommend!!!

    Sent on 12/29/2019
  • S

    Steve W. · Married on 09/21/2019

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Mammoth Musical Memories of My Daughter's Wedding Reception

    Big Ray and the Kool Kats helped make my daughter's wedding reception an unqualified success. The musicians and vocalists are top notch and can perform the old standards (e.g., Glenn Miller and Frank Sinatra) to Motown to Classic/Modern Top 40 and everything in between. Ray is the consummate emcee and bandleader. If you are planning a wedding reception or a dance party, hiring this band is a moral imperative!

    Sent on 09/24/2019

    Big Ray & the Kool Kats's reply:

    It was our pleasure! What a fun event. I'm glad you were pleased. Call on me anytime for whatever musical needs you might have. Ray
  • Sheryl

    Sheryl S. · Married on 09/01/2019

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Mother and Father of The Bride

    Big Ray & The Kool Kats, Thank you for a spectacular night of dancing and music at Rachel & Ben’s Wedding! You had our guests dancing all night long! We loved Tommy- the Country singer you hired since Ben also loves Country music. Ray is not only a great Band Leader he is a great person!! Thanks again, Sheryl & Barry Schwartz

    Sent on 09/11/2019
  • S

    Steve P. · Married on 08/17/2019

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Absolutely phenomenal!

    Big Ray and the Kool Kats exceeded our already high expectations! They played a wonderful selection that was able to cater to a variety of ages and made our day extremely special. Terrific energy throughout the night. Could not have been happier and would highly recommend them. They really made our day ever more special.

    Sent on 10/27/2019
  • L

    Lee M. · Married on 07/06/2019

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Incredible and unforgettable! Book big ray!

    WOW.

    For 5 years, I worked for one of the largest wedding agencies in America booking wedding bands out of Richmond all over the country. In fact, I personally booked Big Ray more times than I can count for past clients. I feel I have this incredibly unique perspective of being an ex agent, but also being the Groom now.

    I've seen/booked a million wedding bands, but very few stick out like BRKK. Where do I even begin? His ability to have a double digit member band with incredible horn section and multiple leads and vocals? Rays organization as a band leader? The amazing communication throughout your entire event from start to finish? His ability to see your day of schedule and based on his incredibly deep experience, offer advice that no one has thought of yet? The energy they bring as soon as they step on stage? The talent of the band? The classy look? It's all 5 STAR. Ray is worth every single penny and then some.

    Do not slack on your music in your budget, it makes the event. People forget so many details about weddings they've attended, but guess the one thing they always talk about years later? THE BAND! Most people want to sit down and talk with band leaders about what specifically they want to hear etc. As an agent, we always advised against getting into specific artists or when to play what, but keeping it more "no this or that, but we love this". The bands entire job is to keep everyone dancing and happy, but part of that is letting them do their thing in terms of tempo and how they structure the set. Once they've got you up, they want to keep you up and dancing. When my wife and I talked with Ray about music, he already knew I was a funk/motown/classic kind of guy. I literally said, "do what you do. Our families loves the funk". I didn't have to say another word. There was no, "I don't like this artist or that artist", just "do what you do". They're so talented that they're able to take this amazing road of feeling out the crowd in an instant and going right off that. They never stopped playing it seemed like! I danced so hard and for so long, that I had to change into a second dress shirt halfway through because I looked like I had been caught in a torrential down pour of rain. Over 2 weeks later and I am still getting emails and text messages specifically about how amazing the band was and how much fun everyone had because of BRKK.

    If you want a band, go book a random act online. If you want a customized EXPERIENCE that you will never, ever forget, trust in Ray. He will take care of you and your family as his own!

    Ray, you're the man!

    Sent on 07/22/2019
  • A

    Ashley · Married on 07/06/2019

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Talented, Organized, Genuine...a must have!

    Where do I begin?! Big Ray and the Kool Kats was our wedding band just over a month ago and our guests are STILL talking about them and how awesome our band was! They are so incredibly talented. They played motown/funk , pop,...exactly what we asked for! They really can do anything you want, though. When Big Ray and the Kool Kat's plays a song, it isn't played like just any other band. There's something about them that brings the crowd alive and there's this sudden energy in the room. They kept everyone out on the dance floor and knew exactly how to read the crowd. My husband danced so hard he had to change dress shirts and I changed into a short white fun dress, and they even let my bridesmaids and I up on the stage! In addition, Ray as a band leader is incredibly organized. He has everything planned and needs very little information. You can tell he's a pro from the moment you first talk with him. He worked seamlessly with our planners and photographer, making the whole event go off without a hitch. So they have the versatility, talent, and organization, but there's something else that makes Big Ray and the Kool Kats stand out. Ray is incredibly genuine and charismatic. He makes a bride feel special and a couple feel loved throughout the whole process. He, for example, even played our hymn in a different key so that one of my best friends could sing it as a solo for us, and practiced with her before she sang it. Another example is how he recognized our fur baby, dog. Our dog had been in our ceremony and worn a "I Loved Her First" sign down the aisle, and Ray even picked up on it and commented to the crowd, playing that song later. The single most important thing I can say about Big Ray and the Kool Kats is that every year when we look back on our wedding at the time of our anniversary, we'll think fondly of our memories of fun, laughter, and joy, thanks to them, and we'll be reminded each day to smile, laugh, and find joy, just how we started our marriage.

    Sent on 08/08/2019
  • Deidre

    Deidre · Married on 06/01/2019

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Best band in Charlottesville!

    We had been engaged one day when I asked my dad to call Ray because it was important to have Big Ray as our band. Ray and his band are the definition of professional. We chatted several times during the planning process to help get a feel of the type of music we wanted in addition to other specifics about us as a couple. When we had a sudden issue with our ceremony music, we contacted Ray and he came to the rescue there as well. Ray and his band know how to keep guests on the dance floor and they do the best job at it! We keep hearing from guests how much fun they had and how it was such a great wedding and "the band was awesome!" When I approached Ray about wanting to do a Last Dance with just my husband and I and the room empty, he loved it and said for us to pick the song and they'd be sure it was perfect. And, it was magical! We will always remember that moment shared and we cannot thank Big Ray and the Kool Kats enough for that and for such a wonderful night!

    Sent on 10/05/2019

    Big Ray & the Kool Kats's reply:

    What a great party! It was our pleasure and always nice to have a "home game" instead of traveling. Anytime, anywhere for your family!
  • M

    Molly A. · Married on 05/25/2019

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Extraordinary and completely worth it!

    After the engagement, we started looking at venues with one goal in mind: find a date that would work for Big Ray and the Kool Kats. We fell in love with a venue, and ensured BRKK could be there, then the rest of the plans fell into place.

    When I say that BRKK brought the party, I mean they literally made the wedding everything we could have asked for. From the perfect ceremony music, to cocktail hour, to dinner music, and then the grand slam with the reception, they provided the most personal experience while being the incredible professionals that they are. A little rain? No problem, they’ve got it. Really want Somewhere Over the Rainbow with a ukulele? Consider it done (and REALLY well). Want a country song for your first dance? They’ve got Tommy, their country singer.

    From our first interaction with Big Ray, throughout the entire planning process, until the end of our wedding day, this team was incredible. Ask, and not only shall you receive, but it will be even better than you could have imagined. Thank you all for everything you did to make our wedding unforgettable.

    Sent on 10/17/2019
  • P

    Patrick T. · Married on 01/30/2019

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Washington Golf and Country Club welcomes Big Ray any time

    I could always count on Big Ray and The Kool Kats to put on a great show and make my members happy. Been working with them for years and will continue to do so for many more. Cant say enough nice things about my experiences, always a pleasure.

    Sent on 01/30/2019

    Big Ray & the Kool Kats's reply:

    We feel the same way about you, your staff, and your members. Anytime for WGCC. And the band meal is exquisite.,,no other venue comes close.
  • K

    Katheryn · Married on 11/17/2018

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Best of the best! Brought down the house!

    Big Ray brought down the house, and was amazing to work with - across the board. He was incredibly flexible with the playlist - and had everyone on the dancefloor the entire night. Would 10/10 recommend!

    Sent on 11/27/2018

    Big Ray & the Kool Kats's reply:

    Now THAT was a party. We just grabbed onto you and your guests and hung on for the ride. Anytime, anywhere. Ray
  • P

    Patricia L. · Married on 11/10/2018

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    A Gift for All

    What could be more glorious at a daughter's wedding than seeing young and old, family and friends singing, dancing, swaying, clapping, tapping, and smiling? Thanks to Big Ray and the Kool Kats we had all this and more! The ballroom brimmed with wedding flowers; happiness embraced us all; and Ray's music brought such a perfect aura to the room. Guests I had not known before this wedding day marveled at how much they could enjoy this band: they didn't over power; they played something for everyone; they are SO talented; the witty commentary was delightful. In other words, the band accomplished what music strives for . . . it brought people together with joy! In addition, the band learned the couple's university fight songs which brought people to their feet with surprise and cheers. How fun that was!! I already have been approached by 2 families who want all of Ray's contact information, and I'm putting in a request to my family for Big Ray to usher in my next milestone birthday! Fingers crossed! Thank you, BR and KK; what a gift you shared!

    Sent on 11/13/2018

    Big Ray & the Kool Kats's reply:

    What a great party in the historic and charmingly beautiful Patrick Henry Hotel. Just the whole layout and flow made for a perfect multi level evening. Fun folks, great families, wonderful food...BRKK just tried to keep up! Thanks for having us!
  • Whitney

    Whitney · Married on 10/20/2018

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Big Ray Rocks!

    We could not have been happier with Big Ray and the Kool Kats. Big Ray was so personal and did everything he could to accommodate any request we had. They kept everyone dancing the entire wedding. We've heard nothing but over the top positive feedback from our guests.

    Thank you Big Ray and the Kool Kats for making our wedding day so special and fun!

    Sent on 11/08/2018

    Big Ray & the Kool Kats's reply:

    What a charming event at the beach! And Whitney, your Mom and Dad were a lot of fun to work with! Big Ray
  • C

    Cville W. · Married on 10/13/2018

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    The BEST horn section and most tailored experience

    After first speaking with Big Ray about our wedding day, I knew we'd be in experienced, good hands. Not only were they amazing musicians who could cover a wide range of genres, but they knew how to run a wedding. Everyone had a blast on the dance floor and no one wanted to leave when it was over. Best night ever!

    Sent on 11/05/2018

    Big Ray & the Kool Kats's reply:

    Great Party! Nothing is more fun than when the groom sings with the band! I'm glad you enjoyed the evening.
  • A

    Ashley · Married on 09/28/2018

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Ray is one of the kindest people in the industry. He and his band the Kool Kats have performed at our annual fundraiser for the past few years, and they really elevate our guests experience. His expertise in this field has been beyond helpful in taking our fundraising efforts to the next level. We cannot wait to work with him again next year, I couldn't recommend anyone more.

    Sent on 10/02/2018
  • C

    Connor · Married on 09/22/2018

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    I cannot say enough good things about Big Ray and the Kool Kats. Not only did they do all of the standard "great wedding band stuff" (i.e., play all upbeat songs in genres we requested, played music that both grandparents and millennial yuppies liked, kept everyone dancing all night, took a very short break, etc. etc.).. these guys went truly above and beyond!! For example:
    - Ray coordinated all of the audio equipment for the ceremony for almost no extra cost
    - Ray added in a keyboardist to our ceremony FOR NO EXTRA COST after we told him we wanted our recessional to be "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" b/c as Ray put it, "it'll just sound so much better with a keyboard and guitarist"
    - BRKK played a first dance song from the Broadway musical Hamilton PERFECTLY even though they had never played the song before, and I sent him the request to play the song after the original request deadline
    - After the ceremony, Big Ray saw that my wife and I hadn't been served a beverage yet, so he took our drink orders, presumably skipped the whole line for drinks at the bar, and brought us back cocktails within 2 minutes. It was incredible.
    - Ray acted as a professional MC for the whole evening, and made everything seamless. He cracked jokes, kept the party moving, and strictly adhered to the timeline set out by our wedding planner. The only person more excited than you for booking Big Ray will be all of your vendors, who dream of working with these guys.

    Look, kids. There are only 3 things that matter at a wedding to all of your guests (which raises the issue of why you're spending so much money on this in the first place, but that's a separate issue). #1 - do you actually like the couple getting married? Presumably people like you guys. #2- Unfettered access to alcohol -- pretty straightforward. And #3 - A GREAT BAND. BRKK is the best band out there, full stop. Do yourself a favor, book BRKK for your wedding, and take care of priority #3.

    XOXO

    Sent on 10/10/2018

    Big Ray & the Kool Kats's reply:

    Charming folks to deal with and a great party. I only wish they had a party every Saturday, we'd like to be the house band.