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Don Covel is a guitar & vocal soloist who has become a local favorite at private events and community-based venues. His music crosses generations and genres covering the best in acoustic-based classic rock, and smooth jazz tunes familiar to Wave FM listeners. "People sometimes compare me to James Taylor which is a tremendous compliment," states Don. We recently sat down with Don to find out more about Don Covel Entertainment.
1. Tell me a little bit about your business? What makes it unique?
I seem to fit a middle ground between a band and DJ. I discovered that people were looking for this type of unique solution to enhance their venues with live music. The response has been more than I could have hoped for. My business model features Classic Rock and Smooth Jazz for small to mid-size events. People can listen, talk, and enjoy. While most events are private parties, I also perform at art shows, restaurants, weddings, and entertainment pavilions throughout Southern California. A few clients include: The Irvine Company, Shady Canyon Country, Hoag Hospital, Veteran Agencies, Newport Beach Arts and Cultural Services, and many others agencies in the resort/hospitality industry. Another unique client base is the real estate community. I noticed that people involved in real estate and homeowner associations like to do a lot of promotions. My music style seems fit well with these types of venues. I have played at settings ranging from the Queen Mary to backyard parties at beautiful homes on the coast.
2. How did you get involved in your industry?
After performing with my own band for years, I noticed to get a lot of calls from people who wanted live music vs. a DJ at their event, and who were not comfortable with the cost and logistics of a full band. I decided to develop a solo act using music technology (backing tracks) to enhance the sound of mostly acoustic-based music. My goal was to create a full band sound as a soloist - not overdone, but just enough to enhance the performance.It started with a desire for artistic expression. I wanted people to have a total music experience, not just a guy singing with a guitar. This is a costly, time-consuming process but, in the end, it produces a final product that my clients look for, and appreciate. Every step in the audio signal path has to be right. The mic, guitar, guitar strings, cables, mixer, amplifiers, speakers, etc.; everything makes a difference. Each song I play is done with great detail to make it more enjoyable so that people are impressed and the songs as much as I do. Even the simplest 3-chord song has to be produced and arranged correctly to make it entertaining.
3. Why did you choose to locate in Lake Forest?
My family and I have lived in Lake Forest for about 12 years. I think Lake Forest is the nicest small-town in Orange County. We are truly blessed. Anyone would love to live here.
4. Can you share some background on how the business was started?
I am a graduate of the University of Redlands, and I also studied composition, and arranging at the Grove School of Music in Studio City, California. I have performed around the country playing at shows with rock and roll artists including: Linda Ronstadt, The Drifters, Paul Williams, Big Joe Turner, and others. In 1996 I pursued a music career as a soloist, and side musician. During that time, I worked with blues bands, a 9-piece jazz/swing band, and as a solo artist in clubs, and coffee houses. Don Covel Entertainment is a favorite at Orange County and So Cal venues. I also perform with local music ministries including Saddleback Church. One of the best parts of this business is that I get meet and work with all sorts of people, who I would otherwise never have a chance to meet. It is amazing how music connects people of different backgrounds.
5. Are there any special promotions we can advertise?
Anyone who refers me to a new music client, I will donate 1-hour of music (subject to my availability) to an event of their choice, or provide a 1-hour free guitar lesson. I also have "gift of music" packages for people who want to give music lessons to someone as a special birthday present, or anniversary gift.