Dinner Party Playlist


Image: Strollers

Are we excited about this one!  Many of you have asked about dinner party playlists.  Sadly, neither Lydia nor I is very skilled in that department (our iPods flash words like Hogwarts).  So you can imagine how happy we were to hear from the talented Julia Trainor, tastemaker behind My Music Concierge.  Julia has spent year supervising scores for movie trailers and helping create streaming internet radio stations (Rhapsody, anyone?).  Recently, her mixes have set the mood in several LA restaurants, including The Cliff’s Edge in Silverlake, one of our favorite hideaways for brunch and cocktails.  As a music concierge, Julia sifts through the tunes for you, crafting custom playlists to enhance intimate dinner parties, big birthdays bashes, weddings and everything in between.

Here’s Julia on the her creative process, the power of the perfect playlist AND the dinner party set she’s sharing with us today— you can even listen while you read!

Julia Trainor

I meet with clients to determine their small party or big event needs.  We work out any specific musical likes/dislikes or requirements and I provide an iPod pre-loaded with as much music as they need.  The songs are sequenced in order of the party’s agenda, which guarantees a good flow.

For instance, this is a sampling of a 4-hour playlist created for a dinner party for 30 people.  There was music for cocktails (1 hour), dinner (1 hour), after-dinner fun and more drinks (about 2 hours).  The hostess was 28 years-old, throwing “a hip cocktail and dinner hang for my friends in the architecture and design worlds. ” (Listen to sample playlist here).

Cocktail Hour

We did jazz remixes like Nat King Cole’s “More And More Of Your Amor” to kick off cocktail hour, adding in cool electro-indie songs by artists like Miss Li and Bittersweet, keeping it fun, bouncy and frivolous.


To make a quieter backdrop to the dinner conversation, we bring the tempo down a bit but still keeping  movement with songs like “Waltz” by Koop and instrumentals like “Chamber 14” by Wingmaker.  This section would fill out with light, enjoyable down tempo electronica. Toward the end, we shifted the grooves with Mark Farina’s “Cali Spaces” which has a tinge of funk to it and some RJD2 which transitions us into the next phase of fun.

After-Dinner Fun

The hostess definitely wanted to stay away from the Ke$ha/Gaga dance pop, as well as harder hip hop, but still wanted the music to inject some energy into the guests.  We carefully picked a mix of unknown but fun artists (“Don’t Call Me Baby” by Kreesha Turner and “The Ills” by Mayor Hawthorne were up-tempo party pleasers) and the cooler of the crop of Top 40 offerings from the past few years.  Craig David’s “Hot Stuff (Let’s Dance)” has that familiar Bowie sample and “Boom Boom Pow” by the Black Eyed Peas is a radio staple that’s not too overplayed and brings in some hip-shaking bass.

Thanks, Julia!  If you need music for your next party, contact Julia directly through her website.


1 Comment on Dinner Party Playlist

  1. Julie and Lauren
    March 30, 2011 at 1:45 pm (12 years ago)

    Cool! This is a great idea.

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