Washington Talent Agency Lights Up the Party Scene with Big Ideas and Small Touches

For more than 50 years, Washington Talent Agency has been delivering happiness one event at a time. In fact, it’s the agency’s motto. At weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, corporate events and more, WTA provides DJs, MCs, musicians, photographers and videographers. But WTA is not an event planning service.

“We are truly the in-between people,” says WTA General Manager John Hall, who explains that they represent a lot of talent that is exclusive to WTA. “We want to work for our client [whose event it is]. It is a delicate balance.” 

“We are the consultants between the clients/planners and our talent,” says Monica Vidal, a photographer with WTA.

WTA also represents magicians, stilt walkers, caricature artists and more.

“We will bring anything they ask for,” John says. “We will go find it.”

WTA’s repertoire also includes casino games, stage setup, event lighting, themed photo booths, karaoke and megabots. Megabots combine high- and low-tech effects for an oversized, dazzling display featuring a human stilt-walker concealed inside a 9-foot-tall robot-like façade decked out with serious LEDs from head to toe.

WTA is based in Rockville and also has offices in Baltimore and Philadelphia, where the company is called the Philly Event Group. WTA regularly puts on events at venues big and small all around its service area, including country clubs, party centers, hotels, music venues and more.

To stay ahead of changing technology and on top of evolving tastes, WTA focuses on some decidedly old-fashioned principles.

“The way we stay on top of it is to become better listeners to what people want,” Monica says. “We have to say, ‘What do you want for your event?’ We have to get that out of them. Customer service is key. You really have to become partners with the client,” she says.

“How they [the talent] dress is so important. How they act on the job is so important, sometimes even more than their talent level. It’s the most important day of the [client’s] life, and we treat it like that. Word of mouth is our No. 2 marketing tool.”

“We are proud to have been involved in the community and people’s lives for many years,” Monica says. “We are very blessed to have been part of many life celebrations. It is a generational thing.”

Lahinch Tavern and Grill, 7747 Tuckerman Lane in Potomac, is loved for its regional American cuisine and traditional Irish fare plus its calendar full of live music. This July, catch these bands and more at Lahinch.

Chuggalug Band

This variety rock and pop cover band bursts with talent, energy, personality and versatility. PJ Lee, the group’s lead vocalist and keyboardist, and guitarist and vocalist Charlie Thomas perform with a rotation of drummers including Phil Brotman of Baltimore, Kim Martin of Fairfax and Andy Hamburger of Silver Spring. The band covers Boston, Lady Gaga, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Elvis, Foo Fighters, James Taylor, Pink, Katy Perry, jazz standards and more.

Dead Cat Bounce

Dead Cat Bounce takes inspiration from the driving blues of Austin, Texas; New Orleans funk; and the cool jazz sounds of New York City. DCB’s hard-driving, high-energy fusion of blues/rock/funk/jazz gets audiences up on their feet.

Quantum Leap

This ’80s tribute band takes audiences back to the great music era of Billy Idol, Bryan Adams, Bon Jovi, The Go Go’s, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Salt n Pepa, Flock of Seagulls, The Police, Journey, Prince, Joan Jett, ZZ Top, J. Geils Band, Simple Minds and  more.

Sligo Creek

Sligo Creek features a variety of Celtic, bluegrass and Americana tunes that they make enjoyable for all audiences.

Tom Blood and the Late as Usual Band

Loved for their versatility, this wedding/party band plays Motown, reggae, Mid-Atlantic rock ‘n’ roll, blues, pop, biometal and more.

THE CALENDAR

July Fourth in DC

Line up along Constitution Avenue to observe DC’s annual National Independence Day Parade, which begins at 11:45 a.m. and is held between Seventh and 17th Streets. The Capitol Fourth concert begins at 8 p.m. at the Capitol and commonly features a star-studded lineup of musicians and a performance of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture by the National Symphony Orchestra. The grand finale features fireworks over the National Mall.

Lake Arbor Jazz Festival

July 13, noon to 9 p.m.

Lake Arbor Community Center, Mitchellville, Md.

Now in its 10th year and counted as one of the region’s premier jazz events, the Lake Arbor Jazz Festival features bass prodigy Lil Asmar Devine, the David Bach Consort, D.C. favorite Secret Society, We Are One X-Perience with a tribute to Frankie Beverly and Maze, bassist Julian Vaughn, Adam Hawley and saxophonist Kim Waters featuring his talented daughter Kayla Waters. Tickets start at $25. VIP tickets also available. Free parking. 60-plus food and merchandise vendors. LakeArborJazz.com

Psychedelic Furs and James

July 14, 8 p.m.

The Filmore, Silver Spring, Md.

With a legendary combined chart-topping back catalog that spans decades, the creative and iconic Psychedelic Furs and James boast countless classics such as the Furs’ “Love My Way” and “Pretty In Pink” and James’ global hits “Laid” and “Sit Down.”

Steppin’ at the Junction: Charm City Junction & Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble

July 27, 8 p.m.

AMP by Strathmore, North Bethesda, Md.

At this fusion of Irish and bluegrass music, dancers’ dazzling footwork is a wonder for the eyes and ears as they provide the percussion behind Charm City Junction’s lively acoustic arrangements. Tickets are $28–$48 at AmpByStrathmore.com or call 301.581.5100.

Moonrise Festival 2019

Aug.10–11

Pimlico Race Track, Baltimore, Md.

Baltimore’s flagship electronic music festival includes Bassnectar, Marshmello, The Chainsmokers, Excision, Zedd, STS9, Flosstradamus and Claude Vonstroke, representing heavy-hitting bass, progressive electro beats and everything in between. Parking available from $40. Two-day event tickets start at $149.50. Tickets available at MoonriseFestival.com.

Good Life Sundays by Legendary Events

Every Sunday, May through September

Day Party: 3–9 p.m.; Night Party 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Kaldi’s Social House, Silver Spring, Md.

Drinks, food, suya, hookah, good vibes and great music by Tagsoundz playing the hottest Afro-beats, hip-hop, dancehall, soca, R&B, zouk, Latin music, reggae and more. Free until 7 p.m. with RSVP. Tickets at EventBrite.com.

Western Maryland Music Festival “7”

Aug. 10, 2 p.m.

Ali Ghan Country Club, Cumberland, Md.

The Seventh Annual Western Maryland Music Festival features three bands and a wide variety of vendors and crafters. Tickets start at $25. WestMDMusicFest.org