Andy KushnerFounder & President
“The heartbeat of any great party is the music. Andy will bring you that heartbeat because from the moment you walk in to the moment you leave, that heartbeat is going to be there the entire time.”
– David Tutera
The difference between a good event and a great entertainment experience is in the details – lots of them. An event that crackles is a result of the synergy of each individual production element coming together to create an experience that’s greater than the sum of its parts. Great songs and an impressive light show aren’t enough. It takes years of firsthand experience to orchestrate a fully balanced production that leaves the crowd buzzing for hours. Crafting an event of this caliber is a skill that only comes with time, which is why Andy’s events speak for themselves. His years in, on and behind the stage have taught him what resonates and what doesn’t and it shows on the faces in the crowd.
This experience and a solid track record of client satisfaction are why industry leaders and celebrities like David Tutera and Colin Cowie turn to Andy when they’re seeking the highest quality of entertainment experience.
“As an Entertainment Designer, my work begins well in advance of the event to make sure I understand the host’s vision, goals, needs, and purpose. I create one-of-a-kind concepts for my clients to make events unlike any other they have previously experienced—true customization.”
– Andy Kushner
Andy prides himself on precise yet balanced attention to scale, budget, and personalization. Intuitively marrying the clients’ wishes with the insight and acumen he has developed from years of experience, Andy can tailor an event design to even the most specific or extravagant client request without losing sight of the greater concept. However, whatever the context or requirements, Andy’s top priority is always to elevate the energy of every person in the crowd. It’s not the band or the lights or the songs that your guests will remember, but the transcendent feeling they experience that will stay with them for years to come. As celebrity cake designer Sylvia Weinstock explains, “Andy sets the tone. He transfers his own energy to your guests, and you become a part of that invisible energy. It’s what makes a great event.”
The same craftsmanship Andy brings to his event designs can be seen in the production studio and in his musical skills. He launched and owns the award-winning, immensely popular bands: SoundConnection, Rhythm6, Marquise, SoundNation, and the unique and stylish pop-rock quartet PopCulture Strings. Andy also represents an array of high-end bands, MCs, DJs and dancers, as well as a stable of versatile specialty acts representing every genre, every style, every taste. Andy’s entertainment designs take guests on an emotional journey of their own choosing. As Colin Cowie puts it, “At Andy’s events, guests can never get enough of the dance floor, and that’s what makes it work. It’s all about the energy, and Andy does it better than anybody else.”
“After the concept is finalized, I enjoy the process of producing the entertainment for the event and elevating its impact. I love helping to create the moments that my clients remember for a lifetime!”
– Andy Kushner
- Entertainer of the Year Event Solutions Magazine
- Top Vote Getter, Entertainment Company Washingtonian Bride & Groom Magazine
- Top Vote Getter, Best Band, SoundConnection Washingtonian Bride & Groom
- Best Entertainment Concept Special Events International Awards
- Bride's Choice Award Wedding Wire
- Best of DC/MD/VA Voter’s Choice The Knot
- Best Team Event ISES International Awards
- Best Team Event Award, Budget Over $200K ISES International Awards
- Colin Cowie’s Top 20 (featured twice) Extraordinary Weddings
- Trendsetter Award Modern Bride Magazine
- Entertainment Contributor, United States Grace Ormonde Wedding Style
- Celebrity Contributing Editor Beautiful Bride Magazine
- Best Entertainment Producer ISES Capital Region
- Dream Team Member BRIDES Magazine
- Dream Team Entertainment Producer Elegant Bride Magazine
- Best Entertainment Concept Award, Budget Under $25K Special Events International
- Best Entertainment Production Award, Budget Over $15K ISES International
REBECCA STEELEVice President
Rebecca oversees our client relations, sales, and operations. She also is a creative consultant to all our clients throughout the planning process. In addition to working behind the scenes, she is an active performer and manager of the PopCulture Strings. With a master’s degree in viola performance, her insight into the industry helps elevate the caliber of the company’s creative and artistic perspective.
LAUREN BRETTELLDirector of Operations
Lauren has traveled the world playing viola and sharing the stage with artists ranging from Three Dog Night to Kirk Franklin. She began working with Andy Kushner Entertainment Design as a sub for the PopCulture Strings, later assuming the role of Administrative Coordinator for the company. She holds a Bachelor of Music, Viola Performance and Recording Technology from the University of Memphis, as well as a Master of Music, Viola Performance and Classical Studio Production from the University of Surrey, receiving viola lessons at the Royal Academy in London.
WILLIAM TRUSS, JR.Music Director, SoundConnection
William has been given the gift of playing drums since the age of two and has, since then, excelled in playing different styles including gospel, jazz, R&B, reggae and blues. He has performed at numerous venues throughout the country including Constitution Hall, the Howard Theatre, and Blues Alley, as well as abroad in Bermuda, Ethiopia, Mexico, and the Grand Caymans. William has also played with numerous mainstream artists such as CeCe Peniston, Kirk Franklin, Kenny Lattimore, Frank McComb, and Kim Burrell. SoundConnection is proud to have his expertise as Music Director!
TIM BROOKSLeader, Marquise
Tim has been a powerful professional vocalist in the entertainment industry for over sixteen years. He has led Marquise for several years and has been one of the lead singers for over a decade. Tim has performed and traveled extensively with Marquise for black-tie engagements, charity galas, celebrity weddings, and a host of other special events. Tim consults with clients on a weekly basis to finalize timelines, ensuring details are accurate and presenting refreshing ideas using Kushner’s Entertainment Design concept. His smooth and delightful demeanor has impressed the likes of celebrity VIP’s, motion picture directors, music pioneers, and professional athletes, which has led to keeping Marquise in high demand.
STEVE LONGMusic Director, Marquise
Steve joined Marquise in 2013 as keyboardist and Musical Director. He adds decades of experience to Marquise having performed with dozens of regional musical acts over the years. Steve has performed at such notable venues as The Kennedy Center, Merriweather Post Pavilion, Wolf Trap, and Blues Alley, to name a just a few. He graduated from the New England Conservatory with a degree in Piano Performance. Steve performs in most genres, from Motown and oldies to R&B, rock, funk and jazz, and stays very busy as an in-demand keyboardist.
SEAN "SMILES" MILESMusic Director, Rhythm6
Sean “Smiles” Miles is a multi-keyboardist who has worked with amazing national celebrity artists including David Foster, Kenny G, Ginuwine, Estelle, Raheem DeVaughn, and Anthony David. “Smiles” brings a wealth of talent and organizational skills that allow him to lead and music direct Rhythm6 to great heights and success. His positive attitude is infectious with not only the band but also their clients’ and guests!
ROBERT SULLIVANLeader & Music Director, SoundNation
Robert has led and been Music Director for SoundNation since it was created by Kushner over ten years ago. He is a full-time guitarist and arranger performing several times a week in various area clubs. In 2004, he performed for the Paper Clips movie sound track, a film that earned an Emmy nomination and received several prestigious awards including Top Five Documentary, Audience Choice Award, and Best Original Score. Robert places the highest priority on choosing a distinctive repertoire for SoundNation that skillfully showcases its exceptionally talented performers for maximum audience appeal.
REBECCA STEELELeader & Music Director
Rebecca is the Leader, Music Director, and Violist with the PopCulture Strings, which Kushner created several years ago. In addition, she is the resident violist of the Great Noise Ensemble and All Points West Chamber Collective. Her recordings include the albums Grace Like Rain and Reflection of Something, with Todd Agnu; New Music for Banjo, with Mark Sylvester; and single “Am I Second?” with Jimmy Chamberlain, Mike Reina, and Anthony Pirog. Rebecca received her Bachelor of Music, Viola Performance and Music Education at the University of Memphis and Master of Music, Viola Performance from the University of Maryland.