Creating the atmosphere
At many events the job of the musician is to create a fun, exciting atmosphere in the background at a volume that still allows your guests to mingle and network. The presence of a professional musical group only shows your guests how important the attention to detail is to you. They know that it took you a few more minutes to find the right musical group. Sure you could have just called a DJ but the class and excitement that is created by live musicians is what your guests will remember about your event for the rest of the year.
The First Tip: Quality Control
The first step in hiring a band for your next event would be to get a band from a reprutal company. It is very easy these days for a musician to build a website and make it look like they know what they are doing but then when they show up to your event it is obvious that they have no idea on how to create the atmosphere you need.
The Second Tip: Repertoire
The song selection of the group is the key to creating the perfect atmosphere for your event. If you are planning a corporate reception, a cocktail party or even a wedding playing music that creates excitement and class is the key to creating the perfect atmosphere. Regardless of the event your guests will want to mingle, network and talk as well as listen to the music. Familiar songs are perfect for these types of events. I recommend music selections by such well known artists as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Bobby Darin, Dean Martin and many others.
The music could include such well known songs as “Summer Wind”, “Fly me to the Moon”, “Unforgettable” and many others that your guests will recognize and enjoy. In addition an experienced traditional jazz group will also mix in ballads, bossa nova, samba and even some blues to round out the set.
However for the more contemporary event a jazz trio or quartet can perform hip jazzed up versions of popular R&B or pop tunes as well as changing the beat of jazz standards to give them a more contemporary feel. This is often a great option for a younger crowd that will know some of the classic jazz music but also would like to hear some music by Al Green, Sting and even Oasis.
The Third Tip:
How many musicians do I need
This is a great way to at least get an idea of how many musicians you may need for an event. This is just a guideline because some events may require less musicians just because of space, need and budget.
Events with 15-30 guests
A solo piano player or even a duo of piano and upright bass will usually be the perfect compliment to your party. The duo gives you the underlying rhythm of a classic jazz group but because there are only two musicians the space needed is greatly reduced.
Events with 30-150 guests
For an event that will have 30-150 guests a three piece jazz trio consisting of piano, upright bass and drums would be suggested. Also when it comes to the drums volume should not be an issue. If you have an experienced group of musicians the drummer will be able to play very softly while still adding the important rhythms to keep the music lively.
Events with 150 guests and up
Events that will be attended by 150 people and up require a four, five, six, seven or even a ten piece jazz group. The make up of the group starts with a basic three piece jazz trio of piano, upright bass and drums and then adds a saxophone to create a four piece group, a five piece group includes a trumpet a six piece group would add a guitar player, etc.
The Fourth Tip: Cost
For the most part you can shop around and get different prices from different musicians but beware of the cheaper price! Musicians that are considerably cheaper then others are usually considerably less experienced. You will have to pay for quality but it is always a better option to pay more and get more then payless and receive less. For example if you hire an experienced group you could possibly pay a few hundred dollars more then you would for a less experienced group but the quality in the performance, song selection, attire and over all presentation will be worth the extra expense.