LA Jazz Bands - Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some answers to the questions we hear most frequently:
What are the steps we need to take to book a Jazz Band?
Can we see some bands to help us make a choice?
What will the band wear?
Do you provide a Sound System?
How often will the band take breaks?
How do we fit in a dinner break for the musicians?
Can you play recorded music between sets?
Are there any other fees?
How does overtime work?
Can you play music for our wedding ceremony?
Can you act as Master of Ceremonies (M.C.)?
Do you have a video to see or CD we can hear?
Can you play our favorite song for us?
Will the band play song requests at the event?
Do we pay for setup time?
Step 1 - You tell us the details of your event and what kind of a group you would like to have at your event. This can be done easily by filling out the form on our “Your Event” page.
Step 2 - Together we will make a decision about what group you would like to hire. This part can occur in many different ways. There are so many variables in the styles of groups, the sizes of ensembles, the pricing of different artists, the amount of time you want the group to be at your event. Once these details have been decided we will be able to get you a solid price quote. In many cases a client chooses a group (Piano trio for instance) and style (ie. “Classic Jazz and Standards”), and leaves the individual choice up to our experience. Optionally, if you are able to give us an idea of your budget range we can focus on the choices that best suit your price range without going above a set amount.
Step 3 – Once you have decided to book a group we will send you a contract to look over. The contract will include all of the information we need to know to prepare the band for your event. If it meets with you approval you can sign it and return it with a deposit check. At that time we will secure the musicians for the date.
Step 4 – You relax while we take care of the details of getting your band there and ready to play.
Step 5 – There may be some last minute coordinating of details and event schedules which often happens a day or two before the event or as the band arrives and is setting up.
Step 6 – Sit back and enjoy your Jazz Band, or get up and dance if you'd like!
Whenever possible we will let you know when a band is performing in public. Many of our bands do a large number of private events, and many times we can only send you to see a quartet from which your trio will be drawn. Not exactly the same but you will get a great idea of the style and quality of the musicians.
In many cases the song choices and style that will be played by a band in a public place like a jazz club or a concert will be different from the choices they will make at your event. The most important thing to look for is the overall quality of the music and then be clear with us about what kinds of songs and what style you are looking for. You will be amazed how flexible these musicians are!
Let us know what will suit your event the best. Our bands are always told what is the appropriate style of dress. The most common options include:
More formal: Suit & Tie | Tuxedo | Slacks & Dress Shirt (tie?)| Sportcoat & Slacks (tie?) | All black suit
More casual: Business Casual | Casual | Hawiian shirt/poolside look
Certainly! If the group requires a sound system a PA charge will apply to bring one for a small to medium space (up to about 200 people). In significantly larger spaces a system will need to be rented and a sound engineer will need to be employed to run the system. We will work with you to find the most reasonable local sound company. If appropriate they will also be able to provide stage lights.
Playing jazz looks like a great deal of fun, and it is! However, it is also very tiring both physically and mentally. Bands need periodic breaks to play their best. In general the band will play a 1-hour first set, break for 15-minutes and then play 45-minute sets after that. Each event will be carefully scheduled for breaks based on the amount of performance time and any other factors that you need us to consider. Events always work best when announcements and speeches are arranged carefully around band breaks (and visa versa).Therefore break schedules will be arranged in advance around your order of events.
Often, a meal is provided for the band when a performance goes through a meal time. With some careful planning with the caterer the band can have dinner in a 30-minute break between 2 1-hour sets, often when speeches are happening. If a longer break is to be avoided the band can eat before the event begin or, in some cases, after.
On request recorded break music can be arranged in several different ways. If there is a house sound system the band can be responsible for turning the recording back up as the break begins. If the band is bringing a PA system for instruments or vocals then recorded music can easily be provided. Otherwise, for an additional fee the band can provide a PA system to play break music.
Generally no. When we make a price quote it should include everything that we have discussed. Sometimes changes made after the quote is given and the contract signed can cause a fee to be invoiced. These might include overtime which will be detailed in your contract, Sound system charges, room change charges (a per person fee for having to move equipment from one room to another). None of these charges will be added without your permission. Please look at our fee schedule for detailed information.
Overtime is billed at an hourly rate per musician. Unless we are told a few minutes in advance that overtime is being requested and for how long (so that we might incorporate breaks if applicable) the band will assume that the performance time ends as stated in the contract and will begin packing up at that time.
Certainly! We would be happy to work with you to come up with a suitable group for your ceremony. A jazz ensemble can easily break down into a small jazz or classical group for the wedding. We’ll work with you to choose some music that you will love.
Imagine hiring a jazz quartet with guitar, bass drums and a sax player. At the ceremony the sax player can play classical flute with guitar and maybe also bass Click here for some Sound Samples. If you are planning to hire a singer for the reception that person can sing a carefully chosen song or two during the ceremony. Those are just two of the many possibilities.
Yes. If you'd like the band to M.C. any part of your event please provide us, before the event, a schedule sheet and script. If a PA is not provided one can be brought for an additional fee.
Sound clips are available all over www.LAJazzBands.com and others may be available as you choose the musicians you want. Some of our bands have video available and we will let you know when that is the case. We encourage all of our groups and musicians to get some good audio and video promotional material so that we can use it to help you choose a band
In an effort to provide the most professional entertainment possible the band will gladly play song requests if such requests are made 7 calendar days in advance, allowing for appropriate preparation time. If you have a special request and the song is unknown to the band and sheet music is not available the band cannot be held responsible for the requested song. Generally, our musicians know hundreds, if not thousands, of songs. A list of regularly played jazz standard songs can be found by clicking here. Many bands have their own special song list which can usually be found on their feature page.
In some cases the band can prepare music from a CD. This is a very time intensive activity and significant requests will incur reasonable costs for music preparation.
At their discretion, the band will play reasonable requests made during the performance if all members of the band know the song and feel that they can play it at an appropriately professional level.
No, you are billed for the performance time. Setup is off the clock. Your band has been requested to be set up 30 minutes before the performance start time. Their contract states that they will be set up and ready to play 10 minutes before the start time. If that timing does not work with the flow of your event other arrangements can be made. If you require the band to be set up considerably earlier than their performance time that can be reflected in the contract and will incur an “extra time” fee as set forth on the LA Jazz Bands schedule of fees.
If you have a question that has not been answered here please feel free to call or email and we will respond to your question as soon as possible.