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  • Prices from £252

    1964

    Jazz Guitar Duo Dorset
    Number of members: 2 Highly Recommended

    1964 are an instrumental acoustic guitar duo providing a blend of jazz, gypsy swing, latin & bebop music that will enhance your special occasion!

  • Prices from £817

    Smooth Sailing

    Jazz Band London
    Number of members: 4 5 stars - Smooth Sailing are Highly Recommended 4 Customer Reviews

    With a sound and soul that emulates the greats of the unforgettable 60's Blue note era, Smooth sailing provide a sultry set of classic Jazz. Featuring a quartet of some of the London scenes freshest young musical talent, Smooth Sailing will give your event the feel of cool & sophistication that can... Read more...

  • Prices from £497

    Meg and Ross

    Vocal and Piano Duo London
    Number of members: 2 5 stars - Meg and Ross are Highly Recommended 11 Customer Reviews

    Combining powerful female vocals with innovative piano accompaniments, Meg and Ross are a dynamic musical duo who perform a range of Swing, Pop & Ballads. With previous clients including The Dorchester, Harrods, Disney and Grazia Magazine, this duo are suitable for any occasion.

  • Prices from £629

    SB Smooth Jazz

    Jazz Band Greater Manchester
    Number of members: 4 5 stars - SB Smooth Jazz are Highly Recommended 11 Customer Reviews

    SB Smooth Jazz is an accomplished & talented Jazz singer from Cheshire; backed by 3 equally talented musicians. The bands repertoire is large and varied, including jazz standards, swing, ballads, blues, latin rythmns and more contemporary songs too.

  • Prices from £755

    The Louise Parker Quartet

    Jazz Band Devon
    Number of members: 4 5 stars - The Louise Parker Quartet are Highly Recommended 4 Customer Reviews

    Louise Parker presents her great jazz quartet. They cover all the legends of jazz, from Billie Holiday and Ray Charles to Roberta Flack and Bill Withers. Available as a 5 piece and perfect for weddings, corporate event; Louise brings class to any event!

  • Need help finding the perfect jazz band?

    If you would like help selecting the perfect jazz band for your event, simply give us a call or submit the quick enquiry form below and one of our talented entertainment coordinators will be happy to assist.

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  • Prices from £818

    Checkmate

    Jazz, Swing and Party Band West Yorkshire
    Number of members: 4 5 stars - Checkmate are Highly Recommended 4 Customer Reviews

    Checkmate play a unique mix of Jazz, Ballroom, Pop and Latin from the 60s to present day. Ideal for any party whether you are dancing or simply enjoying the music, this 4 piece band have something for everyone!

  • Prices from £377

    Laura London

    Jazz Band London
    Number of members: 2 5 stars - Laura London are Highly Recommended 1 Customer Reviews

    Laura London performs a diverse repertoire of swing, vintage standards, latin, blues, soul & classic pop. Laura's smooth & sultry vocals are available alongside a number of lineups from a sophisticated jazz duo, to a superb full 7 piece band!

  • Prices from £507

    Crystal Keys

    Lounge Duo London
    Number of members: 2 5 stars - Crystal Keys are Highly Recommended 1 Customer Reviews

    An incredibly versatile duo, composing of Vocals, Keys, Sax, Double Bass, Bass & Backing Tracks to accommodate both lounge style background music and more upbeat party settings. Made up of graduates of Trinity Laban Conservatoire with previous performances at Hampton Court, Ronnie Scott's and Westmi... Read more...

  • Prices from £582

    The Jazz And Swing Duo

    Jazz Band East Sussex
    Number of members: 2 Highly Recommended

    The Jazz And Swing Duo cover music from the 20's through to 60's with artists like Nat King Cole, Sinatra, Louis Armstrong & more! Featuring vocals & piano, this duo are a classic act, perfect for entertaining guests at drinks receptions, corporate launches, wedding breakfasts & more!

  • Prices from £1,233

    The Three Of Us

    Jazz Band London
    Number of members: 3 5 stars - The Three Of Us are Highly Recommended 5 Customer Reviews

    The Three Of Us are a cool & in demand trio who formed over their love of jazz. Creating the perfect musical backdrop with music from the 1920s to 2000s, their live sets are light-hearted, fun & a great addition to any occasion.

The Ultimate Guide To...
Booking Jazz Bands, Jazz Singers and Jazz Musicians

What is a jazz band?

A jazz band (also known as a jazz ensemble or jazz combo) will vary in the number of members, the variety of instruments, and the particular jazz style they specialise in. Larger jazz bands are often made up of rhythm and horn sections, and some jazz bands feature singers.

There are many styles of jazz music and a band will usually specialise in one or two, such as Dixieland and traditional (aka trad.), swing, blues, modern, freestyle (or free) and acid jazz. Many acts also cover modern popular music in a jazz style. Whatever style you choose for your event, jazz music exudes cool and sophistication, and can provide a range of atmospheres, be it upbeat and lively, or sultry, mellow and chilled.

Jazz bands offer a complete entertainment package, with most providing all the equipment needed for their performance without the need to hire further sound and lighting equipment.

What music will a jazz band play?

The overarching term ‘jazz’ encompasses a wide variety of musical genres. While some jazz bands will stick to their speciality style, others can offer a range of genres or play popular music in a jazz style. A typical jazz band’s repertoire might feature artists such as:

  • Billie Holliday
  • Bing Crosby
  • Cole Porter
  • Connie Francis
  • Dean Martin
  • Dizzy Gillespie
  • Duke Ellington
  • Ella Fitzgerald
  • Etta James
  • Frank Sinatra
  • George Gershwin
  • Irving Berlin
  • Jamie Cullum
  • Louis Armstrong
  • Michael Bublé
  • Miles Davis
  • Nat King Cole
  • Nina Simone
  • Otis Redding
  • Charlie Parker

The set list for each artist is available to view on their individual profile page.

Popular types of jazz band

Alive Network’s most popular types of jazz band include:

1. Traditional jazz bands / Dixieland jazz bands

Encompassing old school jazz, classic Charleston music and the sounds of New Orleans, thought to be the birth place of jazz. Featuring artists like Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Kid Ory.

2. Swing jazz bands

This style often features a singer, performing classic ‘Rat Pack’ tunes as sung by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Junior, but also Bing Crosby and Glenn Miller. Also includes contemporary music from artists like Michael Bublé and Jamie Cullum.

3. Jazz Standards bands

These bands usually take musical inspiration from the Great American Songbook and strongly melodic middle of the road (MOR) jazz classics. Jazz Standards bands sometimes include a singer, but not always.

4. Contemporary Pop Music in a jazz style

Many modern jazz musicians have taken influence from a variety of music genres. This musical versatility has spawned a huge increase of bands who can perform modern pop music with an authentic jazz style. This is perfect for customers who don’t know their Gershwin from their Grapelli but want that jazz sound and style at their event!

Is a jazz band suitable for my event?

Usually booked as the headline evening entertainment, but equally suitable for daytime occasions, jazz bands are perfect for events including:

Jazz bands can create a variety of atmospheres, personalised for your special occasion. Whether you want refined background music for a tea party or drinks reception, a sultry love serenade as your wedding ceremony entertainment or first dance, or something more spirited for a street party, fête or for a glitzy corporate event, a jazz band is the perfect accompaniment.

Once you’ve identified the ideal tone for your event, our Entertainment Coordinators can advise you on a range of bands who may be suitable, and talk you through the options available. As well as specialising in one or two particular jazz styles, many of our bands also offer popular music, that most of your guests will know and love, performed in their own inimitable style.

For weddings, a jazz band can often offer the complete entertainment package, providing music to complement the ceremony, wedding breakfast, and drinks reception, as well as background music between sets. The options available can help to keep costs down, instead of hiring separate artists for your wedding day.

For corporate events, jazz bands can provide lively walk-on music for awards ceremonies.

Volume considerations at your event

Depending on the style they’re playing in, a live jazz band’s volume can range from relatively quiet relaxed background music, where your guests can still hold a conversation, to energetic sets guaranteed to make you move! The louder performances can often be in the region of 95dB – 110dB (decibels) – this is a big sound and is comparable to the volume of a power mower. If a jazz band also features a horn section, this can raise the volume, with peaks around 120dB.

If you have your heart set on a larger jazz band but your venue has a sound limiter or noise restrictions, feel free to chat to our Entertainment Coordinators. They will be able to advise you further on what is possible. Bands can work with brushes or ‘hot rods’, rather than standard drumsticks, which can significantly reduce the overall volume of the band.

Space considerations at your event

A typical 4-piece band will need an area of around 4 metres wide by 3 metres deep performance space, but it is always useful to incorporate a bit more to ensure the artists can can really perform! For approximate requirements, see ‘How much space will a jazz band need?’, below.

How much does a jazz band cost?

The cost of a jazz band will vary depending on travel distance to your event, and the number of members in the band – from 3-piece combos to jazz orchestras with around 20 members, and anything in-between!

In 2017, the average price of a 3–5-piece jazz band is around £750 – £1,200.

Large, blue-ribbon big bands and jazz orchestras specialising in corporate events can vary in price between £2,500 – £10,000 depending on size and experience.

Here’s a rough breakdown of the cost range of different jazz bands and singers:

Type of Act Cost Range
Solo jazz singer (with backing tracks) £270 - £650
Solo jazz musician £200 - £600
Jazz Duos £250 - £1,100
3-piece bands £450 - £1,200
5-piece bands £700 - £2,700
7-piece bands + £1,200 - £3,700
Big bands & jazz orchestras £2,500 - £7,250+

Who are the top 10 best jazz bands in the UK right now?

Below are the artists that we feel currently represent the crème de la crème of UK jazz bands, based on a combination of popularity, performance quality and innovation:


For a list of Alive's most booked jazz bands right now, see our 'Top 10 Jazz Bands For Hire in 2017' article

How long will a jazz band play for?

The majority of jazz bands will usually offer two 60-minute performances for an evening party, though many can play for longer if required. Entertainment might also be split into three 40-minute sets, if preferred. For weddings and formal evening events, couples occasionally like jazz bands to play during their drinks reception and their evening meal. In this case, a band may perform three 60-minute sets for an additional charge. Our jazz bands tend to be pretty flexible around your event needs.

Start times for evening performances, usually work around your catering! If guests have just eaten, you will probably need to allow some time before they’re ready to get up and dance. For most evening events, the band would arrive at 6pm and get set up and sound checked by 7.30pm to 8pm. Performance might start at 9pm, with the second set at around 10.30pm, through to a standard midnight curfew. Many jazz bands also offer later/longer performances at an additional cost, including finishing times of 1am and 2am.

Jazz bands can provide background music from an MP3 player or laptop between their performances.

How much space will a jazz band need?

The area required for a jazz band varies, and will increase the more members are in the band. This guide shows approximately how much minimum space bands of different sizes need:

Type of Artist Performance Space Required
   3-piece jazz band: 3 x 3 metres
    4-piece jazz band: 4 x 3 metres
     5 and 6-piece jazz band: 5 x 3 metres
       7-piece and bigger: 5/6 x 4 metres

A jazz band ideally need a minimum of 1.5 square metres per musician, with drummers and pianists needing slightly more, around 2 square metres each. Space will also be needed in front and at the sides for the PA, speakers and lighting stands, if the band is using them. Consider the available space of your chosen venue, when thinking about the size of your jazz band – or book a venue with plenty of space! Because of the many variations of instruments available in our jazz ensembles, we recommend you discuss the space and booking options with your Entertainment Coordinator.

How long will it take for a jazz band to set up?

Unloading, setting-up and carrying out the crucial sound check usually takes an average of 60 – 90 minutes, depending on the size of the jazz ensemble, and how close they can park to the performance area. Many hotels require bands to load in via a shared supplier’s entrance, which can extend set up times.

Following the final set, it can take about 45 – 60 minutes to pack down and load out.

What equipment will a jazz band need?

Most jazz ensembles need:

  • a suitably-sized, safe, dry, flat performance area. If performing outside, they will need cover – either from the rain or the sun!
  • a minimum of two or three 13 amp power sockets, depending on the line-up
  • parking provision, preferably with easy access to the venue
  • a secure, lockable changing room
  • refreshments such as soft drinks and sometimes food, depending on how long you have booked them for.
  • Larger bands may have additional requirements in terms of chairs and tables but this will be discussed during the booking process.

Most of Alive Network’s jazz bands are self-contained units, providing their own PA system, microphones, stage lighting, backline amplifiers and instruments.

For information on the following, see our Frequently Asked Questions:

For a more comprehensive jazz band booking guide please read ‘Booking a jazz band – Everything you’ll ever need to know’.

If you have any other queries, simply visit our FAQ page.

Alternatively, our dedicated expert entertainment coordinators are on-hand to help. Simply call 0845 108 5500 or email enquiries@alivenetwork.com.

Safe, Secure Jazz Band Hire Backed By 24/7 Cover!

Aside from finding some of the best jazz singers & artists in the UK and getting expert advice from our friendly staff, one of the main reasons to hire a jazz band from Alive Network Entertainment Agency is security. We ensure your booking is covered 24/7 against any eventuality, so that no matter what, you can enjoy your event without worrying about whether your entertainment will turn up. If your band is ill or unable to perform, our team will be on hand to source a suitable replacement even out of office hours and at short notice. Imagine having to do that yourself!?

  • Outstanding five-star customer service
  • Emergency cover 24/7, 365 days a year
  • Hand-picked Jazz Bands for the ultimate in quality and reliability
  • Safe, secure booking contracts for your peace of mind
  • Easy enquiry and booking process
  • Hundreds of jazz musicians to choose from
  • Trusted brand with over 110,000 previous clients & high-profile industry partnerships
  • Instant online jazz band prices & availability

 

Established in 1999, Alive Network has grown to become the UK's largest live entertainment agency and one of the leading online entertainment booking services in the world. We specialise in wedding entertainment, party entertainment and corporate entertainment, trusted by companies like Apple, Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft, Coca-Cola & Nike, and we have helped over 110,000 customers to hire the perfect live entertainment for their events. We are formally partnered with BIMM, the largest and leading provider of contemporary music education in the UK and Europe, ensuring that we are able to bring you the very best new talent exclusively at Alive Network.

Find more about Alive Network Entertainment Agency here