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booking a jazz band

Booking A Jazz Band

If you're thinking of hiring a jazz band for your event, this useful guide highlights everything you'll need to know, including information about what a jazz band will do at your event, how various types of jazz band differ from each other, what type of music they'll perform, how much space they will need, what to look for to ensure quality, how much it costs to hire a jazz band, what's involved in the booking process and more.

What is a Jazz band and what will they do at my event?

As well as being suitable for refined evening entertainment where dancing is on the cards, Jazz bands make the perfect accompaniment to a drinks reception. Jazz bands are able to cover a wide variety of music beyond the traditional Jazz repertoire, bringing a foot-tapping, head bobbing sense of 'cool' far above the traditional choice of background music from a string quartet or harpist. If you want an upbeat drinks reception that really swings, check out our fantastic selection of Swing Jazz bands below.

On the flip side, Jazz can also be performed in a much more mellow and sultry style. If you want to impart a more etherial, bluesy feel to your event, check out some of our fantastic Jazz duos and cocktail singers who'll bring sophisticated charm to proceedings with their reditions of songs by artists such as Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole.

Jazz is a really broad term and covers many incarnations of the form, from Dixieland and Jazz Blues, right through to Modern Jazz, Free Jazz or even Acid Jazz. Due to the wide range of jazz styles, the line up and instrumentation of our jazz bands is also equally varied.

The most popular types of jazz bands booked for private events and weddings are:

Dixieland Trad. Jazz bands
These are often wandering musicians playing lively New Orleans/Charleston old school jazz rags.

Swing Jazz bands
Usually featuring a vocalist and often playing Rat Pack, Frank Sinatra, Michael Bublé and Jamie Cullem.

Jazz Standards bands
Not a style of jazz as such, but taking inspiration from The Great American Song Book and Middle of the Road jazz classics. These bands can be instrumental or vocal.

Pop music in a jazz style bands
A relatively modern addition to our rosters, we have a selection of fun and quirky bands playing classic and contemporary pop and rock music but in a jazz / swing style. Great for customers who wouldn't know their Gershwin from Fitzgerald, but who want that jazz sound! 

Bands are always eager to provide the highest quality entertainment for your event. It is the one thing that, after having booked the correct band, you should not have to worry about on the day. I would always recommend giving the band freedom to choose what to play. This will enable them to respond to the audience, and put together a set list that works musically. Other than specific requests such as the first dance, just a general understanding of the sort of feel and style that you want to create is really helpful. The more freedom you give the band, the easier it will be to create an atmosphere that will be remembered for years to come. - Matt - Bandleader, All That Jazz

Usually, jazz bands for parties and events are made up of 3-6 members. The most common instruments in these bands are piano/keys, drums, bass or double bass, saxophone, guitar, plus a singer. A trio with a singing pianist is a really good way to get more for your money.

Jazz bands with male vocalists often focus on the Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Junior “Rat Pack” repertoire, plus what are described as jazz “standards” and “swing” music.

Jazz bands with a female vocalist often play smoother styles including songs by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Billy Holiday.

Many jazz bands also play modern songs covering artists like Michael Bublé, Nora Jones and some chart pop tunes.

Examples of more traditional New Orleans / Dixieland Jazz Bands

Examples of Swing Jazz Bands

Examples of Jazz Standards Bands

Examples of bands who play pop / rock music in a jazz style

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Need help to hire a Jazz band for your event? Get in touch!

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