How to Hire a Jazz Band on The Bash

It's never been easier to hire a jazz band.

Maddie Sheely

Account Specialist + Contributor

Booking a live band for your special event is a great entertainment option for a host that is looking to have live music. There are many styles of bands to choose from which makes it easy to find the perfect fit for corporate events, private parties, weddings, and more. If you’re looking to hire a jazz band, we’re here to help!

Jazz bands are a common choice for party planners and they continue to rise in popularity. There is a wide range of of jazz musicians out there, which means that searching can sometimes feel overwhelming. That's why we've asked some of our top jazz bands for hire to give us a few pointers on how to find the right fit for your event. 

Here are some things to consider when you hire a jazz band on The Bash:

Style of Jazz

B.D. Lenz (Jersey City, NJ) offered some great advice on how to decide which style of live jazz band is right for your party. "Jazz is a very broad term and clients need to determine SPECIFICALLY what kind of jazz they are looking for, as well as the purpose of the band during the event. Jazz ranges from Big Bands to Jazz vocalists to small combos that play traditional styles (Dixeland, BeBop, etc) or combos that play more contemporary styles (funk/jazz, fusion, etc.).” 

“Not sure which to choose from?  Again, think about the function of the band for your event. Are they just going to be background music for a cocktail party or are they going to be a featured part of the entertainment? Also, what kind of energy level are you looking for from the band?  If it's just quiet background music then a small combo that plays jazz standards or includes some Latin jazz will be most appropriate.”

“If you're expecting them to be more high energy - look for a band that includes more contemporary styles such as funk, rock, blues. High energy bands should also have some recognizable pop tunes in their repertoire." 

Choosing what style of Jazz Band you would like (based on the above criteria), will help you narrow down your entertainment search, and act as the first step in selecting the right entertainment for your celebration!

Questions to Ask

Once you have a better idea of the style of Jazz Band you are looking to hire, you can start looking at band profiles that match your needs. When you visit a band's profile on The Bash, be sure to check out their video samples. Also read through their feedback to get a feel for what other planners thought about their performance and service. 

Once you have done your initial research through their Bash profiles, you can contact the bands you are interested in and request a free quote. 

Jazz Survivors (Pompano Beach, FL) suggests, "The more questions a client asks, the better. Clients are more likely to get the music they want if they delve into the details of the band." There are many questions that can help you figure out if the band is the right fit for you. 

Jazz Survivors offered a few examples of questions that could allow you to find out more information:

  • How long has the band been together?
  • Does the band have the same players all the time?
  • Does the band have the instruments you like?
  • Can they play your favorite songs?
  • Do they have a front person (if that is important to the event)?
  • Do they play live or do they play to backing tracks?
  • Do they have demo tracks of themselves playing live, so you can hear how they sound?
  • Can you hear them play somewhere in advance?

Most planners are concerned about what they’ll expect to pay first and foremost. This is understandable given that there are so many expenses to consider when putting on a quality event. However, planners should take the following into consideration above cost:

What experience does the band have with your particular event? 

Be specific in explaining the mood you are trying to set and the clientele to whom you are catering. Then, ask the band how they will be able to enhance that expectation through what they offer!

Ask about sound and volume. 

Often bands are thought to be too loud and guests have to speak over the music because the band was "too loud." This is the #1 concern in many cases. Be aware that sometimes it's not a matter of volume...but rather sound quality. 

As a client, you may not be as knowledgeable about types of sound equipment and their capabilities. Ask the band about how they control sound and volume.  The band can help control their volume and also ensure their sound system is warm, balanced, crisp and clear. The two work hand in hand.

Use a Contract

Once you have found a Jazz Band you like and agreed upon a price, the next step is reviewing the exact details of your event. First and foremost - you should make sure to have an entertainment contract with the band. A contract will help you clearly outline all of the finer details of your event. It will also protect you if there are any unforeseen obstacles. 

Suzanne Brooks, The Jazz Generation (Sacramento, CA) advises that you include the following points (and any other important details) in your entertainment contract:

  • Location of the venue
  • Travel costs
  • Parking and loading areas
  • Equipment required
  • Any required Insurances (from the band, or the venue)
  • Whether there is a house sound system at the venue
  • Number and name of performers identified by instruments, including voice
  • Set up and show times
  • Attire for the event
  • Fee and deposit and when due
  • Under what circumstances can the band can be recorded or photographed
  • Overtime fees
  • Accommodation/meals if required

Communicating properly with the band prior to the event will allow you to enjoy your party without stressing over entertainment details. Here are 7 topics to discuss before paying a non-refundable deposit here which can help you make sure you’re asking all the right questions before you book.

Hire a Jazz Band on The Bash today. 

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