As Shakespeare in Twelfth Night wrote: ‘If music be the food of love, play on. Give me excess of it.’ Music plays an important part in all our lives and especially so when we share it with friends, family or work colleagues at a special get-together event. Live musicians are of course the key to setting the right atmosphere on such occasions – that ‘good mood’ of the afternoon or evening social turning out to be the most memorable part of the proceedings.
Ages and musical preferences of guests
Choosing the appropriate style of entertainment can often be quite an overwhelming task as there are so many things to consider. The swing band in its various forms can surpass the ages and musical preferences of your guests and provide you with a style that is sophisticated yet always fun. It’s the reason swing bands have been a regular feature of weddings and other events for many years and that still holds true today.
Swing jazz-style originated in the 1930’s and 1940’s. It was popularised by big bands like Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Duke Ellington, and Count Basie. In the 1990’s these genre bands had a big comeback which was fuelled by the revival of swing dancing in the form of the Jitter Bug and Lindy Hop. It also produced modern swing artistes like Michael Bublé.
Favourite songs from a swing band
Favourite songs a swing band look to play include classics like Fly me to the Moon, New York New York, Take 5, Summertime and a plethora of other famous standards of the jazz and swing repertoire. Vocal tributes are often paid to such legends as Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Dave Brubeck and Chet Baker.
Swing bands cover a wide range of diverse sounds, blending jazz, lindy hop, rhythm and blues, rock and roll and jump jive styles. The swing band can vary in size ranging from a 4-piece ensemble to 18 musicians and above for that rich, full brassy sound. Instruments used on such occasions comprise trumpets, saxophones, trombones, piano, bass, guitar, drums and vocalists. The swing band is hired to play for various events which include dances, weddings, concerts, parties, conventions and corporate events.
Five tips to follow before booking
Searching for a swing band that will suit your entertainment needs, here we give five golden tips to heed for before booking one. These are:
- Take a look at videos and listen to audio demonstrations of numerous swing bands. You’ll find them on their websites. Dress and appearance are also important to see how they present themselves.
- Read those testimonials from past clients. They can give you insights about their experience and performance. You can also ask family and trusted friends for recommendations or reviews of a swing band they may have seen.
- When budgeting, remember that a swing band set its fees according to their popularity and musicianship skills. When asking for a quote, check all that’s included. Discuss costs and fees including taxes and production charges.
- Read that contract before signing. Understand thoroughly its contents which will most likely have details of payment and deposits, schedule, special requests and even band member meal costs. Take note of the key points covering your event and have all fees stated clearly so you don’t end up paying for services you didn’t ask for.
- Early booking is a must. The availability of a popular swing band can be restricted so try to book at least six months in advance. Live music can always make any event special, so let your swing band provide you with an exciting night, full of good music, a lively atmosphere and a great time your guests will remember long afterwards.