There’s nothing quite like a roaring trombone, a clattering run of snare drums, and a click of the fingers on a night to remember… The Jazz Age has never really left our hearts since its heyday in the 1920s and 30s. In many corners of the globe, it’s still quietly thriving, and you may be keen to get a group on-board for your party or corporate function. We suggest looking at a few qualifiers for that selection, ensuring you get your money’s (and ear’s) worth of great tunes. This is how to find the best local jazz bands in your area…
Choose your style
Jazz isn’t consigned to one sound. Like rock, classical music or electronica, it weaves between various tempos and characteristics. Simply asking for a general jazz band may not garner the group you’re really looking for.
If you aren’t an aficionado, do some research into the genre’s popular forms. Dixieland jazz, for instance, avoids percussion entirely, putting all the onus on brass and piano instrumentation. Ragtime, on the other hand, is more light-hearted in its rhythmic qualities. Each style also tends to have its own traditional setup of players, which could influence how costly the booking is.
Get a sense of their performance
Reputable local jazz bands will present you with a taste of what they can do. Their website, or any talent agency representing them, should give you a peek at how they’ll dress, what the setlist might be, and (crucially) how accomplished they are at playing the tunes.
Search for well-produced media content to get a sense of what you’re buying. A video showing the band in action, either before a crowd or in their own performance space, might make or break your decision.
Wear your sensible cap
You’re providing them with a stage, but jazz bands for hire should bring all the necessary instruments. They’re a safer bet if they have backup guitars, brass, strings or any other replacements should something go wrong on the night.
All of this must have PAT certification – a test that verifies an electronic component is safe to use, without defects and make sure they have Public Liability insurance too… you can never be too careful!
Listen to feedback
Again, local jazz bands with something to prove won’t shy away from detailing their quirks and talents. Check online for feedback regarding their performances. In particular, hunt for comments on their decorum, how well they went down with the crowd, and what the booking experience was like as a whole.
Such reviews are subjective, of course, but you could notice a pattern – either good or bad. Even if they turn out to be highly specialised for one kind of event (a wedding, for instance, over a corporate ‘do’), then that’s more context to draw on.
Hopefully, your get-together will come screaming to life with one of many jazz bands on the gig circuit. With these tips on how to find the best local jazz bands, your plans are bound to hit a high note. Silk Street Jazz can meet every point on this list, and many more. See what the band has accomplished so far before you get in touch…