What is needed for set up?
We bring all our own equipment to make everything as easy as possible for you and your club's staff. The only item we're not able to bring along with us is a piano. If your club does not have a piano, we can arrange for a rental company to drop one off the day of the performance and to pick it up the next day. Please let us know whether the club has one when you contact us for a quote.
Other than that we just need a space of about 20'x16' to set up. If the event is outdoors, please provide a space completely covered by a porch or a tent so that, in the event of rain there is no possibility of damage to our equipment.
What if members don't know how to dance?
No problem! It honestly doesn't take any training to have fun dancing to our music, BUT it's always a lot of fun to have a dance lesson before the band goes on. Let us know you'd like to include that in the package, and we'll bring two top-notch dance instructors with us to teach the lesson and encourage social dancing throughout the night.
Speaking of dancers, if you want to add a performance element to the evening, just let us know. We can book lindy hop performers, chorus girls, tap dancers, and all sorts of other dance performers to perform live with the band!
Do you provide liability insurance?
We can and are happy to do so so long as we're asked to do so at the time we're drawing up your quote so that we can include that expense. But that said, our set-up is so low tech that we're rarely asked to provide insurance!
How long do you usually play for?
It's totally up to you, let us know what you have in mind when you contact us about booking. A formula that we have discovered works really well is to have the band play for an hour during dinner, and to do any dance performances at that time. Then the band takes a 30 minute break while there is a dance lesson or other entertainment, and then the band performs another set for social dancing, lasting around 75 minutes.
Do you have a singer?
We have a regular female vocalist and a regular male vocalist. We're happy to bring neither, one, or both to the gig. Just let us know what you'd like!
What music do (and don't) you play?
Our music ranges from the 1920s through the 1940s. Our repertoire includes music by artists like Benny Goodman, Louis Armstrong, Artie Shaw, Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, Paul Whiteman, Les Brown, Guy Lombardo, Fletcher Henderson, the Casa Loma Orchestra, Jean Goldkette, Cab Calloway, and many more. If you're looking for a specialty program for something like a Prohibition/Gatsby themed party, a 1940s themed party for a patriotic holiday, or a Christmas/Holiday party with swinging holiday tunes, etc. just let us know and we're happy to accommodate.
Music we do NOT play includes: modern pop covers in a jazz style, Rat Pack arrangements (we DO cover some of the early Sinatra stuff from when he was with Dorsey and Harry James in the 40s), neo-swing (Brian Setzer, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, etc.), be-bop, big band styles from after 1950, Rock and Roll, Hair Metal, Smooth Jazz, Frank Zappa, Country, Freebird - well you get the idea. We like all that music, it's just not what we do.
What are your rates?
Our rates depend on a variety of factors: the total length of the gig, the distance from NYC, the night of the week, whether you'd like to include dancers and/or singers with the band, whether it's a holiday, etc. We do also offer discounts for multiple bookings: book two or more dates at the same time that take place within a 6 month time period and we can work with you on the price.
Do you offer smaller groups?
Yes, however we recommend sticking with the experience of the full big band. Many of your favorite 40s classics like Sing, Sing, Sing, In the Mood, I'm Getting Sentimental Over You, and more, are not playable without a full ensemble because they rely on sections of instruments to create the classic sound that you recognize.
Our small groups ranging from 3-7 musicians are, however, perfect for cocktail parties and more intimate gatherings.