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The No-Nonsense Guide to Hiring a Jazz Band in Portland

Jazz Band in Portland

Jazz music has been popular all the way across the US, from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine for over a century. Jazz bands still form in schools as a genre of music that appeals to young and old alike, and has evolved into popular event music. Jazz ensembles offer versatile styles, from upbeat big band and swing band tunes to rhythmic string trios that appeal to many different events.

When it comes to selecting music for a Portland event, the options may seem endless. DJs are plentiful, and live bands come in countless genres and styles. Portland jazz sets itself apart from these typical options by being catchy and perfect for nearly any event, without being canned.

How is a jazz band different than other live bands?

Live bands are an excellent addition to any event. Live event bands come in many forms, typically with a singer or vocalist, guitar or bass, drum sets, and other various instruments. Jazz bands can have the same, but can be instrumental only. Jazz musician instruments include tubas, trombones, saxophones, clarinets and other jazz and percussion instruments. Jazz music includes many jazz standard tunes, and jazzy renditions of other genres, making it a fun and interesting addition to any event.

Another fun aspect of a jazz band is that they can also play improv. While there may be jazz standard tunes, they are known for improvising during certain sections of a tune, making your performance one of a kind. They can also create new jazz tunes using the influences of the style.

Why hire a jazz group instead of a DJ?

Anyone who has ever been to any event has likely been serenaded by the thumping bass of loud DJed music. Paired with their commentary and overplayed playlists, you can barely tell one DJ from the next. And who actually ends up remembering a specific DJ experience? It’s more of whether or not they played tunes you enjoy or not.

Jazz bands offer a unique, one of a kind performance. Not only do they provide music but they also offer the added benefit of an entire performance. It is fun to watch a jazz band perform in front of a crowd, rather than watching a DJ click on the next song on a list on a computer screen. Jazz music has stood up to the test of time and with good reason. What is classic today will still be classic ten years from now, whereas DJs recycle the same music over and over.

What types of events should hire a jazz band?

Jazz bands are a great accompaniment to any event because of their versatility and ability to appeal to many different demographics. Because of this, Jazz bands can play for just about any type of event and keep everyone toe tapping and interested in the tunes.

These are only a few of the types of events that are suitable for jazz music. Aside from weddings, corporate events and galas, there is a whole world of opportunity for a jazz band to accompany an event, whether people are looking to dance their shoes off or if they are just looking for a reason to get together with loved ones and enjoy appetizers and cocktails.

  • Weddings:
    Music plays an important role in all aspects of a wedding. Some smoother romantic jazz tunes can be the perfect tunes to walk down the aisle to during the wedding ceremony. Once that ends, jazz is great background music during cocktail hour and during the meal. When it comes time for the wedding reception, jazz bands can play some swing and big band favorites to get everyone out onto the dance floor having the time of their lives.
  • Corporate events:
    Jazz music can be an asset for just about any type of corporate event. Trade shows can benefit from background music during the event or in cocktail hours after the event wraps up for the day. Jazz music can also be great during a holiday party or a retirement party. It can appeal to people from every department and from CEO to entry level part timers.
  • Charity Galas:
    To evoke a classy and timeless event, jazz music is the ideal solution. These ensembles offer not only music but the entertainment of a jazz performance. If you have memorable and unique music for a fundraising event, you will give guests and donors a unique experience worth their time.
  • Dinner Parties:
    Jazz music can be easy listening and chill for a dinner party. The music is versatile and can be great background music. Whether a small gathering or a large one, jazz music pairs nicely with cocktails and dinner. Dinner and jazz is a match made in heaven.
  • Celebrations:
    Celebratory events call for celebratory music. Jazz can be the perfect music for parades, fairs, festivals and so many more group gatherings. Any sort of celebratory event can be paired with the classic and timeless tunes of jazz music playing across the crowd.

Where to find a jazz musician for an event?

A jazz band for hire is easy to find with so many different resources available. Some of the best options are the simplest, from an online search to partnering with a venue. These can be some of the easiest and most effective ways of booking a jazz band.

  • Venues: One of the greatest resources when looking for vendors for your wedding or event is the venue itself. Most event venues have an extensive collection of vendors that they recommend and have worked with in the past. They will know which jazz bands work well, not only with their clients but with their space and types of events. Vendors can also provide valuable feedback and may even offer special packages to an event planner if they book a preferred vendor.
  • Online: Finding a jazz band online is a very quick and effective solution for finding a jazz band for an event. By looking online, you are able to read reviews and ratings to see what other event planners have experienced by working with that band. You’ll also be able to see if they are better suited for a particular type of event versus another to help narrow down which band will be the best for your event. Additionally, online resources can allow to you view samples of the band playing live, and listen to other clips of them playing their music.

What type of jazz songs should I choose?

Choosing the set list for an event is one of the most fun parts of planning. When discussing these things with the band, you can determine if you’ll have different styles of music during different parts of the event. Cocktail hour will have background music, while dancing will be more upbeat jazz standards and jazzy covers of popular dance tunes. There are even many different popular tunes that have jazz influences, which make for great dance options. With jazz, your world is truly your oyster.


Want to have a unique music experience for your wedding?

Get a brass band!

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