Weddings, Concerts, Parties, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs since 1986
Questions to ask when hiring a live band for your wedding or party Q1: What should a bride-to-be look for when selecting a wedding band? Q2: Why is a band preferable to a DJ? Q3: Can certain songs be requested to play / avoid? Q4: What sort of experience should a wedding band have? Q5: What size band should I hire? Q6: What should someone ask their reception site in regards to the band? Q7: How many breaks does the band usually take? Q8: Any other tips someone should consider when choosing a wedding band? Q9: What factors influence the cost of a wedding band Q11: How is Klezamir unique among area klezmer bands? Q1: What should a bride-to-be look for when selecting a wedding band? A: Versatility is an important consideration. Not only should a good wedding band have a large degree of variety in their repertoire -- they should also be able to perform songs in a believable and convincing manner. When performing a rock and roll song, a band should sound like a rock and roll band. When performing a jazz standard, a band should sound like a jazz band -- not like a rock and roll band performing a jazz standard. A band should also be flexible enough to be able to perform at different volume levels appropriate for different times during the course of a wedding reception. Other factors to consider are reliability and stability. It is important to make sure that a band being considered for a wedding reception has been together for a reasonable amount of time with its current personnel. Hiring a band that has a propensity to change band members frequently is a situation that is best to avoid. Q2: Why is a band preferable to a DJ? A: There is no substitute for the excitement of a live performance. Ask anyone if they would rather listen to their favorite artist's CD or see their favorite artist perform live. Perhaps the reason that many people prefer DJ's over bands is the cost -- or the fact that some bands are not diverse enough to adequately play the variety of music necessary for a wedding reception. That said, one of of our band members is a professional DJ. So it is possible to have a Band + DJ for the best of both worlds.
Q3: Can certain songs be requested to play / avoid? A: It has always been our policy to encourage brides and grooms to provide us with a list of their special requests, as well as a list of songs they would like us to avoid playing. We will typically combine the bride's request list with our own expertise in determining which songs would be the most effective to use at any given time during the course of a wedding reception. Q4: What sort of experience should a wedding band have? A: An experienced wedding band is usually well versed in the flow of events at a wedding reception. It is the band's job to work with the function director and other professionals involved, in coordinating the different events that take place. For example, the band needs to make sure the photographer and videographer are informed before they begin the cake-cutting ceremony. The band will usually provide the bride and groom with a sheet to fill out indicating all of the announcements, special dance selections and other details regarding the order of events that will take place during the reception. The band will then oversee the affair to ensure a smooth transition from one event to another, allowing the bride and groom to relax and enjoy their special day. Q5: What size band should I hire? A: It is often mistakenly believed that a 10-piece band will produce a "larger" sound than a 5-piece band. This is not necessarily the case. Talented musicians who work well together can often create a "larger" and better sound than bands that employ a larger number of musicians. What determines whether or not a band will have a "large enough sound" to fill a specific venue is inevitably the quality and power of the band’s sound system, and not the number of musicians in the band. It is interesting to reflect upon the fact that two of the greatest bands in history were 4-piece bands: "Queen" and "The Beatles". Q6: What should someone ask their reception site in regards to the band? A: That is a good question. Frequently a bride-to-be will coordinate matters separately with the reception site and the band. This can occasionally lead to unforeseen difficulties on the day of the reception. We often recommend that a bride consult with both the reception site and the band in determining matters pertaining to the setup of the band. Where the band would optimally set up at the site is often a variable that can best be determined by consulting with both the band and function facility. Also, the floor plan mapping out the setup of the guests' tables is something that the band can often be helpful with. We usually recommend that tables reserved for older guests be placed in areas that are not too close to the band's speakers. Q7: How many breaks does the band usually take? A: During a four hour function, there are typically three sets with two breaks in between. The first break usually occurs when the main course is being served. The band then would play background CD music during the main course. The second break typically occurs between the two dance sets, during which the band would play dance music on CD's to keep the party going. Q8: Any other tips someone should consider when choosing a Boston wedding band? A: One word of advise I would offer to perspective brides and grooms is to be careful attempting to judge the quality of a band on the basis of a videotape presentation. The vast majority of videotapes that are used to market wedding bands in this area are extremely "doctored up" productions that have very little correlation to depicting the way a band actually appears and sounds during a live performance. Lip-synching and a host of special visual effects are typically employed in these productions. Another suggestion I would make would be to be to seek the opinions of other people you know when attempting to judge the merits of a particular band. Since musical taste is a very subjective field, it is always preferable to find a band that most of your friends and relatives will agree upon. I would also suggest that you place a great deal of emphasis on feedback that you hear from people who have actually "experienced" the band and attended a wedding reception where the band had performed. In this regard, their experience is likely to depict the band's capabilities more accurately than any experience you can encounter by viewing the band under "non-ideal viewing conditions". The conditions I am referring to would include situations such as "sneaking a peak" at the band during a limited (and sometimes non-ideal) portion of a wedding reception. Oftentimes, your vantage point as a viewer can be limited to a remote corner in the back of the room, or a foyer or hallway from where you could look into the room from the outside. In addition, your vantage point can often be a location where you are standing behind the band, or otherwise not in the path of the band's sound system. This will, of course, lead to a distorted and inaccurate perception of how the band actually sounds from within the reception. The dance floor is always the best location to hear a band. This is where the sound of the band is optimal for maximizing the feel of the musical experience. Q9: What factors influence the cost of a wedding band? A: Date, time and place of the event are the main factors. During the busiest wedding months of the year, bands are often less flexible with regards to their price than during the "off-peak" months, which are typically January through early April. Q10: Is it customary for a band to “hold” a date for a customer? A: It is very difficult for a band to actually “hold” a date for any length of time. Inquiries for different dates happen continually throughout the year, and it is not uncommon for a band to have multiple inquiries for the same date. It is often possible to ask a band to give you the “right of first refusal” on a certain date for a non-refundable fee of $100 that will be applicable to the contract. The band would then inform you as soon as any other serious inquiries would turn up for that date, and thus give you the first opportunity to secure their services at that time. Q11: How is Klezamir unique among area klezmer bands? A: Klezamir is the only band in New England that can satisfy a wide range of musical tastes - Jewish, rock, jazz, pop, and classical - and can also provide easy dance lessons and lead games! Klezamir has been together for 22 years and has the experience to make your party an outstanding success!Listen to Klezamir!