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FAQs about SWING SHIFT 

 

ATQs about SWING  SHIFT

What kind of music do you play?  Swing music. Lots of dance music. Fast and slow swing music. The best of Swing, Jump Swing, R & B and R & R dance music from the last millennium with a nice seasoning of 90's Swing!
What kind of events and venues do you play?  Any venue where fun people gather to have a good time (well, almost any venue). We perform mostly at events such as private parties, weddings, corporate and benefit events, festivals and of course some night clubs!
How many members are in the band?  Nine Swinging Musician's!
What is our Instrumentation?  A full horn section! Bari sax, Tenor Sax, Trombone & Trumpet! Lead Vocalist, Drummer, Guitarist, Bassist & Keyboard!
How many musicians sing ?  Everyone in the Band!
How did the band start? How long has Swing Shift been around?  The Band was started in 1978 as the Belair's! When the band was formed it was a 50's & 60's Rock & Roll band and had only 5 members! In the late 80's he  added more horn's to the band so we put together a horn section to give the band a new powerful sound! When you would walk in anywhere the band was playing and hear the music it would just blow your mind and all you wanted to do was  to Dance! In the 90's the band changed the name to Johnny Rocket & the Rhythm Pilot's! The band was on the move and had a  tight sound!  Richard wanted a new sound and he found it! The hot New sound of Swing! Now we are
" Swing Shift " With Richard's Bari Sax  Wailing & the Prince of Wail's Trumpet and the rest of the boy's in the band we now have a Swinging sound that we know you will enjoy! 
How experienced are the band members? Quite experienced! The youngest and least experienced player has 21 years of professional performance under the belt! 
How long is your typical show? We typically perform three 1 hour sets with breaks in between!
How do you handle breaks? We try to schedule our breaks to coincide with any other activities that may need to occur during the event. The break time is determined by the timing of the event but usually runs about fifteen or twenty minutes. If you don't supply cassettes or CDs of music for us to play during our breaks we will always play our own tapes!
Can you provide music during a cocktail hour or dinner? Yes we can!. For a modest charge we can provide a pianist, jazz quartet or both for your enjoyment during cocktails or meals!
Will the songs sound like the originals? 

Yes. As close as it gets and most of the time even better! We are a band of real, live, human (not DJs mind you) musicians that get excited about the music we play and interact with the guests at your event. This means that as your guests have more fun we kick the energy up which gets the crowd even more excited and on and on. If you ever wondered why a band and a DJ can play the same tunes but the parties with live music are always more successful - this is the reason. Interaction!

Can we make requests? Yes. If you would like us to learn a specific tune for your event we can usually do it! Obviously we can't perform something from an opera or classical work but most Swing and R & R can be arranged. Due to the fact that we only have a limited amount of time to work up music for performances every weekend,  we  need at least 30 days advance notice and a copy of the score or a tape of the music. Too often people are stuck with a CD playing instead of us because they called us too late and left us no time to prepare! 
During a wedding, who will act as Master of Ceremonies?  Occasionally we get asked to do this and it is usually not a problem if it doesn't require us to arrive especially early. More often though it is more effective if someone who is part of the circle of family and friends does this!
Will the band dress appropriately?  Always. IN OUR ZOOT SUITS!!!!!!
How good is your equipment?

Top of the line. Our equipment will easily cover most large hotel ballrooms. For very large stadium or outdoor events, if the venue doesn't supply sound, we will make arrangements for a professional sound reinforcement company to provide additional coverage! Although we take care of our gear and are make sure it is properly connected and tested, all equipment is subject to certain environmental conditions. If the electric service is weak, poorly grounded or noisy (neon signs or cheap light dimmers) it can affect the sound by introducing buzzes and noise! 

How much room and power does the band need? We need a space that is24 feet wide by 12 ft deep minimum! In a big room we need at least three good 20 amp circuits if you want an uninterrupted show (no blown fuses). Without our lighting equipment (daytime outdoors) or in a small room two 20 amp dedicated circuits will do. If additional sound and/or lighting equipment is requested we'll need more power!
When and how will the band set up? 

We always try to set up before the event begins and people arrive. Sometimes the timing of the event prevents this but usually as soon as the room is open our crew is there. We move our gear on wheels to prevent damage and never leave a mess behind! If there is no elevator or dock access to the hall we may have to charge extra roadie/crew costs if the load-in and load-out is especially difficult or the event requires unusual load-in or load-out times. This is pretty rare and we usually know about the tough places in advance so you can be advised well ahead of time!

Do we have to feed the band or provide any accommodations?

Usually no. We always arrive well fed and properly dressed! We don't require meals or dressing rooms unless we've been traveling a long distance or are requested to be at an event for an unusually long time. These kinds of special accommodations are never expected unless they have been arranged in advance with the buyer!

How far will you travel?

Anywhere that Swing Shift has been contracted to play! Travel to further parts of the country (or world) can be arranged but of course we would have to include all air fare, lodging, equipment rental and other travel charges in our fee!

Will there be any changes in band personnel by the time of our event? Barring any illness or act of God, no. Should there be any personnel changes (this is very rare) we know well in advance!
How far in advance should we book the band? Obviously, in order to insure that you get the date and times that you want, contact us as far in advance as possible. Don't let those last minute jitters stop you from trying to book us though. Often dates change, occasionally cancel or sometimes we just have a day that stays open. You won't know unless you contact us!


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