THEY GOT THE BEAT: 10 ALTERNATIVE JAZZ BANDS THAT ROCK!
Good music is certainly the key to a good party! And there’s nothing quite like a band playing live music to tempt your wedding guests to step up to the dance floor. In fact, it was Jazz that gave rise to public music and dance halls which makes it an obvious choice for those who want to guarantee a full dance floor at their wedding. Not many people know this about me but in a past life I was a little bit of singer and jazz was by far one of my favourite genres to perform, so naturally I’ve looking for jazz acts for my own big day. And since Bespoke Bride was built on making your wedding unique, I’ve been looking for jazz acts with a difference. With the help of Last Minute Musicians we’ve rounded up the most exciting alternative jazz bands so if you want to rock n roll or night long these are the best live jazz acts for you.
Oldies are goldies and lucky for us Frankly Jazz know a hit or two. They love to play the classic songs of the big band era, such as Sing Sing Sing, Puttin’ on The Ritz and The Charleston but this swing band doesn’t just do vintage, turning the party up a notch with some great swing versions of modern pop songs such as Last Nite, Chandelier and Walk on The Wild Side.
Here’s another front woman who knows how to throw a party! Whether you’re looking for a swinging band for dancing, a jazz band for added sophistication and atmosphere, or a vintage band for your special Gatsby-inspired event, Tessa is happy to oblige, even offering to teach your guests a 1920s solo Charleston, or how-to Lindy Hop if you’d prefer?
Dr Jazz is a 10/10 for jazz lovers for a reason: This fun and quirky 6-piece Roaring 20’s band comprises of trumpet/vocals, trombone, clarinet, piano, bass and drums with some songs being sung through a megaphone for that authentic 1920’s sound!
With an extensive repertoire of instantly recognisable favourites, Dr Jazz serves up classics by the likes of George and Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter and Irving Berlin…with a generous order of Dixie on the side!
Say hello to the creme de la creme of the northern traditional-jazz scene; specialising in all things swing.
With a ‘Speakeasy – Selection’ spanning the whole Century, they’ve seen action in the fields (Womad 2017, Bestival 2017, Boomtown, Party like Gatsby – Copenhagen) and turned their hand to a wedding or two
Their own quirky takes on modern classics (‘Toxic’, ‘Sing it back’, ‘Last nite’) sit seamlessly along side a burgeoning repertoire of New Orleans & Gypsy Jazz; it’s this diversity of sound and energy which allows them to tailor their performance to almost any setting.
For themed events the band can even come in full ‘dandy attire’, complete with boating hats, blazers and cricket trousers.
With their high energy and entertaining performance the Bourbon St. Stompers are a 1920s style swing/jazz band with big brass lines inspired by the great parades in New Orleans. They have even played in New Orleans and have created a set that reflects the popular songs of the city as well as throwing in some well-known floor filling songs for good measure.
There is quite simply no other band out there as authentic and fun as Bourbon St. Stompers, and have proved to be highly popular amongst people who want something a little bit different for their wedding parties.
They are one of the best jazz bands on the circuit and play extensively at prestigious jazz festivals up and down the country, even appearing live on BBC Radio 3.
It might seem like an unusual choice of name but MonoChromatix has become instantly recognizable as a jazz band that takes you back to the jazz age, with a mixture of rip-roaring early jazz dance styles and modern songs in a vintage style. They focus on Traditional Dixieland jazz, Swing and a do a range of modern songs in a vintage style.
Check out new talent, The Full Beans to find out why the band have quickly made an impact on the Manchester acoustic scene with their first live shows at the end of the year. The Full Beans were formed in 2014 by professional guitarists Jake and Chris. The plan was to play a mixture of old gypsy jazz standards and modern-day rock/pop classics with a gypsy twist.
The duo has since expanded into a variety of line ups that can now offer vocals, upright bass, violin and drums as well. Known for their frantic and heavily improvised live shows mixed with intricately arranged medleys expect to see The String Beans busking in a town near you soon!
The Gin Slingers should top every alternative jazz list right now, especially if you’re also a pop and rock lover. This duo might be small, but their sound is mighty. They play classic songs in a Rockabilly, Swing or Blues style, with a choice of instruments and a nifty little drum machine called the BeatBuddy, which means they can fit into a tight space, play to any volume level but still achieve that full band sound. Perfect for any event.
Loved for their classic swing, jive, and rock ‘n’ roll material mixed with modern songs in their own unique style The Jive Swings are fronted by international vocal entertainer and musician Ollie Mulkeen. Enjoy an energetic, entertaining and exciting performance guaranteed to get your guests dancing.
Lineups can consist of a duo for background chilled jazz right through to the 9-piece with full horn section.
Head to ITunes to hear the bands fantastic Christmas Album called ‘Christmas Once More’ which reached number 2 in the iTunes Jazz chart.
When it comes to big jazz bands there’s nothing quite as big as the The National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) which is where this bands frontwoman Alice Grace began her career. She was also a guest singer with the James Pearson Trio at the famous Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, before landing a place to continue her musical education at the London Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. After graduating she sang with a variety of jazz and soul ensembles performing at prestigious venues such as The Southbank Centre, The Natural History Museum and the Royal Albert Hall in London.
The City Swingers are a charismatic 5 or 6-piece swing band from Newcastle upon Tyne using only the finest jazz session musicians from the area. They play straight up swing jazz and pop tunes in a swing style (a la Postmodern Jukebox).
Band members have performed in the Middle East for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), for Lanvin, Moet & Chandon, Dubai Film Festival, The Dubai World Cup, Jazz Pizza Express, Pacha Ibiza, The Atlantis.
Tell us, have you found your perfect wedding entertainment? If not, don’t worry, it’s just a few clicks away! No matter how unique your theme or creative your ideas, the Last Minute Musicians Directory has over 3300 fantastic and diverse acts for you to choose from.
Two professional musicians set up Lastminutemusicians.com in 2003. It has since grown into a team of 10 people handling over 50,000 enquiries and dealing with over 70,000 customers… in the last 12 months alone. Visitors can see pictures, read bios, watch videos and listen to audio in order to ensure the act they select is perfect for their special day. Couple this with the independent reviews system, and you can be sure that the entertainment you book will turn your wedding day into an evening everyone will be talking about for years to come!