Frequently Asked Event Questions

See also Wedding FAQ,  Weddings, Private/Corporate Parties

 

Do you have a calendar of events so we can pick a date to see you perform live?

  • Because most of our events are private, we do not publish when or where we will be playing. If you have not seen the band perform and would really like to, please contact us for an upcoming public date in your area.

 

How many songs do you play in four-hours?

  • Depending on toasts, special requests, time devoted to dinner, slide shows, etc. on average the band plays around 18 to 20 songs in a 2-hour set, and up to 35 to 40 songs in a four-hour set. The final total can vary based on those special events.

  • We recognize that some events may require more entertainment or background music, and in those cases we do our best to be flexible in working around your schedule. We will work with your event planner in coordinating our part of the event schedule, and recommend breaking the evening’s entertainment up (see below under “Suggestions for Keeping the Energy Going”). Please keep in mind that horn players will need a chance to rest and refresh their lips, just as singers their voice.

 

How many breaks does the band take in one night? 

  • We recommend the ideal length of time for the big band or swing band to play in any one section of your evening’s festivity to be a total of 2 or 3 hours with one break in between musical sets, rather than 4-hours with more breaks. Usually, this section comes after dinner/dessert and is intended as the finale with everyone dancing. In our experience, fewer pauses and a clear-cut finale with the live band maintain the enthusiasm of guests and keep them on the dance floor. Also, see our cost-saving suggestion for using an iPod instead of a DJ to play your favorites list after the band is done for the evening.

 

Is there any music during the breaks?

  • Yes, if music is requested during breaks, we accommodate that with a playlist of pre-recorded songs of similar genre and style. It is also great when clients design their own playlist of recorded tunes for the band breaks. That way, if the band needs to step away from the stage, you can still listen to the music you love.

 

Any suggestions on how to keep the energy going throughout the event?

  • We strongly recommend breaking your event up into different pockets of entertainment by using contrasting levels of band. For example,  starting with an Acoustic Jazz Trio during cocktail hour and then moving to a larger band formation for the finale and dancing. Or choose to go from trio to quintet to big band for cocktail hour, dinner, and the finale/dancing.The contrast keeps the event feeling fresh and new as the evening progresses. It also can be very cost-effective because most of those musicians are already onsite.

  • Do keep in mind that since we play primarily big band, swing era, jazz and blues music, after a certain point in the evening most audiences tire of the genre, no matter how festive. We are NOT a cover band, and therefore have limited song choices outside our genres. Please see our song list that is organized by genres.

 

Do we select a play list/every song?

  • We recommend that you review our song list which is available on our website and provide us us with a list of the songs you really want to hear, as well as a brief list of songs you do NOT want to hear. It usually works best to allow the bandleader the freedom to read the crowd and select songs guided by your expressed preferences.

  • We also recommend listening to songs from our list on iTunes that may not sound all that familiar to you at first. Often a memorable song from the event has been discovered in that way, like Nat King Cole’s, Let There Be Love, which turned out to be such a consistent  favorite that we ended up including it on our recent CD, Barron’s Big Band – LIVE. Also see our Frequently Asked Wedding Questions’ page for a bit more Wedding Song choice information.

 

What sound equipment and support do you offer for events?

  • Sound equipment and the sound technician are pivotal. Some venues may have their own sound. We recommend using one of our two sound options to meet the unique needs of each show. For audiences of  less than 300 people, sound equipment and sound technician are included. For audiences of over 300 people, we recommend our pro sound team at a minimal cost to booked clients.

 

Can we use your microphone/ PA system for toasts/ announcements?

  • You are welcome to use our equipment for announcements and toasts during the hours of the reception of which we are contracted. It is helpful to have the timing of it noted in the schedule so our sound technician is sure to be on hand to assist  as needed.

  • Please note that we do not have a PA sound system set up for the cocktail hour or ceremony, as we only need amplifiers for our purposes. If you would like to rent an additional PA system for any part of the event beyond the reception, please contact us for pricing and availability.

 

Do you have a brief  bio?

  • Barron, a classically trained singer, grew up in Santa Monica, California, amidst the influences of his opera-singing mother and family friends such as Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra. His family was intimately connected to the heavyweights of the era. Barron’s godfather, Barron Hilton, got Sinatra to perform at JFK’s Democratic Convention in Beverly Hills.  Barron’s father, Geary Steffen, was married to Jane Powell who danced and sang in some of MGM’s top musicals such as Royal Wedding with Fred Astaire.

  • Barron’s own music career began in Italy, where his hit single “It’s Not Really Over” reached number 17 on the billboard charts. Back in the U.S., Barron’s band was recognized as one of L.A.’s top 10 unsigned. Barron’s Big Band returned him to his roots in the American standards, quickly establishing him as a top tier player with repeat performances at the Governor’s Ball of New Mexico, The Four Seasons Hotel, and frequent multi-national corporate events.

 

What are the power/ electrical needs of the band? Stage size?

  • Ceremony and cocktail music: In the case that any of the selected instruments require an electrical connection, musicians and instruments must be on a flat surface, not directly on the ground, to avoid electrocution. Client is responsible for having one regular outlet within reach of where you’d like the musicians to set up.

  • Reception: The tent company/venue must provide two 20-amp receptacles, which is standard.

  • Suggested stage sizes: 5-piece band or less: 12’ x 16’, 7 to 10-piece band: 16’ x 24’ minimum. Outdoor ceremonies, cocktail hours, and receptions may require a generator if more than 100 feet from electrical source.

 

Who acts as MC for the event?

  • We will MC as much or as little as you like. If you prefer a friend or family member to make the announcements, that will work fine, as well.

  • If you would like us to make announcements, please provide us with a timeline that has detailed text and a phonetically-spelled list of everyone we are to introduce, in the correct order of introduction.

 

Do we have to book hotel rooms for the band?

  • Hotel rooms are only necessary if the event is a two-hour or more drive from Denver, and the performance finishes after 11 pm. The financial responsibility of travel costs is outlined in your contract.

 

Who makes the travel arrangements?

  • We will book all flights and car/van rentals. If hotels are necessary and you are getting a group rate or know of a small economical motel/hotel in the area, you are welcome to make the arrangements on your own, but please notify us. We require that each musician have his/her own bed in a clean room, so we find that double-rooms with two beds work fine and are more economical for that purpose.

 

When does the band set up the instruments and sound equipment?

  • The hour before the start of the performance is considered load-in, set-up, and sound check time onsite. Anything earlier than that will be billed at $25/hr. per person.

  • Please note that sometimes an event coordinator will wait until the last minute to tell the band and sound team that they need to be set up “x” number of hours before the actual performance time for any number of reasons. Keep in mind that some musicians may be traveling in from different areas in the state, and therefore need to know their on-call time well in advance to respect family or professional commitments. Please discuss this aspect with your event coordinator beforehand so that a contract can be finalized.