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Songs to Play before the Dancing While Guests Dine?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by dtripoli, Sep 30, 2017.


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  1. dtripoli

    dtripoli

    Aug 15, 2010
    CA
    This is a Black Tie event and the organizers asked if we could perform during the dinner and after for the dancing.
    We are an average multi genre cover band, not a jazzy ensemble or a deep soul groove R&B group, which would have been
    perfect for the dining hour.
    Obviously folks will be talking and we'll just be backround music for the dinner hour.
    First thought that came to my head was, extended versions of simple 2-3 chord songs we could jam on like:
    Season of the Witch - Donovan or Super Session
    Bring Down the Birds - Quincy Jones

    ...after that I'm drawing a blank.

    black2.jpg Black.jpg
     
  2. turf3

    turf3

    Sep 26, 2011
    Go ye to the Real Book and find ye all the bossa novas.

    Play at reduced (VERY REDUCED) volume.

    Problem solved.
     
    Downunderwonder and dtripoli like this.
  3. dtripoli

    dtripoli

    Aug 15, 2010
    CA
    Thanks, I think reduced volume is probably the main thing.
     
  4. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    Game of Love - Michelle Branch/Carlos Santana - actually a great guitar tune, but can be played during dinner.
    Little Wing
    All Blues - from the Real Book. Go through that book and find any songs you know.
    Moondance

    Again, no matter what, volume is the issue. They should be able to talk easily while you are playing. You are background.
     
  5. Ya. Be less intrusive than the wallpaper.

    If the waitresses are going like that you could probably get away with the drummer doing a 1hr drum solo.
     
    Aberdumbie likes this.
  6. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    A few more I've played recently when the gig calls for a poppier version of the normal dinner jazz set:

    • All Blues, Miles Davis
    • Blue Bossa, Kenny Dorham
    • All of Me, Marks & Simon
    • Autumn Leaves, Kosma/Prevert (Miles, or Bill Evans)
    • At Last, Etta James
    • Into the Mystic, Van Morrison
    • How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) Taylor, James
    • I'm Yours, Jason Mraz
    • Brown Eyed Girl, Van Morrison
    • Luck, Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat
    • Stand By Me, Ben E. King
    • Let's Get It On Gaye, Marvin
    • Come away with me, Norah Jones
    • Summertime, Gershwin (a la Miles, or Ella & Armstrong)
    • What A Wonderful World, Louis Armstrong
    • Moondance, Van Morrison
    • Don't Know Why, Norah Jones
    • Crazy, Patsy Cline
    • Let's Stay Together, Al Green

    Don't forget to tip those waitresses.
     
    12BitSlab likes this.
  7. fourstr00

    fourstr00

    Mar 21, 2002
    Chicago Area

    And we’re done here. Maybe add Come Together or some Headhunters like Cantalope Island. Footprints is another easy one that a lot of casual listeners don’t immediately identify as ‘jazz’.

    Once worked a wedding where, unknown to us, the father of the bride hated jazz. Came up to the dinner combo and asked to nix all jazz tunes for a 90 minute set, with a jazz band presiding. Van Morrison and Beatles are your friend.
     
    biguglyman likes this.
  8. DirtDog

    DirtDog

    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    We found ourselves in a similar situation a few years ago. The organizers of this posh fundraiser booked us - a country band - for a country themed party (kind of) but really wanted a jazzy lounge band. Fortunately we brought a keys player that night that kind of specializes in that. We played the most lowdown groovalicious half-tempo version of Sweet Home Alabama there ever was. Johnny Van Zant was probably rolling in his grave. Saved our bacon and the hosts liked it a lot!
     
  9. biguglyman

    biguglyman

    Jul 27, 2017
    Rochester, NY
    +1
     
  10. Accessible variations are great crowd pleasers as they congratulate themselves on "getting it". There is a good example of what I am talking about on the Hell Freezes Over album with the acoustic intro to Hotel California. Us muso's are onto it after a bar or two but sometime later you hear it get more obvious and the crowd erupts.
     
    DirtDog likes this.

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