There’s no doubt that live music makes any event better, even when it's background music. Whether it's enhancing the atmosphere at a casual party, elegant reception, or restaurant/bar, there are all sorts of musical styles that we play that will fit in perfectly. From smooth jazz to movie favorites, many of these gigs are straightforward but there are still a few tips to remember when the time comes.
Background music spans across genres, instruments and band sizes, and it all comes down to what the setting is and what atmosphere you want to create. Want to give people something to talk about? Imagine us playing instrumental jazz covers, riffing while your guests chat. Want to take a casual get together up a notch? We can play some pop covers or jigs and watch what happens when the vibe kicks in (everyone starts smiling!). Want something more than your typical DJ? How about some great tracks behind talented professional musicians playing on top. There are endless possibilities when you start to think about it, and the Left Coast Quintet or Trio is the perfect place to start- we have lots of fun ideas.
Here is the catch, or maybe a warning to some: although we do a variety of gigs of many different styles, we play because of a love for music *and* because it pays the bills, not because it is going to make us famous or get us more gigs. Of course, there are cases where playing a background gig for exposure could lead to more paying gigs, but the exceptions are far and few in between. Please don’t expect to offer up less pay in exchange for “exposure” and still get the talent you really are looking for. At the end of the day, you get what you pay for, and unless the we can buy ourselves a steak dinner with the exposure, don’t expect us to put a ton of value on it!
There is also a hidden up-side for hiring us for your background music needs- free equipment! This might be one of the most overlooked benefits of bringing live entertainment to your event. Don’t be shy when it comes to borrowing our sound system to make a toast or announcements of your own. You paid for our time, skill, and equipment and it’s totally fair to get on the mic for a few minutes yourself. Of course, you should always be sensitive to our set - don’t go up mid song and ask for the mic, and don’t stay on the mic for half an hour unless you’ve cleared this requirement well in advance.
Dan is the bassoonist & one of the founders of the LCQ.