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I recently started up a jazz quartet. We've been pretty successful at packing a local coffee house once a month and now we're starting to get calls to do cocktail hours/private partys etc...

What's a typical rate for a cocktail hour for a wedding? The most recent call was from a friend I work with and I don't want to offer her a "special" lower price but still make it worthwile for the band.

Please offer your comments.
 

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I always cut myself out of the deal when playing for good friends and family, but charged for the others in the band. I couldn't ask them to cut a deal for someone they didn't know. The client knew that as did the band - no secrets.

And, the actual playing time was not as important to us as was the driving time to and from, the set-up time, then the playing time. I'd charge as much for one hour as I would for four because of the hassles, travel, etc.

When booking a wedding, I made it known beforehand about the band's style - we were a trad-jazz band and didn't do sambas or R&R or swing. If everyone understood that going in, then it was okay. Wedding playing has been discussed a lot here on SOTW.

There are SO many responses to your post -others will weigh in, I'm sure. As far as pricing, I don't have a clue about that anymore. I'm out of the band-leader loop. I just show up in the appropriate attire when told to do so. I like to play, so I'll do it on the cheap as long as I don't lose money on the gig. Admittedly, I don't depend on music for a living. Others do and I understand that. DAVE
 

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Pay the cats at least $150 for a cocktail hour. Take $300 or more fore yourself.

For a 4 hour affair pay the cats at least $300-$350 and take $1000 for yourself. You'll undercut the big "clubdate ofiices" whilst paying your sidemen something like scale+benifits.

SINGLE ENGAGEMENT CLUB DATE WAGE SCALES & CONDITIONS

CLASS A (All Engagements Continuous)
Effective April 15, 2007 -- April 14, 2008



4-hour Saturday Night * $300.00
4-hour Sunday $220.00
4-hour Weekday $205.00
3-hour Sunday $180.00
1-hour ** $150.00

Add 30% for pension and health and social security.
 

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BarrySachs said:
Pay the cats at least $150 for a cocktail hour. Take $300 or more fore yourself.

For a 4 hour affair pay the cats at least $300-$350 and take $1000 for yourself. You'll undercut the big "clubdate ofiices" whilst paying your sidemen something like scale+benifits.

SINGLE ENGAGEMENT CLUB DATE WAGE SCALES & CONDITIONS

CLASS A (All Engagements Continuous)
Effective April 15, 2007 -- April 14, 2008



4-hour Saturday Night * $300.00
4-hour Sunday $220.00
4-hour Weekday $205.00
3-hour Sunday $180.00
1-hour ** $150.00

Add 30% for pension and health and social security.


Barry I need a gig... Help a Brother out!!!!
 

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Don't know the prices in your area. Depends on your experience too I believe.

I'm in no way to compare to you, but I got 200 euro for a 1 hour cocktail-hour gig at a wedding with two mates ( a bass player and an accordeon player) and a set of songs that exists of simple chord changes and 95% of improvisation. We had 2 rehearsals together, but pulled it off.

It was an emergency, since she couldn't find a band she could afford (normal prices here range from 600 euro up to a whole lot more). And she's a good friend of my mom, so my mom promised her already that "I would probabely do it for her, no prob."

I think Barrysachs gave you a good indication of what you could ask. Maybe you could try to find out what other bands in the area ask.
 

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I think Barrysacs has got it about right!!

Fwiw many musicians for some strange reason want to know what the gig in total pays.

I had a friend recently who organised a horn section for a well known artist (he's a sax player) in LA for the Playboy Jazz festival, and one of the members of the horn section telephoned the musical director, to enquire what the horn section got paid in total. They have no longer got the gig!!

There's a lot of leg work getting these gig's together so the leader should take a % more.

Charge as much as you think you can get!! but have a minimum and stick to it.

Have a good one!!

Andrew
 

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Good advice and NYC rates are probably apropos to Philly, but I would point out for other readers that this is a local thing. Rates vary from place to place, as well as does the competition, so if you're not in a large urban area (or a smaller but upscale one) you should ask around so you don't price yourself right out of a gig.
 

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gary said:
Good advice and NYC rates are probably apropos to Philly, but I would point out for other readers that this is a local thing. Rates vary from place to place, as well as does the competition, so if you're not in a large urban area (or a smaller but upscale one) you should ask around so you don't price yourself right out of a gig.
My point exactly. Just put a lot more clear. Again... ;)
 

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Jolle said:
My point exactly. Just put a lot more clear. Again... ;)
Jolle: Don't be concerned over the language thing. Anyone should be able to see that English isn't your first language and make allowances based on that.
It's actually really good to have input from non-English native speakers on a forum like this. It makes for a much better mix and a broader range of perspectives.
 

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Thanks Rooty, but I was more referring to the fact that my point was hidden somewhere in the rest of my babbling. I'm quite sure most people do understand what I'm saying. They just might miss the point I try to make ;)
 

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RootyTootoot said:
It's actually really good to have input from non-English native speakers on a forum like this.
Yeh...like Brits. :twisted:
 

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Oi, gary! BEHAVE!! You Americanes, I don't know..:twisted:
 

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RootyTootoot said:
"If you buy one more ... saxophone i'll ...divorce you." (Mrs RootyTootoot)
Bueschers, Kohlert, Dolnet, Conn. Clarinet and flute.
That reminds me - so what did you buy?! :twisted:
 

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Rooty Toot Toot
I see that you have changed your avatar to Terry Thomas. Who was the person in your last avatar?
Thanks
George
 

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The figures I posted are NYC's Local 802 AFM MINIMUM scales. Please feel free to charge/pay over scale. Please do not go below, it will put you in the amateur category. Amateurs play for fun not for money. This is not a hobby for working pros, don't undercut the going rate.

Remember, these are minimum scales only, benefits are extra but must be included. If your not filing the job with the union add 30% pension, health and social security
 

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dat's a whole nutha level.
cover bands in some venues round these parts (bout an hour from both philly and nyc) get $350-400 total. My last band was 6 pieces. let's just say I didn't get rich, heck barely even covered reeds.

but like I said, its a whole nutha level.
 

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BarrySachs said:
Please feel free to charge/pay over scale. Please do not go below, it will put you in the amateur category. Amateurs play for fun not for money. This is not a hobby for working pros, don't undercut the going rate. If your not filing the job with the union add 30% pension, health and social security
Andy, if you are referring to my post, just a clarification. I want to be clear that I am not suggesting trying to undercut standard minimum wage/benefit conditions. I am just pointing our that there are parts of the country where no client is going to pay a surcharge for social services. I think that's not right, but large parts of the country are not only union-weak, they are hostile to anything that smells of that. And also wages in such areas are lower than in NYC.

Personally I think it sucks, but there are regions where all you can do is use the going rates as your norm from which to negotiate, without the safety net of union support or a strong community ethic that supports reasonable wages for musicians. That's just the way it is. Sometimes the band doesn't get shirts. :D
 
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