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I just got called to put together a jazz combo for a Christmas party. Problem is, it's already October and already a lot of the rhythm section people are booked. I hate the business part of everything- but I know I have to ask for a good chunk of change to make the rhythm section people happy.
 

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Just a guy who plays saxophone.
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The venues around me are booking into February, March, and April right now. If you want to play Christmas/ Holiday parties it’s usually easier to get hired by the group throwing the party than a venue, and yeah, they aren’t usually as forward thinking and tend to throw things together last minute. Doesn’t lend well to finding players. Good luck!
 

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It has taken us four years to train our regular venues to book early! We like to take care of our regulars, but aren't going to turn down a lot of gigs while waiting on venue decisions. It finally has gotten through to them... we currently are booked in three places for New Years & three for Valentines Day. We can play as a 2 -8 piece band with a horn(s) & vocalist(s), so we can split up and it is not uncommon for us to do 3 or 4 venues on one night.

So, bottom line is, be a bit of a pest with your venues, let them know you care about them but you are booking up. Many venues are so focused on daily responsibilities of staffing, food orders, insurance, inspections etc etc that quite often entertainment is at the back of there minds & require some initiative on your part.... I know we don't want to feel like pushy salesman, but it works... we did 260 gigs last year.
 

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I don't think it's ever to early to book, I started booking my calendar for the Holidays at the end of last year's holiday gigs.

The silly season tends to quickly become an extra busy for most, so those booking last minute should expect a little bit of a premium to get groups into the lineup!
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
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I just got called to put together a jazz combo for a Christmas party. Problem is, it's already October and already a lot of the rhythm section people are booked. I hate the business part of everything- but I know I have to ask for a good chunk of change to make the rhythm section people happy.
Now is a good time for booking next year.
 
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