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Frequently Asked Questions

Booking the Dave Johnson Band FAQ's

Q: What are the advantages of using a live band at your event?

A: Live music provides energy and excitement with a visual impact that is impossible to duplicate with recorded music. We can create a mood that gets your guests dancing and makes the party one to remember! In most groups, there are some who cannot, or will not, dance. A live band is also visually entertaining and fun for those in this category.

Q: How big is the band?

A: Our usual configuration is six horns (2 trumpets, 3 saxes and one trombone), three rhythm (piano, bass and drums), and a female vocalist. Depending on client needs and space considerations, the band size can be changed (i.e. add a guitar) usually for $100 per additional musician per event. We also can provide a small combo...quoted separately.

Q: What styles of music do you perform?

A: Our library includes most popular styles of dance music (i.e. swing, tango, waltz, rock, etc.). We do not perform rap, heavy metal, salsa, mariachi, or classical music (except classical during wedding ceremony).

Q: Can you perform songs that are not on your song list?

A: Certainly. The song list on the web is only a sampling of our library. Many of our charts were scored by our own arranger (Mr. Pete Mittelstadt) and another local arranger (Mr. Tom Kubis). With advance notice, Pete can arrange about any music you choose. In addition, our musicians are skilled to the point that we can perform "head charts," that is, just play a simple version of any tune we have every heard without having the musical chart.

Q: Does the band take breaks?

A: Yes, it is "necessary" for the band to take a 10-minute break every hour. In other words, the band will play for 50 minutes and take a 10-minute break. Since most events have activities such as toasts, other entertainment, raffles, tossing the bouquet, etc., we suggest that these short gaps are an excellent time for these other activities. Recorded music can be provided by the band at break times.

Q: What does the band wear?

A: Our normal attire for formal events is tuxedos. Summer outdoor events may be in shirt sleeves or Hawaiian shirts or other attire as stipulated by the client. Our female vocalist wears formal evening attire for formal events such as weddings and corporate affairs.

Q: Do you provide your own sound system?

A: We provide everything required to support our performance at no additional charge. The setup location needs to be accessible by elevator or ramp if not on the ground level and a nearby 120V power source is required. For outdoor performances, the band must be sheltered from the elements (sun, rain, high winds). We can provide a PA system for toasts and announcements or other performances for an additional charge of $100.

Q: Can you provide a Master of Ceremonies (Emcee)?

A: Yes, we will make announcements (i.e. raffles, introductions, lead singing of "Happy Birthday" et al). For weddings, we routinely announce special dances, cake cutting, bridal bouquet toss, toasts and other planned events. Our services include full pre-wedding coordination to determine music selection, announcements, event timetable, and all other details for our special day.

Q: What physical requirements are required to "stage" the band?

A: The big band requires a minimum space 20' across and 10' deep. The staging area can be on floor-level but must be on a hard surface shielded from the elements (i.e. rain, wind, hot sun) with access to at least one electrical outlet on a circuit that is not overloaded with other distribution.

Q: Can you provide music for my wedding ceremony?

A: Yes, this can be arranged in advance and there is a small additional charge. Nearly any instrumentation can be arranged from a single instrument, duets, etc. Our vocalist is also available. Performing at rehearsals costs extra. Violins, cellos and other instruments not being used as entertainment at the reception are paid a little more than regular band members.

Q: How much do you charge?

A: The cost for our normal configuration is $500 per hour for a minimum of three hours. A deposit equal to half of the total is required to bind the contract; however, if the event is canceled, the contract may be canceled up to 30 days before the event and all of the deposit will be promptly refunded. Should the cancellation occur less than 30 days before the event, the deposit shall be forfeited, but a rescheduled event may be negotiated usually without penalty. A new date is not necessarily guaranteed depending upon the band's schedule. It is customary to make payment to the band after the second set (during the band's second break). Additional musicians can be added (i.e. guitar, male vocalist) at $100 each. Musicians for wedding ceremonies range from as little as $50 per hour per person to about $150 per hour per person.

Q: What about additional costs, meals for the musicians or tips?

A: There are no other costs for local events and meals and tips are not required for the band. It is customary, however, to provide food for musicians if your event occurs during the dinner hour, especially if you enjoy the performance. Tipping is completely optional and should be geared to your level of satisfaction.

Q: How far will you travel? 

A: Our band performs primarily in the following counties: Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange and Riverside. Charges above our normal rates will be quoted ahead of time for travel farther than 100 miles from ZIP 91765. There are usually no overnight lodging charges for counties as far as San Diego, Ventura and Santa Barbara.

Q: Can I hear your band?

A: A good selection of tunes performed by our band can be found at Although strangers are not usually welcome at most private parties and events, prospective clients can sometimes discreetly listen from the back of the room. An up-to-date listing of pending gigs is listed at this web site if you click on Calendar on the menu at the top of this page. We can also send you a CD sampler if you provide us with your mailing address. Please indicate whether you want the "big band" disk or the "combo" disk. Occasionally we schedule audition nights at the musicians union for prospective clients to hear the band (if there are several who want to hear at the same time).

Q: Are References Available?

A: We would be happy to provide references and will try to provide some that are similar to the kind of event you are planning. In order to do this, it is important that you explain what kind of event is planned.

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Keeping the tradition of live entertainment alive!