Frequently Asked Questions





1. How many musicians are in the Fantasy Big Band?
2. That's a large group. How much space do you need?
3. I'm afraid that's more than we can accommodate. Can you perform with fewer musicians?
4. That's a great idea! What kind of music does the combo play?
5. How does the Fantasy Big Band dress?
6. With 19 musicians it must be very loud.
7. What kind of music does the Fantasy Big Band play?
8. Do you do "requests?"
9. My Uncle Frank does a great "Mack the Knife." Can he sing with the band at our event?
10. How much does the Fantasy Big Band cost?
11. What are the payment terms?
12. Your band costs a lot more than a DJ. Why should I pay the extra when I could have the DJ play any song I want?
13. But we'd like to have music for everybody, not just the folks that like swing music.
14. How do I book the band for my event?
15. Is there anything we need to supply for the band at our event?
16. How much time do you require to set up?
17. Is there anything else I need to know?





Q. How many musicians are in the Fantasy Big Band?
A. The Fantasy Big Band uses full big band instrumentation: 5 Saxophones, 4 Trombones, 4 Trumpets, Piano, Guitar, Bass, Drums. We also have a conductor and optional vocalist. The conductor doubles on solo clarinet, the guitarist is also a male vocalist and the piano player is the Master of Ceremonies. With the optional vocalist, that's 19 people.

Q. That's a large group. How much space do you need?
A. We need a minimum area of 20 feet wide and 15 feet deep. More space would be better but we can fit into a 20' X 15' area.

Q. I'm afraid that's more than we can accommodate. Can you perform with fewer musicians?
A. Our arrangements are written for full big band instrumentation. Dropping out parts would degrade the quality of our sound and the music itself. Imagine the sound of music written for a symphony orchestra with only a handful of instruments. If it's a matter of space, we can offer our combo - a group of six musicians from the band. In fact we are often asked to have the combo play quietly during a cocktail hour or warm up the crowd before the big band comes on stage.

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Q. That's a great idea! What kind of music does the combo play?
A. Jazz standards, ballads, blues, swing, popular dance tunes even light rock and roll.

Q. How does the Fantasy Big Band dress?
A. The musicians all wear white dinner jackets. The Conductor and Master of Ceremonies wear black tuxedos. Check out the photos on the "About" and "Past Events" web pages.

Q. With 19 musicians it must be very loud.
A. Since we are a basically an acoustic ensemble we are much quieter that an electronically amplified rock band or a DJ. We've even played music during the meal for a corporate gala dinner party. Of course we played our most reserved arrangements, but people could still carry on conversations with their neighbors. But, when it is called for, we can fill a ballroom or auditorium with sound.

Q. What kind of music does the Fantasy Big Band play?
A. Our forte is the dance music of the big band swing era of the late 30's through the 40's. We feature hit songs of Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Tommy Dorsey, Count Basie, Woody Herman and Artie Shaw among others. We have more contemporary swing charts and play standards made famous by Frank Sinatra. We also have some jump swing tunes from the recent swing dance revival. Our dance book contains cha-cha, waltz, tango, samba and bossa nova tunes. We have some exciting big band jazz numbers if the event is more of a concert setting. Plus, we always put on a show. The band does choreography, gang vocals and some fun novelty numbers to break up the evening. Check out our partial song list on this web site to get an overview.

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Q. Do you do "requests?"
A. For each individual event we set up a play list for the band so that there is very little "down," time between songs. Each set is "textured" for variety and overall energy flow. Sticking in a "Happy Birthday," sing-a-long is easy. However, to accommodate a particular song request we first must have the arrangement in our book. Then we will try our best to work it into the next set. It helps us if you let us know in advance if there are any particular songs that you would like to hear.

Q. My Uncle Frank does a great "Mack the Knife." Can he sing with the band at our event?
A. If Uncle Frank can come to one of our rehearsals before the event and if we have an arrangement we'd be happy to try to accommodate your request. We usually find that folks with great voices at family functions or office parties are not prepared to sing with a full big band. We play the arrangement as written and Uncle Frank has to be able to follow the band and sing the tune in the musical key in which the arrangement was written. We can't play the song lower because Frank can't reach the high notes. Which is the reason for the rehearsal.

Q. How much does the Fantasy Big Band cost?
A. Our rates vary depending on the nature of the event. We are quite affordable. Please contact our Managing Director, Kent L. Kochon, through the contact page on this website or by phone at the number listed.

Q. What are the payment terms?
A. We require a deposit upon acceptance of the contract to commit the band for your event and hold the date on our calendar. The balance is to be paid during the first intermission on the night of the performance. We gladly accept corporate and organizational checks. We prefer personal checks to be certified or in the form of a bank check.

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Q. Your band costs a lot more than a DJ. Why should I pay the extra when I could have the DJ play any song I want?
A. Part of the whole experience at your event will be the interaction between the live performers on stage and your guests. That is why we enjoy playing this music in a live performance for an appreciative crowd and why your guests will love to hear and SEE the live performance on stage. Imagine going to a concert to see your favorite symphony or rock group only to have the curtain open and be presented with a stack of speakers and one guy standing in the spotlight at a CD player. Don't you enjoy watching a conductor communicate his passion to the symphony orchestra or the rock musician move and react to the sound on stage?

Q. But we'd like to have music for everybody, not just the folks that like swing music.
A. Our musical sets are textured to run a spectrum of musical styles. There are medium swing tunes, jump swing tunes, ballads, Latin, waltzes - all with great dynamics and energy. Remember that swing music was the rock and roll of the 30's and 40's. In fact, we have played this music to standing room only dance floors where the ages of the couples have ranged from twenty-something's to eighty-something's. This music spans all generations and has never gone out of style. In fact, we dare anyone in the room NOT to tap their feet when we play, "In the Mood!"

Q. How do I book the band for my event?
A. Just call our Managing Director, Kent L. Kochon, at the number listed on our home page to work out the details of the event. We have experience with what works for all types of events and will be glad to share what we've learned over the years. We'll send you a letter/contract to sign and return with a deposit payment. That's all there is to it. Once the deposit is received you are on our calendar.

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Q. Is there anything we need to supply for the band at our event?
A. Just a few things and those are usually available at the site of your event. We need 5 chairs for the saxophones and two wall outlets for our small guitar amplifiers and PA System. We bring the rest. If we've never played in the venue you have chosen before we would like to do a walk through a week or so in advance to get the lay of the land.

Q. How much time do you require to set up?
A. On the day of the event we would like access to the venue a MINIMUM of two hours in advance. We much prefer to set up our stage during the afternoon for an evening event. Please arrange to give us as much time as possible.

Q. Is there anything else I need to know?
A. Yes. The success of your event is very important to us. We will do everything we can from the bandstand to make the event a memorable one. We want you to enjoy this time after all your hard work and planning. And least of all, we don't want you to worry about the music. Sit back, relax and enjoy. Well take it from here. Most importantly -- See you on the dance floor!

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