Jazz Menagerie is a jazz band of experienced professional musicians who love to play jazz, swing and soul music - great music to suit all ages. The co-founders of the group are Alison Bentley (vocals/piano) and Kevin Armstrong (guitar). We've had more than 20 years' experience playing at private events.
Most of the band, which also features saxophone, drums & bass, met while studying jazz at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.
Jazz band for hire: recent clients include: Mercedes Benz, Macmillan, the Beaufort Polo Club, Gloucestershire. Recent wedding & civil partnership venues include: Claridges, Blenheim Palace, Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir aux Quat' Saison, Hampton Court Palace, The Roof Gardens at Kensington, Balliol College, Oxford and the NEC, Birmingham.
Whether Jazz Menagerie are performing elegant ambience or riotous rhythm, the band's philosophy is simple: to have fun playing the music they love.
For the amazing work that your band did for our wedding on 13th December, I need to thank you. You created an absolutely fantastic atmosphere by your music, and not only we, many of our guests too could not help express how great you were. The dance floor was never empty throughout the night, and this only proves how wonderful it was.
My wife, friends, and I must admit the fact that by adding music our otherwise simple event turned out to be something we never expected, something so special, so perfect…Your trio’s contribution was absolutely fantastic, appropriate, and musically superlative.
Gracie Fickling• July 14, 2016
"A lovely afternoon in all!
Thank you though for helping to arrange the day- very helpful
Please, describe your act or business in on sentence:
A jazz band that can play both jazz and soul music.
What are the highlights of your career?
As individual musicians we've played with jazz stars and at international festivals, but this band was formed to play at weddings and private parties. Jazz Menagerie band members have played with Wynton Marsalis, Ray Charles and Van Morrison. Alison Bentley has performed at the London Jazz Festival, represented Britain at the Lebanon & Syria International Jazz Festival and headlined at the Star Alliance Festival in Hong Kong.
What is your competitive advantage (special features)?
We're very flexible - from easy-listening background jazz to Motown/soul/funk for dancing; from 6-piece dance band to duo with vocals/keyboards and guitar. We also have a lot of experience at getting the atmosphere just right. We're professional musicians playing music that we feel passionate about.
Who are your previous clients?
Mercedes Benz UK, IBM, The Newbury Show and Balliol College, Oxford. Venues include: Blenheim Palace, Hampton Court Palace, Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir aux Quat' Saison, The Roof Gardens, Kensington and The Royal Observatory at Greenwich. The band has performed for David Jenson, Chris Tarrant, Cherie and Tony Blair.
How can event planners pay for your services?
Most of our clients pay by BACS.
How long do you play for?
We usually play up to 3 x 45 minute sets. We charge a higher fee to play more than this or to be at the venue for more than 4 hours.
Do you have your own PA and lighting?
We have a 1K PA which we use for the vocals and horns. The other instruments have their own amplification. We don't have lights, other than a couple of very basic coloured lamps.
Do you have Public Liability Insurance and PAT tested equipment?
All our equipment is PAT tested and we have full Public Liability Insurance.
How much space do you require?
It depends on how many musicians - something like 1.5m x 1m per musician would be the minimum.
My favourite tune is not on your list. Will you be able to play it?
If it's a jazz standard, there's a good chance we already know it. We're usually happy to learn a new song if we think make it fit with our style.
How many breaks do you take? How long are they?
We don't like to play for more than an hour without a break - a minimum of 10 mins to restore our batteries.
The band typically play 3 sets of 45 minutes over a 3 hour period but can be flexible. They're happy to put some background music on through the band PA during the breaks.
My Baby Just Cares For Me, Blue Moon, It Had to be You, Love For Sale, Come Fly with Me, Georgia, Summertime, Night & Day, God Bless the Child, Bye Bye Blackbird, Autumn Leaves, They Can’t Take That Away From Me, I Get a Kick Out of You, Pennies From Heaven, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Lady is a Tramp, Blue Skies, Let There Be Love, Fly Me to the Moon, World on a String, Fever,
In The Mood, Satin Doll, Chattanooga Choo Choo, Moonlight Serenade, Choo Choo Choo-boogie, Mack the Knife, Tuxedo Junction, Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree, Take The A Train, Let’s Face The Music and Dance, Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby, Jeepers Creepers, Stompin’ at the Savoy, Mood Indigo,
Take Five, Moondance, Watermelon Man, Work Song, Moanin’, So What, Cantaloupe Island, Green Onions, Mercy Mercy Mercy, Angel Eyes, Oleo, Yardbird Suite, Afro Blue, Joyspring, Scrapple from the Apple, Doodlin’,
As Time Goes By, These Foolish Things, Stardust, My Funny Valentine, Every Time We Say Goodbye, Lover Man, What a Wonderful World, The Man I Love, When I Fall In Love, Stormy Weather, Don’t Explain, Over the Rainbow, Misty, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,
Alexander’s Ragtime Band, It Don’t Mean a Thing, All of Me, St. Louis Blues, Basin St. Blues, Down By the Riverside, Charleston, I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, On the Sunny Side of the Street, Sweet Sue, When the Saints Go Marching In, Somebody Loves Me, When You’re Smiling, Lady Be Good, Sweet Georgia Brown, Honeysuckle Rose, Cheek to Cheek, A Tisket A Tasket, I Got Rhythm,
The Girl From Ipanema, One Note Samba, Sunny, Agua de Beber, Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars, Meditation, Night in Tunisia, Caravan, How Insensitive, Desafinado, On Green Dolphin Street, The Shadow of Your Smile,
Funky Dance Music
Lovely Day, In the Midnight Hour, My Guy, Dancing in the Street, You are the Sunshine of My Life, Heard it Through the Grapevine, Street Life, On The Dock of the Bay, Say a Little Prayer, Walk on By, Perfect Day, I Shot the Sheriff, How Sweet it is To Be Loved By You, Mustang Sally, For Once In My Life, Reach Out, I’ll Be There, Saving All My Love for You, My Cherie Amour, I Feel Good, I’m Gonna Make You Love Me, Get Here, Take Me To the River, Chain of Fools, Baby Love, The Goodbye Look,