Are you thinking of having a sax player at your wedding? Let me introduce you to Graeme from Dinner Jazz Sax. I recently photographed a couple of weddings in Wiltshire where Graeme was playing and I was so impressed, I asked Graeme if I could write a blog on my website about Graeme and Dinner Jazz Sax. I love the beautiful ambience created by having a saxophonist at your wedding.
I’ve been a freelance musician now for 20 years and in that time I’ve done a lot of touring with bands and theatre shows, so I’m enjoying playing more around the local area now that Dinner Jazz Sax has become popular. I still work with bands and work on shows as Musical Director but I’m fortunate that I can always fit these gigs around my weddings and hotel work.
How long have your been in business and how did you start your business?
I began Dinner Jazz Sax in October 2013 after noticing that there was a lack of good quality background music at weddings and in hotels. We would often turn up with our band to set up for an evening reception and hear music being played as people ate that was far too loud and inappropriate for the surroundings. In addition, I was often surprised to see how scruffily some musicians were dressed so I was very keen to start a business where smart presentation and good quality music were key.
What do you think having a sax player at your wedding brings to the wedding?
People are often surprised to see a solo sax at a wedding so it gives couples a chance to do something different with the music on their wedding day. The sax has such a classic sound that people can relate the instrument to songs that they know, but guests often comment on how versatile the instrument is in terms of its mellow sound and the variety of music that can be played. It also adds a great visual dimension to the day and is very easy to move from one place to another if I’m playing during the ceremony and then the drinks reception for example.
How long do you typically spend at a wedding?
It varies really on which parts of their day the couple want me to play for. It could be as little as an hour if I’m playing as guests arrive for the ceremony and then during the ceremony itself or they could book me for a 4 hour slot to cover the ceremony, drinks reception and part of the wedding breakfast. However, my most popular time slots are either 2 hours for the drinks reception or 3 hours which generally covers the drinks and part of the meal.
What have been some of your favourite weddings?
That’s a hard one to answer as I love playing at everyone’s wedding and I’m always amazed at how different they all are. I feel proud that my music can make such a difference to someone’s big day either as part of the ceremony or to help create a relaxed atmosphere during the drinks and wedding breakfast. I’ve been asked to learn a lot of tunes over the years for weddings but my favourite one has to be ‘Yakety Sax’ also known as The Benny Hill Theme Tune which I played as people found their seats for the wedding breakfast!
Where do most of your wedding bookings come from?
I get a lot of interest through wedding shows as well as when people hear me play at a hotel or restaurant. The internet is a great resource and my new website has proved successful now that I’m coming up a bit more in search engines and of course, social media is an amazing tool for promotion.
You must see a lot of wedding photographers, what makes a good wedding photographer stand out for you?
For me, it’s the photographers who blend in with the guests and take their shots inconspicuously that I like the best as this captures people in a very natural way. Approaching their subjects differently, using unusual angles and a variety of lights can make the shots so interesting – in fact, everything that you do, Jennifer!
What are the plans for your business for 2017/2018?
I was lucky enough to be voted Wedding Musical Act Of The Year for the South West region in the 2016 Wedding Industry Awards and I’ve just been nominated again for the 2017 award which is really exciting. I’m doing some recording at the moment with a view to releasing a CD in 2017 as well as approaching more hotels and restaurants to play for their events and get involved in their wedding shows.