Thank you for your interest in Chico. Below are some commonly asked questions about our corporate and wedding reception services. If you require any further information, do not hesitate to ask.
What are the advantages of using a live band?
Live music provides energy and excitement with a visual impact that simply cannot be duplicated with recorded music. Chico creates a mood that gets your guests dancing and makes the party one to remember!
Does Chico provide a "Master of Ceremonies" (M.C., EmCee)?
For most weddings we act as the Master of Ceremonies for announcements, introductions, special dances, cake cutting, bridal bouquet toss, and all other reception events. Our service includes full pre-wedding coordination to determine music selection, announcements, event timetable, and all other details for your special day.
Once I decide I'd like Chico at my event, how long can I wait before I book the band?
It is best to book the band as soon as possible. We frequently get multiple requests for the same date.
Can I hold the band without a deposit?
As much as we would love to accommodate you, we can not restrict our booking ability by refusing to consider other potential clients for the same date. If you request, we may grant you "the right of first refusal," so that, when we receive another earnest request for the same date, we will give you 12-24 hours to accept our contract and pay the deposit before providing the other client the same opportunity. You could hire us later if we were still available.
How many tunes does the band play during the reception?
Typically, we play approximately 40 songs during a four-hour time period.
How many breaks does the band take during the reception?
Typically, the band will take three 15-minute breaks at inconspicuous times during the typical 4-hour event. This means that music sets are approximately 45-minutes in length. We are not rigid about this. Some events are planned with alternative break placements and lengths. Very frequently, dinner delays or other unforeseen circumstances result in our taking only 2 breaks, one of which is longer. We often end the event with a longer music set if it helps keep the party rolling. Although we, frankly, do not recommend it, some clients have their hearts set on continuous music, rather than breaks. Read on...
Will the band bring cds to play during their breaks?
Yes. The band will bring cds to play. The cds can range from light jazz or wedding love songs for continued dining to dance favorites that are similar to our repertoire. Upon request, we can play specialty cds of music that is outside of our usual repertoire, such as Salsa, Meringe, 1940s Big Band, Rap/Hip-Hop, or continous high tempo swing. You are always welcome to provide us with your own custom cds to play. You might also consider scheduling toasts during band breaks.
What if I need to change the performance times that are on my contract?
Please let us know immediately so we can inform all of the musicians. This will avoid any possible scheduling conflicts. We request that no event start times be changed within the last 2 weeks prior to your event. Delays in our start time requested by the client at the event (ceremony or photography shoot runs late) does not alter our end time without incurring overtime payment.
What if I want the band to play overtime?
Your contract will indicate the cost per half hour for overtime. If you decide that you want the band to play beyond our contracted time, just let us know by the last contracted set at the event. You will be asked to sign an overtime authorization and to pay for overtime immediately after the event.
How will Chico participate in the planning of the timeline for our event?
We provide a detailed questionnaire that will help you think about the selection and timing of such events as toasts, first dance, other special dances, cake-cutting, etc, along with any announcements, surprises, or whatever you would want us to be aware of. This questionnaire also helps you provide the names of people in the wedding party and contact people such as wedding planners or catering managers. We also can accept the timeline developed by your wedding planner. In the final 7-10 days before your event, we integrate the timeline information with your song selections and our best repertoire of music. This way, everyone is in agreement about what will happen when. Of course, changes occur during the event itself, and we can easily adapt to those changes.
Do you accept credit cards?
Sorry, we do not. We do accept personal checks.
Can I choose the songs we want played at the event?
You will receive an updated copy of our song list. We suggest you pick up to 10 songs you definitely want to hear or do not want played. Please allow us some creative freedom with regard to the performance. We will do our best to play your specific requests while continuously gauging the genre of music your guests are responding to.
Is tipping the band appropriate?
Tips are not expected but are certainly appreciated.
How much do you charge?
Our competitive fees are based upon several factors including the number of musicians, quantity of hours, and location. Please contact us for a free quotation.
Can I give the band the final payment the day of my event?
No. Unless the contract states differently, final payments are due ten days prior to your event. You do not want to be scrambling about, looking for your designated billpayer or your checkbook during the event. We want to fully concentrate on the music and magic of your event, not business or payment concerns. However, we can generally fully accommodate corporate accounting and payment policies.
But what if the band doesn't show up?
This has never happened, period. Not in the entire existence of Chico, nor in the over three decades of experience of our members. We take great pride in our reputation as professionals. We are obligated to provide the band by contract.
What happens if one of the band members gets sick or unable to perform?
We will replace him/her with a musician of equal ability. Since we work a lot, we necessarily have developed a list of top singers and musicians who have frequently played with us and know our particular arrangements.
What will the band wear to my event?
We will discuss your preferences with you. Upon request, we can perform in Black tie (tuxedos and black dresses), but we prefer to add variations so that the band is distinct from the guests and wedding party. Otherwise, we will wear very stylish suits with colorful shirts and/or ties, in keeping with our colorful image.
What are the band's power requirements?
It is best if the band has easy access to two 20-amp dedicated circuits. We have "made-do" quite successfully with two, 15-amp dedicated circuits on numerous occasions. We have run off of a single, large power generator for small outdoor events.
How much room does the band need?
Ideally, the minimum stage size is 12'x24' to allow for maximum freedom of movement in singer's dance steps and other performance routines. Stages are ideally 18" high or higher, to provide excellent visual sightlines and sound projection of all frequencies across a crowded dance floor. The band does not provide stages. Setup locations other than ground level must be accessible via elevator or ramp.
Do I need to provide meals for the band?
Although optional, meals are nearly always provided for band musicians since performers spend 8 - 10 hours including travel, setup/teardown, and playing times. Vendor meals are generally available at a reduced cost.
Does the band bring their own lighting or umbrellas?
No. You will be required to provide adequate lighting and coverage for the band (especially if they will perform outdoors). Additionally, please provide heaters for the band if necessary. Keep in mind, if your guests are cold, your band is also cold!
What if I want the band to perform a song that is not on their list?
If you have any special requests, please let us know AT LEAST four weeks PRIOR to your event. We will check with all the musicians to see if they know the song. If not, the band may need a recording (either supplied by you or downloaded by us) and sheet music/chord charts. There will be an extra charge for our efforts in attempting to locate sheet music. The band may not be able to learn any music that does not have sheet music available. We can learn up to two (2) songs per event.
Will we have a chance to speak with the band leader prior to the event?
If you are booking the event directly with Chico, then you can speak frequently with Joe Espinosa, the band leader.