There’s nothing like a live music band to get a wedding reception swinging, but what is it like to be a key member of one of Costa del Sol’s most popular live wedding music bands, tasked with getting the party grooving and keeping it going all night?
Today Sunshine Weddings Spain chats with Demian Arroyo, Saxophone player of Jackie Brown Band—a six-man outfit based on the Costa del Sol.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and the Jackie Brown Band, the story behind the music group?
I’ve been playing music for a living for about 17 years, it’s a family thing, my father and sisters are also musicians.
I first picked up a saxophone when I was 10 years old, at school in Argentina, and haven’t looked back since.
Being a saxophone player I’m often requested to perform solo during wedding ceremonies or during the cocktail hour. However, the demand for live music bands to get wedding parties going meant that when I was asked to help form a music band, about a decade ago, by a fellow Saxophone player I didn’t think twice and Jackie Brown Band was born.
We are a six-man band, two saxophonists, a lead singer, a guitarist, a bassist, and a drummer, based on the Costa del Sol and do gigs all over Spain and often abroad (at least we did pre-covid), always offering vibrant and quality shows.
A good live music band sets the wedding tone and the mood like nothing else, how would you describe your musical style?
We offer the best versions of classic Soul, Funk and Rock, such as James Brown, Tina Turner, Dire Straits, Elvis Presley, Blues Brothers, U2 to name but a few on our music repertoire.
Over the years we have incorporated other styles such as Reggae and Dance into our music list, making sure we adapt each performance to the different demands of the audience.
All our gigs are energetic and danceable live shows where we create a memorable experience for the bridal couple and their guests.
How do you motivate the crowd if no one is dancing?
Thankfully this rarely happens at a wedding, in fact whenever I play at weddings, I observe that everyone is having the greatest time, romance is in the air, children as well as the senior guests are all singing and dancing.
That said, if for some reason no one is dancing then we may change the playlist to Indie Rock or more modern themes.
We are very dynamic with the crowds and when performing, we like to get off the stage and mix with the guests, we have portable mics that permit us to move around and this always guarantees getting the crowds up and dancing, more involved and enjoy an unforgettable party.
How many hours do you perform at a wedding?
We usually perform two 45 minute sessions after the first dance, or, if requested by the bridal couple, we also perform the first dance, for this we play a typical slow romantic song, usually one by Frank Sinatra or Ed Sheeran.
We send a complete list of the songs we perform to the bridal couple and ask them to highlight 10 / 15 songs they want us to play yes or yes, and then we mix those 10 / 15 with others on our list.
The ten most popular songs that are almost always highlighted for us to play at weddings are the following:
Proud Mary (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
Valerie (Amy Winehouse)
Brown Eyes Girl (Van Morrison)
Everybody Needs Somebody (Blues Brothers)
Superstition (Stevie Wonder)
Sex on Fire (Kings of Leon)
You Never Can Tell (Bruce Springsteen)
Play that Funky Music (Wild Cherry)
I Feel Good (James Brown)
How do you handle song requests?
We don’t do requests spontaneously, but if asked with plenty of time before the event and it’s a song that we can perform, then this is fine. In fact the bridal couple often ask for a special song, either for the first dance or to dedicate it to someone in the family, perhaps a cousin or sibling.
A request that isn’t on our list requires a lot of prior work to perfect it and we need time for that, but it’s something we will always consider if the song is within our possibilities.
With over five years experience performing at weddings, are there any funny anecdotes that spring to mind?
There have been plenty of occasions when a guest or two have climbed up on stage to sing with us, which is fine if they can sing!
But I think the one of the funniest moments at a wedding was when we were performing Joe Cocker’s “You can leave your hat on,” and the groom did just that, he stripped until he had just his hat covering himself.
Thanks for your fun interview Demian, and we look forward to hearing you play at weddings very soon.