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Information for promoters - tech requirements, fees, etc... 

Dear promoter... 

I have tried to include as much useful information here as possible to give you a better understanding of how the show works and what our requirements are, but please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any queries about any of it. 


As from Autumn 2016 there are now 2 completely different 2hr shows available... 


The first (original) show debuted in March 2011 and consists of a 45-60min (it can be tailored to fit set time requirements) first half called "Tribute To The Greats" which features up to 9 short silent b/w movie presentations of several jazz legends, created by Buster Birch. It briefly outlines their major achievements and contributions to the development of jazz. Many people have commented on how informative and enjoyable this part of the show is. This is accompanied live by the quartet playing a mix of standard jazz repertoire in the style of each artist. The second half of the show features the screening of the classic Buster Keaton silent movie "Sherlock Jr" which runs for 47mins, plus an introduction talk which can be 3-13 mins long, according to set time requirements. The film is accompanied live by the quartet playing a mix of jazz standards. 


The second show debuted in October 2016 and consists of a 50min first half, which is a movie presentation "The Life of Buster Keaton" created by Buster Birch. It tells the amazing story of Keaton's life and 67 year professional career, including all the extreme highs and lows. It is accompanied live by the quartet playing a selection of jazz standards. The second half of the show consists of the screening of the classic Buster Keaton silent movie "Steamboat Bill Jr" which runs for 70mins. The film is accompanied live by the quartet playing a mix of jazz standards.


Please see the "Track Listings" page for full details of all the music played in all of the shows. 


All of the music is specifically arranged and scored to fit with each scene of the movie and is played to click track so it syncs perfectly with the screening. We do not just jam along whilst watching the movie, like a lot of acts that do this sort of thing. The effect this creates is quite special and the audiences are always really impressed by how we manage it and how slick and professional the presentation is. 


One of the great advantages of this show is that it can scale up or down according to the size of the venue, from a small village hall to a 1000 seat theatre, and therefore the technical requirements will differ depending on the venue. Tech sheets are always available upon request. 


Video projection... 

For smaller venues we can provide everything including the screen, the projector and a PA system if necessary. We would literally only need the space and one mains plug socket. For bigger venues with their own in house projector and screen we can plan ahead with your technician and have a number of various different output options for video feed to your projector. 


Sound... 

The sound requirements would be the same for any jazz quartet performing a live concert. As it is a silent movie all of the sound comes from the band not the video. Again this would depend on the size of the venue. So for small venues we may not require a PA system, but for much larger venues would use the standard PA and monitor set up for a four piece band (sax, piano, bass, drums). Our pianist can provide a keyboard if a piano is not available. 


Space... 

We can be flexible when setting up. The main thing to remember is that all of the audience must be able to see the screen. In larger venues like concert halls where the screen drops from the ceiling it can work well to have the band under the screen, but the screen has to be high enough over the top of the band so that the instruments do not obscure anyones view of the movie. In smaller venues it works well to have the band to one side of the screen. Or sometimes this is also true in larger venues like cinemas if there is a large screen but it sits lower down and can not be adjusted. In village halls it can work well to have the screen on the stage and the band on the floor in front or to one side. We have performed the show in many different types of venues and can usually find a good solution to the set up. Please have a look at the "Gallery" page to see examples of different set ups from previous shows. 


Price... 

For every single performance of this show a screening license is required to play the movie. If the show is open to the general public and an admission fee charged then this is classed as a "theatrical screening" and this particular license would be required in advance of the screening. The film distributors who hold the rights to the screening and issue the license are Park Circus Ltd, based in Glasgow. You are welcome to deal with them directly to arrange the license for the screening (which means you may be able to reclaim the vat) or we can take care of all the paper work and arrange the license for your event then add it to our invoice. The cost of the license is based on the ticket price x the maximum seating available and we would need this information from you get a quote for the license fee. For private events and film clubs there is a different license required, as it is not classed as a "theatrical screening", and this license is usually much cheaper. On average a screening license usually costs in the region of £240-£350


Band Performance Fee... 

This would obviously depend on distance as much as anything else. We are 4 professional musicians based in London. Please contact [email protected] for a full quote. 


Promotion... 

We always do everything we can to help promote each event and encourage a good turn out. This includes helping with creating artwork for posters and flyers if required. Please see the PRESS page for downloadable hi res images suitable for print and also copy for programmes.