DJ, Sax & Drums – The Hottest Trend in Live Music Right Now
2 AUGUST 2018 (Updated 29 NOVEMBER 2023) Blog post by Edward Southall Estimated read time: 3 minutes
In this blog post, we’ll be discussing one of the latest trends in live music entertainment for weddings, parties and events...DJ, sax and drums.
You can read more and see some of the UK's best DJ, sax and percussion or DJ live acts on this blog post.
Where does the trend come from?
Adding a sax player and drums to perform alongside a DJ was first pioneered by UK record label, Hedkandi. They found great success with their residencies in Ibiza fusing a distinctive mix of chill-out and dance tracks over Balearic beats.
We receive hundreds of requests each year for DJ, sax and percussion groups and have put together the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) below.
Where does the DJ & live saxophone trend come from?
Adding a sax player and drums to perform alongside a DJ was first pioneered by UK record label, Hedkandi. They found great success with their residencies in Ibiza fusing a distinctive mix of chill-out and dance tracks over Balearic beats. The sensation quickly spread from Ibiza and the UK, across Europe, the Middle East and South America. It’s now used as inspiration for Ibiza-style parties, weddings and clubs across the world with hosts deciding to hire additional musicians to improvise with their DJ.
What are the most popular options for DJ & Sax groups?
The most common line-up is the saxophonist and DJ. Popular additions include percussion (especially bongos, congas and other types of drum), an electric violin and a singer or guitarist. Some musicians use a light-up sax or LED drums and bongos to provide an extra visual impact.
How does the performance work for DJ & Sax groups?
DJs usually provide music for between 4 to 5 hours at an event. During that time, the live musicians will play together in short bursts – usually 15 or 30 minutes per set. The sax is usually amplified using a wireless mic, allowing them to roam amongst guests. This interaction breaks down the usual divide between DJ and audience. The types of music they play range from 70s and 80s classics, through to house and dance hits, as well as disco, R&B and hip hop tracks.
What sort of events do DJ & Sax groups perform at?
Our DJ, sax and percussionists are frequently booked as an entertainment package for weddings in the UK. Other locations they have travelled to include Ibiza, Mallorca, Tuscany, Prague and the south of France. Cafe del Mar-themed corporate events and festivals are also a common request for a DJ with live musicians.
How much do DJ & Sax bands cost?
Prices usually start at around £1,500 and increase depending on how many musicians you choose to add to the group. Factors like travel and the amount of time also impact the cost of hiring the musicians. Some of our most popular groups may charge a bit more to reflect how in-demand they are...these performers will be at the top of their game with several years of experience.
Is the equipment for DJ & Sax groups PAT tested?
Musicians on FixTheMusic have PAT tested equipment, so this includes PA systems, and leads, lighting and the DJ console. Musicians on FixTheMusic also have public liability insurance which means the booker or the venue would not be liable for any losses if equipment is damaged, or the band's equipment causes damage to the venue in any way.
Can DJ & Sax perform a day-time chillout set?
Yes, and most groups will offer this at a reduced rate if you book the evening party set(s). The style for this is usually chillout, lo-fi house, classic and modern pop covers, soul and even some jazz. This style is really appropriate for a laid back pool party, a drinks reception, garden parties, and similar more relaxed events.
Can I choose the covers/songs for the sets of a Sax & DJ duo?
By all means, you should let them know if you have any favourite songs and conversely, and songs that you definitely don't want to hear! However, groups like DJ & Sax are experts in "working" a crowd and pushing the right buttons as and when required, so it's usually best to let them have free rein over most of the music choices. Musicians will also feel more comfortable performing their tried and tested repertoire.
Where do the DJ, sax & percussion groups perform in the UK?
The trend for having a DJ Live group at your wedding (DJ + saxophone, electric violin, guitar, drums, bongos, percussion, and live singer) is especially popular in the north of England – e.g. in Cheshire, Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester. Many of the UK's most popular and renowned DJ Live groups in this style are found in this part of the UK.
And if you're planning your own Ibiza-style wedding or party, what are your plans for the live music or entertainment?
— Ed is a recovering lawyer, having worked at international firm Hogan Lovells in London and Hong Kong before moving to a specialist practice in Mayfair. He left law to return to one of his earliest passions — music.