Frequenty Asked Questions

How do we know what size band to choose?

Generally, the more talent we have on stage playing songs in their musical comfort zone, the more authentic and versatile our high energy performances will be. We have powerful Motown singers who can belt out Aretha Franklin, alternative rockers who give The Killers a run for their money and crooners who even Frank Sinatra would respect. You can’t imitate the joy or passion an artist feels when they are at home with the music they are singing. Similarly, our rhythm section (guitar, bass, drums, piano/keyboards) skillfully articulates your musical preferences. The icing on the cake…our fabulous horn section…ranges from two to seven players, and is the key to our full sound across the musical styles. We’ll often send horn players into the crowd to add a spark and excitement not possible otherwise.  This all adds up to a band that can play anything you want to their greatest potential. You’ll get the most mind-blowingly fun dance band you’ve ever experienced!

Can you also provide ceremony, cocktail, rehearsal dinner or even DJ music?

Yes, we offer many different styles of music, including a steel pan trio with a Caribbean flavor, acoustic guitarists with a more relaxed, almost beachy vibe and of course, classical/traditional instrumentations for a more elegant feel. We also offer a unique ensemble called the “Gatsby Cocktail Hour,” which is a 20’s style upbeat jazz band that sets the tone for a great party with its own mini horn section! For the late night crowd, we’ll double as DJs with a world class sound system and your favorite songs on the playlist. Please ask us for more details.

What are the power/electrical needs of the band? What about the stage size?

Ceremony and cocktail music: If any of the selected instruments require an electrical connection, musicians and instruments must be on a flat, dry surface, not directly on the ground, to avoid electrocution. The client is responsible for having one regular 20-amp power outlet within reach of where you’d like the musicians to set up. Please provide extension cords if necessary.

Reception: The tent company or venue must provide two to four dedicated 20-amp circuits, depending on the size of the band. “Dedicated” means no other source can draw on the same circuit as the band. This includes air conditioning, catering equipment, water pumps and lights.

Suggested stage size: 8-piece band or less – 12’ x 16’ minimum. A 10-piece band and up – 12’ x 20’ minimum. Beach ceremonies, cocktail hours and receptions may require a generator if more than 100 feet from an electrical source.

Do you have a calendar of events so we can pick a date to see the Sultans perform live?

Because most of our events are private, we do not publish when or where we will be playing. If you have not seen the band perform and would really like to, please contact us for an upcoming public date in your area.

How many songs do you play in a four-hour set? Do we select every song on the playlist?

Depending on toasts, special requests, time devoted to dinner, slide shows etc., on average the band plays about 35 to 40 songs in a four-hour set. We ask that you review our song list, which is available here on the website. It is helpful to provide us with a list of songs you really want to hear and a list of songs you do NOT want to hear. It is best to give the bandleader the liberty to read the crowd and select songs guided by your likes and dislikes, while also using their experience to ensure an uplifting energy throughout the evening.

How many songs NOT on the Sultan’s song list can we request and how long before our wedding/party day do we have to notify you of them?

The Sultans will learn one song that is not already on our song list.  This request must be made at least one month prior to your event date. We also ask the client to provide us with the sheet music and/or an MP3 recording of the request, to avoid confusion on the right version of song and artist.

Can we play a pre-recorded version of our request?

Absolutely! We understand that sometimes the original song is preferred, so we don’t mind plugging in your iPod to our PA system.

How many breaks does the band take in one night? Is there any music during the breaks?

The band takes approximately two 10 to 15 minute breaks during a four hour event, but is somewhat flexible depending on your schedule of toasts, cake cutting, presentations, etc. The band brings an iPod of softer background music to play during the break. You are welcome to bring your own iPod with your own song choices if you’d prefer.

I have a family member/friend that is a professional musician/singer who  would like to sing a song with the band. Is that OK?

We are happy to accommodate your friends and family if they would like to perform with us, but please let us know ahead of time if possible. If you do NOT want your family/ friends to join in with the band, please let us know beforehand as well.

Can we use your microphone/PA system for toasts or announcements?

You are welcome to use our equipment for announcements and toasts if it is during the hours we are contracted to play. We do not set up a PA system for the cocktail hour or ceremony because we only need amplifiers for that music. If you would like to rent an additional PA system for any part of the event beyond the reception, please contact us for pricing and availability.

Who acts as Emcee for the event?

We will Emcee as much or as little as you like. If you prefer that a friend or family member makes the announcements, they are welcome to. If you would like us to make any particular announcements, please provide us with a detailed and phonetically spelled list of everyone we are to introduce, in the correct order of their introduction.

Do we pick a song for our introductions?

Some clients do pick an introduction song and others leave it to the band. Please keep in mind that if you want the band to perform it live, it should be done instrumentally. Songs with lyrics sound chaotic when you have a vocalist singing and another trying to make announcements over them through the same PA system. We recommend that the intro song is either an instrumental or that the client provides a recorded version on an iPod, so the band can easily adjust the volume as announcements are made.

Do we have to book hotel rooms for the band?

Hotel rooms are only necessary if the event is a two-hour or more drive from Boston. These details are worked out at the time of booking. The financial responsibility of travel costs is outlined in your contract.

Who makes the travel arrangements?

We will book all flights and ferries. If hotels are necessary and you are getting a group rate or know of a small economical motel/hotel in the area, you are welcome to make the arrangements on your own, but please notify us so we can work out details with you. We require that each musician have his/her own bed in a clean room.