As a registered music agent with the Canadian Federation of Musicians, Sax Appeal books all kinds of professional live music from any musical genre ranging from jazz and classical music to holiday music and everything in-between to perfectly suit an event. We are often called upon to hire jazz duets, jazz trios, jazz quartets or other instrumentations to make your upcoming event a complete success.

YES, Sax Appeal CAN book professional DJ’s to make your event a complete success!

There are many issues to consider for the age-old question of band vs. DJ, and the Internet is full of opinions on the subject! While you may wish to have both, sometimes budgets get in the way. Here are our thoughts on the subject.

Pro live music: Live music always adds great energy and a personal touch, plus it shows a high level of respect towards your guests. Think of a wedding cocktail reception or 600 person gala with a cocktail reception. Doesn’t a jazz trio create the perfect ambiance? When your aim is to impress, nothing says it more than with professional live music.

Pro live music: Human interaction is much more interesting when you can see and hear a musician in real-life. Think of a concert tour of your favorite artist. You may have a recording, but seeing them in the flesh is always a thrill! Being able to make eye contact, dance, or otherwise appreciate the skill of watching and hearing a performance can often make the difference between a good event, and an amazing event!

Pro DJ: Often less expensive than a band

We understand that costs for special events can easily get out of hand. A DJ may play for an entire evening for the same price as a set or two of live music. If your event has a headliner band, however, it could be a draw to attract attendees willing to pay the price of admission. Event planning is always a juggling-act trying to balance costs, sponsorships, ticket sales and a variety of other issues.

Pro DJ: Usually provides longer play-times than live musicians.

Pre-recorded music never takes breaks. Live musicians do because they are real people. While professional musicians have built a high level of stamina from perfecting their expertise, they are often note able to perform at peak capacity for an entire evening without breaks.

Pro DJ: Can often play any kind of music at the touch of a button

DJ’s have 1000’s of musical selections and have access to the most current music available. While musicians can perform almost any kind of music, it depends on the band. Groups may be limited to a pre-determined set-list or what they have on an iPad…which for some jazz groups may have 1000’s of charts! Some of the ensembles Sax Appeal work with are versatile enough that they can perform various styles of music without prior notice.

Pro DJ: Usually less maintenance and set-up

Usually a DJ is a one-person show who sets-up gear, plugs-in, and is ready to roll-out the tunes.

With live musicians, there are often a few more logistics to coordinate, especially if the event requires more than just a solo act. At an event, it’s a band leader who is responsible for coordinating an ensemble and setting-up. As skilled experts, they have performed at 100’s of gigs over the years and know what is involved with making sure everything is ready for show-time. It’s always wise to have a quick sound check if possible!

Professional musicians have perfected their craft from thousands of hours studying, practicing and performing music. Most of them, (especially the ones we work with at Sax Appeal), have dedicated a life to pursuing and perfecting their craft, have academic degrees from music programs, have spent countless money on private teachers themselves, and have a genuine passion for sharing their art with audiences. When you hire professional musicians, your guests will experience the skill and talent of live music built over a lifetime that can never be replicated.

The professional career of a full-time musician often takes various forms, from teaching music (both private and public academic institutions such as High School, College, University etc), to writing music, touring with bands, studio work, sound engineering/recording, performing in orchestra’s and musicals, film scores, radio ads, and many more music-oriented endeavors. But one thing they all have in common is that they sound great when performing for others! Wouldn’t you want the best entertainment possible for your guests and have people talking about how great the band was?

As the saying goes, one gets what one pays for.

Can you imagine the disappointment if a bride and groom hired a friend’s amateur band to perform their wedding ceremony but due to lack of experience or skill something goes wrong? From a budgetary perspective it may seem reasonable, but for one of the most important days in their life, it’s not worth the uncertainty.

The equipment of professional musicians can usually cost tens of thousands of dollars alone, and there is always a risk of theft or damage. When you hire professional musicians through Sax Appeal, you can rest assured that they are working with some of the best equipment in the industry. Not all instruments and gear are equal!

Budgeting for an event is always tricky. One of the most engaging and fun part of any event is having a live band. If entertainment excellence is a priority rather than a ‘nice to have, the end result will be guests talking positively about it well into the future? Some event planners and large organizations and charities can spend tens of thousands of dollars on a venue, sound and lighting, chair coverings, food, and many more other details to ensure attendees have an incredible time. Live music helps create an experience that people remember. Every event we book is an opportunity to showcase our profession!

When you work with Sax Appeal, our entire job is to make world-class music that makes you look good.

Many ensembles understand and appreciate all the hard work that not-for-profits and charities do for our community. Depending on the ensemble, it may be possible to offer a discounted rate for such organizations.

As Sax Appeal only works with professional members of the Canadian Federation of Musicians, there are minimum amounts we need to pay players regardless of an event (even ones as worthwhile as those hosted by charities and not-for-profits). These are minimum working conditions that we simply cannot adjust.

The founder of Sax Appeal (Jarrod Goldsmith) has built a legacy on supporting and promoting the Ottawa community. When possible, he will work with you to try to accommodate.


Sax Appeal is more than just a live music booking agency.

We have established excellent relationships with some of the largest and most trustworthy event rental companies in Ottawa. We would be pleased to help coordinate anything you need to make your event extra special. For example, if you require a huge tent to cover 100 people outdoors, 500 chairs, folding tables, big-screen tv’s, pipe and drape, charity casino games, popcorn machines, fog machines, sound and lighting or literally anything else, we can make the experience super easy for you!

Plus, some of the musicians and ensembles we work with can provide extra equipment to make a performance even more special, such as sound, fancy lighting systems etc.

Contact us now to see how we can not only source your live music needs, but also get you the best price on any and all event rental equipment in Ottawa, Ontario.

The American and Canadian Federation of Musicians is otherwise known as the Music Union. It is the oldest and most recognized and respected organization in North America with a mission to help and support professional musicians. In addition to facilitating contributions towards the Canadian Musician Pension Fund, the Union also helps with the filing of contracts, information about touring, P2 visa’s, recording contracts, SOCAN, MROC, and helps coordinate agreements anywhere else you hear music such as movies, radio stations, computer games, streaming channels etc.

The mission of the Musicians’ Association of Ottawa-Gatineau, Local 180, AFM is to defend and promote the economic, social, and professional interests of its members who are free-lance musicians, as well as musicians who are working under a collective bargaining agreement.

Sax Appeal only works with professional musicians who adhere to the high standards of the Canadian Federation of Musicians.

The following was taken from: https://cfmusicians.afm.org/about-us

About the Canadian Federation of Musicians

The Canadian Federation of Musicians [CFM] (formerly referred to as AFM Canada) is the leading professional organization of its kind available to Canadian musicians. As a complementary office of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM), CFM is managed by AFM’s Vice President from Canada (VPC) and offers a comparative level of service that is uniquely focused on matters of concern to the Canadian membership. As the distinctly Canadian division of AFM, the CFM negotiates fair agreements for Canadian members, works diligently to protect ownership of recorded music, secures benefits such as health care and pension for its membership, and actively lobbies legislators on Copyright reform and other matters of interest to professional musicians living and working in Canada.

The Canadian Federation of Musicians helps thousands of musicians who need assistance with any number of issues related to the recording and performing of their craft.  With specialized services ranging from immigration, media recordings, symphonic and theatrical matters, touring, freelance musicians and membership services, contract negotiations and administration, royalty streams, and more, CFM helps its membership take best advantage of all career opportunities and optimize the level of their professional working environment.

Whatever your issue, CFM is committed to raising industry standards and placing the professional musician in the foreground of the Canadian cultural landscape, and is here for its members to minimize potential threats and maximize opportunities.