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Q&A

The Tom Nutile Big Band is available for large or small corporate events, weddings, fundraisers, swing dances or ballroom dances, concerts, festivals, nightclubs, and any other event requiring a professional musical group that plays with precision and enthusiasm. The band features 15 musicians, including a female vocalist, or 16 musicians, if you would like both a female and a male vocalist. We can also provide much more than just swing music, as you will see below.

How do I engage you for a performance?

Call, e-mail or text Tom and he’ll discuss your event with you to make sure we can provide exactly what you want.
Phone or text: 508-397-2810
E-mail: music@tomnutile.com or tom@tomnutile.com.

What sort of music will you play for me?

We are inspired by the classic period of American popular music, when the big bands of Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, Count Basie and Benny Goodman held sway and Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Bobby Darin were cutting records. We also play more modern fare, whether it’s a recent pop hit, such as Happy by Pharrell or Let It Go, from the Disney movie Frozen, rock or soul from the 60s and 70s or beyond (Love Shack, Under the Boardwalk, Moondance, Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You, Soul Man, Chain of Fools, Mony Mony, My Girl, etc.), or a tune from the swing-dance craze of recent years (Zoot Suit Riot, Stray Cat Strut, Go Daddy-O).

What sets you apart from other bands I can hire?

No band in the region is more versatile, more professional, and can play in as many styles. Our roots go back to the 1940s, when Tom’s father, Roy Nutile, started a swing orchestra with his teenage friends in East Boston and began collecting big-band arrangements. As a result, we have more than 800 big-band charts, ranging from early swing arrangements to the latest in modern jazz and pop.

How much do you charge?

We provide the best music in New England, using the region’s best musicians, at very competitive prices. Since there are many variables involved in an event, it is best to call or e-mail Tom Nutile and discuss pricing with him.

Isn’t a 15-piece big band too loud for most events?

We frequently play for the cocktail reception or dinner portion of parties, corporate events, or weddings, and we do it very softly, using our quietest arrangements. People sitting near the band are still able to carry on intimate conversations. Because we are essentially an acoustic ensemble, we can play much softer than a rock band. We also have a state-of-the-art sound system that can amplify all our musicians so that, when appropriate, we can fill even the largest ballroom or auditorium with clear, clean, balanced sound.

How much space do I need for your big band?

The ideal space is 20 feet wide and 16 feet deep, but we have played in smaller configurations, such as 16 feet by 16 feet. We recently performed for a large university where the ballroom allowed only 10 feet between the back wall and the dance floor and we fit adequately in that space. When in doubt, call or e-mail and we’ll figure out together whether your space can accommodate our band.

What does your band wear?

That’s up to you. We have performed in tuxedos, business suits, business casual attire, all-black outfits and – for one festive outdoor wedding – Hawaiian shirts with black slacks. No matter what we wear, we always have a neat, professional appearance.

I have an event in a small space for a small number of people. Can you cut down your big band so we have just a few musicians?

Most big-band arrangements work only for a big band, meaning 15 musicians or more, so we can’t cut down the band to come up with a “smaller” big band. What we can do, however, if you need a smaller group, is recommend the Tom Nutile Trio, consisting of Tom on saxophones and clarinet, supplemented by a guitarist and a bassist. The Trio is suitable for a variety of events, including weddings, cocktail parties, holiday parties and corporate events. If you are looking for a medium-sized band that can play swing, rock and pop, we can offer you a five-piece group, consisting of a rhythm section (piano, bass, drums), Tom on saxophones and clarinet, plus a singer. To turn the five-piece into a six- or seven-piece ensemble for more instrumental color, we add one or two more melodic instrumentalists, usually a trumpeter and/or a guitarist.

We love swing music and want to hire your big band for our event, but many of the people attending aren’t necessarily swing dancers. Will they feel left out? Do you play more modern numbers that appeal to a broader audience?

Yes we do. Unlike many big bands, we are very versatile, and have played large and small events for general audiences. Although swing music is our sweet spot, we also play modern pop and rock and, if you would like, we can also provide DJ services to keep the party and the dancing going when the band is not playing, as one of our members is a professional DJ who can play music of all types. Let us know what sort of event you are planning, and what sort of music you would like, and we will put together a package that will work perfectly for you.

How do I pronounce your name, Nutile, and why don’t you have a “descriptive” name, like The Big Phat Band or The Rolling Stones?

Nutile is pronounced as if there were no i in the middle: NEWT-Lee. It’s an Italian name and the pronunciation was Americanized when Tom’s family came over from Italy in the 1880s. We’re called The Tom Nutile Big Band because, back in the golden era of swing, most bands were named after the leader: The Duke Ellington Orchestra, The Count Basie Big Band, etc.




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