What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
Yes, it takes both. And CJ has the art and the science down, having played hundreds of successful events, observing firsthand what thrills and what flops. He begins the process by listening to you. What are your desires, expectations, musical preferences and budget? Based on all of your criteria, he pulls together a short list of solid options. Once you are completely excited about the entertainment—not merely satisfied—CJ's assistant Cortni handles all the paperwork.
Many agents disappear once the contracts are signed, but CJ is there through the final set. He manages all production logistics, like stage size, band attire, power needs, music selections, travel arrangements, site surveys and venue advances. Most importantly, he makes sure you’re happy, comfortable and primed for the time of your life. This is your party. You deserve to enjoy it.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
Some guys can play a mean bass guitar. CJ Drisdom can play a mean PARTY. Founder of Changing Lanes Experience band, CJ is an accomplished musician who has performed for or shared the stage with some of the greats, including Hezekiah Walker, Kurt Franklin, Salt Lake City Mass Choir, Steve Young, BB King, Snoop Dogg, T-Pain, Omarion, and yes even Stevie Wonder.
With years of experience as one of the hardest-working bandleaders in the business, he launched Changing Lanes Experience, and begin playing for a wide range of events, from company parties to nonprofit galas, high school proms to destination weddings. His unique expertise comes from a decade or more of firsthand observation. CJ has an intuitive knack for matching the right entertainment with the right event, he has traveled a good portion of the country as a working musician and he knows, as few do, what makes people dance, and parties rock.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Focus on the fun and prioritize your budget to invest in the things that excite you most, and remember, you can’t dance to an ice sculpture. The weddings I’ve had the privilege to play that have been the most fun and memorable didn’t have extravagant decorations, personalized mints, towers of flowers, wine so expensive that everyone could only have one glass, or monogrammed gifts for each guest at the end of the night. They had the right mix of family and friends talking, dancing, laughing, and celebrating.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
What makes a great wedding band?
How long does the band play?
Can you help us with a timeline for the reception?
Will the band serve as MC and make announcements?
Can we use the band’s microphone to make announcements?
Can we request songs?
Will the band learn a special song for our first dance?
When should we have the special dances?
Can we bring our own music for breaks?
When does the band arrive?
Should we tip the band? How Much?
Does the band allow guest performers?