The vibrant Montclair-based band Doug Hall & Friends, a different version of the group known as the Doug Hall Trio, will perform at a new venue, Halcyon Brasserie & Bar in Montclair, Aug. 4 at 7:30 p.m. (AUG. 3 UPDATE: The show has been postponed to Aug. 25 because of anticipated bad weather.)
The band, which previously has performed regularly and created a dynamic music scene at the Allegory restaurant in the MC Hotel in Montclair, will perform in a beautifully decorated tented area behind the main entrance of the restaurant.
“We’re very excited to be playing at Halcyon,” Hall said, adding that “it’s a restaurant we have always loved, and we think the ambience and vibe will be perfect for us.”
Halcyon co-owner Ileana Pervizi-Diebold said “our mission is to create a space to celebrate friendship and family and I know that music enhances conversation and connection.”
There is ample space for dancing, an area for sit-down dining, and a bar. Their inventive fare includes superbly prepared miso soy salmon, tender filet mignon au poivre, flavorful seafood paella, and tasty coconut shrimp sushi. Their rich flourless chocolate cake and bread pudding should not be resisted.
The group started playing in April 2022 and has previously invited accomplished guest musicians, many of whom live in Montclair, to join in, creating a sense of a community celebration.
Doug Hall & Friends — consisting of Hall on keyboards and vocals, Ira Siegel and John “Yanni” Fotiadis on guitars and vocals, Iris Schaffer-Hall on vocals and percussion, and Lenie Colacino on bass and vocals — plays jazz, rock, folk and more.
“If there’s one thread running through it all, it’s our love for the well-crafted song,” Fotiadis said. “A personal favorite of mine, which I sing lead on, is ‘Sunny Afternoon’ by the Kinks. I love the combination of sardonic lyrics with the upbeat music hall vibe. A perfect, clever juxtaposition and an example of why Ray Davies is such a legendary songwriter.
“One more favorite, for similar reasons, is (David) Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity,’ which I also sing lead on and which I think we do especially well.”
“We built a wonderful following at the MC Hotel,” said Schaffer-Hall, “and we are grateful that we can continue at such a wonderful restaurant. We will also be continuing our tradition of inviting special guests to join us onstage, such as local music luminaries Bob Mellman, David Amlen and Mike Levine.”
“Doug is the hub musician,” Mellman, a member of the band The Reticents, has said. “He is an accomplished pianist and composer and all-around good guy who is conversant with many kinds of music and regularly calls upon local friends to sit in. The friends — many of who happened to be A-level professional musicians who have toured, performed in Broadway pit bands or have written and performed songs, jingles and soundtracks — always accept Doug’s invitation to play.”
The band does not have a regular gig yet at Halcyon, as it did at the MC Hotel, but hopes to be invited back on a monthly basis.
Siegel — who elevates the musicianship of the band with his hypnotic shredding and has played with artists including Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Madonna and Luther Vandross and worked on Broadway in “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” — said “I am looking forward to bringing our brand of harmony-laden interpretations of songs of many genres including rock, jazz, singalong pop and movie soundtracks to Halcyon on Aug. 4, and hope to spread the vibes for a long time.”
For information, visit halcyonbrasserie.com.
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