Herb Alpert and Lani Hall Interview – Performing at the Park West on June 2nd, 2013

On June 2nd Park West will be filled with the music of Herb Alpert and Lani Hall, an amazing couple.  They are a very talented, energetic, generous couple with many stories to tell.   Here are a few things they are involved in - releasing a new album, Herb just had his well regarded art work displayed at the ROBERT BERMAN GALLERY in the Bergamot Station Arts Center in Santa Monica, CA from May 4 – June 8, 2013, and Lani has released a new book and will be doing a book signing on June 4 at Foodese, 835 N. Michigan Ave. They generously agreed to share their thoughts about their current and past activities.

Chicago Splash Magazine (C.S.) asked Herb Alpert (H.A.) and his wife, Lani Hall (L.H.) to share their thoughts as follows:

Lani Hall & Herb Alpert on Tour, Photo: Philipp Scholz Rittermann

C.S. to H.A and L.H.: Your last Chicago area concert was in 2011. What excites you most about your upcoming June 2 concert at Park West?
Answer: Playing with our band and the spontaneity of making music.  We have both played separately at the Park West before and were impressed with the acoustics and the feel of the room.  We're excited to go back.
C.S.: What are the advantages and disadvantages of working together as a married couple?
Answer: Only advantages. We love making music together.  We have worked together with our band for the past 7 years and we get pleasure out of seeing how many people are inspired by our music.
C.S. What distinguishes your upcoming album, “Steppin' Out” from your 2011 album “I Feel You” or other works you’ve collaborated on?
H.A. Answer: Lani wanted some time off from singing and was primarily co producer of this CD.  These are a group of eclectic songs that I always wanted to record coupled with some original material. 
C. S. to H.A.:  You began playing music at a age 8. I understand that it was the sounds of a Mexican bullfight that lead to the sounds of the “Tijuana Brass” and has also influenced your art. Can you share a bit more about that?  As well as how your art influences your music and vice versa?
H. A. Answer:  I used to go to the bullfights every spring and was moved by the sounds coming from the band in the stands announcing each event, which influenced my pursuit of capturing the feeling of those afternoons in Tijuana.  I see music in colors and rhythms that I look for when painting or sculpting.  Art comes from the same source for me. It is a mysterious unknown place that continues to seduce me. 

“Jazz Dance” by Herb Alpert

C. S. to H. A.: The Herb Alpert Foundation has helped many young people work toward achieving their dreams and you have just saved the Harlem school of the arts. What inspired your extraordinary commitment to young people? Is there one individual, organization or situation you’ve supported that especially stands out for you?

Rona Sebastian, Head of the Herb Alpert Foundation and her husband Mort Gleberman attend the Herb Alpert Art Exhibition at Robert Berman Gallery Santa Monica

H. A. Answer:  From my perspective the arts should be a core part of every child's education.  When I was 8 years old I had a music appreciation course that changed the direction of my life, and I think that every child should have that opportunity.  Every situation that my foundation supports is equally important to me as long as there is no prejudice involved.  
C. S. to L.H.: What inspired you to write “Emotional Memories and Short Stories”?  And how was this writing different or similar to your experience as a lyricist?

“Emotional Memoirs & Short Stories” by Lani Hall Alpert

L. H. Answer:  I began writing short stories in 1982 and simply put them in a drawer after I was finished.  Last year I began to give some of my stories to a few of my friends and their encouragement made me decide to put a book together.  For me writing is the same process as singing.  I can visually see a lyric unfold before me as I can also see a story as if I were watching a movie. 
C. S. to L.H.: Although it has been evolving for 30 years how long did it take to write and publish it?
L. H. Answer:  It took approximately 1 1/2 years to edit and organize.  I had help with self-publishing at the same time.

Lani Hall Alpert, Photo: Maryanne Bilham.

C. S. to L.H.: What do you like or dislike about the Chicago you see before you today, in contrast to the Chicago of your book?
L. H. Answer:  I only know the Chicago of my youth.  I haven't spent any length of time in Chicago as it is now.  But my memories are vivid of a gritty, elegant and protective city that, in my opinion, is the most beautiful city in the U.S.
C. S. asks Herb Alpert and Lani Hall:
Is there anything else you would like the Chicago Splash Magazine readers to know?
Lani Hall Answer:  Herb and I will be celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary this December.  We met in 1966 when auditioning for Herb's company A&M Record.  I was 20 years old and the lead singer for Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66.

Gallery Owner Robert Berman, Cal Arts President Steven Lavine attend the Herb Alpert Art Exhibition at Robert Berman Gallery Santa Monica, Photo by Randall Michelson

“An Evening with Herb Alpert & Lani Hall” comes to Park West (322 W. Armitage Ave.) June 2, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $45. To order tickets call ETix at 800.514.3849 or visit etix.com. Tickets are also available at the Park West Box office: M-F 10 a.m. - 4:45 p.m., and on the evening of a concert (cash only).
For more about Herb Alpert and Lani Hall go to: herbalpertpresents.com

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