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Meet the Artist: Adam Hall and the Velvet Playboys

Coming up this early November, as the weather warms, we look forward to our next Music on the Terrace event, Jazz on the Lawn

Jazz on the Lawn perfectly poises itself in early November for what we anticipate to be a glorious day in the sun in the heart of the city with great jazz music from the supremely talented local Jazz ensemble: Adam Hall and the Velvet Playboys. Round up your friends, for an outing of fine food, lounging outdoors and sensational music.

In anticipation of the event, we recently caught up with the band's leader, Adam Hall to find out a bit more about what makes him tick and who in the Jazz world he gets his inspiration from. We look forward to seeing you on the lawn, but in the meantime, read below for our interview with Adam Hall!

Catch Adam Hall and the Velvet Playboys as part Music on the Terrace's: Jazz on the Lawn event on Sunday 8 November, 4pm at the Government House Gardens!

Untitled design 81(Photo Courtesy: Adam Hall)

What's special for you guys about this upcoming gig?
We are looking forward to it being the first outdoor concert in the warmer weather. Especially after such a long lockdown. We are really looking forward to it.

For those who haven't heard you and the group play before, tell me a little bit about the Velvet Playboys. 
The band’s repertoire is rooted in the Jazz and Rhythm & Blues music of the 40’s and 50’s, from artists such as Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Louis Prima, Sammy Davis Junior, Harry Connick Junior, Jackie Wilson, Chuck Berry and The Blues Brothers. They also include a large library of my originals and unique arrangements

So you sing and play trumpet - how did you first know you'd be a musician?
I got the idea from my former trumpet teacher who taught me the love of entertaining first and my love of music came from that.

Do you have any favourite jazz musicians that you draw inspiration from?
Louis Armstrong is the first for me. I love the music of New Orleans and the energy that those musicians gave the world. People like Ellis Marsalis and the Marsalis family and modern musicians like Ashlin Parker, Nicholas Payton and Terence Blanchard.  I also love the singers like Sammy Davis Jr, Harry Connick and of course Sinatra.

All time favourite jazz album or track?
I have many favourites but the desert Island music would be Louis Armstrong. Mastery and Brilliance combined with good humour is always a winner.

Some of the best Jazz venues can be underground type venues and small smoky clubs - what's a favourite memory of yours from a tour?
We love performing at the major festivals in Europe each year. A standout is a festival called the Mardi Gras at the Ghentse Feesten, one of the biggest in the world. So much colour and excitement.

Untitled design 82(Photo Courtesy: Adam Hall)

Do you and the band have any rituals you have before you go on-stage?
I don't have any rituals, I walk out on stage and give the audience a great big hug and hope that everyone has a great time hanging out with us. That's the most important thing.