Entertainment

Grammy Award-winning vocalist and producer, Lani Hall brings her music to Modesto

Grammy Award-winning vocalist and producer Lani Hall, with her husband Herb Alpert, and their gifted band, will bring their eclectic mix of American standards to Modesto.

“We are going to be doing some new tunes like the Michael Jackson’s tune ‘Human Nature,’ and we do some jazz songs,” said Hall, adding that her husband will perform some Tijuana Brass Medley while she also performs a Brasil ‘66 Medley. “We do some Brazilian songs and American songs from the American song book.”

Hall will be performing on Sunday (Sept. 16) at 4 p.m. at the Gallo Center for the Arts’ Mary Stuart Rogers Theater on 1000 I Street. Tickets range from $29 to $69.

Hall, who also sings in Portuguese, has a couple of albums in Spanish.

And how does it feel singing in three different language and convey those feeling to the audience?

“It’s all in the music,” said Hall, who started her singing career in 1966, as the lead singer of Sergio Mendes’s breakthrough group Brasil ’66. “The feeling is all in the music and in the sound, for me. The sound of the language is like an instrument to me.”

“That is how I approach it. But I feel the music that is really, I think, one of my strengths,” said Hall, who left behind her city roots in Chicago and, for 5 years, performed throughout the world. “I just put myself inside the song and feel it.”

Hall doesn’t have a favorite language when singing, but if she had to pick one language, she would choose Portuguese.

“I think I really love singing in Portuguese,” said Hall, who has the distinction of recording more than 22 albums in three different languages (English, Portuguese and Spanish,) and in 1983, she sang the title song for the James Bond film, Never Say Never Again.

“Portuguese is very musical and it got this African influence on it. It has this primitive quality to it, and it also has this kind of classical quality to it. So I really enjoy singing in Portuguese. But I enjoy singing in any language.”

In 1986 Hall won with her first Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop Performance for her album, ‘Es Facil Amar’ (It’s Easy to Love). Hall picked up her second Grammy Award as producer on Herb Alpert’s 2013 Grammy-winning album, ‘Steppin’ Out.’ Since 2006, Hall and Alpert have been touring with their band to sell-out crowds.

When Hall started singing in a different language, she said “it was a challenge for me. I really have no idea if I could do it or not but it was a challenge and I took it.”

“I found that I really love doing it,” said Hall, who after establishing a successful solo career in music, and becoming a wife and mother, she began to explore new creative outlets for her writing. “I did it phonetically, I wrote down exactly every little note, and I still do that. That is how I learn to sing it. And I really want to sound authentic, I don’t want to sound like I am not that. I don’t want to have a bad accent. It’s fun, once it starts going, once my tongue starts working right.”

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Herb Alpert and Lani Hall will be performing in Modesto on Sept. 16 at the Gally Center for the Arts. Dewey Nicks Special to Vida en el Valle

This is not the first time Hall and her husband visit the Central Valley.

“I like every place that we play because once you get on stage and you see that people are enjoying themselves and they are getting happier and happier with each tune we play, it’s very beautiful,” said Hall. “That is really why we go on the road for. We really enjoy making people happy and making our selves happy by doing what we love to do. So it doesn’t really matter where we are. It doesn’t matter if we are in a rural place or a big city or in the mountains. ...I enjoy performing, I enjoy singing.”

And to the new generation of singers Hall says “follow your heart and don’t try to sound like anybody else. Sound like yourself, and find your own voice in the music that you are singing. That would be the most important thing that I could say to an upcoming talent.”

“You know so many people try to sound like other people, that are already famous, but it’s not the right way to go. You have to stay true to yourself and do what you want to do,” said Hall, who also is the author of the book ‘Emotional Memoirs & Short Stories,’ where she compiles 10 short stories from 30 years of writing short fiction and true stories from her life – all woven together by a connecting personal narrative, with the city of Chicago as the backdrop.

María G. Ortiz-Briones: 559-441-6782, @TuValleTuSalud

Lani Hall’s favorites

  • Color: Black, I wear so much black
  • Food: Pizza, when we are on the road we eat a lot of pizza.
  • Vacation place: I’ve been liking very much to visit Chicago. It’s my home town. I don’t get a chance to go there very much, so when we do have some time we fly to Chicago and spend a few days there. It’s sentimental for me.
  • Movie: I don’t have any favorite current movie. I think the movies of today are too violent for me. And I don’t see the purpose of having that kind of violence in movies that could influence younger people so I don’t watch current movies. If anything I would watch an older movie. And I usually like romances.
  • Singer: Oh my, I have a lot of favorite singers. I love Judy Garland, and I have a lot of singers that I don’t think you would know unless you really like jazz. Because the singers that I listen to when growing up were jazz singers and people like June Christy, Anita O’Day, Carmen McRae, Bill Henderson.
  • Hobbies: I write. I have a book out call ‘Emotional Memoirs & Short Stories’ so it’s a book of 10 short stories. So I write short stories. And also kind of fooling around with an autobiography now.
  • Ideal couple: I would say that to be compatible with another person you need to be communicating a lot. You need to keep communicating and stay current with your feelings, and I would say a sense of humor has a lot to do with it. And if you have the same taste in music, or you are interesting in the same things that helps. I am thinking of the relationship that I have with my husband, and we talk a lot, we communicate a lot with each other and we are very loving. He accepts you as you are. He is not trying to change you. And I always think kindness is very powerful.
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