At 87, legendary trumpeter Herb Alpert is driven to perform.
“Because of the success I’ve had and the amount of people who get pleasure out of my music, I feel like I need to do it until I’m not able to do it,” Alpert said. “It gives me pleasure, too.”
Alpert and his wife Lani Hall will perform at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 22 at the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel. This is the first time Alpert and Hall have appeared at the Palladium, which opened in 2011.
Hall first drew attention in the music world as the lead singer for Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66 and sang the James Bond movie title theme for “Never Say Never Again.”
Alpert said he is not performing for his ego.
“It’s just for the sake of making good music and having people respond in a positive way,” Alpert said. “It’s a good feeling.”
Alpert definitely missed performing when the COVID-19 pandemic forced cancellations of many concerts in 2020 and 2021.
“I miss working with the band, too,” Alpert said. “We are doing 52 concerts this year. A lot of them are makeup concerts from two years (ago). We’re booked through 2023 already. I enjoy the process. I like to make people happy. It gives me energy to do these concerts.”
Despite staying home during the height of the pandemic, Alpert picked up the trumpet every day.
“It gave me a chance to reboot,” he said. “I was thinking about different teachers I studied with and what they said. It gave me a chance to revisit things.”
In January, Hall released her first album in 24 years, called “Seasons of Love.” Alpert said his wife wasn’t planning on recording.
“I knew there was a song she really liked,” he said. “She got excited and starting singing. All of a sudden, she was revved up about doing another project.”
After 49 years of marriage, Alpert said it’s still enjoyable to tour with his wife.
“We have a great time together,” he said. “She’s a great artist and a great complement to the show. We’ve been doing it for 14 years. The reaction we get from the crowd is fantastic.”
Alpert said the Tijuana Brass medley he performs is always a fan favorite. He is the only musician to have No. 1 hits as a vocalist with “This Guy’s in Love with You” in 1968 and as an instrumentalist with “Rise” in 1979.
“I try to do it in a spontaneous way, so it doesn’t sound like a cookie-cutter performance,” he said. “I try to be of the moment. That’s what keeps me going. If I had to do the same exact show night after night, I would get bored.”
Alpert said he will change the arrangement.
“It’s still identifiable with the songs,” he said. “We are doing some semi-jazz, semi-pops. I try to make it my own. I feel I have a unique way of producing. I try to do songs in a way that they haven’t been heard before. It’s a fresh look to old songs. I like playing a mix of songs. I try scrambling it up for the musicans behind us. At a given moment, I might start to pick up a song and start playing it and wait for the band to chime in behind me. It’s not like a perfect set, there is a lot of spontaneity. I like to have everyone on their toes, even me.”
A nine-time Grammy Award winner, Alpert has sold more than 72 million records.
In addition to his music, Alpert is passionate about his artwork.
“Unfortunately for my wife, I have over 1,000 paintings and lots of sculptures all over our property,” he said. “I’ve been doing it for 50 years. “