Have an appetite for live music? Jeffrey's of Westfield is serving up a side of entertainment tonight from 7 to 10 p.m.
Honoring the request of frequent customers, the award-winning Central Avenue restaurant and bar is hosting its first-ever evening of live entertainment featuring the Northern Jersey-based instrumental, acoustic trio Thieves and Poets.
Steve Williams, manager of Jeffrey's, said adding this component was something he and executive chef/owner Jeffrey Rust had been talking about for months. After collecting many demo cds from a wide array of different musical acts, he said the choice was an easy one.
"Bill Irvine, front man of Thieves and Poets, sent me a link to his website where I had the opportunity to sample some of the band’s music," Williams said. "I was blown away by how perfect this band’s style and approach fit what we were looking for. Our search for our first live act ended there."
Irvine said the band, whose repertoire includes jazz, Latin, rock, blues, pop, world, chill and ambient grooves, is looking forward to the performance.
"We are very excited about playing at Jeffrey’s for a number of reasons," the guitarist said. "First of all, that we are part of their having music for the first time makes it special. As a band and as individual musicians, we have collectively over 100 years of playing out. We have met a lot of club and restaurant owners in those years and so you can quickly get a 'gut' feeling of people and a place. From my first contact with Jeffrey and Steve, I have had nothing but a warm feeling. That was only reinforced when I met them and saw the restaurant."
Showcasing an eclectic mix of all the music the members grew up with, the band plays originals as well.
"Being an instrumental trio, we have more of a challenge in playing some music that was originally written as vocal music but we make it our own," Irvine explained. "We consider what we do to be musically accessible no matter where your tastes run."
Williams said he has only received rave reviews from managers of other restaurants where the band has played.
"Their best attribute is that they really know how to 'work a room,'" Williams said. "If the guests seem to be grooving along, they will play up-tempo crowd favorites to really get the party going. If the crowd seems to be more mellow, they can transition their style to background music, adding to the ambiance of the dining room. Many of our regulars were adamant about our including live entertainment at the restaurant."
While the idea has been in the works for a while, Williams said Jeffrey's is going to take a wait-and-see approach before committing to a full line-up of performers.
"We plan to build it slowly," Williams said. "We want to have an act play monthly for now. If it is a success, we ultimately plan on having weekly live entertainment."