by Lola Rossi-Meza
Lyons English Grille in association with Chi-Chi Productions present Jennifer Hart and Llew Matthews
in “Isn’t It Romantic” on Sunday, May 19. The Dinner Seating begins at 5:30 p.m. with Showtime at 7
p.m. $44.95 for dinner and show and $20 for the show only with a two drink minimum. Reservations are
required by calling (760) 327-1551. Lyons English Grille is located at 233 East Palm Canyon Drive in Palm
Originally from Pella, Iowa, Jennifer Hart has 4 older sisters, all musically talented. Her mother played
the piano and organ, and made sure her five daughters had a good education in music. Her father
enjoyed singing. All the girls would sing and harmonize while washing dishes and doing chores around
the house. They all took piano lessons.
“Our teacher Queene Snow-Cox, had a recital,” said Jennifer, “I remember all three of us sitting at the
piano and playing together. I started playing saxophone when I was in the sixth grade and I was the
student conductor of the high school band. I was very involved in the music programs at school and
also sang in small groups and in the choir.” They never had a TV until she went to college, where she
received a degree in Music and Education.
In the early 1990s, she moved to California and performed as a pianist and vocalist in the lobby of the
Hyatt Suites in Palm Springs followed by performing at Mamma Gina’s in Palm Desert. She is also an
organist, songwriter, arranger and recording artist. Currently, her niece, Laurinda Nikkel, is the head of
the vocal department at San Diego State University.
Llew Matthews was born and raised in Harlem, New York City and later moved to the Bronx with his
family when he was eight. The oldest of two brothers and two sisters, his father enjoyed singing and his
mother played piano and violin. Matthews started playing the Ukulele at 4 years old.
After moving to the Bronx, he was given a placement test in school and for passing this test, he and a
group of students went to Carnegie Hall. “Our reward was being present at a rehearsal for the New York
Philharmonic conducted by a very young Leonard Bernstein,” said Matthews. “I remember they were
rehearsing Eroica Symphony Number 3 by Beethoven. One of the instruments played, was one I never
saw or heard before, it was the French Horn. I played that for over twenty years, through junior high and
He received a music scholarship to the High School of Music and Art on French horn. He became very
interested in composition and started playing piano when he was seventeen years old. “Even at my age,
I am still learning. I think we are all life long students.”
In 1969, he served in the US Air Force playing in a series of field bands and later was part of the Air
Force Touring Band, where he was able to perform many of his interpretations of many popular songs.
He moved to Long Beach, California in 1977 and through a series of net-working, met woodwind
musician, composer and arranger Buddy Collette, who was his mentor. “He also put together a youth
group called Jazz America, that is still running today.” Matthews has been the musical director for Nancy
Wilson since 1987 and has been in demand for the past twenty-five years as a versatile pianist, arranger
After Hart moved to Orange County, she met Llew at a Jazz Party in a private home. They started
working together in 2005. Individually, they have lists of accomplishments, however, as Hart & Soul, this
dynamic duo, captures their audiences with their uplifting humor and repertoire of jazz, pop, Latin, R &
B, Showtunes and duets. A performance you will truly enjoy. See you there! Visit HartandSoulMusic.com
or call (714) 533-8833.