July 18, 2019 | 74° F

INC Bar transforms into ‘20s jazz club with Vince Ector Trio

Photo by Jeffrey Gomez |

New Brunswick restaurant-goers were treated to a cool night of live jazz last Wednesday night at INC American Bar & Kitchen on George Street. The jazz trio, who took to a corner of the restaurant, was composed of professional musicians: Vince Ector, who beautifully beat his drums throughout the night, Pat Bianchi, a two-time Grammy nominated organist and Matt Chertkoff, a University of Miami trained jazz guitarist.

Their performance, part of a weekly jazz series offered by the restaurant, promptly began at 8 p.m. when the performers sauntered over to their instruments and nonchalantly began playing. The sweet music instantly electrified a room that had been occupied by pop hits, clinking dishes and dinnertime chatter just a few minutes prior.

The mood in the room made a tweak toward what a millennial can imagine a 1920s jazz club felt like. The way the instruments blended together in the room made an impact. The glamour of the restaurant was slightly enhanced, and the performances by the musicians were energetic from the beginning.

The audience was receptive to the vibe. By the end of the first song, the trio was met with a small sea of claps and table taps from casual restaurant-goers placed throughout the room, from the bar to the hightops. Many people were intrigued and interested. The music continued to settle into the room, with the brief breaks in between songs being taken up by the soft noise of surrounding conversation.

The songs varied in mood, some felt like they could mirror the bustle of what it is like to work in a restaurant or what it is like to live in a city and walk through the streets of a busy section at night. Others smoothed over the room in a thick paste of sentimentality and heart-warming nostalgia. It was wholly a journey worth experiencing.

The show halted for a 20-minute intermission mid-performance that would have felt too long if another minute were added to it. When it was time to resume, the musicians returned to their instruments and began to enchant everyone with their talents once again. The restaurant patrons were effortlessly settled right back into the music.

People who came for jazz and those who did not seemed to equally enjoy the way the music decorated the room. They sipped their glasses of wine and mixed drinks, enjoyed their cheese plates, truffle fries and salads and welcomed the addition of the music for the time they were there.

The performers aided to the restaurant experience in the sense that they played to the room and, more often than not, allowed for an effortless flow of conversation by the crowd within the songs.

As expected on a Wednesday night, the audience withered in small waves during the performers’ three hour occupation of the small stage, but the music kept the room good and full until the final note. Ector, Bianchi and Chertkoff maintained their vibrancy and good energy throughout the entire duration of their performances, no matter what.

Overall, the musicians produced an impressive and enjoyable performance. INC American Bar & Kitchen’s next set of Wednesday jazz artists have quite a show to live up to.

The jazz series is sponsored by the New Brunswick Jazz Project (NBJP), a nonprofit organization with aims to showcase jazz at venues throughout New Brunswick and central New Jersey.

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