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Fill Your Ears With This Eight-Hour Playlist of Chefs' Favorite Brunch Music

We asked local restaurant industry folks what music would be on their ideal brunch playlist, and here's the resulting playlist, ranging from classic jazz to '90s hip-hop and everything in between. This is the second installment of the Breakfast Week Q&A series.

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Andy Husbands

Andy Husbands (square)

  • Squeeze — "Black Coffee in Bed"
  • The Commodores — "Easy (Like Sunday Morning)"
—Andy Husbands, chef/owner of The Smoke Shop (coming soon), Tremont 647, and Sister Sorel

Image credit: Provided

Erica Keefe

Erica Keefe (square)

"Dave Brubeck or any like-sounding jazz music." —Erica Keefe, executive chef of Five Horses Tavern (South End)

Image credit: Provided

Mike Wyatt

Mike Wyatt (square)

"I think you gotta go with Motown — stuff like The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye. Also, classic rock stuff like Grand Funk Railroad, The Rolling Stones, CCR, etc." —Mike Wyatt, general manager and beverage director of Ward 8

Image credit: Provided

Ines Santos

Ines Santos (larger square)

"Highland Kitchen does a great Bluegrass brunch, and I think that might be my favorite thing to listen to. If you're hungover, it won't make your head hurt, and if you are just starting your weekend, it'll put you in a great mood." —Ines Santos, general manager of The Salty Pig

Image credit: Provided

Jason Santos

Jason Santos (square)

"Stevie Wonder, Babaloo, and Maroon 5." —Jason Santos, chef/owner of Abby Lane and Back Bay Harry's

Image credit: Provided

Joshua Smith

Joshua Smith (square)

"Biggie, Jay Z, and ALL the Wu-Tang Clan." —Joshua Smith, chef/owner of Moody's Delicatessen and The Backroom

Image credit: Provided

Christine and Carla Pallotta

Carla and Christine Pallotta (square)

"Neopolitan love songs. It's what my father played every Saturday and Sunday morning. Brings me peace." —Carla Pallotta, chef/owner of Nebo Cucina & Enoteca

"Frank Sinatra. He was played the rest of the time! What's sexier than Ole Blue Eyes singing about life?" —Christine Pallotta, chef/owner of Nebo Cucina & Enoteca

Image credit: Christine (left) and Carla Pallotta/Provided

Ben Weisberger

Ben Weisberger (square)

"Anything jazz." —Ben Weisberger, chef de cuisine of No. 9 Park

Image credit: Wayne Chinnock Photography

Matt Drummond

Matt Drummond

"The perfect brunch playlist is slightly different than my everyday playlist. I’m more of a Motown and reggae guy for brunch (something you’ll always hear during brunch at Loco)." —Matt Drummond, executive chef of Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar

Image credit: Provided

Robert Tobin

Robert Tobin (square)

"Jimmy Buffett, Tom Petty, and Pearl Jam are essentials to have on the perfect brunch playlist." —Robert Tobin, chef of Aura and TAMO Bistro & Bar at the Seaport Hotel

Image credit: Provided

Brian Poe

Brian Poe

"I'm all about soul and funk with a surprise hit from the '80s when it comes to brunch. It makes it an easier transition from ‘drunk’ to ‘hungover’ to ‘brunch.’" —Brian Poe, chef/owner of Bukowski Tavern (Cambridge), Poe's Kitchen at the Rattlesnake, and The Tip Tap Room

Image credit: Michael Piazza

Patrick Gilmartin

Patrick Gilmartin (square)

"At River Bar, we play lots of 'yacht rock' at brunch because it represents the laid-back, easy-going vibe that brunch should be all about." —Patrick Gilmartin, executive chef of River Bar

Image credit: Brian Samuels

Shayne Nunes

Shayne Nunes

"I think that live jazz is a real classy, relaxing thing to hear while you're munching on crispy bacon after a long night of drinking." —Shayne Nunes, executive chef of Foundry on Elm and Saloon

Image credit: Provided

David Verdo

David Verdo

"David Guetta." —David Verdo, executive chef of Outlook Kitchen and Bar

Image credit: Official Site

Marga Raffucci

Marga Raffucci (square)

  • Billie Holiday — "Good Morning Heartache" by Billie Holiday
  • Mecano — "Hoy No Me Puedo Levantar" ("I Can't Get Up Today")
—Marga Raffucci, executive chef of Sorellina

Image credit: Provided

Mitchell Randall

Mitchell Randall (square)

"Anything by Herbie Hancock." —Mitchell Randall, executive chef of Ostra

Image credit: Provided

Jason Maynard

Jason Maynard (square)

"I like listening to reggae music during brunch." —Jason Maynard, executive chef of Mistral

Image credit: Provided

Angela Lamb

Angela Lamb (square)

"Motown brunch is my favorite. You can't go wrong with Jackson 5 in the morning!" —Angela Lamb, general manager at Coda

Image credit: Provided

Olivier Senoussaoui

Olivier Senoussaoui

"Upbeat contemporary." —Olivier Senoussaoui, executive chef of Precinct Kitchen + Bar

Image credit: Provided

Kevin Murphy

Kevin Murphy (square)

"Pink Floyd — The Dark Side of the Moon." —Kevin Murphy, general manager of Parsnip Restaurant & Lounge

Image credit: Provided

Josh Turka

Josh Turka (square)

"Nothing gets a day started like some old-school '90s rap. We play it in the kitchen during prep all the time, and it’s perfect for brunch as well. Biggie, Wu Tang, Warren G — what's not to love?" —Josh Turka, executive chef of The Salty Pig

Image credit: Provided

Amanda McLaughlin

Amanda McLaughlin (square)

"I like my brunch music soft and mellow. Jack Johnson's acoustic stuff makes brunch relaxing." —Amanda McLaughlin, general manager of Tico

Image credit: Provided

Joshua Brooks

Joshua Brooks (square)

"Brunch or breakfast places should always have funky and energetic music! I love to listen to classic rock in the mornings, so a good mix of Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and the Who would have to be a must." —Joshua Brooks, chef de cuisine at Catalyst

Image credit: Provided

Avi Shemtov

Avi Shetov (square)

"Bruno Mars — 'The Lazy Song.' Great any time but perfect when you're brunching." —Avi Shemtov, owner and executive chef of The Chubby Chickpea

Image credit: Provided

Kyle Crusius

Kyle Crusius

"Frank Sinatra. Smooth jazz is cool. I've got a headache and I'm hungover; easy on that clubby stuff." —Kyle Crusius, chef de cuisine at The Chubby Chickpea

Image credit: Provided

Jay Murray

Jay Murray

  • Tuck & Patti — "Time After Time" (cover)
  • Manu Chao — "Le Rendez Vous"
—Jay Murray, executive chef of Grill 23 & Bar

Image credit: Provided

Nick Deutmeyer

Nick Deutmeyer

"I need chill music to brunch on after a stressful week. I really like Phantogram, John Coltrane, Radiohead, the XX, The Shins, Lindsey Stirling, Lanie Lane, etc." —Nick Deutmeyer, chef de cuisine at Post 390

Image credit: Provided

Howard Haywood

Howard Haywood

"Esperanza Spalding." —Howard Haywood, executive chef of Olde Magoun's Saloon

Image credit: Provided

Jonathan Kopacz

Jonathan Kopacz (square)

"Put Dr. John radio on Pandora and just let it go; you can't go wrong." —Jonathan Kopacz, executive chef of Brass Union

Image credit: Provided

Jeff Williams

Jeff Williams (square)

"I like jazz with my brunch, but if I’m channeling my Cali self, definitely The Beach Boys." —Jeff Williams, executive chef of Chopps American Bar and Grill

Image credit: Provided

Daniel Bojorquez

Daniel Bojorquez (square)

"'Kryptonite' by Big Boi." —Daniel Bojorquez, chef/owner of La Brasa

Image credit: Provided

Brian Rae

Brian Rae (square)

"Gangster rap." —Brian Rae, executive chef of Centre Street Cafe

Image credit: Provided

Stephen Marcaurelle

Stephen Marcaurelle (square)

"Weezer and The Rolling Stones." —Stephen Marcaurelle, executive chef of Tres Gatos

Image credit: Provided

Patrick Campbell

Patrick Campbell (square)

"For me, brunch music should be kept fairly calm. Volume is probably the most important factor. I want to hear it just over my conversation. My favorite Pandora stations that I rotate for brunch at home are Teenager in Love radio, Louis Prima, and Buena Vista Social Club, all depending on what the menu is. I like to stick to a theme." —Patrick Campbell, executive chef of Cafe ArtScience

Image credit: Wayne Chinnock

Michael Scelfo

Michael Scelfo (square)

"I'm a fan of '80s easy listening or gangster rap." —Michael Scelfo, chef/owner of Alden & Harlow

Image credit: Hugh Galdones

Rachel Klein

Rachel Klein (square)

"Anything '80s!" —Rachel Klein, chef/owner of RFK Kitchen (coming soon)

Image credit: Provided

Francis Santos

Francis Santos (square)

"The Eagles — 'Hotel California.'" —Francis Santos, executive chef of Ester

Image credit: Provided

Adrienne Mosier

Adrienne Wright (square)

"The old-school hip-hop they play at Starlite Lounge industry brunch is the perfect start to a day filled with cocktails." —Adrienne Mosier, chef de cuisine at Deuxave

Image credit: Provided

Robert Fathman

Robert Fathman

"Horace Silver, Stanley Turrentine, and any stride pianist." —Robert Fathman, executive chef of Osteria Posto

Image credit: Provided

Joe Cassinelli

Joe Cassinelli - square

"Jackson 5." —Joe Cassinelli, chef/owner of Alpine Restaurant Group (Posto, Osteria PostoPainted BurroRosebud)

Image credit: Provided

Joe Carli

Joe Carli - square

"Nice smooth Motown or jazz." —Joe Carli, chef at Posto

Image credit: Provided

Matthew Barre

Matthew Barre

"Brunch music should be subtle and comforting. People had a rough morning getting up after all that Friday or Saturday night partying; there’s no need to alienate them. I like reggae; it’s just so happy and filled with hope. It seems like the bright spot after the hangover is right over the horizon if you have some good Ziggy Marley on in the background." —Matthew Barre, executive chef of The Tap Trailhouse

Image credit: Provided

Joseph Ellia

Joseph Ellia

"I like to listen to Pandora a lot, and my favorite stations to hear while I am eating brunch are 'The Lime Tree' station or 'Do You Remember Radio,' something smooth with a little funk to eat. Music that you can hear and jam out to a little bit while enjoy an amazing meal." —Joseph Ellia, sous chef at Bear in Boots Gastropub

Image credit: Provided

Kerem Benyamini

Kerem Benyamini

"For brunch, I like classic rock — Tom Petty, The Band — nothing too amped up. If you want great live music for brunch, go to West End Johnnies — live reggae every Sunday. It’s just the right balance of fun and soothing." —Kerem Benyamini, beverage director at Rowes Wharf Bar & Rowes Wharf Sea Grille at Boston Harbor Hotel

Image credit: Provided

Justin Shoults

Justin Shoults

"I really enjoy the soothing sound of yacht rock while having brunch, specifically Hall and Oates." —Justin Shoults, executive chef of BRINE

Image credit: Provided

Mark Sapienza

Mark Sapienza

"I'm partial to some old-school blues or jazz. There’s nothing wrong with a little Louis Armstrong on a Sunday morning." —Mark Sapienza, executive chef of The Langham, Boston

Image credit: Provided

Greg Jordan

Greg Jordan

"Jay Z and The Notorious B.I.G." —Greg Jordan, executive chef of The Quarry

Image credit: Provided

David Danforth

David Danforth (2)

"Chet Faker." —David Danforth, beverage director at The Quarry

Image credit: Provided

Mike Morrissey

Mike Morrissey

"The Wallflowers, Jack Johnson, Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift, Sugarland." —Mike Morrissey, bartender at Gather

Image credit: Provided

Ashley Santos

Ashley Santos

"Lots of Mariah Carey, reggae, and '90s rap." —Ashley Santos, sous chef at Trade

Image credit: Greg Stokinger

Nick Calias

Nick Calias

"Needs to be jazz for me — nice and mellow." —Nick Calias, executive chef of Brasserie Jo

Image credit: Provided

Jeremy Sewall

Jeremy Sewall

"I’m a big fan of classic rock for brunch. Something familiar like that really sets a great tone for the day." —Jeremy Sewall, chef/partner of LineageIsland Creek Oyster Bar, and Row 34

Image credit: Provided

Matt Jennings

Matt Jennings

"Neebs, Jay Z, Phantogram, Van Halen, Bowie, Fela Kuti, Grateful Dead, and Muddy Waters." —Matt Jennings, chef/owner of Townsman

Image credit: Provided

Salvatore Boscarino

Salvatore Boscarino

"It can depend on the season, although on a warm sunny day sitting by the water or on a patio (ahem Pier 6), the island / reggae / beach vibes are on my playlist. The Wailers, Bob Marley, Toots & The Maytals, Gregory Isaacs, and the like." —Salvatore Boscarino, co-owner of Pier 6

Image credit: Provided

Chris Robins

Chris Robins

"Upbeat pop/rock." —Chris Robins, culinary director and managing partner of the Aquitaine Group

Image credit: Provided

Gregory Weinstock

Gregory Weinstock

"The Clash, Pixies, Talking Heads. (More on the mellow side for me because there is a good chance I'm nursing a hangover.)" —Gregory Weinstock, general manager of Salvatore’s (Theatre District)

Image credit: Provided

Izzy Berdan

Izzy berdan

"Either give me something to sing along to or something light and upbeat that blends into the background." —Izzy Berdan, creative director of the Aquitaine Group

Image credit: Provided

Adam Garcia

Adam Garcia

"'80s pop." —Adam Garcia, general manager at Cinquecento

Image credit: Provided

Emily Ackerman

Emily Ackerman

"I am all about a '70s funk playlist." —Emily Ackerman, general manager of Aquitaine (Boston)

Image credit: Provided

Colleen Cameron

Colleen Cameron

"'80s. It's fun for the guests and gives the staff some energy when waking up early after a busy Saturday night." —Colleen Cameron, general manager of Aquitaine (Dedham)

Image credit: Provided

Gregory Torrech

Gregory Torrech

"'80s playlist. Bob Marley, The Smiths, The Cure." —Gregory Torrech, executive chef of The Beehive

Image credit: Provided

Marja Ferreira

Marja Ferreira

"Jason Mraz, Bruno Mars, Eric Hutchinson." —Marja Ferreira, beverage manager at Brew Cafe in District Hall

Image credit: Provided (Marja is in the center.)

Josh Lewin and Katrina Jazayeri

Josh Lewin and Katrina Jazayeri

"Everybody hates on jazz brunch, but I'll take a New Orleans brass brunch any time." —Josh Lewin, co-owner of Juliet

"I agree with Josh here when I need some help waking up. When I want to move a little more slowly, I'd take a Tom Waits mix with some New Orleans-style coffee."
—Katrina Jazayeri, co-owner of Juliet

Image credit: Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

Tony Maws

Tony Maws

"Wilco, The Band, Sonny Rollins, Johnny Cash, Luna, The Meters." —Tony Maws, chef/owner of Craigie on Main and The Kirkland Tap & Trotter

Image credit: Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

Tom Borgia

Tom Borgia

"James Brown was singing all about brunch. It's hidden not so subtly in all his lyrics." —Tom Borgia, executive chef of State Street Provisions

Image credit: Provided

Daniel Myers

Daniel Myers

"Hall + Oates should be on every playlist, ever." —Daniel Myers, co-owner of Loyal Nine

Image credit: Provided

Greg Reeves

Greg Reeves (square)

"Prince." —Greg Reeves, chef/co-owner of Viale



And here's a thematically appropriate Prince song not available on Spotify, so you won't find it on the official Breakfast Week playlist, but it deserves inclusion:

Image credit: Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

Servio Garcia

"Anything jazz. Jazz is the perfect brunch music." —Servio Garcia, general manager of Bergamot and Bisq