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Maui Invitational Music Festival features free concerts

By Staff | Jun 24, 2010

The High Seas Dixieland Band (above) will perform with Vince Esquire.

WAILUKU — The 2010 Maui Invitational Music Festival presents the Jazz and Blues Fest on Saturday, June 26, at 6:30 p.m. in the historic Iao Theater.

An evening of great music, the concert will feature performances by High Seas Dixieland Jazz Band, Mana‘o Radio Orchestra featuring Vince Esquire, Omar and The Soultones featuring Ken Stover on keyboards and Rick Yamashiro on sax, and Jamallad and the AECG student ensemble. 

Radio personality, storyteller, comedienne and actress Kathy Collins will serve as the show’s emcee.

The High Seas Dixieland Band — Lisa Owen, tuba/leader; Jerry Eisenberg, clarinet; Willie Boughton, trumpet; Mickey Felipe, banjo; and Jimmy C., drums/vocals — has been playing authentic New Orleans-style jazz together for more than 20 years.

The Mana‘o Radio Orchestra featuring Vince Esquire is made up of volunteer musicians and deejays from Maui’s noncommercial, listener-supported radio station KEAO-LP 91.5, better known as Mana‘o Radio.

Esquire has been featured with, and opened for, such music luminaries as Willie Nelson, Gregg Allman Band, The Allman Brothers, Los Lonely Boys, Little Feat,  and many more.

Other performers in the band include Dorothy Betz and Les Adam, both of whom have performed with many bands on Maui, including Willie Nelson and the Planetary Bandits.

Adisa “Omar” Camara sings backed by Ken Stover on keyboards and Rick Yamashiro on sax when they perform as Omar and The Soultones. 

A mellow baritone, Omar has been singing and performing with bands and groups for many years.

Stover plays a range of styles, including classical, blues, jazz, rock and R&B.

Yamashiro, a professional musician/vocalist with more than 30 years of experience performing and recording, plays alto and soprano sax, flutes, harmonica and percussion.

Jamallad (Lucien Kouassi) plays inspiring dance music incorporating rock, reggae, folk rock and other cultural influences that he’s experienced in his musical career, which has taken him from his West Africa birthplace through Europe and across the United States to Hawaii.

The Arts Education for Children Group (AECG) student ensemble is comprised of advanced students who have participated in the Maui Invitational Music Festival’s summer session called “Making a Band.”

The Maui Invitational Music Festival is presented by Arts Education for Children Group (AECG), a nonprofit organization founded in 1996 dedicated to providing opportunities for artistic and cultural enrichment for the Maui community.

The festival features instrumental workshops, classes and community concerts slated throughout June and July.

On Friday, June 25, a Maui Invitational Music Festival student and faculty concert will begin at 6 p.m. at Kihei Charter High School, 300 Ohukai Road. Admission is free.

From June 28 to July 17, the course “Introduction to Musical Instruments” for beginning players ages 9-12 will be held at Pukalani Elementary School. This course is designed to ascertain where the musicality of each child lies. A variety of instruments is provided to allow students hands-on experimentation and an opportunity to try different instruments to find which one interests them. The focus is on the three elements of the music-making process — rhythm, melody, and silences/pauses — through instruction by United Globe Music Inc. For applications and information, visit www.aecg.org or call (808) 283-3576.

On Thursday, July 1, the Maui Community Band  Woodwind Symphony Orchestra Concert will begin at 7 p.m. at Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center. Admission is free.

Concerts by the Maui Community Band are an annual festival favorite. Lisa Owen is the founder and music director of the band, which is comprised of musicians from all walks of life — doctors, opera singers, car salesmen, bankers, teachers, hotel workers, high school students and retirees.

On Friday, July 2, vocalist Sheryl Renee will perform at 8 p.m. at The Wailuku Coffee Shop (formerly Café Marc Aurel) at 28 N. Market St. The suggested donation is $5 donation at the door. Renee will sing as part of Wailuku’s First Friday celebration.

Renee is a versatile artist — vocalist, actress and playwright — who has shared the stage with some of the best musicians, artists, actors and directors in the world. Based in Denver, Colorado, Renee has been the featured guest soloist with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, opened for Joe Cocker, and won awards for her stage performances, including playing Hattie McDaniel and Tina Turner.

On Sunday, July 4, at Lahaina’s Fourth of July Celebration, a free concert is set for 5 p.m. on the Lahaina Public Library lawn.

The Maui Community Band will perform “Fanfare for Festival,” an original composition by New York composer Carl Strommen commissioned especially for the Maui Invitational Music Festival, along with holiday favorites.

The show will open with Latitude 21 featuring David Chou, Bob Harrison, Sal Godinez and Mike Buono playing jazz with a a Latin flair. Vocalist Sheryl Renee will also perform.

Saturday’s Jazz and Blues Fest is presented by AECG and supported by the County of Maui, Hawaii Tourism Authority and Mana‘o Radio.

The show begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Historic Iao Theater at 68 N. Market St. in Wailuku. There is a suggested $10 donation at the door.

For more information and a complete Maui Invitational Music Festival schedule, call 283-3576 or visit www.aecg.org.