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East Meets West Festival to feature Hawaii jazz all- stars in concert

By Staff | Nov 3, 2016

The Hawaii Jazz All-Stars were assembled as a group for the first time to perform at the Blue Note on Oahu earlier this year.  

WAILUKU – Jazz Maui, produced by the Arts Education for Children Group (AECG), will present the East Meets West Festival on Friday, Nov. 4, and Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, when some of the best jazz musicians in Hawaii will be featured in concert.

The long-term goal of the festival is to team with the Maui County Sister Cities Foundation to encourage cross-cultural musical collaborations and attract a worldwide range of musical educators and performers to Maui.

New compositions and musical arrangements will be introduced at the concert, highlighting variations on the East Meets West theme.

Headlining the concert on Saturday, Nov. 5, at 6:30 p.m. in the Historic Iao Theatre on Market Street in Wailuku are the Hawaii Jazz All-Stars, featuring veteran jazz performers DeShannon Higa on trumpet, Reggie Padilla on tenor saxophone, Ethan Capone on piano, Jon Hawes on bass and Darryl Pellegrini on drums.

During the East Meets West Festival concert, Higa will premiere his original arrangement of an old Taiwanese Hokkien folk song, “Longing for the Spring Breeze.”

Zenshin Daiko, under the direction of Anthony Jones, will entertain the audience with a combination of Japanese taiko and western percussion.

Maui’s popular youth taiko drum ensemble, Zenshin Daiko, under the direction of Anthony Jones, will entertain the audience with a combination of Japanese taiko and western percussion. In one arrangement, Siuai Lau Fo will feature a variety of Polynesian percussion instruments.

The Chop Suey Jazz Orchestra, directed by Casey Nagata and composed of a mix of Maui musicians and vocalists who enjoy performing together, will showcase their blend of traditional eastern and western jazz.

King Kekaulike High School’s Na Ali’i Big Band will open the concert. Popular Maui comedienne, Kathy Collins, will serve as mistress of ceremonies.

On Friday, Nov. 4, trumpet soloist and recording artist Higa will conduct a jazz music workshop at King Kekaulike High School on Kula Highway.

The workshop runs from 2:30 to 3:45 p.m. and is open to the public. It will be followed by an advanced jazz musician rehearsal from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Higa’s 30-year career highlights include performing globally with such notable artists as Al Jarreau, Diana Krall, Wynton Marsalis, Jake Shimabukuro and Keali’i Reichel.

He was a featured soloist on the 2016 multiple Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning record “Jimmy Borges,” and currently leads several bands: Subtonic Orchestra, Quadpod and The DeShannon Higa Big Band. Higa is also a member of the Hawaii Jazz All-Stars. To register for the jazz workshop, call (808) 283-3576.

Ticket prices for the festival concert are $25 for general admission, $20 for senior adults and $15 for students. To purchase tickets, go to MauiOnStage .com and click “buy tickets.”

Akaku: Maui Community Media will video and live stream the event. A post-event video of the concert will be made available to all Sister Cities of Maui County.

Jazz Maui’s 2016 East Meets West Festival is sponsored by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, County of Maui Office of Economic Development, Makana Aloha Foundation, Dancin’ Dave Productions, Story of Hawaii Museum, Tradewinds Production Group, Mana’o Hana Hou Radio, Akaku: Maui Community Media and Maui County Sister Cities Foundation.

For more information, call (808) 283-3576 or see JazzMaui.org or facebook.com/aecgjazzmaui.