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Jazz legends Valery Ponomarev, Tommy James and Amy Hanaiali‘i to headline Jazz Maui

By Staff | Jul 24, 2014


LAHAINA – Do you love jazz and frequently wish you could transport yourself to the heart of New York City to get your fix? If so, you’re in luck.

A plane ticket won’t be required, as some of the world’s top jazz musicians are set to make their way to the Valley Isle for Jazz Maui 2014.

Presented by the nonprofit Arts Education for Children Group, Jazz Maui takes place from July 28 through Aug. 3 and features live performances by Tommy James of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, legendary NYC trumpet player Valery Ponomarev, Maui’s own five-time Grammy-nominated vocalist Amy Hanaiali’i and many more.

Festival performances offer a rare match-up of on- and off-island talent performing with guest artists, backed by ensembles of local and visiting jazz musicians.

“Putting on the Ritz: Amy Hanaiali’i Live at the Anuenue” will be held on Thursday, July 31, at 7 p.m. in the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua’s Anuenue Room. Tickets are $45, available at www.jazzmaui.

Hawaii’s top-selling female vocalist of all time, Hanaiali’i returns to the Anuenue Room to kick off Jazz Maui 2014 and perform an intimate jazz and classic Hawaiian concert. The event will also feature an exclusive art auction and sale to benefit music education on Maui.

The Jazz Maui 2014 All-Star Concert will be held on Friday, Aug. 1, at 7:30 p.m. in the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s McCoy Studio Theater. A pre-show performance in the courtyard with the Na Ali’i Big Band starts at 6 p.m.

The evening of world-class jazz will star New York City-based Russian trumpeter Ponomarev of Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers; Honolulu vocalist Shari Lynn, who performed with George Shear; and award-winning pianist Tommy James, music director of the Duke Ellington Orchestra.

Tickets are $30; visit www.mauiarts.org or call 242-SHOW.

Next, the “Grand Festival Concert & Dance – The Story of Swing Big Band Concert” under the direction of Tommy James will be held on Saturday, Aug. 2, at 7 p.m. at the Sheraton Maui. Tickets are $35, available at www.jazzmaui.org.

This concert will feature the music of classic composers Basie, Goodman, Dorsey, Ellington and more performed by a world-class combined orchestra comprised of members of Nassau Suffolk Performing Arts, Moonglow All-Star Swing Band and Maui Community Band. The Maui Swing dancers will be present as special guests. Swing Dancers are encouraged to attend.

The Jazz in the Village Series will feature free concerts at the Whalers Village Center Stage. The lineup starts with Chop Suey and the King Kekaulike Jazz Band on Thursday, July 31, at 6 p.m. This event will showcase the talented King Kekaulike Jazz Band in concert with local and visiting faculty. Under the direction of Casey Nagata, the concert will also feature the faculty jazz ensemble Chop Suey.

Coco Land Jazz will be held on Friday, Aug. 1, at 6 p.m. “A Night of 1,000 Drums,” the concert is a retrospective evening of tropical swing dating back to the styles of Martin Denny.

Jazz In the Village will conclude with 21 Degrees North and the Na Ali’i Big Band on Sunday, Aug. 3, at 6 p.m. Enjoy music by some of Maui’s most talented jazz musicians.

Jazz Maui 2014 also includes a workshop series, starting with The Story of Swing Big Band Workshop/Rehearsal Series on July 28-29 at 6:30 p.m. at King Kekaulike High School. Admission is free; to register, go to www.jazzmaui.org.

Under the direction of Tommy James, this rehearsal series features Hawaii-based jazz performers and students preparing for the Grand Festival Concert. Music students playing all band instruments, intermediate to advanced, are invited to attend.

A vocals workshop with Shari Lynn is set for Wednesday, July 30, at 5 p.m. in the Baldwin High School Band Rooms. The fee is $25; financial assistance is available. To purchase tickets, go to www.jazzmaui.org.

This workshop is for singers who want to fine tune their performance skills. Each participating singer will prepare a solo from the “Great American Songbook” and bring a piano chart in their key. Singers will receive individual coaching during the class, which is limited to eight people. It may be audited (no individual instruction) for a reduced fee. Lynn will also be available for private coaching sessions.

A horn workshop with Ponomarev will be held on Wednesday, July 30, at 5 p.m. in the Baldwin High School Band Rooms. The fee is $25; financial assistance is available. To purchase tickets, go to www.jazzmaui.org.

In this workshop, world-renowned trumpet player Ponomarev will focus on finding balance between correct breathing and embouchure. Students will concentrate on the work of muscle groups. This workshop is suitable for all levels of horn players.

“Jazz Maui 2014 provides an opportunity for local residents, music students, aspiring young musicians, professional musicians and jazz music aficionados to participate in and/or attend high-quality jazz music performance concerts on Maui. We provide a venue for young aspiring, local jazz musicians to establish connections within the professional jazz music scene that may facilitate career opportunities,” stated Jazz Maui founder Bryant Neal.

The full festival schedule and ticket information can be found at www.jazzmaui.org, or call (808) 283-3576 for more information.