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New CD “Fresh Produce” By HHS Jazz Band

For nearly 40 years, Honoka‘a High School Jazz Band has delivered great music to eager audiences across Hawai‘i Island and state. Now, the Grammy-winning school’s musical legacy, under the direction of Gary Washburn, will release its sixteenth CD, “Fresh Produce.”

The CD is an annual fundraising project to support the Band’s travel and other costs. Fresh Produce” emphasizes the locally grown talent of Honoka‘a High School, and includes a wide variety of music ranging from the 1930’s to the present.

Featuring the vocals of Kaylynn Iona, Kacy Sanchez and Kaleb Yamasaki, the new album also showcases instrumental soloists, Zhanalyn Cacho, Dwayne Murakane, Kamaehu Duldalao, Terri Connors and Jeanne Altura. Musical selections range in tempo, stye and genre from Count Basie to Lester Bowie, Amy Winehouse, Etta James, The Big Bad Voodoo Daddies and many more.

Innovative, energetic and talented, the Jazz Band has set a standard for the performance of jazz music on Hawai‘i Island since it originated in 1978. In addition to its annual Oahu concert tour celebrating National Jazz Appreciation Month, the band has performed for four national conventions, National Public Radio’s “From the Top,” and the Big Island Jazz Festival, featured on CNN’s “Jazz Alley.” Early next year, a select ensemble, Dragon Jazz, will go on a multi-island tour with renown blues artist Johnny Nichols.

In 2008, Honoka‘a High School was recognized by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation for outstanding music education; in 2011, they received a Grammy Signature Schools Award in 2011. That same year, Washburn was named a Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction, and he has been recognized as a Living Treasure of Hawai‘i by the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawai‘i.

The CD is available at all performances as well as through the school (775-8800) or by emailing Gary_Washburn@notes.k12.hi.us. The band will be performing at the Peace Day Festival in Honoka‘a on Sept. 23, Pumpkin Patch in Waimea October 14, October Fest in Waimea October 21 and the Queen’s Shops November 18.

Grammy Foundation Award Winning Honoka’a High School Jazz Band at The Shops at Mauna Lani

The Shops at Mauna Lani invites the community to its first annual Moonlight Mele Jazz Concert on Friday, March 10, 6-7 p.m. The event features the musical stylings of nationally recognized, Honoka’a High School Jazz Band.

Under the direction of Gary Washburn, a dedicated teacher, accomplished jazz artist, the band is considered one of the top in the nation. The ensemble consists of advanced music students who uphold a long tradition of excellence at Honoka’a High and Intermediate Schools.

The Jazz Band has played on National Public Radio’s “From the Top,” and opened for the Royal Hawaiian Band at Iolani Palace where they were recognized by the State Legislature. They do a yearly multi-concert tour of Oahu to celebrate National Jazz Appreciation Month, and their 14th CD (an annual fundraiser) has just been released. In 2011, they received a national Grammy Signature Schools Award.

The Moonlight Mele Jazz Concert at The Shops at Mauna Lani is free, and all are welcome.  For more information, visit www.shopsatmaunalani.com, or call (808) 885-9501.