In honor of National Jazz Appreciation Month, the Honoka’a Jazz Band from the Big Island has scheduled its annual “Big City Tour” of Oahu with several performances and appearances from April 19-22.
One of the young group’s first free performances will be at the Hawaii State Capitol Rotunda. After opening remarks from Representative Mark Nakashima and Senator Malama Solomon, the band will go on at 10 a.m.
On Sat., April 21, the 30-member band will perform at the Bishop Museum as part of the YMCA Healthy Kids Day. Later that day, they will open the Twilight Jazz at Helumoa Concert in The Royal Grove at the Royal Hawaiian Center at 7 p.m. Joining the line-up will be The Kit Ebersbach Combo and Starr Kalahiki, performing at 8 p.m.
The Honoka’a Jazz Band was organized in 1988 by school musical director Gary Washburn. Since then, after almost 25 years of annual repertoire changes to accommodate the “personality” of the band as students graduate, the youth jazz band still remains the pride and joy of Honoka‘a High. In 2010, the music program at Honoka’a High School was selected by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation (NAMM) as one of 138 schools in the United States with an outstanding music program and commitment to music education.
They are also the recipients of the prestigious 2011 Grammy Signature Schools Enterprise Award. Gary Washburn, the band director, recently received the 2011 Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction Award from the National Society of High School Scholars. In 2012, the band performed for the Edison Learning Convention in the Ilikai Hotel in Honolulu and will be featured in the June edition of the “Hana Hou” Magazine.
This year the band shows off a repertoire from a variety of music spanning from the 1940s to present including the music of Paul Simon, Michael Buble, Etta James, Ruth Brown, Brazil 66, Christina Aguilera, Maceo Parker, Aretha Franklin, as well as a special Cuban song “Mis Dos Pequenas”.
“With all of the emphasis on math and science, it is crucial to always remember that it is music and the arts that provide us with inspiration,” said Rep. Nakashima, (District 1 – North Kohala, South Kohala, Hamakua, North Hilo, South Hilo).
“Music, drama and the arts provide our students with the opportunity to exercise their creativity, act on their inspiration, and imagine the possibilities,” he added. “Teachers like Mr. Washburn provide students with the venue to explore this realm and to contribute profoundly to our quality of life.”
“I strongly encourage everyone to take time out of their busy schedules and listen to the music produced by these very talented youths,” said Senator Malama Solomon, (District 1 – Waimea, Hamakua, North Hilo, Rural South Hilo, Hilo). “Under the direction of their band director Gary Washburn, these students have demonstrated how music education has benefitted them to be successful in school and in life.”
Honoka’a Jazz Band 2012 Big City Tour April 19-22, Celebrating National Jazz Appreciation Month
- Jazz at the USS Battleship Missouri Memorial and a Special Observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Thursday, April 19, 2012 from noon-1p.m. For Admission Information Contact: Ms. Bobi Baclaan, Education & Events Coordinator (808) 455-1600 ext. 247
- Jazz at Ala Moana Center Stage, Thursday, April 19, 2012 from 7-7:45 p.m. Free and open to the public
- Interview with Howard Dicus, Hawaii News Now at 7:15a.m.
- State Celebration of National Jazz Appreciation Month, Hawaii State Capitol Rotunda, Friday, April 20, 2012 at 10a.m. FREE and open to public (808) 586-6680
- A Night of Jazz at the Arcadia, Friday, April 20, 2012 from 7-8p.m. 1434 Punahou Street (808) 983-1808
- YMCA Healthy Kids Day at the Bishop Museum, Saturday, April 21, 2012, 9:00a.m. to 2:00p.m. Event Time 9:00 a.m. Honok’a’a Jazz Band Performance FREE Admission for Kama’aina and Military with ID. Out-of-state guests and guests who wish to enter Bishop Museum after 2:00 pm will be charged the normal entry fee. (808) 946-0292 Description: Healthy Kids Day is a family event that encourages parents and their children to come out and and have fun while learning about being healthy. There are activities, games and prizes for the whole ‘ohana! While at Bishop Museum, check out Sesame Street Presents: The Body which offers an engaging, free-flowing learning experience set in the fun, familiar and reassuring world of Sesame Street. The loveable Sesame Street Muppets anchor an exciting collection of hands-on, interactive and multimedia experiences that allow children to explore the human body and how to keep it healthy. Each exhibit area has multiple activities to provide age appropriate and exciting learning opportunities for children at a variety of developmental levels.
- *Don’t forget to bring a canned-good to support the Hawaii Foodbank; the Hawaii Foodbank’s Annual Food Drive is happening on the same day.
- Twilight Jazz at Helumoa, Get Your GROVE on! Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki, Saturday, April 21, 2012, 7p.m. Honoka’a Jazz Band 8p.m. Kit Ebersbach Combo with Starr Kalāhiki FREE and Open to the Public
- Earth Day Beach Cleanup and Celebration, Sunday, April 22, 2012, Makapu’u Meadows at Sea Life Park, 9:30a.m.-12p.m. Cleanup 9:30a.m. – 12p.m. 12-5p.m. Celebration 12-1p.m. Honoka’a Jazz Band Performs Contact: Lindsey Kesel, 303-952-0452 http://www.sustainablecoastlineshawaii.org Description: In celebration of Earth Day and to commemorate Sustainable Coastlines 1-year anniversary, the nonprofit organization is hosting a morning beach cleanup followed by an environmentally-focused fair and concert at Sea Life Park from noon to 5 pm. Cleanup volunteers get $5 entry into the fair and free lunch. The general public is also welcome to attend for $15 adult admission and $10 for keiki.