Kenneth Martinez Burgmaier, the filmmaker and founder of the annual Maui Jazz and Blues Festivals, says the event is magical. Looking over the schedule, it’s hard to argue with him.
“Following the success of producing over 50 Music Festivals in Hawaii, I’m honored to produce another music festival with such revered artists performing for the Maui community and Resort guests,” said Burgmaier, Maui Filmmaker & CEO of Jazz Alley TV & HawaiiONTV.com Networks. “Music and the arts is vital to every community and we are humbled to have such an extraordinary opportunity to bring such a historic jazz and blues festival back to Maui for all to enjoy. The last four years, our Maui Jazz & Blues Fest has been a SOLD OUT event that continues to grow and spreading with wonderful reviews, we will have over 20 venues of free Jazz & Blues from August through September on Maui!”
The flurry of Jazz and Blues throughout Maui for the next few days is indeed otherworldly. Here are the top 10 reasons why you should be there.
1. Legendary Maui Performances
Jazz and Blues Legends are made on these festival stages in Maui. The artists truly let loose–they’re on Maui and clearly love it. You see mashups like you never dreamed of before, with several artists getting on stage together and jamming. There are genre eclipsing musical acts and you have to be there when it happens. With venues and events all over the island, you can take your pick–but don’t miss the big event on Saturday night.
2. Donald Harrison and the New Orleans Quartet
Harrison is the chicken skin shit from New Orleans, and he brings his hand-picked quartet with him. They’re the hottest talents in the jazz scene today: Joseph Dyson, Max Moran, Conun Pappas and Max Pierre. Harrison is a second generation jazz artist from NOLA, following after his late father Donald Harrison Sr. He’s played with Miles Davis, Dr. John, Les McCann, Lena Horn, Billy Cobham and more. Harrison has appeared on HBO’s Treme and is also known as Big Chief Donald Harrison of Congo Nation, an Afro New Orleans Cultural Group keeping the secret traditions of the Congo Square area alive. Harrison is known for nurturing the education of young musicians in New Orleans, especially post-Katrina.
3. Kenny Neal, blues guitar master
Neal makes carrying the cultural and artistic torch of Baton Rouge Blues look easy. Son of Raful Neal, another American Blues artist, Neal has also formed bands with his brothers. Legend goes that he was handed a harmonica by Slim Harpo at the age of three, and the rest is history. Touring extensively with Buddy Guy as a bass player, he’s also mastered piano and trumpet along the way.
4. Strunz & Farah
Give a big Maui e komo mai to the Hawaii debut of the unique sounds of the guitar duo of Jorge Strunz and Ardeshir Farah. Known for their fusion of Latin jazz and Iranian guitar, the duo have made 20 critically acclaimed albums.
5. The Iguanas
Bending the genres of Americana music is what The Iguanas do best. This New Orleans band spins Cajun,Tex Mex, Zydeco, R & B and blues into their own original Louisiana rock. Their music has been featured in TV and movie soundtracks, and their 2014 release Juarez shows off their latest creations.
6. Russell Malone
Malone is an amazing self-taught master jazz guitarist. Landing gigs at 25 with Jimmy Smith, then moving on to a position with Harry Connick Jr.’s Orchestra for four years, Malone has played with many high-profile artists since then. He joined Diana Krall, contributing to her first four Grammy-nominated albums. A versatile artist, he fluidly moves between jazz, soul, R&B, pop, gospel and blues. He’s also highly sought out by artists like Natalie Cole, Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin and BB King.
7. John Pattituchi
This three-time Grammy winner is easily recognized as one of the world’s greatest bass players. He started on electric bass at 10 and composing by 12 in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York. He’s known for his time in the Elektric and Akoustic Band with Chick Corea but has released 12 albums of his own. Pattituchi has also played with Stan Getz, Wynton Marsalis, Everything But the Girl, Bon Jovi, Queen Latifah, Carly Simon, Sting and many pop and Brazilian artists as well.
8. Benny Uyetake, Paul Marchetti, Marcus Johnson and Mark Johnstone
Our local entertainers jamming and playing with these visiting artists bring this music full circle.
9. Staycation invitation
The Four Seasons is hosting several events, as is the Royal Lahaina Resort. Both offer special event rates. At the Four Seasons, get their special jazz and blues rate for $295 per night (call 808-874-8000). Enjoy the Friday night performances at DUO with all the amenities the resort has to offer. At the Royal Lahaina, kama’aina get rooms for $175 (call 808-661-3611). Listen to jazz and blues under the stars until late into the evening, and your room is just a short walk away.
10. One Sunday, Two Brunches
That’s right, no matter what side of the island you might be on, there’s a jazz and blues brunch for you. Royal Lahaina’s live jazz brunch starts at 10am. At DUO at the Four Seasons, starting at 10am guests will savor the sounds of The Jazz Alley TV Trio.
JAZZ AND BLUES FESTIVAL SCHEDULE
Thursday, Sept. 10
JAZZ & BLUES KICKOFF
Join in celebration at the opening event for the 2015 Maui Jazz & Blues Festival. 5-7pm. Duke’s Beach House, Ka’anpali.
LIVE JAZZ & BLUES TAKEOVER AT HULA GRILL
Enjoy listening to award-winning jazz and blues musicians while enjoy great food, cocktails and another fabulous West Maui sunset. 6-9pm. Hula Grill, Ka’anapali.
Friday, Sept. 11
JOHN ZANGRADO & SHIRO MORI
Free jazz and blues jam. 11:30-1pm. Hawaiian Moons, Kihei.
This free Jazz and Blues Festival event with Andrew Molina is going to be cool. 11:30am-1:30pm. Whole Foods Market, Kahului.
JAZZ & BLUES LEGENDS
Definitely make reservations for this event as early as possible! Besides a fabulous dinner menu and gorgeous views, guests can hear the legendary sounds of Donald Harrison and his quartet, Strunz & Farrah, Kenny Neal, and John Paitucci & The Iguanas alongside the Jazz Alley TV Trio. 6-9pm. Duo at Four Seasons Resort.
Saturday, Sept. 12
MAUI JAZZ & BLUES FESTIVAL MAIN EVENT
The annual Maui Jazz & Blues Festival is going to be an amazing event this year. Situated oceanfront in Lahaina, guests can experience the sounds of award winning musicians; Grammy winner Russell Malone (jazz guitar), Donald Harrison (jazz sax) and his Big Chief Congo Square Experience, three-time Grammy award winner John Patitucci, Grammy nominated duo Strunz & Farrah, blues guitar legend Kenny Neal, The Iguanas, Benny Uyetake, The Zenshin Daiku Drummers, Jazz Alley TV Quartet and more special guests. General Tickets are $50, VIP Tickets (first 2 rows) $100, and Premium VIP Tables for 10 are ($1,000). Call 808-283-9070 for more info. 5-9pm. Gates open at 4:30pm. Royal Lahaina Resort.
Sunday, Sept. 13
JAZZ BRUNCH WEST
Enjoy a fantastic brunch with a view and hear the smooth sounds of award-winning jazz and blues artists. Definitely make reservations in advance. 10am-1pm. Royal Lahaina Resort.
JAZZ BRUNCH SOUTH
Extensive brunch menu with JazzFEST artists performing. Call for reservations 808-874-2201. 10am-1pm. Duo, Four Seasons.
Buy your tickets on line at Mauijazzandbluesfestival.com