The island was abuzz with Jazz last month thanks to the fourth annual Maui Jazz and Blues Festival, orchestrated by founder Kenneth K. Martinez Burgmaier, a Maui Filmmaker & CEO of Jazz Alley TV & HawaiiONTV.com Networks. With more than two dozen different free Jazz performances from Hawaiian Moons to the BMW dealership in August, Burgmaier got a lot of Jazz blood flowing in anticipation of the upcoming festival.
“I just thought it would be a nice way to give back to our very supportive Maui community,” says Martinez-Burgmaier. “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 Maui and resort guests.”
The upcoming festival has several headlining performances scheduled from both Mainland artists and local musicians. From Kentucky, world-renowned pianist Les McCann will visit Hawaii once again and play with Grammy-nominated saxophonist Javon Jackson. The two have teamed up in many Jazz festivals around the world.
New Orleans master Zydeco musician Corey Ledet is also returning to Maui. Ledet has a strong cultural link to Zydeco–the music of the Creoles–and remains dedicated to keep this musical tradition strong. The HBO series Treme shed some dramatic light onto New Orleans culture and music, but Ledet says he’s alarmed at how Zydeco has changed with recent times–more about flash today and less about tradition. Ledet started playing with the Zydoco Rascals at 12 and never looked back.
Saturday Night LIVE band trombonist and seashell virtuoso Steve Turre will also play on the Maui Jazz and Blues Festival stage, as well as saxophone master Donald Harrison. Local Maui musicians will also get into the act.
“I love to ask our fellow Maui artists and friends to step outside the box and explore some of their other styles in music that are rarely heard.” says Martinez-Burgmaier.
Local musicians at the festival include Paula Fuga, Benny Uyetake, John Kolivas of the Honolulu Jazz Quartet, Brian Cuomo, Paul Smith, John Zangrando, Fulton Tashombe, Paul Marchetti, James DeBose, Lydia Panzik, the Zenshin Daiko Drummers and 100 Kalama School ‘ukulele Jazz students.
This is also the first year the festival will take place at the Royal Lahaina Resort. For food, the Royal Lahaina will prepare dishes by Chef Bernardo Salazar including sushi, chicken curry, poke, salad and malasadas. The event will also have drinks available for purchase. The resort is offering special Jazz and Blues Festival overnight rates as well–call 808-661-3611 for more information.
“We have had an open arm reception of aloha from the Westside of Maui,” says Martinez-Burgmaier. “So many businesses wanted to be part of it and have been asking for the last three years if we would consider on bringing it to Lahaina and Ka’anapali area. We had tremendous success with the last three Jazz & Blues Festivals being sold out and the resort selling over 300 room nights each year. Changes in new management and corporate financial challenges in the hotel industry gave us the opportunity to go west this year.”
One of the festivals biggest goals is to expose Maui’s youth to Jazz and blues music.
“For the last 10 years, we have had theses Grammy legends do a free workshop at our Maui and Lanai schools,” says Martinez-Burgmaier. “That is the key to keeping all types of music alive and to continue with having our children experience it and meet and even perform with one of these great masters.”
4th Annual Maui Jazz & Blues Festival Schedule
Thursday, Sept. 4
Duke’s in the Honua Kai will host an amazing evening of Jazz with the Jazz Alley TV Trio. Visiting Jazz artists Donald Harrison, Steve Turre, Corey Ledet will jump in with some fantastic Jazz, Blues and Zydeco music. Benny Uyetake & Friends will jam as well. Call for reservations. 5-7pm. No cover. Duke’s Beach House (130 Kai Malina Pkwy., Ka’anapali); 808-662-2900; Dukesmaui.com
Friday, Sept. 5
Sunset Jazz Jam
Get a sneak preview of the Jazz greats while you watch the sun set over Ka’anapali. Corey Ledet, Javon Jackson, Donald Harrison, Steve Turre and Les McCann and Benny Uetake will all perform. Sup and sip with the award winning food of Chef Bobby Masters, either at the Barefoot Bar or in the dining room. Call for reservations. 6-9pm. No cover. Hula Grill (2435 Ka’anapali Pkwy.); 808-667-6636; Hulagrillkaanapali.com
Saturday, Sept. 6
4th Annual Maui Jazz & Blues Festival
Don’t miss Coret Ledet presenting his flavor of Zydeco while playing the accordion, saxophonist Javon Jackson, blues master Les McCann, New Orleans saxophonist Donald Harrison and trombone master Steve Turre. Na Hoku Winners Paula Fuga, Benny Uyetake, John Kolivas of the Honolulu Jazz Quartet, Brian Cuomo, Paul Smith, John Zangrando, Fulton Tashombe, Paul Marchetti, Zenshin Daiko Drummers, 100 Kalama School Ukulele Jazz students will also be there. Food and drinks available. No coolers or chairs. 21 and over only. General admission $40; VIP tickets $80; VIP PREMIER TABLE for 10- $1000 Buy your tickets on line at Mauijazzandbluesfestival.com. 5-9pm. Royal Lahaina Resort (2780 Keka’a Dr., Ka’anapali); 808-661-3611; Royallahaina.com
Sunday, Sept. 7
Find out first hand just how great Jazz and Bellinis go together this Sunday. The brunch at Royal Lahaina is infused with live performances from special festival guests. 10am-1pm. Royal Lahaina Resort (2780 Keka’a Dr., Ka’anapali); 808-661-3611; Royallahaina.com