Many Maui residents may dream of going to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival but 12 or more hours of airplanes and airports can be daunting (and expensive). Thankfully, we can forget the jet lag and the price tag and just follow the Maui Jazz and Blues Festival.
Festival producer Kenneth K. Martinez Burgmaier and his HawaiiONTV.com Neworks and Jazz Alley TV–partnering with the Grand Wailea, Ritz Carlton-Kapalua and Kai Kanani–have put together a festival on Maui that started Tuesday night at the Ritz Carlton Kapalua.
“The festival brings together on one stage an unbelievable lineup of talented musicians such as Lenny Castro, who has played with the Rolling Stones and Stevie Wonder, and Brother Noland, who is a revered and treasured musician here in Hawaii,” says Martinez Burgmaier. “Maui is an idyllic stage to showcase music, art and culture, and most importantly perpetuate and preserve these traditions for generations to come. The greatest percussionist of 2013 is Lenny Castro, and one of the best saxophonists in the world is Donald Harrison from New Orleans. From the Royal family of Jazz, Delfeayo Marsalis, will be playing the trombone. How can you go wrong? Blues Legend Joe Louis Walker just got inducted to the Blues Hall of Fame this May and is the youngest musician ever to be selected! Maui, you are in for one historic Jazz Fest.”
There will even be Zydeco. Unless you live in Louisiana, chances are you might not be hip this musical genre. Mix plenty of body percussion with an electro-accordian and you have the foundation for this upbeat sound. It blends Louisiana’s unique Cajun music with the South’s dirty blues tradition.
At the Jazz Fest, the amazing Dwayne Dopsie will come straight from New Orleans to share it. In fact, listening to Dopsie is listed as #29 on Louisiana Travel’s Top 100 Things to do in their state.
Even if you’re not familiar with musicians like Dopsie, you’ve probably heard of others at the festival–like The Iguanas.
“I have been going to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage festival, filming and hanging backstage with my Jazz Alley TV series for nearly 30 years and got to know The Iguanas and many New Orleans musicians,” Martinez Burmaier says. “I just loved their vibe of the eclectic styles of music they create and have been a fan since their first CD.”
The Iguanas also hail from New Orleans. There’s Rod Hodges on guitar and accordion, Joe Cabral on sax and guitar, Rene Coman on bass, Doug Garrison on drums and Eric Lucero on trumpet. But their jam with WaveTrain at Charley’s in Paia on Thursday is just the beginning of Maui’s exposure to their unique sound.
“We will sometimes use the shorthand description of ‘Garage Latin’ or ‘Chicano Rock,’” says bass player Coman. “We like to take different roots forms and twist them to our purposes and make them do our bidding. There are a lot of great players in New Orleans. The general level of musicianship is pretty high. It’s inspiring to see the cultural currency that the general population places on music. Sparta valued soldiers and produced great ones. New Orleans does the same with musicians.”
Martinez Burgmaier will also be capturing The Iguanas’ music and his dry wit as he films a special music documentary on their Maui debut in a production by Jazz Alley TV and HawaiiOnTV (as well as producing their first longform music video). He first filmed The Iguanas more than 15 years ago, and will finally release these visuals on DVD.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Maui Jazz and Blues Festival without a local touch. The festival will get island flavor from artists like Paula Fuga, Brother Noland, WaveTrain, the Jazz Alley TV TRIO, Benny Uyetake with the Kalama School Ukulele Jazz Katz and the Zenshin Daiko Drummers.
“We have some amazing, talented musicians here and they can swing with the best of them, no problem,” says Martinez Burgmaier. “When I ask them to be part of the fest and to back up one of these icons, I have never had one of our local musicians say no. They embrace the opportunity.”
The festival will also go aboard Makena’s Kai Kanani with two musical cruises. One sunset cruise on Friday and then a Molokini snorkel trip on Sunday. “The magic of having these artists perform acoustic during a Maui Sunset on the Kai Kanani is truly an experience that I wish everyone could have,” says Martinez Burgmaier. “Magic just happens when you get these type of artists together and at sea in our Maui waters.”
The Maui Jazz and Blues Festival ends Saturday night with an oceanfront party in style at the Grand Wailea’s Molokini Gardens. From 4-9pm, Jazz and blues artists from Maui to New Orleans will play. The Grand Wailea will provide libations and culinary treats in the lovely outdoors around high tops and white clothed tables.
You can get a sneak peak of that show at a casual evening Friday at the Grand’s Botero Bar. Stay overnight at the Grand Wailea with special festival rates, or enjoy a special brunch on Sunday with jazz. Go to Mauijazzandbluesfestival.com or follow Facebook.com/MauiJazz for more info on the fest.
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Thursday, Sept. 5
5-8pm: Ocean Front JazzFEST with the artists at 5 Palms in Kihei. Advance ticket purchase recommended, limited availability. Tickets are $20 per person.
9pm-midnight: North Shore JazzFEST Jam at Charley’s. The evening includes performances by The Iguanas and Wavetrain. Advance ticket purchase recommended, limited availability. Tickets are $20 per person.
Friday, Sept. 6
5-7pm: Jazz & Blues Sunset Sail aboard the Kai Kanani in Makena. The Maui Jazz & Blues artists will serenade passengers at sea on this exclusive sail. Call 808-879-7218 for reservations.
7-9pm: Jazz & Blues Sneak Peak and Grand Wailea Botero Bar. Free performances.
Saturday, Sept. 7
4-9pm: Third Annual Maui Jazz & Blues Festival Premiere Night–Grand Wailea, Molokini Gardens. General Admission is $50 per person, VIP Tables available for $1,000/10 tickets or $100 for individual VIP seats.
Entertainers from New Orleans include Grammy-winning Percussionist of the Year Lenny Castro, blues guitar master and 2013 Blues Hall of Fame inductee Joe Louis, saxophonist Donald Harrison and trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis. Joining them will be The Iguanas–featured in HBO’s Treme. There will also be Zydeco with renowned accordion player Dwayne Dopsie. Blending the melodic sounds of Hawaii with the New Orleans’ icons will be Paula Fuga, Brother Noland, Wave Train, the Jazz Alley TV TRIO, Benny Uyetake and the Kalama School Ukulele Jazz Katz and the Zenshin Daiko Drummers.
Sunday, Sept. 8
10am: Jazz & Blues Molokini Snorkel Sail aboard the Kai Kanani from Makena to Molokini. Call 808-879-7218 for reservations.
10:30am-1pm: Sunday Jazz Brunch at Grand Wailea. Call 808-875-1234 for reservations.