They do things just a little differently in the islands. That certainly applies to jazz festivals. In Maui, the third annual jazz and blues festival takes full advantage of the amazing local talent, the jaw-dropping, unrivaled, natural scenery, and a select group of specially invited Mainland guest artists.
Take this mix, stir, and let magic happen.
This year, the Maui Jazz and Blues Festival spreads out all over the hot spots of the Valley Isle for six days September 3-8, with an innovative line-up of artists and a swampy New Orleans theme.
In keeping with the theme, the Iguanas are coming straight from New Orleans with their creole mix of Chicano rock, Latin, Conjunto, R&B, and that something special conjured up only in the Big Easy. Formed in 1989, the roots rock band have developed quite a cult following and received airplays in the critically acclaimed NBC procedural, Homicide: Life On The Street, HBO hit series, Treme, and Robert Mugge’s documentary, New Orleans: Music In Exile. Their hit albums put a fine point to their everything kind of music, from “If You Should Ever Fall On Hard Times” and “Sin To Sin,” to “Sugar Town” and “Nuevo Boogaloo.”
The Iguanas — vocalist/guitarist/accordionist Rod Hodges, saxophonist/vocalist/bajo sextoist Joe Cabral, bassist Rene Coman, and drummer Doug Garrison — play different kinds of music, never following a certain set list or structure. On any given night, they can easily switch from roots rock to tropical funk, English to Spanish. The band members embrace it all. Vocalist/saxophonist Joe Cabral vouched for the diversity in his childhood soundtrack: “Spanish was spoken around the house when I was growing up, but I was listening to all kinds of stuff: Herb Alpert, Boots Randolph, country music, rock, polkas… The area of south Omaha where I grew up was the classic American blue-collar ethnic melting pot of Irish, Italians, Poles, and Mexican-Americans, who all sort of brought these pieces into the mix. [JamBase]”
HawaiiONTV.com Networks and Jazz Alley TV, in partnership with the Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort, Ritz Carlton-Kapalua and Kai Kanani, present the Maui Jazz and Blues Festival, highlighting the music and sounds of New Orleans with a Hawaiian touch in all of the scheduled events. Grammy and Na Hoku Hanohano artists get to play in the sun and under the stars for themselves and an audience made up of tourists and locals.
“The Maui Jazz and Blues Festival showcases renowned musicians –from both Hawaii and the Mainland, in an intimate and private setting and attracts both island residents and visitors,” explained Kenneth K. Martinez Burgmaier, festival producer. “The festival brings together – on one stage – an unbelievable line-up of talented musicians, such as Lenny Castro, who has played with the Rolling Stones and Stevie Wonder, to Brother Noland, who is a revered and treasured musician here in Hawaii. Maui is an idyllic stage to showcase music, art and culture, and most importantly perpetuate and preserve these traditions for generations to come.”
Drummer Lenny Castro, electric blues guitarist Joe Louis Walker, trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis, saxophonist Donald Harrison, Paula Fuga, Brother Noland, the Iguanas, accordionist Dwayne Dopsie, and guitarist Benny Uyetake hit stages throughout North, South, and West Maui, for oceanfront concerts, late-night jam sessions, a sunset sail, snorkel sail, and Sunday Jazz Brunch.
The festival kick-off concert takes place at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua September 3, 6 p.m., with the Iguanas, Dopsie’s Zydeco, and the Jazz Alley TV Trio.
Sunday Jazz Brunch at the Grand Wailea, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m., finishes off a spectacular week of music and jam sessions. Reservations: (808) 875-1234.