Maui Arts & Entertainment

Maui Jazz & Blues Fest Starts This Week

September 17, 2011, 2:49 PM HST
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By Madeline M. Ziecker

Poster courtesy of the Maui Jazz & Blues Festival

Maui’s First Annual Jazz & Blues Festival will take place on Saturday, September 24 at the Grand Wailea Resort from 4-8 p.m.

Performances surrounding the festival will begin this week on Monday, September 18 at Mulligan’s On The Blue with artists David Choy & SLAM. Choy and SLAM will also play at the free Jazz Party at Stella Blues in Kīhei on Wednesday, Sept. 21.

The festival on Saturday will take place in the Grand Wailea’s “Molokini Garden.” For $20, festival guests can experience an array of Jazz & Blues performances by legendary musicians such as Les McCann, Javon Jackson, Del Feayo Marsalis, Tom Scott, Skip Martin, Brian Stoltz, Brother Noland Blues, David Choy & SLAM, Henry Allen, Brittni Paiva, Benny Uyetake and the Kalama Intermediate School Ukulele Jazz Cats, and Zenshin Daiko Taiko Drummers.

Perhaps the most thrilling aspect of the Maui Jazz & Blues festival is the chance to encounter renowned artist Les McCann. McCann has recorded over 30 albums in the past five decades, has toured the globe and is still a force to reckon with at nearly 80 years old. He has collaborated with other major artists, who encompass several music genres, such as Eddie Harris, Lou Rawls, Joan Baez, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Miles Davis, and Duke Ellington.

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An example of McCann’s musical ingenuity is his 1973 Jazz album, Layers, which was an improvisational experiment that included 15 musicians and one 27-minute song. The album is considered one of the earliest electronic jazz albums.

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As if McCann’s musical talent isn’t impressive enough, he is also an avid painter and photographer. Because of his interest in photography, McCann has a massive collection of photos portraying his career of over a half-century, providing a window into the lives of world-famous musicians. More information on his photographs, paintings, and music can be found at www.lesmccann-officialwebsite.com.

The festival will conclude on Sept. 25 with the Jazz Sunday Brunch with guitarist Henry Allen at the Grand Wailea Resort from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Grand Wailea is offering room packages starting at $199 per night in the spirit of the festival.

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General admission price for the festival is $2o. VIP tables for 10 are available as well for $250. For tickets and more information, visit www.MauiJazzandBluesFestival.com.

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