Maui Arts & Entertainment

Jazz pros mentor students, perform at concerts in April

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Photos: Rock Hendricks (left); Katie Thiroux (middle); and Paul January (right). PC: courtesy.

LAHAINA – Keyboardist and trumpeter Paul January along with drummer Jimmy C. perform Sunday, April 3, at the Maui Ku’ia Chocolate Factory, as the opening event in the 2022 Maui Music Series during Jazz Appreciation Month on Maui. The event starts at 11:30 a.m.

Tickets are available at

The nonprofit organizer, Jazz Maui, hopes to provide opportunities for participation in high quality jazz music education and performances through the series. Jazz Maui has received support from a number of entities, including the Hawai’i Tourism Authority’s Community Enrichment Program, Makana Aloha Foundation, and the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau.


Jazz Maui official Bryant Neal, who has been doing jazz education in the schools for the past 20 years, said his organization has provided summer programs and is now focusing on providing programs during the regular school year.

“The twist this year is offering clinics and concerts during the school year, as part of Jazz Appreciation Month,” he said. “This timing provides more Maui students with the opportunity for exposure to jazz and top jazz performers.”

Neal said education director Katie Thiroux and her team plan to visit schools and offer clinics for four days starting April 25. He said selected student ensembles will be featured as part of the Series’ preshow at the concert on April 30.


“All concerts will be video recorded, edited and streamed free of charge on Akakū Maui Community Television,, and JazzMaui on YouTube.

Neal said the participating schools include Seabury Hall, King Kekaulike High School, Kamehameha Middle School, Lahainaluna High School, and Maui Preparatory Academy. For participation, contact [email protected]

Neal, who has a B.A. in theatre arts and lived on Maui for 40 years, is known for his well-received performances during Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day as King delivering his “I Have A Dream” speech.


Jazz Appreciation Concert events occur on the following dates:

  • Friday, April 22: with Tanama Colibri and Friends beginning the pre-show at 5:30 p.m. at the open air Altitude Deck on the rooftop of Kīhei Charter School in the Maui Research and High Technology Park. The event, with a special tribute to drummer Roscoe Wright, begins with Latin jazz with pianist and vocalist Sal Godinez leading the group Lat. 21 N, accompanied by Danny M on bass, Estaire Godinez on percussions, John Zandgrando on woodwinds, James Somera on drums, and Steve Sargenti on mandolin and harmonica. It later shifts into jazz fusion with Prem Brosio and his band Cosmic Groove.
  • Saturday, April 30: at the Altitude Deck in Kīhei. A pre-show begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by the smooth jazz sounds of Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Rock Hendricks, with keyboardist George Tavey, and guitarist/vocalist Mitch Kepa. Special guest bassist/vocalist Katie Thiroux and her band Justin Kauflin and Matt Witek perform straight-ahead jazz.

Neal said clinics and concerts featuring jazz with classical instruments and the Hawaiian steel guitar are planned from June through September.

Concert tickets may be purchased at or by emailing [email protected] or calling Bryant, 808-283-3576.

  • Katie Thiroux. PC: courtesy
  • Prem Brosio / Cosmic Groove. Prem Brosio is a professional guitarist and music educator from Maui. He studied jazz guitar in Switzerland and earned a Bachelor of Education in Music from UH Mānoa. Prem currently calls Maui his home and is where he spends his time teaching and (since COVID) making music online. PC: courtesy.
  • Rock Hendricks. PC: courtesy.
  • Jazz Maui presents Sunday Jazz at Maui Kuʻia Chocolate Tasting. PC: event flyer
Gary Kubota
Gary Kubota, an associate writer with, has worked as a staff news writer with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and The Maui News. He lives on Maui. He’s also been an editor/business manager with the Lahaina News. He’s received national and regional journalism awards — a National Press Club Citation of Merit and Walter Cronkite Best In The West, among them.
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