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Honokaa Jazz Band on tour with Oahu performances

The Honokaa Jazz Band performs at the 2010 Peace Day Parade & Festival in Honokaa

The Honokaa Jazz Band performs at the 2010 Peace Day Parade & Festival in Honokaa. Hawaii 24/7 File Photo


In honor of National Jazz Month, the 32-member Honoka’a Jazz Band from the Big Island has scheduled a “Big City Tour” of Oahu with several performances and appearances from April 14-17. Rep. Mark Nakashima, District 1 – North Kohala, South Kohala, Hamakua, North Hilo, South Hilo, who graduated from Honoka’a High School and is a big fan of jazz music, arranged for the group to open for the Royal Hawaiian Band on the grounds of the Iolani Palace on Friday, April 15, 2011. The group will play from 11:10 – 11:40 a.m. Rep. Mark Nakashima will give the opening remarks.

The Honoka’a Jazz Band is the pride and joy of Honoka‘a High. In 2010, the music program at Honoka’a High School was selected by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation (NAMM) as one of 138 schools in the United States with an outstanding music program and commitment to music education. They are also the recipients of the prestigious 2011 Grammy Signature Schools Enterprise Award. Gary Washburn, the band director, recently received the 2011 Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction Award from the National
Society of High School Scholars.

This year the band’s repertoire includes the music of Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Dusty Springfield, Miles Davis, Bobby Timmons, Michael Buble, Patsy Cline, Amy Winehouse, Aretha Franklin and a special arrangement of Pachelbel’s “Canon in D”.

“Honoka’a High School’s music program demonstrates that with dedicated staff, parental and community support our children in rural Hamakua can compete and be recognized nationwide,” said Rep. Nakashima.

Honoka’a Jazz Band “Big City Tour 2011” Schedule

Thursday, April 14th, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Shriner’s Childrens Hospital Special Luncheon
1310 Punahou Street, Honolulu

Thursday, April 14th 7-8 p.m.
Dots Thursday Night Fellowship Jazz with Steve Lucas and Friends
Family Friendly Jazz with No Cover Charge
Dots in Wahiawa
139 Mango Street

Friday, April 15th 7-8a.m.
Peace of the Rainbow “Power of Jazz” hour
Broadcast LIVE:
* Statewide on OC16 Television
* and on the Morning Drive of AM 1080 Radio
* also Global on
Panel: Gary Washburn, Rep. Mark Nakashima, Chuck James
Panel discussion – The power of Jazz, what makes jazz unique, role of jazz in education, does jazz create better people, the story of Honoka’a Jazz Band, Pride of Honoka’a

Friday, April 15th – 11:10-11:40 a.m.
Opening for the Royal Hawaiian Band at Iolani Palace

Friday, April 15th – 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Windward Mall Center Stage

Saturday, April 16th – 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.
Ala Moana Shopping Center Stage

Saturday, April 16th – 6p.m.
Twilight Jazz at Helemoa Royal Grove at the Royal Hawaiian Center. Opening for Paul Shimamoto performing from his debut release “All That Hawaiian Jazz” a multi Na Hoku Nominee and Kekauoha The Jazz Project

Sunday, April 17th – 12:15 p.m. -1:15p.m.
Honolulu Academy of Arts
Bank of Hawaii Family Sunday: The Big 84

The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History has led the initiative for Jazz Appreciation Month, or JAM, “to draw public attention to the glories of jazz as both an historical and a living treasure.” According to the Smithsonian’s website, during the month of April musicians, concert halls, schools, colleges, museums, libraries, and public broadcasters are encouraged to offer special programs on jazz.

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