Categorized | Education, Entertainment

Honokaa High School Jazz Band to tour Oahu


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

Honolulu, Hawaii – State Representative Mark Nakashima (Hamakua, North Hilo, South Hilo) announced that the Honoka’a Jazz Band from Honoka’a High School will be on its annual concert tour of Oahu from April 24-27. This year, the award winning band devotes its talents to the service of others. Hunger, homelessness, domestic violence and senior comfort remain a part of our community.

“I am very pleased to support the efforts of all of those connected with the Honoka’a Jazz Band, the pride of Honoka’a and the Big Island,” said Nakashima. “Each year the repertoire of the band changes as students graduate and the ‘personality’ of the band changes. This year, their repertoire includes a wide variety of music spanning from the 1940s to the present, and includes the music of Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon, Christina Aguilera and others.”

“It speaks to the talent and hard work of the kids and their teachers that they can perform such a wide range of music at such a high level.”

The Honoka’a students will be entertaining seniors at 15 Craigside on Friday, April 25 and then serving lunch as well as jazz at the Institute for Human Services on Sunday, April 27 at noon. “What a blessing to have the Honoka’a Jazz band volunteer their time and talents at IHS! We look forward to sharing with them our mission to end homelessness,” said Connie Mitchell, executive director for the Institute for Human Services.

The band’s tour also includes championing the ending of domestic violence as part of the Kapi´olani Community College Denim Day and Sexual Violence Awareness & Education campaign on Thursday, April 24. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the band performs at 11:30 a.m. in the Ohia Cafeteria.

The band’s ability to deliver consistent quality music has caught the attention of the Royal Hawaiian Center which welcomes their celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month each year. This year the Honoka’a Jazz Band will perform in the newly renovated Royal Grove of Helumoa on Saturday, April 26 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. and will be followed by other performances.

Besides their community service effort on the 2014 Big City tour, the band will be getting a little history at the Hawaii Plantation Village in Waipahu where they will experience a multicultural village from Hawaii’s past.

The Band received a GRAMMY Signature Schools Award in 2012 and has been recognized by NAMM Foundation as being an outstanding school for Music Education. Honoka’a High School was one of 36 schools out of 22,000 eligible programs in the U.S. to receive the GRAMMY Signature Schools Award.

The NAMM Foundation is a non-profit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and it’s nearly 9,000 members around the world, with the mission of advancing active participation in music making by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs from the international music products industry.

The Director Gary Washburn has been recognized as Claus Nobel Teacher of Distinction Award recipient, a Living Treasure of Hawaii and was inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame this past October.

For the past 15 years, the band has served as the entertainment for the Friends for Youth Transition Conventions on the Big Island with Frank Delima, and has performed with Melveen Leed as part of the Lokahi Tree Project.

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