Kona Jazz Experience returns to Aloha Theatre for two nights


Kona Jazz Experience presents two nights of jazz to prepare for the new year at 7 p.m. Dec. 27 and. 28 at Aloha Theatre in Kainaliu. Proceeds from both concerts will benefit Aloha Performing Arts Company.

The Dec. 27 concert begins with the Kyle Matsuda Jazz Quartet to be followed by Pele’s Passions. A jazz piano wizard, Matsuda has been amazing audiences on the Big Island, Oahu and the mainland since he was a young teen. Jazz veterans Volcano Choy on trumpet, Brian McCree on bass and Michael Surprenant on drums round out Matsuda’s quartet.

Pele’s Passions plays original compositions by trumpeter Andrea Lindborg. Based on the story of Pele, the band’s compilation of songs mix Afro-Cuban and Brazilian rhythms with warm jazz melodies and rhythm and blues vocals. Led by Surprenant on drums and percussion, the group includes Jesse Snyder on tenor saxophone, flute and percussion; Luke Clebsch on guitar, harmonica, bass and vocals; and Matsuda on piano.

The Dec. 28 show promises great sounds with the return of Bill Noble’s Big Island Big Band. The band will play music by Stan Kenton, Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, Count Basie and more from the Big Band era. Noble has been collecting Big Band arrangements for years but is also calling on the collections of Gary Washburn and Paul Arceo for the concert. Noble has played with the Temptations, Ray Charles, Gladys Knight and the Fifth Dimension, as well as many area artists and his own Bill Noble Trio. He regularly performs in the pit for Aloha Performing Arts Company productions, and for many years entertained at resorts and notable private parties, including for two former U.S. presidents. Sixteen musicians from all over the Big Island make up Bill Noble’s Big Island Big Band.

Tickets for each night are $10 for students and $15 for adults. The mission of the Kona Jazz Experience is to bring quality live jazz concerts to the people of Kona. For more information, call 322-9924 or visit alohatheatre.com.