Third jazz and blues festival comes to the Kohala Coast


The rhythmic and alluring sounds of jazz and blues will captivate audiences at the third annual Big Island Jazz &Blues Festival held June 5 through 8 in South Kohala.

Patrons will be treated to Hawaii Island debut performances by jazz and blues legends including jazz master and Jason Marsalis, Grammy winner and trumpet player Skip Martin of Kool &The Gang and Dazz Band; saxophone player Donald Harrison of New Orleans and harmonica performer Johnny Sansone from New Orleans. Additional performers include trombone and conch shell master Steve Turre from the Saturday Night Live Band, jazz, blues, and mariachi band The Iguanas, Na Hoku winner and jazz guitarist Benny Uyetake, the Jazz Alley TV Trio, and the Honokaa Select School Jazz Band with Gary Washburn.

“Music and the arts is vital to every community and we are humbled to have such an extraordinary opportunity to bring such a historic jazz and blues festival back to Hawaii Island,” said founder Ken Martinez Burgmaier. The festival has sold out each year, he added.

The schedule of events begins with a jazz and blues performance from 7 to 9:30 p.m. June 5 at Red Water Cafe in Waimea.

A kick-off dinner show featuring the Jazz Alley TV Trio and a special performance by the festival’s New Orleans jazz and blues artists is set from 6 to 9 p.m. June 6 at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel’s Kaunaoa Bar &Grill. Call 885-9299 for reservations. Seating is limited.

A sunset pupu and cocktail reception will allow attendees to meet the the artists and enjoy a performance on the beach. Tickets are $40 and seating is very limited.

A free jazz event will feature jazz guitarist Benny Uyetake and the Honokaa Select Jazz Band from 4 to 6 p.m. June 6 on the main stage at Shops at Mauna Lani.

See jazz guitar and ukulele master Benny Uyetake from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 7 during a free show at Big Island Toyota in Kailua-Kona.

The third annual Big Island Jazz &Blues Festival will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. June 7 on at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel’s luau grounds. Advance tickets are $60, and $85 VIP seats are available.

Finally, jazz guitarists Benny Uyetake and Skip Martin will perform at a jazz brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 8 at the hotel. Call 882-5810 for reservations

The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is offering a special accommodations packages. For more information, call 866-774-6236.

Festival tickets are available at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, by phone at 882-5810, at the festival or online at bigislandjazzanbluesfestival.com.