Friday, April 20, 2012

Honoka‘a Jazz Band Performs at the Capitol

Hailing from the Big Island's Hamakua Coast, the Honoka‘a Jazz Band is in the middle of its Big City Tour of Oahu. The tour, which coincides with National Jazz Appreciation Month, made a stop at the Capitol this morning. As a special surprise, jazz aficionado, Governor Neil Abercrombie issued a proclamation declaring April 20th, 2012 as Honoka‘a Jazz Band Day!

Gary Washburn, school music director, created the Honoka‘a Jazz Band in 1988 and changes the musical repertoire annually to reflect the evolving personality of the band as students graduate. The band has earned distinction as one of the preeminent school musical programs in the nation. In 2010, Honoka‘a's music program beat out more than 22,000 other schools to be awarded one of the top 138 music programs in the United States. Last year, the band received the coveted Grammy Signature Schools Enterprise Award and Gary Washburn received the National Society of High School Scholars' Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction Award. This year, the band performed at the Ilikai Hotel in Honolulu for the Edison Learning Convention and will be featured in the June edition of Hana Hou Magazine.

Big Island Lawmakers Reps. Cindy Evans, Mark Nakashima, and Sen. Malama Solomon enjoying the show

“With all of the emphasis on math and science, it is crucial to always remember that it is music and the arts that provide us with inspiration,” said Rep. Nakashima, (District 1 - North Kohala, South Kohala, Hamakua, North Hilo, South Hilo).

“Music, drama and the arts provide our students with the opportunity to exercise their creativity, act on their inspiration, and imagine the possibilities,” he added. “Teachers like Mr. Washburn provide students with the venue to explore this realm and to contribute profoundly to our quality of life.”

Governor Abercrombie providing lead vocals
This year's repertoire includes music going back to the 1940s as well as contemporary hits. You can hear the band's take on music by Christina Aguilera, Brazil 66, Ruth Brown, Michael Buble, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Maceo Parker, Paul Simon, and a special Cuban song, "Mis Dos Pequenas." 

The remaining stops on the Honoka‘a Jazz Band's Big City Tour are listed below.

A Night of Jazz at the Arcadia
Friday, April 20, 2012 from 7-8p.m.
1434 Punahou Street
(808) 983-1808

YMCA Healthy Kids Day at the Bishop Museum
Saturday, April 21, 2012
9:00a.m. to 2:00p.m. Event Time
FREE Admission for Kama'aina and Military with ID.
Out-of-state guests and those who wish to enter Bishop Museum 
after 2:00 pm will be charged the normal entry fee.
(808) 946-0292

Twilight Jazz at Helumoa
Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki
Saturday, April 21, 2012
7p.m. Honoka’a Jazz Band
8p.m. Kit Ebersbach Combo with Starr Kalāhiki
FREE and Open to the Public

Earth Day Beach Cleanup and Celebration
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Makapu'u Meadows at Sea Life Park
9:30a.m.-12p.m. Cleanup 9:30a.m. – 12p.m.
12-5p.m. Celebration
12-1p.m. Honoka’a Jazz Band Performs
Contact: Lindsey Kesel, 303-952-0452

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