Jazz pros mentor students and perform at concerts in April


Photos: Rock Hendricks (left); Katie Thiroux (middle); and Paul January (right). PC: courtesy.

LAHAINA — Keyboardist and trumpeter Paul January accompanied by drummer Jimmy C. Sunday April 3, at the Maui Ku’ia Chocolate Factory, as the opening event for the 2022 Maui Music Series during Maui Jazz Appreciation Month. The event starts at 11:30 p.m.

Tickets are available at JazzMaui.org.

The non-profit organizer, Jazz Maui, hopes to provide opportunities for participation in high-quality jazz music education and performances through the series. Jazz Maui has received support from a number of entities, including the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s Community Enrichment Program, the Makana Aloha Foundation, and the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau.

Jazz Maui founder Bryant Neal said his organization has been running a jazz education program on Maui with schools primarily during the summer for the past four years.

“New this year is offering clinics and concerts during the school year, as part of Jazz Appreciation Month,” he said. “This moment offers more Maui students the opportunity to be exposed to jazz and top jazz artists.”


Neal said director of education Katie Thiroux and her team plan to visit schools and offer clinics for four days starting April 25. He said selected student ensembles will be featured as part of the series pre-show during the April 30 concert.


“All concerts will be recorded, edited and streamed for free on video on Akakū Maui Community Television, JazzMaui.org and JazzMaui on YouTube.

Neal said participating schools include Seabury Hall, King Kekaulike High School, Kamehameha Middle School, Lahainaluna High School and Maui Preparatory Academy. To participate, contact [email protected]

Neal, who has a bachelor’s degree in theater arts and has lived on Maui for 40 years, is known for his well-received performances on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day as King delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech.


Jazz Appreciation Concerts are held on the following dates:

  • friday april 22: with Tanama Colibri and friends starting the pre-show at 5:30 p.m. on the outdoor Altitude Deck on the roof of the Kīhei Charter School in Maui’s Research and High Tech Park. The event, with a special tribute to drummer Roscoe Wright, begins with Latin jazz with pianist and vocalist Sal Godinez leading the band Lat. 21 N, accompanied by Danny M on bass, Estaire Godinez on percussion, John Zandgrando on woodwinds, James Somera on drums and Steve Sargenti on mandolin and harmonica. He then switched to jazz fusion with Prem Brosio and his group Cosmic Groove.
  • Saturday April 30: at the Altitude Deck in Kīhei. A pre-show begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by the smooth jazz sounds of Grammy-winning saxophonist Rock Hendricks, with keyboardist George Tavey and guitarist/vocalist Mitch Kepa. Bassist/special guest vocalist Katie Thiroux and her band Justin Kauflin and Matt Witek perform jazz straight ahead.

Neal said clinics and concerts featuring jazz with classical instruments and the Hawaiian steel guitar are scheduled for June through September.

Concert tickets can be purchased at www.jazzmaui.org or via email [email protected] or by calling Bryant, 808-283-3576.


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