The Honolulu Jazz Quartet will celebrate its 15th anniversary at the Blue Note Hawaii in the Outrigger Waikiki on Monday, May 30, 2016. Showtimes are 6:30 and 9:00 p.m.
Comprised of bassist and group leader John Kolivas, saxophonist Tim Tsukiyama, drummer Von Baron, and keyboardist Dan Del Negro, the HJQ has been Hawaii’s preeminent jazz quartet for a decade and a half. In his liner notes for the group’s Tenacity CD, legendary jazz critic Nat Hentoff wrote: “The Honolulu Jazz Quartet – through its’ performances at the Hawaii International Jazz Festival, the Honolulu Symphony Pops, and jazz venues throughout Hawaii – is ready to be recognized in jazz scenes throughout the world, as is manifestly, invigoratingly evident in Sounds of the City (their first CD) and now Tenacity.”
Hentoff mentions one of HJQ’s career highlights: playing with the Honolulu Symphony Pops. In that concert, the quartet was accompanied by the symphony in maestro Matt Cattingub’s arrangements of some of the group’s original compositions. They were also the opening act that evening for James Ingram. Besides countless engagements throughout Hawaii, HJQ has toured extensively in California and Seattle. Their engagement at Seattle’s famous Triple Door club led to the group’s first live album (and their third CD).
At the urging of his mother, pianist Dolly Lott, Kolivas formed the group in the early summer of 2001. The first musician he approached was drummer Richie Pratt, who had played with the New York Jazz Quartet years before and agreed that the Honolulu Jazz Quartet would make a good name and memorable brand for the group. (Pratt was replaced a few years later by Von Baron and passed away last year.) One of the quartet’s first original compositions was Remembrance—a healing tribute to the victims of the September 11th attacks. The song was released as a single, with singer Anita Hall on vocals, as a fundraiser for the victims’ families.
Looking back on fifteen years of the Honolulu Jazz Quartet, Kolivas says: “It's a privilege to still be making music with these fine players! We have a nice bond together as a band. Even though we've all gone through many challenging things in our personal lives, the music and friendships keep us together.” And the group is looking forward to its next fifteen years. “We want to keep composing original tunes and recording”, says Kolivas. “Being able to perform at the Blue Note Hawaii is a wonderful opportunity for the HJQ and we hope to do a tour of the Blue Note clubs in the future.”
For tickets to the Honolulu Jazz Quartet’s May 30th performances at the Blue Note Hawaii go to bluenotehawaii.com or call 808-777-4890.
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