Festival draws hundreds of jazz lovers to Kohala

Friday, June 1st, 2012
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BY LISA MARIE DAHM
North Hawaii News

Several hundred people attended each of the four-day Big Island Jazz Festival events, from May 31 to June 3. The festival featured jazz and Hawaiian-style blues, with musicians from local talent to national Grammy award-winners.

According to Kenneth Martinez Burgmaier, the event founder, the event was a “huge success.”

“It was a magical and historic weekend of jazz and blues for Hawaii Island,” Martinez Burgmaier said. “The support we had was tremendous and people continued throughout the entire four-day festival with requests to please bring this back next year.”

The event kicked off with a dinner event at the Blue Dragon Restaurant on May 31, followed by a VIP Jazz and Blues Luau Dinner at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on June 1. The featured event was June 2, followed by a Jazz and Blues Sunday Brunch on June 3, both at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel.

John Keawe was given the event’s Kilohana Award as Best Entertainer of the Year from HawaiiOnTV.com. Entertainers included: Brother Roland, Junior “Volcano” Choy, Les McCann, Eric Marienthal, Javon Jackson and drummer Akira Tana.

“It was extremely satisfying to see the happy faces, dancing crowds and standing ovations that connected all of us through live music,” Martinez Burgmaier said.