From The White House To Honokaa

  • Honokaa High School’s own legendary Jazz Band is performing April 30 at People’s Theatre on International Jazz Appreciation Day. (PHOTO BY SARAH ANDERSON | SPECIAL TO NHN)

On April 30, the International Jazz Appreciation Day All Star-Global Concert, “Jazz at the White House,” will present a legend-laden lineup led by UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock. The concert is day’s grand finale, of which Washington, DC is the global host for the first time.

Closer to home, at Peoples Theatre, Honokaa High School’s own legendary Jazz Band will celebrate the day playing the music they love that day, with a concert at 7 p.m. Under the direction of bandleader Gary Washburn, the Jazz Band has brought together students of varied backgrounds to practice, play in harmony and make music for almost 40 years.

Jazz And Peace

“Jazz was born in the US and traveled the world as a music of tolerance, freedom and human dignity. This is why UNESCO created International Jazz Day. This event reminds us jazz is more than music — it is a universal message of peace with rhythm and meaning,” declares UNESCO’s Director General Irina Bokova in a statement.

Not that different from Hawaii’s musical melting pot, jazz — as with Pidgin, local potluck-style cuisine and many other aspects of life in our island state — as an art form, supports intercultural diplomacy, democracy, equality and peace in its own way.

On, Herbie Hancock says, “We all want to live in a jazz world where we all work together, improvise together, are not afraid of taking chances and expressing ourselves.”

Jazz Appreciation Month Tour

The Honokaa Jazz Band will also be helping to promote “Jazz at the White House” on a seven-concert Oahu tour April 21 through 24 during Jazz Appreciation Month, as they’ve done annually since 1989. Performances take place at Tamarind Square Park, Hawaii Kai Retirement Community, Honolulu Community College, the Navy Exchange, Royal Hawaii Center, and Wet ‘n’ Wild Waterpark. Most concerts are free and open to the public.

Back on Hawaii Island, tickets for the April 30 concert at Honokaa Peoples Theatre are $5 for adults, and $3 for students, available at the door. For more information, email GaryWashburn/HONOKAHI/[email protected].

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