Honokaa High School Jazz Band releases new CD

  • “Off the Beatin’ Path” is the 15th CD release by Honokaa Jazz Band, a group of talented Honokaa High School students led by the band’s leader, Gary Washburn. (COURTESY PHOTO

HONOKAA — For nearly 40 years, Honokaa High School Jazz Band has performed for eager audiences across the Big Island and state. Earlier this month, the Grammy-winning school’s musical legacy, under the direction of Gary Washburn, released its 15th CD, “Off the Beatin’ Path,” as an annual fundraising project to support the band’s travel and other costs.

It showcases a wide variety of music, from Henry Mancini to Dizzy Gillespie, B.B. King and Donnie and Marie Osmond. Featured vocalists Iwi Pilayo, Reyna Sanchez and Kaylynn Iona shine on songs by Micheal Bublé, Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, in addition to others. Instrumental soloists are Arron Miguel on alto sax, Kamea Phenicie on tenor sax, Kamaehu A-Duldalao on trumpet, Ron Jon PiraPira on bass, Connor Chamberlaine on tenor sax, and Duane Murakane and Andrew Connors on trombone.

Innovative, energetic and talented, the Jazz Band has set a standard for the performance of jazz music on the Big Island since it originated in 1978. In addition to its annual Oahu concert tour celebrating National Jazz Appreciation Month, the band has performed for four national conventions, National Public Radio’s “From the Top,” and the Big Island Jazz Festival featured on CNN’s “Jazz Alley.” Last year, a select ensemble was chosen for a multi-island tour with renown blues artist Marcia Ball and Johnny Nichols.

The CD is available from Washburn by calling 775-8800, extension 3137061, email gary_washburn/honokahi/[email protected] or any member of the band. CDs are also available at the band’s performances, including when they play on Sept. 24 at 5 p.m. at the Peace Day Festival in Honokaa.

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