Hawaii’s premier jazz group, the Honolulu Jazz Quartet (HJQ), celebrated its 10th Anniversary on July 20, 2011 at Gordon Biersch at the Aloha Tower Marketplace in Honolulu. The festive event, which surrounded the group with friends, family and fans, was topped off with the release if its fourth CD entitled “Remembrance / Live at The Triple Door.”
The group, which was formed in the summer of 2001, was the brainstorm of bassist John Kolivas, the founder and leader of the quartet. He formed the group in order to play his favorite music with some of his favorite players, and to provide a palate for an artistic outlet: composing. This has led to a group that has had accolades throughout the U.S. and many other countries due to familiarity on the jazz airwaves. Kolivas’ tune “Heater’s On” even made it to number one on Philadelphia’s Jazz Top Ten. Legendary jazz critic and author, Nat Hentoff, wrote: The Honolulu Jazz Quartet is ready to be recognized in jazz scenes throughout the world.”
The HJQ featured a debut of some new compositions during the evening. Tim Tsukiyama’s “Carl Knows the Way” and Kolivas’ “The New Four” were some of the highlights, along with Dan Del Negro’s Reggae-beat tune “Wes’ Side, Brah!” which gave drummer, von Baron, an opportunity to play some island style rhythms.
The crowd was also treated to some of Hawaii’s finest jazz performers who sat in with the group during the second set. Duane Padilla on violin, DeShannon Higa on trumpet and vocalist Ginai, brought the house down with renditions of Miles Davis’ “Seven Steps to Heaven” and Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five”.
The group happily signed autographs (they are all left handed!) on their new release and John appreciated the crowd, commenting, “I’m glad to see there are still people who buy CDs!”
The HJQ is eagerly anticipating its next 10 years and we are looking forward to more celebrations to come!