>> Contemporary jazz pioneer Dave Koz returns
Jazz saxophonist Dave Koz returns to Blue Note Hawaii for a three-night gig this weekend.
With nine albums that have reached the Top 10 on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz charts, he’s considered one of the foremost performers in the genre. His 2015 album “Collaborations: 2th Anniversary Collection” reflects that status, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Jazz chart.
A native of Southern California, Koz earned his degree in communications, but he played in school jazz bands as a youth, and soon after college started playing professionally. He played with Richard Marx and with several L.A.-area bands before going solo, earning a Grammy nomination with his eponymous solo debut album in 1990. His communications degree has come in handy, too, as he’s hosted several jazz programs on radio and television in the Los Angeles area.
Koz appears with up-and-coming guitarist Adam Hawley, whose 2016 debut album “Just the Beginning” had three singles reach the smooth jazz charts, and veteran bassist Chris Walker, who’s played with George Bensen, Ornette Coleman, Boney James, Dee Bridgewater and other jazz luminaries.
>> Where: Blue Note Hawaii
When: 6:30 and 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday
Info: bluenotehawaii.com or 777-4890
>> Jazz quartet has a new take on Gershwin
The ever-popular, ever-familiar tunes of George Gershwin get an interesting new twist on Friday, courtesy of the Honolulu Jazz Quartet.
Quartet leader and bassist John Kolivas got inspiration for the idea after attending a concert by the SF Jazz Collective, an innovative group in San Francisco that demands that each of its members come up with new material, either rearrangements of standards or new songs. “It was totally different than anything I’d heard before,” he said. “Very daring. They were not only modulating into different keys, but taking it into different time signatures. Just all kinds of stuff that was really cool.”
Kolivas and fellow band members — pianist Dan Del Negro, saxophonist Tim Tsukiyama and percussionist Noel Okimoto — followed suit, creating new arrangements, which will be featured at Medici’s at Manoa on Friday.
Kolivas wrote a Gershwin medley that starts with the famous, flourishing opening of “Rhapsody in Blue,” but rather than having it played on clarinet, “I’m having Noel figure out how to do that on drums,” Kolivas said. “And then it’s going to go into a little hip-hop kind of thing. I’m glad Noel is playing with us, because he’s so ‘on it’ with that kind of thing.”
Tsukiyama contributed an arrangement of “Summertime” that includes a solo section and a section of counterpoint – multi-voiced composition most prominently associated with Bach – with piano and bass. Latin rhythms will also be featured.
“It’s just making it interesting, making it different, not just playing a standard (arrangement),” Kolivas said.
HONOLULU JAZZ QUARTET
>> Where: Medici’s at Manoa Marketplace
>> When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
>> Cost: $20 to $25
>> Info: musicatmedicis.tix.com
>> Na Leo releases CD for Mother’s Day
What better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than with the soothing sounds of Na Leo Pilimehana?
Childhood friends Nalani Jenkins, Lehua Kalima and Angela Morales belong to one of Oahu’s most-acclaimed local groups, winning more than 20 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards in their 35 years of making music. Their sweet harmonies first captured hearts while they were students at Kamehameha Schools in the mid 1980s and won the Brown Bags to Stardom competition.
With their soothing, Hawaiian and pop stylings, they’ve managed to endure not only time but a few controversies. They got some flak for their first hit, “Local Boys,” because some thought it offended Caucasians, while another song “Friends” was banned from public school graduations because it mentioned God.
No matter. They’ve won the Hoku for Song of the Year four times, “Flying With Angels,” “Rest of Your Life,” “Saving Forever” and “I Miss You Hawaii.”
In recognition of the occasion, the trio will be releasing a new CD, “For You Mom.” The evening includes a hula tribute to Auntie Leina‘ala Kalama Heine, plus an appearance by Brook Lee, who won the Miss Hawaii USA, Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants.
“FOR YOU MOM”
Na Leo Mother’s Day Concert
>> Where: Hawaii Theatre
>> When: 1:30 p.m. Sunday
>> Cost: $35 to $55 ($75 VIP includes signed CD, photo op, chocolate and rose)
>> Info: 528-0506, hawaiitheatre.com
>> Meeting focuses on environment, world peace
Climate change and international stability will be the topic of a public summit at the architecturally significant Liljestrand House on Tantalus next week.
“Margins of the Sea: Peace. Global Understanding and Climate Change” kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday with the keynote address “The Pacific: Where Geopolitics and Nature Intersect.” The talk will be given by Simon Winchester, a British author and journalist who has written extensively about the geopolitics of the Pacific region.
Beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, hear from Maya Soetoro-Ng, sister to President Obama and co-founder of the Institute for Climate and Peace, and storyteller, health activist and documentary filmmaker James Redford, son of actor Robert Redford. Along with University of Hawaii law professor Maxine Burkett and moderator Chip Fletcher of UH’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, and incorporating film clips, the speakers will discuss climate change and its relationship to social justice.
Both programs will be followed by a reception.
“MARGINS OF THE SEA” CONFERENCE
>> Where: Liljestrand House, 3300 Tantalus Drive
>> When: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday
>> Cost: $40 per program
>> Info: 397-7196, liljestrandfoundation.org
For additional events, visit staradvertiser.com/calendar.