Star-Bulletin Features

Thursday, March 25, 1999

Special to the Star-Bulletin
Singer Azure McCall, right, and trumpeter John Norris,
below, join dozens of local jazz stars at this
weekend's Jazz Blow-Out.

Festival celebrates
the roots of jazz

Tim Ryan


Take several dance steps back in time this weekend at the Third Annual Great Hawaiian Jazz Blow-Out '99 celebration at the Mid-Pacific Institute.

The "Blow-Out" will feature more than 100 musicians, singers and dancers highlighting international dance traditions.

The event begins at 5 p.m. Saturday with "From Africa to America" and the re-creation of "Congo Square-New Orleans," featuring stomps, field hollers, drumming, and dances evoking 17th-century America and the first waves of African slaves. It will be followed by "Birth of the Blues," Cajun music and Dixieland. The program continues from 7:30-11 p.m. with big band and swing music and on-stage dancing by the audience.


The First Circle: Drum, Dance and Song Ensemble will perform in "African Diaspora Music and Dance." The teaching and performing group is dedicated to representing African and African-derived music and dance, with material from West Africa, the Congo, Cuba, the Caribbean and Brazil. Musical director is Reggie McGowan.

Percussionists, dancers and singers will play drums such as the goblet-shaped Djembe and the double-headed Kenkeni of the Mande cultures of Guinea, Maili and Senegal. Central Africa, Cuba and the Caribbean will be represented by Congo drums.

Sunday's festivities start at noon with the All-Star Jazz Band, featuring musicians selected from Oahu schools. Jam sessions from 1-6 p.m. will feature fusion and contemporary jazz followed by a Latin music session -- and audience dancing -- until 8 p.m.

Dance Mistress is Adela Chu, a Panamanian dancer, choreographer and musician. Her dancers will perform in Mardi-Gras and Carnival scenes. Her band, "Espiritu Libre," will also perform in the Latin Jazz segment on Sunday. Audience members will be invited on stage to join her in salsa, samba and conga dances.


Great Hawaiian
Jazz Blow-Out

Bullet Dates: 5-11 p.m. Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday
Bullet Place: Bakken Hall, Mid-Pacific Institute
Bullet Tickets: $15 a day or $25 for the weekend, special rates for seniors, students and military. Children free. Food will be sold.
Bullet Call: 734-0397

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