PHOTOS COURTESY HONOLULU JAZZ QUARTET
The Honolulu Jazz Quartet - John Kolivas, left, Dan Del Negro, Adam Baron and Tim Tsukiyama - minus Del Negro, will play with Pauline Wilson.
And the beat goes on
It's a special moment for any artist to work with someone who inspired them when they were starting out. John Kolivas will be enjoying one of those moments when Pauline Wilson joins the Honolulu Jazz Quartet for a one-nighter Saturday at the Honolulu Academy of Arts.
"In the late '70s, I was in high school and was part of a jazz fusion group called Wave. ... and Seawind was one of the groups we admired. Their musicianship was at the highest level and Pauline was amazing," Kolivas said via e-mail.
Pauline Wilson of Seawind - originally Pauline Abong, born and raised on the Big Island - made local music history as the vocalist of the jazz septet originally known as Ox. The group outgrew Hawaii, moved to the mainland and discovered after they got there that another group had already owned the name. As Seawind, the group enjoyed success with a pair of pop-friendly originals, "Follow Your Road" and "The Devil is a Liar."
THE HONOLULU JAZZ QUARTET
With special guest Pauline Wilson
Place: Doris Duke Theatre, Honolulu Academy of Arts
Time: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Tickets: $30 general; $25 students, seniors
Kolivas says that besides playing with Wilson "a few times when she sat in on one of my gigs," the concert will be the first collaboration between the songstress and the jazz quartet. The performance will include Wilson's arrangements from Seawind and from her albums "Tribute" and "Intuition."
"Most of the evening will be featuring Pauline, but we'll also be playing some of our HJQ tunes," Kolivas said.
Kolivas and the quartet will be pushing their musical limits at the performance. With founding member Dan Del Negro currently working on some of his own projects, Kolivas (bass), Tim Tsukiyama (sax) and Adam "von" Baron (drums) are welcoming Jeannette Trevias on piano, Jimmy Funai on guitar and Delano Choy Jr. on trumpet.
Kolivas notes that Funai was the original guitarist for Ox when the group was formed as a 15-piece big band that played the Crater Festival.
Choy, meanwhile, was a founding member of Wave. Kolivas was introduced to him by fellow teen jazzer Conrad Herwig, a trombonist. The group coalesced around Kolivas, Choy and his younger brother, David, plus guitarists Darren Wu and Greg Uyehara and drummer Jack Martin. Eventually, keyboardist Allen Leong replaced the guitarists, and Chuck James inherited the drum spot.
And so, there'll be a good deal of nostalgia on Saturday as Wilson sits in with the quartet and Choy renews his old-time musical partnership with Kolivas.
The quartet's performance with Wilson also doubles as fundraiser for the group, which has been invited to play a one-nighter at the Sonoma Valley Jazz Society's "Tuesday Night Market Jazz" program next month. Its a paid gig, but transportation costs aren't included.
"This is exciting for us as, once again, we get to take our music on the road and help keep Hawaii on the map for jazz. They are paying us for the concert, but we have to come up with our travel expenses. ... Travel-wise, groups from Hawaii are at a distinct disadvantage over groups on the mainland."
During these tight economic times, even working at home is tough, Kolivas admitted. Most venues can't pay a decent wage, "so gigs are few and far between." But the quartet keeps forging ahead; in fact, plans are under way for a one-nighter at Andrews Amphitheater in September.
"Musicians are artists who have to express themselves," Kolivas said. "We'll keep doing what we love to do and hope that the economy and the music scene will be on the upswing in the future."