Blue Note Hawaii
Honolulu Jazz Quartet

Honolulu Jazz Quartet
Celebrating 100 Years of Jazz

Jazz is widely considered the only truly original American art form, and it’s birth as serious art can be traced to the year 1924.  To quote Wikipedia: In 1924 the improvised solo had become an integral part of most jazz performances.. Jazz was becoming increasingly popular in New Orleans, Kansas City, Chicago and New York City and 1924 was something of a benchmark of jazz being seen as a serious musical form.

That was the year George Gershwin composed Rhapsody in Blue, considered one of the greatest compositions of the 20th century, and its premiere elevates jazz to the level of “serious” classical music.  Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong begin their recording careers, and “Satchmo” joins Fletcher Henderson’s Big Band in New York City, where he develops a style of playing that will influence all of jazz.  The rest is history.

Fast forward 100 years, and The Honolulu Jazz Quartet (itself nearing the quarter-century mark) and its special guests celebrate the centennial of jazz as serious art with its renditions of jazz classics from every decade of the art form’s development: from the ragtime of the 1920s, to the swing era of the 1930s, to the be-bop revolution to the 1940s, to the birth of the cool in the 1950s, to the funk of the 1960s, to the fusion jazz of the 1970s and beyond. 

Special Guests:
DeShannon Higa 
Jeannette Trevias
Kainalu Kolivas
Robert Pennybacker

Tickets $25-$35



- Seating is First Come, First Served
- $10 Food or Beverage Minimum Per Person 
- Full Bar & Full Dinner Menu Available
- No refunds or exchange. Please make sure you purchase tickets for the correct date and time. Mahalo!

Click here to view seating chart full screen

Click here to view seating chart full screen.

  • Honolulu Jazz Quartet

    The Honolulu Jazz Quartet was formed by bassist John Kolivas, at the urging of his musician mother Dolly, just a few months before September 11, 2001. The group marked its 20th anniversary in the throes of the worldwide pandemic. That this milestone achievement by Hawai`i’s most enduring jazz combo is framed by the two most tumultuous, world-changing events of this century is emblematic of how we have all survived in these challenging times: by moving forward, straight ahead. Indeed, it is the very essence of improvisational jazz to constantly flow, or sometimes push, forward through the chord changes of a song, always in search of reaching new musical heights, of playing something no one has ever heard before. This album, the group’s fourth, is a celebration of their perpetual movement forward, straight ahead, through two decades of trials and triumphs. It is also a harbinger the musical adventures that await them as they embark—straight ahead—into their third decade.

    One of the secrets to the group’s longevity is that they are a musical democracy. Although Kolivas is HJQ’s founder, the quartet has no front-man in the traditional sense (i.e., the John Coltrane Quartet). The front-man has always been the sound the group makes together. Every time they perform, four distinctive, highly individualistic musicians come together to create one sound, a sound that is far greater than the sum of its parts. When hearing John Kolivas strike a note on his bass, a soft, warm feeling shoots up your spine and radiates to your face. His playing lays down a bottom so solid a herd of elephants could dance over it. Saxophonist Tim Tsukiyama channels the all-time great artists on his instrument—Lester Young, Ben Webster, John Coltrane, and Wilton Felder. But he has a distinctive voice of his own and is a thinking man’s horn player. Dan Del Negro hails from the South Side of Chicago and brings a funk sensibility to the group. But Dan can play anything: from musical theatre; to be-bop; to spacey Herbie Hancock and McCoy Tyner chords; to Funkadelic, to classical, and all points in between. When Noel Okimoto took over as the group’s percussionist (replacing Von Baron after his move to Japan), everyone knew that the Honolulu Jazz Quartet had come of age. Noel’s Hawai`i-jazz legacy, from his days with the legendary Gabe Baltazar and with the Betty Loo Taylor trio backing up the incomparable Jimmy Borges, brings a maturity, precision, and power to the Honolulu Jazz Quartet that has taken the group to a whole new level.

    Like a twenty-year-old Scotch, the Honolulu Jazz Quartet has matured into a rich, complex, mellow smokiness that goes down easy but still packs a wallop. Don’t add any mixers to it. You’ll want to enjoy it straight. . .ahead.

    — From “Straight Ahead” Liner Notes by Robert Pennybacker

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