Saturday, June 18, 2011

Red Clay Jazz Festival

June 25, 2011
Lani Maile at Kauai Lagoons Resort
(Outdoor setting)
3:00-9:00pm Rain or Shine
$40.00 Admission
Food and Beverages available for purchase


3:00 P.M. Steve Dubey Quartet
4:30 P.M. Phil & Angela Benoit
6:15 P.M. Hailey Niswanger Quartet
7:45 P.M. Hubert Laws Quintet

Hubert Laws is an American Flutist with an extraordinary 30 Year career in jazz, classical and a wide variety of music forms. Alongside Herbie Mann, Laws is probably the most recognized and respected jazz flutist. He has mastered jazz, pop and rhythm and blues genres and was trained as a classical flutist at Julliard.

In 1964 Laws began recording as a bandleader for the Atlantic label, and he released the albums The Laws of Jazz, Flute By-Laws, and Laws’ Cause. During this period, he also played with Santamaria, Clark Terry, Benny Golson, Jim Hall and James Moody. He guested on albums by Ashford and Simpson, Chet Baker and George Benson. He began his own music publishing companies, Hulaws Music and Golden Flute Music, and he founded Spirit Productions in 1976 to produce his own albums and albums by new artists.

Hubert Laws has been nominated three times for a Grammy; in 1979 for Best Rhythm and Blues Instrumental Performance, Land of Passion and in 1974 and 1973 for Best Jazz Performance – Soloist, In the Beginning and Morning Star respectively. Most recently, Laws was named as one of the NEA Jazz Masters along with the entire Marsalis family. He will be given the award in January of 2011.

Born in the Studewood section of Houston, Texas, Hubert Laws Jr. was the second of eight talented children. Siblings Eloise, Debra, and Johnny are all professional vocalists and Ronnie is a sought after saxophonist. It was in high school that Hubert’s music career began when he volunteered to be the school orchestra’s regular flutist. He then played in the Houston area jazz group, the Swingsters, which eventually evolved into the Modern Jazz Sextet and the Crusaders. When Hubert won a scholarship to New York’s prestigious Julliard School of Music in 1960, he studied music both in the classroom and with master flutist Julius Baker. He also performed with both the New York Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.


Angela Benoit was born in Paia, Maui to a musical family. In the late ‘90’s she began singing professionally for the first time and found a niche with jazz standards and bossa nova. Angela has studied under some of the finest vocal coaches in the state.

Phil was also born into a family of musicians in Southern California and was largely influenced by his father, Bob and his brother, jazz great David Benoit. Phil began playing guitar as a teenager and although he is mostly self taught, he has studied with a number of master guitarists and music teachers through the years.

Angela and Phil perform regularly on Maui and throughout Hawaii. Their recent CD release, Golden Sun, garnered them a nomination for best album in the 15th Annual Hawaii Music Awards in the jazz category. Among the CD’s standouts - Stevie Wonder's hit "Another Star" transformed into a regal ballad, and the breezy samba "Six P.M.", composed by Phil's Grammy-winning brother, David Benoit (who plays piano on it). ANGELA AND PHIL produced and performed in two concerts with David Benoit in the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Spring of 2009 and 2010.
From Boston's Berklee College of Music,

From Berklee College of Music, we present the Hailey Niswanger Quartet. The group consists of four of the finest students at Boston’s renowned Academy of Contemporary Music lead by Hailey Niswanger, on alto and soprano saxophones; with Takeshi Ohbayashi on piano, Aaron Darrell on acoustic bass, and Mark Whitfield, Jr. on the drums.

Declared a leading light for the next generation of jazz musicians by none other than America’s dean of jazz critics, Nat Hentoff, Hailey Niswanger is a composer and saxophonist of rare insight and attention-grabbing facility. Her debut CD, Confeddie, a dedication to the late Eddie Harris, is as unerring in its balance of wit and beauty as it is stunning in its maturity.

Hailey has performed at many venues including the Mary Lou Williams Festival at the Kennedy Center and the Newport, North Sea, Panama, and Monterey Jazz Festivals. In addition to her studies and travels with Berklee’s international jazz academy, the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, she holds the alto saxophone chair in Boston’s Either/Orchestra, a spot previously occupied by Miguel Zenón, and Jaleel Shaw.

Photo from L to R: Mark Whitfield, Jr., drums; Hailey Niswanger, saxophones; Takeshi Ohbayashi, piano; and Aaron Darrell, bass. Photo: Phil Farnsworth


Ne'ena is a Hawaiian word which means movement. It is a perfect name for this group of Kauai musicians, who like to "keep it movin", both literally and figuratively: Literally in sound, tempo, and styles, and figuratively in keeping the jazz sound "alive and kickin" in the "post bebop" era. Borrowing from modern as well as traditional composers, it is their interpretations that leave no one safe and nothing sacred with this band. There is some original music as well, penned by the band's music director/keyboardist Hank Curtis, showing a sophisticated sampling of style and composition.