Get Jazzy! 6th annual Kona Jazz Experience Jan. 7 at Aloha Theatre

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From its humble beginnings in New Orleans, jazz music is now considered one of the most significant American contributions to the performing arts. Today, this distinctive genre is as American as baseball and apple pie, and on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 7 p.m., the Aloha Performing Arts Company presents, the sixth annual Kona Jazz Experience at the Aloha Theatre in Kainaliu.

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From its humble beginnings in New Orleans, jazz music is now considered one of the most significant American contributions to the performing arts. Today, this distinctive genre is as American as baseball and apple pie, and on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 7 p.m., the Aloha Performing Arts Company presents, the sixth annual Kona Jazz Experience at the Aloha Theatre in Kainaliu.

This year’s Kona Jazz Experience features Bill Noble’s Big Island Big Band, including well-known musicians from all over the island. They will play compositions by Duke Ellington, Count Basie and other famous composers and arrangers from the Big Band era. Noble has played with the Temptations, Ray Charles, Gladys Knight, Fifth Dimension, as well as many local artists and his own Bill Noble Trio. He regularly performed for many years at world-class resorts and private parties.

“This is the sixth annual event, and I see more and more people attending every year because the Aloha Theatre is so well-known for all the musicals and the plays they put on,” said Noble. “Most of my work here in Kona and in the resorts is basically trio, quartet or quintet, so when I get five saxophones, four trumpets, four trombones, piano, bass, and drums that’s a 15-16-piece band. All the guys love it because we rarely get a chance to perform in that type of setting.”

The Kona audience loves it as well, as attendance keeps growing. The appeal to many is the ability of jazz to transport the listener back in time to smoky dance halls, theaters, and “sporting houses,” where tunes like, “I Got Rhythm” and “In the Mood” spilled out into the streets.

“APAC recently purchased the theatre, making it a permanent home for all their community programs for people of all ages from children to adult, and their seasonal productions,” said one of the event’s founders, Dale Ross. “It’s a beautiful event following the holiday season and a good time to relax and listen to some really good jazz. You’re in a wonderful, historic concert hall where you can really listen to the musicians play, and all the net proceeds support APAC’s programming.”

The mission of the Kona Jazz Experience is to bring quality live jazz concerts to the people of Kona. Audience members are invited to relax and enjoy the sounds of a bygone era with uniquely American music and its complex blend of cultural influences.

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“The historic Aloha Theatre in Kainaliu is a great place to listen to jazz,” said Ross. “The acoustics are wonderful. You can see every musician’s face. They improvise and play off each other. It’s a wonderful experience and you feel like you’ve been transported to another place. There really aren’t very many places where you can do this. It takes you back to anther era, the Big Band Era.”

Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children under 18. For more information visit www.alohatheatre.org or call 322-9924