blue note hawaii

Don Tiki
Don Tiki

“Exotica” is a style of music pioneered in the late 50’s by artists like Martin Denny and Les Baxter giving birth to a style called “Tiki”.  For people outside the islands – the style painted a picture of what a tropical paradise could be.  Cocktails decorated with tiny umbrellas inside ceramic tiki mugs were paired with breezy jazz marked with an occasional bird call.

Legendary jazz vocalist and songwriter Dee Dee Bridgewater has earned impressive awards for her work in music and theater. She's touring the Aloha State now behind her Dee Dee's Feathers album through Sunday at the Blue Note Hawai'i.

Originally from Torino, Italy, Roberta Gambarini is a rising star in contemporary jazz. The vocalist, these days based in New York, is touring behind the collaborative effort "Connecting Spirits" she released with Jimmy and Tootie Heath.

Regarded as one of the finest guitar players performing today, Earl Klugh has a career stretching back decades. Just a teenager when first getting the chance to work with Yusef Lateef and George Benson, the jazz great has gone on to become a fixture of the genre himself, noted for his acoustic guitar playing, original compositions and interpretations of covers. Handpicked is his latest album.

Bryan Thompson / Flickr
Bryan Thompson / Flickr

Roy Hargrove wants to carry the torch of jazz music into an unstable future.  But after recording more than 20 albums and countless collaborations, he feels his work is far from being complete. 

Sax player and songwriter Kenny G is continuing a four-night run at the Blue Note Hawai'i in Waikiki through Sunday. While the musician has a reputation as one of the top artists in the "smooth jazz" genre, what may not be as well known is how his career began at an early age with a serious test of his abilities, onstage with a legendary voice in music.