Michele Abrams of CJazz is putting together a great benefit Jazz Weekend in Kauai. If you’re a jazz fan and are looking to get out of town, I’m fairly certain you’ll enjoy Kauai.

Here’s the details:


Reduced Room Rates at both Grand Hyatt Kauai
and Princeville Resorts

The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa, and Princeville Resort, are teaming up with the YWCA of Kauai and Cjazz Productions, to host the most prestigious jazz concert ever held on Kauai. The event, produced by Cjazz, is generously and jointly supported by Diamond sponsors, The Garden Island news and Road Runner High Speed Internet.

The concert, billed as JAZZ ON THE SHORES, is being held on Friday, October 27 and Saturday, October 28 at the Grand Hyatt Kauai and Princeville resorts respectively, as a benefit for the YWCA of Kauai to help continue much needed operations of the YWCA’s Family Violence Shelter. The concerts will begin at approximately 7:30 PM.

Cjazz, a jazz music promotions company based in Seattle, WA, and headed by Michele Abrams and Jeff Christensen, has more than 12 years of experience as promoters of Jazz artists and producers of live concerts, featuring the top stars of Smooth Jazz.

General admission tickets are $40 per person when obtained in advance. The cost will be $50 per person at the door. VIP tables selling for $700, ten to a table, at the Grand Hyatt Kauai will also be available on a limited basis.

Both Princeville and Grand Hyatt Kauai resorts have reduced their room rates by more than 50% between the dates of October 25th and 29th for those who want to stay at the resorts before and/or after the event. Reservations for these special rates are based on availability and must be booked no later than October 6 by calling special toll-free numbers set up for concert attendees.

Both resorts encourage those interested in attending to book early as seating is limited. Tables of ten seats each at the Grand Hyatt Kauai will be sold to private groups and companies for $700 for up-front seating and comfort. All tables include souvenir gift bags. Approximately twelve tables are available at the Grand Hyatt Kauai and half have already been sold. Tables must be purchased by September 15 and are available by calling or e-mailing the YWCA. Special arrangements will be made to deliver these VIP tickets to a designated member of the group. There will be theater style seating only at the Princeville Resort.

Headlining the event will be international jazz saxophonist, Jeff Kashiwa, saxophonist, Euge Groove, and keyboardist, Gregg Karukas, with a full back-up band. Also included is a special guest appearance by vocalist, Raz Kennedy. All are mainland artists with international acclaim.

Kashiwa, who studied jazz at Berkley College for two years, was the featured saxophonist of the popular contemporary jazz group, The Rippingtons, for seven years and is featured on six of their chart topping releases. In addition to recording with the Rippingtons, Jeff has toured extensively throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia. For Jazz on the Shores, he will be backed by an ensemble of talented musicians including Dave Hooper on drums, Cornelius Mims on bass, and guitarist, Ray Fuller.

While working on his Bachelors of Music at Cal State Long Beach, Kashiwa took to the road for a while with the ska/reggae/R&B outfit The Untouchables, which played MTV’s first Spring Break.
Jazz- Page 3
Kashiwa appeared on Ripps’ recordings such as “Welcome to the St. James Club,” “Curves Ahead,” “Weekend in Monaco,” “Sahara,” “Black Diamond,” and “Live in L.A.” He can also be heard on a number of soundtracks for movies and television, including the main theme for ABC’s All My Children.

Euge Groove (born Steven Eugene Grove) is an American smooth jazz saxophonist with a strong Top 40 background that reviewers describe as smooth and sexy—music that makes you want to turn up the volume. If you have not heard him before, you’ll go to all lengths to find out more about where to buy his music. Fans say they play his albums over and over and never get bored.

Groove replaced Richard Elliott in the still-popular group, Tower of Power when Elliot decided to pursue a solo career. After a four year run with “Tower”, he freelanced doing sessions and working in backup bands for clients such as Joe Cocker, Elton John, The Eurythmics, the Gap Band and Huey Lewis and the News, as well as Aaron Neville, Bonnie Raitt and Richard Marx. When his debut album was released in May of 2000, he toured with Tina Turner and was named R&R’s breakout artist of the year, Jazz Trax Debut Artist and earned a Prism Award nomination. In 1987 Groove released his first solo album, The Nightowl, which quickly became a Quiet Storm radio staple. That same year he became the original keyboardist with the Rippingtons, recording the classic Moonlighting project with Kenny G and David Benoit.

Gregg Karukas is a talented, smooth jazz keyboardist, pianist and songwriter, originally from the Washington, DC-Maryland area where he was one of the top fusion and studio players in town. He experimented with keyboards as early as the age of six, but it was not until his teens that he pursued music professionally. Gradually, he developed a relaxing smooth jazz style of music that made him a mainstay on smooth jazz radio stations.

He has also been a popular guest artist on tours with Boney James, Peter White, Eric Marienthal, Ricardo Silveira and Larry Carlton and has produced a vast array of artists at his own Nightowl Studios, including Peter White, Craig Chaquico, and The Pointer Sisters. As a songwriter, his tunes have been recorded by Richard Eliott, George Benson, Deniece Williams and a host of other well-known recording artists.

Raz Kennedy has been performing and recording in the San Francisco Bay Area for nearly two decades. A founding member of Bobby McFerrin’s “Voicetra”, he has also worked on projects with the June Watanabe Performance Ensemble, Toni Childs, and Oberlin Dance Collective. He has toured nationally and internationally and has recorded numerous radio, TV, and film projects including the Academy Award winning documentary, “Common Threads.”

His recording credits include vocals with Al Jarreau, Bobby McFerrin, Kenny Loggins, Narada Michael Walden, Todd Rundgren, Jason Becker and others. As a vocal coach and producer, Raz has an impressive client list including Adam Duritz and other members of The Counting Crows; Clarence Clemons of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band; Brenda Holloway; Grammy award winning artists, Los Tigres; and Narada Michael Walden.

Raz served on the Board of Governors at the Recording Academy’s San Francisco Chapter, organizing local seminars and clinics with an emphasis on vocal production. As a music educator, he is a long-time faculty member at three leading community musical institutions; Blue Bear School of American Music, Jazzschool, and The East Bay Center for The Performing Arts.

“Jazz On The Shores promises to be a stellar production with all the bells and whistles of a concert you would see on the mainland,” says Leila Fuller who is the main contact for the YWCA.

“We’ve pulled out all the stops to ensure a professional production and we hope Kauai jazz lovers and newcomers to the jazz genre will be talking about this event for months to come. It’s a win-win event because Kauai will be entertained for at least two hours while their attendance will help keep our Family Violence Shelter for women and children in operation. We also owe a lot of the success of this event to the United Way, of which we are proud to be a participating member.”

Leila points out that October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month. “What a great way to draw attention to the need to stop the violence and raise the consciences of our community about domestic violence,” she says.

Cjazz, which is solely a for-profit company, has agreed to render its promotion and production services at no charge, to demonstrate its Aloha spirit and love for Kauai.

“We fell in love with Kauai and its friendly people on our first visit,” says Michele Abrams, “and realized immediately that it was a special place. Our purpose in acting as producers and promoters for this benefit is to assist the YWCA in continuing its operations of the Women’s Shelter; a cause that we feel very passionate about. We felt compelled to participate in some way, and given our expertise in concert production, we felt this was an area where we could best contribute.”

For room reservations at either resort, mention the “Cjazz concert” to receive reduced rates between October 25 and 29 (based on availability) by calling the following toll-free numbers:

• Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa- 800-742-2353.
Room rates at the Hyatt will be offered at $195 per night, plus applicable taxes, for double occupancy.
• Princeville Resort – 800-826-4400
Princeville is offering rooms rates of $235 per night, plus applicable taxes for double occupancy.

Tickets will be available in early September at the following outlets:
• Scotty’s Music located in Kalaheo at 2-2436 Kaumualii Highway near the Shell Gas Station
• Bounty Music at 4-991 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa
• Photo Spectrum at 2987 Umi Street in Lihue
• Borders Books and Music at Kukui Grove Shopping Center in Lihue
• Princeville Resort in Princeville
• Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa in Poipu.

Tickets may also be purchased through the YWCA using either cash, credit card (VISA or Master Card) or check made payable to YWCA of Kauai. Call Debi Bird at 808 245-5959 , EXT 226 for ticket information or send your check ($40 per person) to the YWCA at 3094 Elua Street, Lihue, Kauai, 96766.

By Zen Chi

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