Award-winning original acoustic roots musician Laurie Lewis is going to be jamming on Kauai.
“We love the beautiful Garden Isle,” Lewis said. “We feel very lucky, blessed to be able to do it.”
The bluegrass artist will be performing with mandolin player and singer Tom Rozum at Princeville’s Church of the Pacific on Jan. 26. The musical duo has performed on Kauai almost every year for the last 15 years.
“As soon as I heard bluegrass as a teenager, it just really spoke to me,” Lewis said. “It just resonated within me somehow, and I had to follow.”
The internationally renowned singer, songwriter, fiddler, band leader, producer and educator has twice been voted “Female Vocalist of the Year” by the International Bluegrass Music Association.
“My music voice is unique to me because it’s my window on the world,” Lewis said.
“One of the things that actually resonates with a lot of people in the islands is a lot of my music is tied to the natural world,” Lewis said. “That’s a major focus in my music, and it seems to be a major focus in a lot of people’s lives who live on Kauai.”
Performing since 1974 and nominated for the “Best Bluegrass Recording” Grammy in 2017, the musician from California is also an educator, teaching at camps, festivals and workshops in the US and Canada.
“I hope that it (bluegrass) always retains a feeling of community about it, a feeling of give-and-take within the music, and also I hope it stays as sort of a vehicle to sing songs that really speak to ordinary people’s lives,” Lewis said.
She considers herself lucky to slowly have grown an audience over decades of playing. Since 1986, Lewis has recorded nearly 20 albums with her musical partner, Rozum.
“Tom Rozum’s a wonderful singer and mandolinist who has drawn a lot of inspiration from music outside of the bluegrass genre,” Lewis said. “His instrumental interpretations open up our music in a lot of different ways.”
“We try not to just fit in the bluegrass box.”
Opening the concert, event host Michaelle Edwards and Steve Dubey will be performing swing/blues.
Edwards has performed on Kauai for over three decades as a professional musician and recording artist. In the last few years, her focus has been on promoting concerts and traveling the world instructing courses in postural realignment.
Dubey is another longtime Kauai musician who excels on jazz trumpet and harmonica , while also crooning a few tunes too. Edwards said they will be performing a set before Laurie and Tom with a varied song list including some swing, bluesy jazz, a couple of her original songs and a Bob Dylan tune.
The two musicians previously worked together as a trio with Kirk Smart as the BeatKeepers.
“It is not very often that we have acoustic musicians and songwriters such as Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum perform on Kauai,” Edwards said. “The Princeville Church of the Pacific has excellent acoustics, and concert goers can expect to hear beautiful acoustic music ranging from the 30’s jazz era to bluegrass, Indie folk and the fine songwriting and vocal skills of Laurie and Tom.”
The show begins at 7:30 p.m., 54280 Kuhio Highway.
“I hope if people haven’t heard this before, they maybe take a chance,” Lewis said. “We’ve been having these really fun and engaging community concerts for well over a decade now.”
Tickets are $25 in advance at Magic Dragon Toys, Harvest Market, Hanalei Surf Co., Hanalei Strings & Things, Healthy Hut, Island Soap & Candle, Kauai Music & Sound, Papaya’s Natural Foods, Scotty’s Music House, and online through www.brownpapertickets.com, or for $30 at the door.