Red Clay Jazz Festival brings acclaimed artists to Kaua’i

The first Red Clay Jazz Festival took place on Kaua‘i in 2008, stemming from efforts by the Kaua‘i Concert Association (KCA) to bring jazz artists for concerts and to provide educational opportunities for local students. The W.S. Pete Robinson Memorial Jazz Fund, given to KCA in 2003 when the organization dreamed of organizing a jazz festival, seeded those efforts. Kaua‘i’s Red Clay Jazz Festival is sponsored in part by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and Kaua‘i County.

 Kaua‘i can look forward to three groups coming from the mainland this year to play in the main concert on June 30 — the headliner blues artist, Miss E.C. Scott from Oakland, Calif. Scott is a two-time winner of the Real Blues Awards (Best Live and Best West Coast Blues Female) and winner of two West Coast Blues Hall of Fame awards (Band Leader of the Year and Female Vocalist).

Other  headliners include Venissa Senti sextet (jazz with a Latin Flair) from Philadelphia, the Berklee College of Music All Stars, from Boston, and Kaua‘i’s own Kirk Smart Quartet.  Perhaps the more interesting story for Kaua‘i readers is how Kirk Smart has evolved into a recognizable and great jazz musician, along with his cohorts. He’s well-loved by a lot of Kaua‘i folks, and is involved in local schools helping young musicians toward the broad spectrum of music. It’s wonderful to see him part of this stellar line up.

Also, there will be some jazz jam sessions going on June 27 and 28 at Kaua‘i Marriott Resort & Beach Club and St. Regis Princeville with TreySara, The Berklee All Stars and the Kaua‘i Jazz Quartet, a newly formed group. These events are at no charge and a great opportunity to enjoy some good jazz.  In addition we’ve got an invitational “Meet the Artists” party going on at Common Ground on June 29.

The main concert will have several restaurants and a caterer offering specialty food items using locally grown produce and organic foods. The latest E.C. Scott or Venissa Senti CD is being offered to those who buy two tickets before June 23. Visit redclayjazz.org. or contact Judy Arrigo at 808-822-3148 or  info@redclayjazz.org for details.

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