All that jazz

Lady Ipo Kahaunaele will bring her ukulele to the Red Clay Jazz Festival on Aug 6 — just in case there will be an impromptu kanikapila after she and several local musicians perform at the annual jazz event at Courtyard Marriott.

“We like to kanikapila all the time. My music is influenced by jazz,” said Kauaunaele, who will be emceeing at the 8th annual event and also performing. “We want to showcase how Hawaiian musicians can adapt to have jazz added to their style. It’s influenced my style of singing Hawaiian music.”

The event kicks off on Aug. 3-5 with free jam sessions, followed by the main concerts on Aug. 6.

“Three nights in a row are jazz jam sessions by some of the artists that we have here for festival,” said Margy Parker, media relations with the Red Clay Festival. “Over the last few years, the whole rhythm and blues have been introduced into the jazz festival.”

On Saturday, a Jazz Kanikapila of local artists, which includes Hawaiian musicians Lady Ipo, Sabra Kauka and Cindy Combs, will sing standard jazz numbers at the Courtyard Marriott in Kapaa. The three ladies will be joined by musicians Kirk Smart on guitar, Tony Rodarte on drums, and Daryl Miyasoto on bass.

The concert on Saturday will also feature Pete Escovedo Jazz Ensemble and Adagio.

“The event has started to incorporate some Hawaiian and R&B into the jazz offerings and also Latin jazz,” Parker said. “It’s becoming a cornucopia of music related to jazz, but also not strictly jazz.”

Sabra Kauka, a kumu of Hawaiian Studies and hula halau Na Pua o Kamaile at Island School, said she’s never sang jazz before, but is looking forward to having fun.

”It’s a different genre for me,” Kauka said. “I sing in Hawaiian all the time, but I never did sing jazz. But I’ve always appreciated the music.”

The jazz jam sessions are set for Aug. 3 at Lihue and Poipu, Aug. 4 at Port Allen and Princeville, and Aug. 5 in Kapaa.

Jam sessions will feature artists such as Poncho Graham, David Braum Trio and Kirby Keough.

“It’s just going to be a lot of fun,” Kauka said. “We have so much talent on this island and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Tickets for the Aug. 6 event are $50 and can be ordered at 245-7464 or

Wednesday, Aug. 3, 5-7 p.m.

Kauai Marriott – Lihue – Aupaka Bar – Poncho Graham and Kirby Keough

Sheraton Hotel – Poipu – Rumfire Courtyard – David Braun Trio

Thursday, Aug. 4, 5-7 p.m.

Port Allen Bar & Grill – Port Allen – Cindy Combs and Friends

Hanalei Bay Resort – Princeville – Kirk Smart & Jazz Kanikapila

Friday, Aug. 4, 5-7 p.m.

Hilton Garden Inn – Kapaa – Ballroom – Dennis McGraw and Wailua Jazz Band

Saturday, Aug. 6 – Courtyard Marriott – Kapaa – 3 to 9:30 p.m.

Gates open at 3 p.m. music begins at 4 p.m.

Jazz Kanikapila: Kirk Smart, guitar; Darryl Miyasato, bass, Tony Rodarte, drum, Lady Ipo, vocals, Cindy Combs, vocals, Sabra Kauka, vocals


Pete Escovedo Latin Jazz Ensemble


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