Public invited to free “Jazz Peace Concert”

A longtime Windward jazz concert celebrates a milestone date this month. The “Jazz Peace Concert” has been held at scenic Byodo-in Temple in Kaneohe on the fourth Saturday of every month for a decade. April 22, 2017 marks the ten year anniversary of this free monthly event, whose mission is to commemorate World War II as well as to bring people together and make them happy. 

Courtesy: Mihoko Maier (Maier is second from left)

Mihoko Maier, the producer and organizer of the Jazz Peace Concert, says she was inspired to start this series after taking part in Pearl Harbor commemoration ceremony experiences. At the time, she was the longtime spokesperson for the Japanese Religious Committee for World Federation. Every year, she and her delegation would watch a short education video at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center to refresh their memory about the historical events.

“One of the movie scenes took place on the Saturday night before the attack, when Pearl Harbor was peaceful and the young sailors were having fun dancing to jazz music on their ships and on shore. The sailors had no idea what was to come the next day. I have two sons and one daughter. The scene made me very emotional and was always on my mind. So several years later, I decided to create the Jazz Peace Concerts in honor of those sailors. Instead of solemn ceremonies that memorialize their deaths, the concerts celebrate their lives,” she explains. 

Courtesy: Mihoko Maier

She formed this concert series with this mission statement: “Jazz music is a universal language. Transcending differences and bridging divides – popular worldwide, by young and old, rich and poor – propelled by the very beat of life – still evolving and attracting new enthusiasts. Jazz music is a common bond, bringing together all of the people, bridging ideological differences into a common bond of easy enjoyment and brotherhood.”

A performer herself in these concerts, Maier believes “jazz is an international language. Jazz continues to influence music all over the world. In many countries, in hotel lobbies and restaurants, people can hear the soft sound of jazz music. Even Hawaiian music is greatly influenced by Jazz.”

Courtesy: Mihoko Maier

She lists a roster of big local names like Shari Lynn, Rob Sheps, the late Jimmy Borges, Duane Padilla, Sonny Silva, Tommy James, Bruce Hamada, Alika Lyman, David Yamasaki, Tennyson Stephens, and Rocky Holmes. Guests from Japan, New York, Russia, and all over the world, have also participated. “The music is world-class, in an outside setting that is fresh and scenic. The musicians love playing there,” she notes.

Bring food and a mat, and picnic on the grass while enjoying the sweet sounds of live music – and all that jazz.

The concert series has a second site at the Royal Hawaiian Center, says Maier.  This is on the second Saturday of every month.

The lineup for April 22, 2017:

Shari Lynn- vocals
Kit Eversbach- keyboard
David Yamasaki- vocals/guitar
Mark Tanouye- bass
Mihoko M- vocals

Where: 47-200 Kahekili Hwy, Kaneohe

When: 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. (Subject to weather conditions!)

Contact: (808) 239-9844

Temple admission (concert is free, but there is admission to the temple grounds):
Adult $3
Senior and child $2


Diane Ako

Peace of mind By Diane Ako I like to reflect on life. Sometimes it’s philosophically. Sometimes it’s humorously. For all its beauty, life is far too difficult a journey to take alone. You need the support and connection with others to help carry you along the way. Writing brings me that connection– within and without. It clarifies my thoughts and feelings. It helps me reach out to others for advice, wisdom, or feedback. Your thoughts become your actions. Your actions become you. A wise yogi- Patanjali- said, “Speak what is true. Speak what is pleasant.” Let’s speak of things pleasant to one another and seek some peace of mind along the way. ABOUT Diane Ako joined Hawaii: In Real Life in October 2016. She likes being part of a community of local bloggers – people who like writing and sharing, like she does. Ako is an anchor/ reporter at Island News (KITV4 – ABC) in Honolulu. She previously anchored and reported at KHON2 (FOX) and KHNL (NBC), and at stations in California, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania. She freelance writes for NMG Network's magazines. In between news jobs, in 2017, she launched and ran her own p.r. company, Diane Ako PR. From 2010-2014, she headed the public relations department at Halekulani Corporation, which oversees luxury resort Halekulani and boutique hotel Waikiki Parc. She’s been blogging since 2009 – before Hawaii: IRL, she wrote for The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the state’s largest daily newspaper, where her stories garnered a dozen journalism awards and an Emmy nomination. Ako has a BA in Communications from Menlo College and an MA in Political Science from University of Hawaii at Manoa. She volunteers as a board member of the Honolulu Gay & Lesbian Cultural Foundation, a Shinto shrine maiden at Daijingyu Temple, a citizen-scientist studying shrimp, and a yoga teacher at a senior center.

Diane Ako has 274 posts and counting. See all posts by Diane Ako

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