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.
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.
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.”
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):
Senior and child $2