Freestyle: Summer music scoops

Jun. 26, 2015 | 0 Comments


A legacy musical programmer is coming to town and Honolulu’s musical youth are coming out in two important developments on the local music scene this month.

Blue Note’s coming! And June Kaboom goes for a big finish on Sunday at Kakaako Agora.

COURTESY POW! WOW! SCHOOL OF MUSIC Students with the POW! WOW! School of Music will perform at June Kaboom on Sunday.


Students with the POW! WOW! School of Music will perform at June Kaboom on Sunday.

I know hardcore music-lovers are going to be excited about the announced opening of a Blue Note Jazz Club in Honolulu, with a permanent home for jazz being readied at the former Society of Seven Showroom inside the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort.

It’s part of an expansion into both Hawaii and China by the Blue Note Entertainment Group, founded in 1981. The group operates midsize venues and music clubs in New York, including the standard-bearing Blue Note jazz club in New York’s Greenwich Village and B.B. King’s Blues Club. It also operates clubs in Washington, D.C., Milan, Italy and two locations in Japan.

In 2011, Blue Note Entertainment launched the inaugural Blue Note Jazz Festival in New York, and the group is seemingly in expansion mode: It started a music-oriented travel group earlier this year, specializing in trips to Cuba.

Outrigger Resorts revealed its partnership with Blue Note Entertainment Group on Thursday. Outrigger said the goal is to bring “world-class” musical performance to Hawaii, from jazz and blues to Hawaiian musicians.

Blue Note and Outrigger are investing “in excess of $2 million” into upgrades and renovations to the former Society of Seven showroom, Blue Note Entertainment president Steven Bensusan said.

Blue Note Hawaii is expected to open no later than early 2016.

CLOSER IN comes June Kaboom, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Kaka’ako Agora, 441 Cooke St.

The free event, open to all ages, will feature teen performers from the POW! WOW! School of Music, The Bitten and more surprise guests, with pop-up vendors Nalo Juice, The Cut, Sweet Enemy Clothing and Momo Terrascapes.

The show is the finale of a month’s worth of free public arts programming, celebrating the anniversary of Kaka’ako Agora.

Elizabeth Kieszkowski is editor of TGIF, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s weekly arts and entertainment section. Reach her via email at or follow her on Twitter.

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