Hawaii Pops to bring blues, jazz, big band to Honolulu

Catingub is the non-profit's artistic director

Published  7:16 PM HST Apr 16, 2013
Hawaii Pops Project
HONOLULU -

Jazz and pop music from the Hawaii Convention Center to the Halekulani -- that's part of the Hawaii Pops -- Hawaii's first independent pops orchestra.

It's filling the music scene and jobs for island musicians.

Amy Hanaiali'i sings the blues, literally, as Hawaii gets ready for blues, jazz and big band sounds to return to Waikiki.

"Today, we're here to just tell you we got gas in the tank -- now we're ready to roll," said Matt Catingub, the Hawaii Pops Artistic Director.

The season will include a number of concerts including full orchestra performances at the Hawaii Convention Center.

"Mainly, it's going to be seating in tables of 10 with full food, full beverage -- very important -- and two dance floors on either side of the stage," said Catingub.  "We aren't going to be presenting concerts -- we will be presenting events!"

Hawaii Pops will also offer jazz and big band performances at the Halekulani -- events called "Live At Lewers" bringing in top jazz and pop musicians backed by a 12-piece group.

With the demise of a full-time Hawaii symphony, the Pops enters as an independent, non-profit orchestra providing a new opportunity for Hawaii musicians to get paid doing what they do best -- entertaining.

"We're in a fortunate position with the union that we can hire musicians on a per-service basis," said Hawaii Pops Executive Director Donna Bebber.  "This means we can hire who and what we need for each concert and we're not required to pay for musicians that we don't want or can't use."

Bebber says the Hawaii Convention Center will provide the ideal home to Hawaii Pops -- it's more economical than other venues and its location is convenient for residents and visitors.

Hawaii Pops' inaugural season launches in September.

Also on the local music front, the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra hopes to hold its second season, a six-week run, starting in October.

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