The Honolulu Jazz Quartet

Melissa Moniz
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Friday - February 09, 2007

Talk about a great bunch of guys - John Kolivas, Tim Tsukiyama,Adam Baron and Dan Del Negro of the Honolulu Jazz Quartet have all the components of a great date. They listened well, told great stories, made me laugh and had great table manners. And although they didn’t serenade me with their cool and classy jazz sounds, while having lunch at Zippy’s, listening to their soon-tobe-released album Tenacity is a pretty good alternative.

“We’ve been playing the tunes on this album for two or three years, so we were very comfortable and it didn’t take long to record,” says Tsukiyama. “We actually did it in two days. We played until we dropped.”

In the studio, on stage or hanging out, the band credits their great friendship, their love for jazz and their respect for each other as the glue that really holds them together.

“We’re lucky to have a group that enjoys playing together and enjoys each other’s company too,” says Tsukiyama.“We’re blessed that after six years it’s still fun to do. It also takes good leadership and direction, and we really have to thank John for giving us good direction.”

“Jazz is also a very democratic process and everyone is supposed to have their turn to speak,“Adam adds. “And we all have our turn to speak about the direction and arrangement.”

The commonalties of John,Tim,Adam and Dan don’t stop at their love for jazz - what the foursome found out years back is that they also all write left-handed.

“We didn’t know this, but when we were signing our Sounds of the City CDs, all of a sudden we realized that all of us write left-handed, but we’re not left-handed,” says Kolivas.

Everyone who would like to celebrate the release of the left-handed writers can join them at Punahou School’s Wo International Center at 8 p.m. Feb. 20. Hopefully you’ll have as much fun as I did on our little lunch date.

Q’n A


Releases: February 20

If you didn’t live in Hawaii, where do you think you would be living? Adam: I would live in Vancouver, British Columbia. Hawaii was my first choice and if it didn’t work out I was going to move to Canada.

Dan: On the coast of Italy. Tim: Probably New York City. It’s the cultural center of the world.

If you could perfect another instrument, what instrument would you chose?

Tim: I would want to play drums.

John: Saxophone.

Dan: Electric guitar.

The Honolulu Jazz Quartet: Dan Del Negro, Tim Tsukiyama, John Kolivas and Adam Baron
The Honolulu Jazz Quartet: Dan Del Negro, Tim
Tsukiyama, John Kolivas and Adam Baron

What’s your idea of the perfect date?

Dan: Watch the Super Bowl on Sunday, what are you doing? (laughs) I’m single, by the way. The perfect date? Sitting on the beach with a gourmet picnic, great wine, sunset and just watching the sun slowly set. (laughs)

Tim: I think a nice dinner and a nice concert. A chamber concert, a little theatre and a nice hang afterwards.

Aside from music, what are you most passionate about?

Dan: Dating.

Tim: Golf is good.

John: I like spending time with my kids.

Adam: I would say for me it’s about creating a loving home for my family.

What do you think is your best feature?

Dan: This is a family paper, right? (laughs) I guess I’m the comic relief, I’m humorous.

Tim: I’m a good listener. I listen better than I talk.

What’s the most memorable musical moment in your life?

John: The happiest night and saddest night of my life was when the Honolulu Jazz Quartet opened for the James Ingram and it was amazing. I was in tears in the rehearsal, but it was also sad because my mother had just had her stroke and she couldn’t come to the concert. I felt really bad because it was one of the highlights of my career. She flew to New York when I played on Broadway. So it was a happy night, but it was sad too.

What’s your favorite non-alcoholic drink?

Adam: I just drink water most of the time. So I guess Perrier.

Tim: Diet Pepsi.

Dan: I do like good wine, but sometimes there’s nothing better than some good pure water.

What makes you unique? Adam: I was going to say that I don’t have much hair, but Tim doesn’t have much hair either. We’re in the non-hair club for men. (laughs) I think just my love for people and wanting to help people.

Tim: I just don’t think like the normal person. You know that saying, you think outside the box? Well I feel like I live outside the box and I’m trying to get back in.

What song do you wish never existed?

Dan: Feelings. I was playing on the Star of Honolulu and an anniversary couple asked for that song.

John: Love Shack. I can’t deal with that song.

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