Manoa Jazz Festival

Melissa Moniz
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Friday - September 19, 2008
Devin Phillips

UH-Manoa students, nearby residents and even those eager to make the trip into town will be treated next week Saturday (Sept. 27) to the Manoa Jazz Festival featuring Devin Phillips and New Orleans Straight Ahead, along with many of Hawaii’s best jazz musicians.

All the exciting musicianship takes place at Andrews Amphitheater from 6 to 10 p.m.

Opening acts are the Honolulu Jazz Quartet and the Noel Okimoto Ohana.

Pegged as an evening of world-class jazz, the headliner of the event, Devin Phillips, is a featured saxophonist at jazz festivals around the world and also has toured and recorded with Wynton Marsalis, Eddie Palmieri and Lenny Kravitz. Phillips formed New Orleans Straight Ahead in 2005, but Hurricane Katrina forced them to disband. Left with nothing but his sax, Phillips evacuated to Portland, Ore. He has since reformed New Orleans Straight Ahead with other musician evacuees.

Jazz lovers can expect spiced-up old-school bebop with a New Orleans backdrop in a historic outdoor setting. And with New Orleans recognized as the birthplace of jazz in America, concert organizers agreed it would be only fitting for the first Manoa Jazz Festival to honor a city which has so much tradition.

“With the demise of the Hawaii International Jazz Festival there was a void left in the community,” says Tim Slaughter, director of Outreach College’s Community Services program.“While we are not intending to replace HIJF, we did feel that, as a university, we could take a lead on giving jazz a prominent place in our community. Jazz music is an important part of the cultural fabric of our world.”

Attendees are invited to bring picnics, low-back chairs and mats. However, for those who don’t wish to pack a dinner, Kevin’s Two Boots will sell authentic Cajun dishes such as gumbo, jambalaya, honey barbecue baby back ribs and sweet potato praline cheesecake.

Tickets range from $5 to $30, and concert-goers enjoy a discount when they purchase in advance. There are additional discounted prices for seniors, military, UH students, youth (11-17), children, and UH faculty/staff. Tickets are available at or 483-7123.

“We view Andrews as a wonderful on-campus venue that is under-utilized,” adds Slaughter. “There’s nothing quite like watching a concert in Andrews with beautiful Manoa Valley in the background. We do intend to try to bring Andrews back as a concert venue of choice. We are already well under way with plans for the second Manoa Jazz Festival.”

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