The Front Street Jazz & Blues Walk returns to Lahaina on April 5 and 6. This third annual event, presented by the Maui Jazz Society, will feature headliners saxophonist Michael Paulo, vibes virtuoso Emil Richards, multi-Na Hoku Hanohano Award winner Melveen Leed, and blues great Michael Powers.
Venues participating this year include Hard Rock Cafe, Longhi's, Kimo's, Pioneer Inn, Captain Jack's Island Grill, Fleetwood's on Front St. and the Old Lahaina Prison.
A former member of Kalapana, Paulo has credits that include a 20-plus year musical relationship with Al Jarreau, and recordings and tours with Peter White, Kenny Loggins, David Benoit and Johnny Mathis.
Blues great Michael Powers (first photo), saxophonist Michael Paulo (second photo) and Na Hoku Hanohano award winning singer Melveen Leed (third photo) are just a few of the top names on the bill for this year’s Front St. Jazz & Blues Walk April 5 and 6 throughout Lahaina.
Saxophonist Michael Paulo
Na Hoku Hanohano award winning singer Melveen Leed
Performing with Kalapana in the late 1970s, Paulo later moved to Los Angeles and was eventually hired by Jarreau. The young saxophonist toured the world with the singer, gaining international recognition as a result of his work on Jarreau's hit album, "Live in London."
After releasing nine solo records, Paulo shifted more toward production and event coordination, producing the annual Temecula Wine and Music Festival.
Among his albums, "Sax for Christmas," won a Best Jazz Na Hoku award. His latest release, "Beautiful," featured Rick Braun, Peter White, Freddie Washington and Kimo Cornwell.
The Front Street Jazz & Blues Walk
Friday, April 5
* Melveen Leed, 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Pioneer Inn
* Gordie Robell, 6 to 8 p.m. at Hard Rock Cafe, followed by Michael Powers from 9:30 p.m. to midnight.
* Ellen Bellerose, 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Longhi's Lahaina, followed by the R.E. Metoyer Blues Rock & Soul Revue until 11:30 p.m.
* Phil Smith and the Gentlemen of Jazz, 5 to 7 p.m. at Captain Jack's Island Grill, with Blue Job featuring Vince Esquire from 7:30 to 10 p.m.
* Benny Uyetake Trio, 7 to 9 p.m. at Kimo's
Saturday, April 6
* Melveen Leed, 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Pioneer Inn
* Bilongo, 9:30 to midnight at Hard Rock Cafe
* Michael Powers, 9 to 11:30 p.m. at Longhi's Lahaina
* WMD Band featuring Doug White, Paul Marchetti and George Tavy from 5 to 7 p.m. at Captain Jack's Island Grill, followed by Benoit Jazz Works from 7:30 to 10 p.m.
* Sam Ahia, Marve Belew and Brian Coumo, 7 to 9 p.m. at Kimo's
* A concert will feature Emil Richards with Paul Marchetti, Shiro Mori and Danny M. from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the Old Lahaina Prison, followed by Michael Paulo with Gene Argel, Michael Kennedy and Jay Molina from 4 to 6 p.m.
* Entertainment is free at all locations, except the Old Lahaina Prison, where a $13 donation is requested.
A former Miss Molokai, Leed has earned a number of Hoku Awards including five for Female Vocalist of the Year. She has been a star in Hawaii ever since breaking onto the scene as the "Hawaiian Country Girl."
She sang at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville in 1977, and appeared on Jack Lord's "Hawaii Five-0." Popular as a Hawaiian and country music artist, she is also an accomplished jazz singer and released her first jazz album, "I Wish You Love," in 2012. A frequent visitor to Japan, she performs at various jazz clubs in Tokyo, including the Satin Doll, the Tropical Jazz Club and Birdland.
As a member of the Local Divas with Loyal Garner, Carole Kai, and Nohelani Cypriano, she sang on the albums "Timeless" and "Local Divas Christmas."
A veteran jazz musician who specializes in major movie soundtracks, Richards' eclectic resume includes recording and touring with such diverse artists as George Harrison, Frank Sinatra, and Frank Zappa.
Living in Los Angeles in the late 1950s, Richards worked with the Paul Horn Quintet, Jimmy Witherspoon and the Shorty Rogers Big Band, and started recording with Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and Sarah Vaughan. In 1962, in response to a request from President John F. Kennedy, Richards and a small jazz combo joined Sinatra on a tour around the world for the benefit of underprivileged children.
In 1974, he toured America with George Harrison and Ravi Shankar, and a few years later became a member of Frank Zappa's "Electric Symphony," recording several albums with this large orchestra. He also played on Zappa's first symphonic album, "Lumpy Gravy."
In 1994, Richards was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame, joining other noted recipients as Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich and Lionel Hampton.
A former member of the Ad Libs (who recorded the hit, "Boy From New York City"), Powers toured with blues legend James Cotton while in his late teens, sharing the stage with stars like Chuck Berry, Johnny Winter and John Lee Hooker.
After time with the band Moonbeam, he pursued a solo career, attracting attention at the turn of the century with critically acclaimed albums like "Onxy Roots" and "Prodigal Son."
"If outrageous blues guitar is your thing, if the electric Delta blues Jimi Hendrix played fires your soul - but if you also appreciate the humble tones of acoustic guitar - you need to check out Michael Powers," raved a Boston Blues review. "This is one of the most exciting blues guitar records of the year."
For details, call Sir Wilfred's 661-0202.