Return To Romance: An Album Begets 9-Day Festival

Return To Romance: An Album Begets 9-Day Festival

This past weekend, in the Halekulani's Lewers Lounge, jazz composer, arranger, producer and performer Matt Catingub released his latest CD, entitled Back to Romance. In attendance were a hodge-podge of Hawaii's musical celebrities; among them Jimmy Borges, Amy Hanaiali'i, members of Kaukahi and Tom Moffatt.

The album is a selection of jazz and pop standards arranged and performed by The Matt Catingub Orchestra, with additional guests that range from the above listed, plus Jake Shimabukuro, Bruce Hamada (who holds court weekly at Lewers Lounge), Cecilio and Kapono, Robert Cazimero, Jeff Peterson, Hapa and Eric Gilliom, to name a few.

Aside from a few wonderful, impromptu performances, a spread of tasty (and trans-fat free!) delights prepared by Chef Darryl Fujita and delightful cocktails conceptualized by drink master Dale Degroff, the big news was the announcement of a week-long festival to take place May 2 - 11, 2008, symbiotically called Hawaii's "Romance Festival".

Hosted by Mr. Catingub, the event will make use of Honolulu's top music venues-including the Waikiki Shell, the Blaisdell Arena, the Hawaii Theatre and the ballroom at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Events include a night of international music with Jake Shimabukuro, Amy Hanaiali'i and a number of Japanese, Korean and mainland performers. Another evening will feature "A Romantic Night At The Movies" with a screening of "Gone With The Wind" followed by a Q&A session. A pair of back-to-back evenings in the middle of the week will showcase "The Most Romantic Songs Ever Written" hosted by the Hawaii Theatre. The two following evenings will be banner concerts by the legendary Smokey Robinson (Nov. 9) and Gladys Knight with Aaron Neville (Nov. 10). The event's finale will be a dinner & concert, with all proceeds benefiting the Susan G. Komen cancer research center.

As Catingub so eloquently said to those in attendance at the release party: "I was in New York a few weeks back promoting the festival... and I told a number of jazz enthusiasts there: 'Hawaii ain't just ukulele music anymore.' There's a history of jazz here, and it's tied in closely with the evolution of Hawaii. It's time people come take a look-and a listen-to what we've accomplished."

Amen.

Go to www.mcooh.com for more information.

Hosted by Mr. Catingub, the event will make use of Honolulu's top music venues-including the Waikiki Shell, the Blaisdell Arena, the Hawaii Theatre and the ballroom at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.