Hawaii visitors and residents have been waiting eagerly for Blue Note Hawaii — an outpost of the famous New York jazz club — to open in the Outrigger Waikiki in the former Society of Seven showroom. Last night, dignitaries, celebrities and friends of Outrigger Enterprises enjoyed a preview party in the new venue and a performance by the Rebirth Brass Band from New Orleans.
Blue Note was founded in 1981 by Danny Bensusan in Greenwich Village to showcase some of the world’s best jazz musicians in a close, comfortable setting. Big names like Sarah Vaughn, Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Stanley Turrentine, Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, and Tito Puente had stopped playing in jazz clubs decades before, but soon called Blue Note home.
The club has expanded to Milan, Beijing, Tokyo, Nagoya, and now Honolulu — making the Waikiki showroom only the second U.S. location for the company. Hawaii music fans can now see famous local and international artists perform live, in an intimate setting (there are just 300 seats in the 9,000 square-foot venue); there will be a wide range of genres, not just jazz. Kenny G is the official grand opening act tonight through January 17, at 7 and 9:30 p.m. For more information on Blue Note Hawaii and to see the schedule of upcoming performances, click here.
Some of the people who checked out the new Blue Note Hawaii last night included Na Hoku Hanohano Award winners Jimmy Borges, Henry Kapono, Robi Kahakalau, Kale Hannahs, Kahi Kaonohi, Jeff Rasmussen, and Pali Kaaihue.
Blue Note Hawaii
in the Outrigger Waikiki (parking is at the Ohana Waikiki East Hotel)
2335 Kalakaua Ave.