By Léo Azambuja
After a stellar run during the first half of its current season, which started in September, the Kaua‘i Concert Association continues to showcase top-notch performers in 2014.
In January, flatpick guitarist Courtney Hartman and harpist Maeve Gilchrist, Berklee School of Music Steelgrass Faculty Residence Winners, had a memorable performance at the Performing Arts Center at Kaua‘i Community College in Puhi.
The following month, it was The Nylons’ turn. They took the stage at KCC Performing Arts Center two evenings in a row, on Feb. 8 and 9. The a capella quartet from Canada, with an irreverent performance, delivered powerful covers of pop songs and brought the audience to a standing ovations several times.
Their covers of Doobie Brothers’ What a Fool Believes, and Jason Mraz’s I’m Yours, had the audience going wild. But perhaps their most memorable number was The Lion Sleeps Tonight, with an amazing vocal performance from the quartet.
If it wasn’t enough that Claude Morrison (tenor), Garth Mosbaugh (tenor), Gavin Hope (baritone) and Tyrone Gabriel (bass), sang without the aid of musical instruments, on their very last number, they put down the microphone and performed without any electronic help.
It was just between the audience and them.
All the concerts are being held at KCC Performing Arts Center. Last year, the audience was treated to pianists Soyen Lee and Rand Dank in September, Filipino jazz singer Chairmaine Clamor in October, and jazz artist Nneena Freelon, also in October.
There are two more concerts until the end of the current KCA season.
The Brasil Guitar Duo will perform one time only, on March 9 at 4 p.m. The winner of the Concert Artists Guild International Competition in 2006 blends traditional classical music with Brazilian works.
The Duo, comprised of João Luiz and Douglas Lora, appeared on major concerts in major cities in the United States and several countries in the last few years. And now it’ll be Kaua‘i’s turn to appreciate their eclectic repertoire.
In the last concert at KCC Performing Arts Center this season, KCA will bring it home with the Hawai‘i-based Galliard String Quartet & Friends. On April 13, the world-renowned sextet of strings will perform Johannes Brahms – Sextet No 1 in Bb Major, Op. 18 Franz Schubert – Quintet in C Major, Op. 163 and selections from their recording “Songs of Lili‘uokalani.”
But when the curtains fall at KCC’s Performing Arts Center after the performance from Hawai‘i’s premier string quartet, the show won’t be over.
In late June, KCA is bringing the Red Clay Jazz Festival to Kaua‘i once again, in a string of concerts spread over the course of a few days and in several locations on the island.
Visit Kauai-concert.org for more information.