Big Island, Big Band

homeslideshow_2For any jazz fans out there, if you’re ever on the Big Island, there’s only one best way to spend an evening.

And that’s at the Blue Dragon in Kawaihae, which is near the northwest tip of the island, about half an hour north of us and well worth the drive. For starters, it’s a beautiful, open air restaurant in a lovely palm forest setting. The staff is beyond excellent, gracious and welcoming, and the food is five-star cuisine, using a lot of local seafood, island-grown steaks and vegetables. The chef is very creative, constantly coming up with pairings that you wouldn’t think of, then wonder why when you taste them.

olliephonic hornsHere’s the clincher. About every second Sunday, a jazz big band called the Olliephonic Horns performs. They’re a wonderful band, using excellent charts, and they play just about everything, from Fats Waller to Duke Ellington to Grover Washington. There’s even a large dance floor, and you won’t be able to resist using it when you hear some of their numbers.

The band was formed by Ollie Mitchell, who played with just about everyone on the mainland before he and his wife moved to Hawaii. Sadly, Ollie died earlier this year, but the band is still playing great stuff in his memory.

This is one evening that Laurel and I never get tired of repeating.

blue dragon logoAloha and Mahalo, Blue Dragon and the Olliphonics!

 

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