East Hawaii News

Honoka’a Jazz Band Receives Congressional Recognition

April 26, 2016, 8:49 AM HST
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Gary Washburn and the Honoka'a JAzz Band. Photo courtesy of the Office of Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

Gary Washburn and the Honoka’a JAzz Band. Photo courtesy of the Office of Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

After jamming out on the Big Island, the Honoka’a Jazz band is on Oahu to celebrate and promote International Jazz Day, which falls on April 30, with a “Big City” tour.

Big Island students and music director Gary Washburn were recognized during the tour with a congressional certificate.

“Congratulations to all of the student musicians who have worked so hard and refined their talents, coming together to create beautiful jazz music—not just for Hawaiʻi Island, but across the state, nation, and the world!” the certificate, presented by Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, reads.

Since 1988, the Honoka’a Jazz Band has been a stand-out in Honoka’a and throughout communities in the Big Island. The band and director have received a number of awards over its nearly 30-year history, including recognition from the NAMM foundation as one of 138 outstanding music programs and as one of 36 schools to receive a Grammy Signature Schools award.

“Gary Washburn has been critical to the Honokaʻa Jazz Band’s success and supported its talented members as the repertoire of the band changes when students graduate and the ‘personality’ of the band evolves,” the certificate continues. “Mahalo to Mr. Washburn and the Honokaʻa Jazz Band for your commitment to promoting freedom of expression that creates dialogue for today’s growing issues, enjoyment for your audiences, and for sharing your aloha and talent!”

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