If you've heard the buzz that Kenny G is coming to town, you heard right. One of the world's finest jazz clubs has opened in Hawaii and they have been hosting some of the most talented musicians on-stage in Waikiki. Only open for 2 weeks Blue Note Hawaii is gearing up for its Grand Opening this week and Kenny G, yes the one who plays the sax, is going to perform live in town for 4 nights.
What is Blue Note Hawaii you might ask... Well this popular jazz club has already established locations in New York, Milan, Japan and China, it makes sense to bring the blues to Hawaii. As a lover of the performing arts I was thrilled to hear of this new musical venture in the heart of Waikiki, where the Society of Seven showroom once was, for many decades.
You enter after checking in at the front desk, second floor of the Outrigger (main) on the Beach adjacent to the Hula Grill hostess stand. The hallway is a colorful wall of images showcasing some of the world's most noted and respected performers. Once you enter you are enticed by a subtle blue glow and cushy leather booths, attentive waitstaff dressed in black slacks, blue long-sleeved shirts and black suspenders. The first impression is "wow" mixed with "this place is so cool"!
Tickets to the shows include one 1-1.5 hour set by the featured performer. Ticket price can range from $15-45 dollars depending on the table and the artist. They also offer a full menu including popular items like shrimp cocktail, caesar salad, chef's special pizza, short rib and cheese plate. We ate prior but saved room for dessert, the main dishes looked great and we admired the tables around us as they received their food. We had the creme brûlée, it was a nice size, cool in the center and crisp and creamy. Perfect consistency and flavor. It came with a coffee macnut cookie. I also ordered a dessert martini which showcased chocolate liqeur and macnut as well, it was really sweet and chocolatey.
Now that you can see the ambience is set and the mood is ready, the only pressing question for me was the sound. How does the band sound, how does the artist sound. Honestly, the sound in the venue can make or break the experience. I was very happy to hear the acoustics were solid, the levels were on point and the artist was showcased as she should be with the support of her band. Overall, it wasn't too loud and the energy was wonderful. I could hear a tiny adjustment in the beginning to give the vocalist a little bump on the mic and that was perfect. The featured artist was Maya Azucena (a mix of India Irie, meets Alicia Keys, meets rock essence from Pink). It was a delightful evening which made me feel for a moment like I was in Seattle, or SF or even New York. Welcome Blue Note Hawaii, you're off on a good note!
For information on http://bluenotehawaii.com <---- click.