By Wayne Harada
Maestro Matt Catingub will launch the premiere season of Hawaii Pops, the state’s first independent pop music agenda, Sept. 24 at the Hawaii Convention Center Ballroom. The season of Orchestra Series luminaries will be uncorked with country singer Jo Dee Messina and wind up in the spring with the jazz of Al Jarreau.
In-between, there will be a parade of music-makers to suit a wide palate of pop tastes.
Further, a related “Live at Lewers” series will assemble three shows in an intimate setting at the Halekulani featuring the likes of singer Jack Jones and local favorite Robert Cazimero.
Matt Catingub, left, is maestro of the Hawaii Pops
“This is an exciting season, showcasing award-winning artists an a varety of music styles,” said Catingub in a statement. “There’s something for everyone, and each concert is an event.”
The full slate of orchestral dinner-dance-concerts, most on Saturdays with one Sunday date, begins at 8 p.m.:
• Sept. 14 — Jo Dee Messina, country music sensation, in the premiere dinner-dance-concert event.
• Oct. 20 — “The Songs of Bond...James Bond,” a themed dinner-dance-concert, featuring Sheena Easton with appearances by guest artists including Nathan Aweau and Cathy Foy. The Hawaii International Film Festival is participating; hence, the movie focus.
• Dec. 21 — A holiday event, featuring singer Amy Hanaiali’i and the Diamond Head Theatre Shooting Stars, with special appearances by Jim Nabors and Emma Veary, two beloved Island favorites.
• Jan. 25 — The Music and Artists of Hawaii, with award-winning singer and kumu hula Keali’i Reichel.
• March 15 — “Driven to Dance,” with pop icon Taylor Dayne, in an evening of high-energy vibes.
• May 31 — The season’s finale, with jazz legend Al Jarreau.
The smaller Lewers Lounge sessions will be held on select Fridays and Saturdays, with sets at 8 and 10 p.m., at the Halekulani:
• Nov. 15 and 16 — Jack Jones, “the singer’s singer.”
• Feb. 21 and 22 — Robert Cazimero and the Great American Songbook.
• April 8 and 19 — Tierney Sutton, jazz songstress.
Catingub is a prolific composer-musician-maestro who previously was pops conductor of the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra and has been an advocate of live concerts and a booster of Island talent over the decades he has conducted in Honolulu.
The orchestra series will feature theater-style seating at tables of 10, and cocktail tables of six, with prices at $35 for individual theater seating, $60 at a cocktail table, and $75 per person at tables of 10. Table purchases are $750 for 10, $360 for cocktail tables for six.
Admission for the Lewers series will not be announced till Sept. 1.