Jazz in the Forest May 2017



The 2017 Jazz in the Forest series continues with two performances (4:30pm & 7:30pm) on Saturday, May 13, and will feature Lou Ann Gurney with Jean Pierre Thoma & the Jazztones. The Jazz in the Forest concert series offers an extraordinary opportunity to hear the highest caliber jazz – anywhere – up close and personal.

The Wine and Beer Room will be open for attendees to enjoy before and after the concert. And as usual, an area has been set aside for dancing, so you don’t have to stay in your seat when the band starts to swing and you’re moved to your feet.

Two shows will be offered, with a matinee at 4:30pm and an evening performance at 7:30pm. Tickets for both shows are $18 for VAC members ($20 non-members)! Ticket holders will be able to purchase Volcano Red Ale and Mauna Kea Pale Ale from Mehana Brewing Company & as well as wine before each performance. Great pupu by ʻŌhelo Café will also be available for purchase.

Tickets are available for sale online, at VAC’s Administration Office in Volcano Village, and Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. The last day to purchase tickets online or at VAC Gallery is Friday, May 12. After that, tickets will be sold at the door if they are not sold out.

Tickets will be held at Will Call on the day of the show OR you may pick them up any day before the show at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus Administrative Office, Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm.

For more information or to register call Volcano Art Center at 808-967-8222



More about the Musicians

Jean Pierre Thoma is a world traveled professional musician on flute, saxophone clarinet and piano, with experience throughout America, France, Japan, India, and Israel. Holds 2 masters degrees in music, and has been a public and private school teacher as well as member of numerous jazz and classical ensembles, such as the Maui and Marin Symphonies. Leader of “The Jazztones” : “Raga Jazz” (with Sarangi, synth guitar & bass): member of “Royal Kona Harp Ensemble” (3 harps w/ 2 flutes & winds): “Volcano Trio” (2 flutes & piano): performer at Holy Cross Church in choir & as instrumentalist; and pianist at restaurants, and charity performances at Hospice and Life Care Centers. Now a music teacher in Hilo at The Pacific Academy of Music, and the Kukuau Studio, he happily lives in Hilo Hawaii.

Bassist Matt Spencer is a long time professional musician and multi -instrumentalist who has enjoyed a dynamic career primarily as a freelance musician, touring, recording and writing music with many different groups in many different styles. Playing bass, guitar and percussion, he covers a wide range of musical vocabulary from jazz to African, Brazilian to funk, and salsa to spiritual. Matt has led his own 10 piece salsa band, was Musical Director for the Cleo Parker Robinson dance company, toured with the Motet, Tony Furtado, and Kyle Hollingsworth, worked as a studio musician in LA, worked as a dance accompanist for many dance schools around the country.
Matt integrates the consciousness of spiritual awareness into the technique and knowledge of the art of music.

Big Island jazz vocalist Lou Ann Gurney has enjoyed a lifetime of singing and performing.  Her first solo gig was at the age of two when she sat on the piano at church and sang “Jesus Loves Me”, and she performs regularly with her band Jazz Mele. She has a bachelor’s degree in music and psychology, as well as a master’s degree in Education of the Gifted.  Her CD “Joy Ride” was Na Hoku Hanohano nominated, and has a second CD “At The Hilo Farmers Market.”  Lou Ann has been performing on the Big Island for many years, focusing on classic jazz standards.  Her love for the genre allows her a natural feel and kinship with the jazz standard repertoire.  As Wayne Harada wrote in the Honolulu Advertiser,“Gurney sings with a gentle, sincere eloquence.”

Guitarist Fred Hee is originally from Honolulu and now lives in Volcano, Hawai’i . He began playing at age 17 while at Punahou School and has been active ever since in America, Canada, and the Bahama Islands! He has also traveled with “Solid Gold”and played in Hawai’i with numerous groups. His activities following his education in computer science have led him to an interesting career with the telescopes of Hawai’i.

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