Nearly three and a half years after the Honolulu Jazz Quartet’s debut recording “Sounds of the City”, the HJQ is now releasing its new CD, “Tenacity”. HJQ leader John Kolivas says the title track is about the experience of living in difficult times and dealing with things such as illness, natural disasters and old age. “It takes tenacity to hold on and not give up on life.”
The HJQ is comprised of John Kolivas on bass, Dan Del Negro on piano, Tim Tsukiyama on tenor and soprano sax, and Adam Baron on drums, four of Hawaii’s most gifted and innovative musicians who are now receiving worldwide recognition. As a testament to this, the HJQ received a glowing endorsement from the legendary jazz critic and historian Nat Hentoff. Mr. Hentoff currently resides in New York City and writes for the Wall St. Journal and Jazz Times magazine. He is the author of “Jazz Is”, “The Jazz Life”, “Listen to the Stories”, and “American Music Is.” After Mr. Hentoff heard the tracks for Tenacity, he immediately called Kolivas and offered his services to write the liner notes for the CD.
With the liner notes by Nat Hentoff, Kolivas’ jazz career has gone “full circle.” “When I was about twelve years old,” says Kolivas, “I read a book called ‘Jazz Country’ by Nat Hentoff. The book, which was geared toward young readers, really moved me and made me want to become a jazz musician and move to New York! (which he did in 1982 - 1990) Mr. Hentoff enjoyed our first recording Sounds of the City, and what an honor it is to have him write the liner notes for Tenacity!”
Tenacity is made up of nine original tunes, eight of which were penned by Kolivas, Del Negro and Tsukiyama. Keola Beamer’s “Real Old Style”, which Kolivas arranged as a jazz waltz, rounds out the recording. “I’ve worked with Keola for many years, and Real Old Style is one of my favorites,” says Kolivas.
The new release also brings attention to Hawaii as another center of jazz in the U.S. In the liner notes, Hentoff writes: “It’s time for the distinctively lively Hawaiian American jazz scene to be more widely recognized…. Now, with the arrival of the Honolulu Jazz Quartet’s Tenacity, John Kolivas, tenor and soprano saxophonist Tim Tsukiyama, pianist Dan Del Negro, and drummer Adam Baron have even more resoundingly become part of the international family of jazz."
In Nat Hentoff’s concluding remarks in the liner notes, he writes: “I only write liner notes for recordings that make me want to hear them again – and again. It is a privilege to celebrate the Honolulu Jazz Quartet. They are ‘Jazz Country!’”
John Kolivas--Bassist and group leader. Over his 25+ years as a professional bassist in Honolulu and New York City, John has had the privilege of performing with Larry Coryell, Herb Ellis, Makoto Ozone, Don Grusin, John Clayton, Bud Shank, Jeff Hamilton, Eric Marienthal, Arturo Sandoval, Conrad Herwig, John Pizzarelli, Robin Eubanks, Jimmy Rowles, Tiger Okoshi, George Benson, Grady Tate, Richie Cole, Valery Ponomarev, Betty Loo Taylor, and Gabe Baltazar. John’s jazz influences include Miles Davis, Woody Shaw, Wayne Shorter, Nat Hentoff, Benny Golson, Thelonius Monk, the Jazz Crusaders, Ron Carter, Ray Brown, Rufus Reid, and Jimmy Bond. Besides the HJQ, John currently performs with the Honolulu Symphony and Keola Beamer, and teaches bass at Punahou School. His personal website is www.johnkolivas.com.
Tim Tsukiyama—Tenor and Soprano Saxophone. Tim is a local boy who graduated from Lawrence University and attended Berklee College of Music in Boston. Tim’s musical influences include Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, Wayne Shorter, Carlos Santana, Steely Dan, and Elvin Jones. Tim has played professionally with Dee Dee Bridgewater, John Pizzarelli, Bunky Green, Ray Charles, and The Temptations. Tim also performs with the Honolulu Symphony and is a member of the Royal Hawaiian Band.
Dan Del Negro—Piano. Dan’s major piano influences include Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson, Chick Corea, and Herbie Hancock. Dan spent 2 years in intense study of piano performance, composition, and jazz arranging at DePaul University. In 1995, Dan moved to L.A. and worked in the theatre, recording, and jazz scenes, with great musicians including Vinny Coliuta, Bennie Maupin, Sal Marquez, and Doug Webb. Dan has also played in the "house band" for the Hawai`i International Jazz Festival, performing with Herbie Mann, Eric Marienthal, Nestor Torres, Tiger Okoshi, Gabe Baltazar, David Choy, Jimmy Borges, Scott Martin, and Larry Coryell.
Adam Baron--Drums. During his twenty-year career in music, Adam Baron has performed with artists like the Honolulu Jazz Quartet, Tennyson Stephens Trio, Don Ho, Shelly Berg, Matt Catingub and the Honolulu Symphony, Gabe Baltazar, Hiroshi Hata, Jimmy Borges, Azure McCall, and Carlinhos de Oliveira. Originally from Kansas City, Adam attended the University of Missouri at Kansas City Conservatory of Music for one year and the Berklee School of Music for two years. Some of the musicians who Adam lists as important influences on his drumming include Jeff Hamilton, Ray Brown, Ahmad Jamal, Ivan Lins, and Olodum.