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Swing Into Spring

Enjoy the big band sound of Maui Pops.

March 15, 2012
The Maui Weekly

Talent, talent, talent will be showcased on stage at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center's (MACC) Castle Theater on Sunday, March 18, at 3:30 p.m., when the Maui Pops Orchestra joins forces with the Moonglow Allstar Swing Band to form a swing orchestra for "Swing Into Spring."

Music from the swing era with special guest artists Jimmy Borges and Willie K will get everyone's toes tapping.

Maui Pops Conductor Jim Durham will lead the largest ensemble the orchestra has ever presented. Swing Band Director Lisa Owen will participate in the group on trombone and tuba.

Article Photos

The Maui Pops Orchestra will join forces with the Moonglow Allstar Swing Band to form a swing orchestra showcasing special guest artists Jimmy Borges (left) and Willie K at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Castle Theater on Sunday, March 18, at 3:30 p.m.

Legendary jazz singer Borges has connected with audiences in Hawai'i for decades with his warm and personable style. He is called "keeper of the flame" for his dedication to the works of Gershwin, Porter, Kern, Mercer and other great composers of the era.

Borges will bring some of his own personal library of songs arranged for Frank Sinatra by Nelson Riddle, including "Where or When," "I've got the World on a String," and a special duet version of "I've Got You Under My Skin" with up and coming young Maui singer Lily Meola making her first appearance with the Pops.

Maui's own Willie K, who has performed since the age of 10, has evolved into an eclectic and charismatic singer, songwriter, entertainer and actor. His exceptional voice enables him to explore many styles of music that keep audiences coming back for more.

A Grammy Award nominee, Willie has earned multiple Na Hoku Hanohano awards for his recordings. Willie's selections will include "Minnie the Moocher" and "Up A Lazy River," both arranged by Neil McKay for full orchestra accompaniment.

Under the direction of Owen, the Moonglow Allstar Swing Band and has performed jazz on Maui since 1991. Lisa's commitment to all forms of instrumental music is inspirational. The band includes many of the finest jazz musicians on the island, with most members involved since its inception. The musical versatility of the group is apparent in their extensive repertoire, which ranges from the 1930s to today.

Traditionally, the big band is comprised of four trumpets, four trombones, five saxophones, bass, guitar, piano and drums. Over the years, arrangers have added strings, harp and other instruments to the traditional set up to get the type of sound that they want. The swing orchestra will play two numbers--"Opus One," made famous by the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, and "Autumn in New York," arranged for sax legend Charlie Parker with Maui's David Choi on solo sax.

During three or four songs at the end of the concert, the audience will be invited to dance to the swing music on a dance floor that will hold up to 100 people. Participation may be limited, so get seats close to the stage to guarantee a spot with your favorite swing partner!

Tickets for the Maui Pops Concerts are available at the MACC Box Office by calling (808) 242-SHOW (7469), or online at Tickets are $45, $35, $25 and $10 (plus applicable fees). Tickets for kids 12 and under are half-price (with the exception of the $10 tickets).

To learn more about the Maui Pops Orchestra, visit and join the Maui Pops Orchestra Facebook page.



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