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Lisa Owen

Trombonist, Tuba Player, Conductor.

July 30, 2014
Louise Lambert - Contributing Writer , Maui Weekly

Lisa plays tuba, trombone, and is a conductor and bandleader for corporate events, Oktoberfests, concerts and swing and ballroom dances.

She leads various bands, including the Maui Brass Ensemble, High Seas Dixieland Band, Village Musicians German Band and Ragtime 3. She is the conductor and music director of Maui Community Band, which she founded in 2003, and she is the principal tubist in both the Maui Pops and the Maui Chamber Orchestras. She played with the Maui Symphony. When I met Lisa in 1997, I sang and she played with Jim French's incarnation of the Maui Symphony Big Band. Many of the players from that band are now in the Moonglow All-Stars.

Lisa initially got turned on to jazz listening to Louis Armstrong while growing up in Sweden. In junior high, she met and drew inspiration from Quincy Jones in a workshop there. She started with trumpet and soon picked up trombone, and then, grasping the opportunity to play sousaphone in the marching band, she realized that's what she wanted to do: play tuba. For four decades, Lisa has played classical and jazz tuba and valve trombone. Now she just got a new slide trombone and is working on mastering that.

Article Photos

Lisa Owen and her Moonglow All-Stars will play at the Jazz Maui 2014 event at the Sheraton Maui on Saturday Aug. 2.

Having studied classical music in Sweden and the U.S., getting a bachelor's degree and doing post-graduate work, she played extensively in California, where she lived for many years. She played with concert bands, the Sacramento Symphony, Bay Area Women's Philharmonic and Sierra Philharmonic Orchestras, and led smaller bands of her own: jazz quintets, swing bands, tuba ensembles, and Mama Owen and the Blues Sisters.

The retired Seabury Hall band director, Lisa now focuses on gigs and her passion for big band music, for which she has quite an extensive library of charts. She shares her joyful exuberance playing music. "If I'm away from it, part of me feels dead. In brass playing, deep breathing is essential, like yoga; it's so healing," said Lisa.

Arts Education for Children's Jazz Maui 2014 events are happening this week. Tommy James of the Duke Ellington Orchestra joins Lisa and her big band at the Sheraton in Ka'anapali on Saturday, Aug. 2. The trumpet section includes Mitch Ota, Julius Galanto and guest Russian jazz trumpeter Valery Ponomarev. The saxophonists are Phil Smith, Gord Samuelson, Casey Nagata, Bruce Boege and John Zangrando. Lisa heads the trombone section with Henry Arroyo and Michael Rodney. The rhythm section features pianist Joel Gold, bassist Danny M and percussionist Greg Marsh, and the vocalists are Shari Lynn of Honolulu and yours truly.

Contact Lisa at

Freelance writer, jazz vocalist and pianist, Maui Swing Queen Louise Lambert performs at Three's Bar & Grill on Friday nights, teaches voice, piano and "How to Sing and Play in a Band" workshops, and provides world-class musical entertainment. Visit, email or call (808) 205-3971.



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