Portland heavyweights Pain and Caranto to headline veterans benefit jazz and blues dinner

  • courtesy photo King Louie Pain saxophonist Renato Caranto.

  • courtesy photo King Louie Pain organist Louis Pain.

The Hawaii Island Veterans Memorial Inc. and Alikamele Productions LLC present a special Jazz and Blues Fundraising Dinner 5:30-9 p.m. Thursday, March 12, at Nani Mau Gardens in Hilo.

The special guest headliner of the evening will be the “King Louie Organ Trio” from Portland, Ore., featuring organist Louis Pain and tenor saxophonist Renato Caranto. The trio’s 2019 release “It’s About Time,” received a four-star review by Downbeat Magazine and was named one of the top albums of year in Downbeat’s January issue.

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Sitting in with Pain and Caranto will be Steve Bader, a Hilo drummer and veteran of the Seattle jazz scene.

Pain is an Oregon Music Hall of Fame inductee who has performed and recorded with many legendary artists including: drummers Bernard Purdie and Mel Brown; blues singers Paul Delay, Curtis Salgado, and Sweet Baby James; Tower of Power guitarist Bruce Conte and jazz guitar legend Phil Upchurch.

Caranto has long been considered one of the finest tenor sax players in the country. He’s a featured touring soloist with Esperanza Spalding was the longtime reed man for the late, legendary Merle Haggard.

Featured local musicians include Bader, flutist Bradley Leighton, vocalist Elena Welch, guitarist/bassist Matt Spencer, and Hoku award-winning blues guitarist/vocalist “Lightning” Larry Dupio.

Dinner is a sumptuous buffet featuring prime rib, macadamia nut encrusted fish and basil chicken buffet.

The evening’s program will also include special presentations to the Hawaii Island Veteran Organization and Veterans Parade committee.

Proceeds will go toward the Hawaii Island Veterans Memorial’s two ongoing projects — a veteran’s preference affordable housing complex projected to begin construction late this year, and a community based outpatient clinic.

Proceeds will also support the upcoming 8th Annual East Hawaii Jazz and Blues Festival scheduled for Nov. 1.

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Tickets are $75 and can be purchased online at hawaiiislandveterans.org at Basically Books in Hilo.

For more info, email alikamele.productions.llc@gmail.com or call 756-7438.

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