Maui Arts & Entertainment

Jazz Pianist David Benoit Joins “Live @ the MACC” with Special Guest Gypsy Pacific

April 22, 2021, 8:19 AM HST
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Three-time Grammy nominated jazz pianist David Benoit. Photo courtesy Maui Arts & Cultural Center.

The Maui Arts & Cultural Center announces the addition of another Live @ the MACC streamed concert featuring three-time Grammy nominated jazz pianist David Benoit in a solo performance followed by a collaboration with his brother Phil Benoit and his fellow Gypsy Pacific musicians, Tom Conway, Willy Wainwright, Marcus Johnson, and Jimmy C.

The concert takes place at the Castle Theater stage and will be aired Saturday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. on the MACC website as well as its Facebook and YouTube pages.

David Benoit is an accomplished composer, conductor and world-class pianist. This special Live @ the MACC concert was put together after he and Gypsy Pacific recently performed together informally and felt that a more formal concert was in order.

Gypsy Pacific musicians, Phil Benoit, Tom Conway, Willy Wainwright, Marcus Johnson, and Jimmy C. Photo courtesy Maui Arts & Cultural Center.

MACC reports that for three decades, David Benoit has been considered as “one the founding fathers of contemporary jazz.” He wanted to show other dimensions of his artistry, influenced by Stephen Sondheim, Burt Bacharach, Dave Grusin and Leonard Bernstein.

Benoit received Grammy nominations in the categories of Best Contemporary Jazz Performance for “Every Step of the Way” (1989), Best Large Ensemble Performance for GRP All-Star Big Band (1996), and Best Instrumental Composition for Dad’s Room, the latter from the album Professional Dreamer (2000).

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In 2010, Benoit received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Smooth Jazz Awards, and he’s worked with an impressive potpourri of musicians including the Rippingtons, Emily Remler, Alphonse Mouzon, Dave Koz, Faith Hill, David Sanborn, CeCe Winans and Brian McKnight. H

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e has served as conductor with a wide range of symphonies including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Asia America Symphony Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra Gypsy Pacific is a vibrant gypsy-jazz band based on the island of Maui composed of guitarists Tom Conway and Phil Benoit, violinist Willy Wainwright, bassist Marcus Johnson. Drummer Jimmy C joins the band for this concert. They have been performing and recording in Hawai‘i for nearly 20 years.

The band was formed when Tom Conway and Willy Wainwright, with their love for gypsy-jazz music, started sharing ideas and brought in bassist Marcus Johnson, then added Phil Benoit on rhythm guitar to form the band. Jimmy C is the band’s most recent addition.

The idea has been, and continues to be, to bring their own approach to gypsy-jazz with traditional and original music and an island flair. Notable performances have been with Willie Nelson, David Benoit, Larry Coryell and more.

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The Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Live @ the MACC series launched in November, 2020 in an attempt to offer a respite during the pandemic while bringing joy to the community via the arts and various art forms. The events in the Live @ the MACC series have been a combination of drive-in movies as well as live and livestreamed concerts.

The Live @ the MACC series is made possible by support of the County of Maui and the Office of Economic Development. The series is designed to bring much needed opportunities for many of Hawai‘i’s performing artists and art forms, in a combination of live/virtual or safe/live in-person events that meet or exceed current COVID-19 guidelines.

All these Live @ the MACC events are free of charge. Donations and support for the MACC are welcome and can be made online at www.mauiarts.org/donate.

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