HPR Music Conversations

For Dave Lawrence's interviews before 2017 please visit: http://hawaiipublicradio.org/category/dave-lawrence


The Manhattan Transfer are celebrating 45 years of making music. Over the decades they've racked up an impressive pile of Grammy Awards, while bringing their unique hybrid of styles to audiences around the world.

When you think of music legends, few artists embody that term like Beach Boys icon Brian Wilson, who tonight returns to the Aloha State at the Blaisdell Concert Hall with the Pet Sounds 50th anniversary world tour, his first public Hawaii appearance since 2002.

Jimbo Mathus of the Squirrel Nut Zippers joined NIck Yee in the studio to talk about the band and what's next for the Squirrel Nut Zippers who were in town for a show at the Blue Note Hawaii.

Living Colour burst into the public consciousness in the late 1980's with their massive radio hit, Cult of Personality. Through this evening at the Blue Note in Waikiki, they're in Honolulu for their debut performances in the Aloha State.

Jim Mina
Jim Mina

For the last 16 years The New Mastersounds have developed unique blend of Jazz, Soul and Boogaloo. Formed in Leeds in the late 90’s by drummer Simon Allen and guitarist Eddie Roberts, the duo eventually added bassist Pete Shand and keyboardist Joe Tatton. 

courtesy mariamuldaur.com

Maria Muldaur is back in the Aloha State for a string of shows running through Sunday. She plays the Blue Note in Waikiki tonight, before the MACC tomorrow, the Garden Island Friday and concerts Saturday and Sunday on the Big Island.

Musical group War began playing in the Aloha State decades ago. Their unique mix of rock, funk, R & B, soul and psychedelia propelled the band to international stardom, taking them far past the short-lived original era with Eric Burdon.

Nā Hōkū Hanohano award-winning songwriter and performer Kuana Torres Kahele joined Derrick Malama in the studio to talk about his 5th release in his "Music for the Hawaiian Islands" series.

Filmmaker, activist and Spearhead front-man Michael Franti joins Nick Yee by phone to discuss his career and his upcoming show in Honolulu at the Republik.

Black Uhuru formed in the early 1970's in Jamaica and went on to be one of roots reggae's most successful acts, even earning the first Grammy Award for reggae. After decades away from the Aloha State, the band are back in Honolulu, performing a second night at the Blue Note Hawai'i this evening with shows at 6:30 and 9 p.m.

Through Saturday night, the Miles Electric Band is in town at the Blue Note in Waikiki, and last night HPR All Things Considered Host Dave Lawrence spent time with three members, all veterans of working with Miles Davis, who shared stories with us: drummer and Miles’ nephew Vince Wilburn Jr., guitarist Blackbyrd McKni

Legendary South African family chorus group Ladysmith Black Mambazo are in Honolulu through Sunday at the Blue Note Hawaii performing at 6:30 & 9 p.m. each night.

Santana returns to the Aloha State for a pair of dates April 30 at the Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu and May 2 at the MACC in Kahului.

David Bromberg has returned to the Aloha State for shows tonight and tomorrow at the Blue Note, before dates at the Honoka`a People's Theatre Friday and the MACC Saturday.

This week on HPR's All Things Considered, we start two weeks of guests relating to Santana, ahead of their pair of area dates April 30 in Honolulu and May 2 in Kahului. Thursday April 13 Carlos Santana will join us, and this week, it's Santana bassist and musical director Benny Rietveld, who has strong Hawaii connections, having grown up in Honolulu, graduating from McKinley High School.

The Devon Allman Band performs at the Blue Note tonight for 6:30 and 9 p.m. shows. One of the sons of Gregg Allman, he didn't meet his famous father until he was a teenager, and has himself become a formidable guitarist, keyboardist and vocalist.

Jake Shimabukuro is back in the islands through Wednesday at the Blue Note Hawaii. His shows feature cellist Josh Nakazawa of the  Hawaii Symphony Orchestra joining him for several numbers.

Lukas Nelson is one of Willie Nelson's sons and spent years growing up on Maui, where his legendary father has a home.

courtesy of bonnieraitt.com

For decades, Bonnie Raitt has mixed her passion for music with philanthropy and activism. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legend is continuing the tour for her 2016 release Dig In Deep with dates Friday at the MACC and Saturday at the Blaisdell Concert Hall before heading... deeper...

Simon Phillips is among the most talented drummers alive, and his resume is as impressive as his playing: The Who, Jeff Beck, Jack Bruce, Toto, Judas Priest, Joe Satriani, Frank Zappa, Al DiMeola, Peter Gabriel, Mick Jagger and Gary Moore are just some of the many names in his roster of experiences, which also includes roles as producer and engineer.


Steve Kimock and Friends play March 23 and 24 at the Blue Note Hawaii and March 25 at the Honoka'a People's Theatre. His resume is unusual, in that he's had the chance to perform or work with many of the heavy names associated with the Grateful Dead, including Bob Weir, Jerry Garcia, Donna Jean and Keith Godchaux, Billy Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart and Phil Lesh.

Guitarist Earl Klugh has a significant fan base in the Aloha State; in fact, Hawaii ranks among his strongest markets for music sales.


Hugh Romney, named Wavy Gravy by B.B. King, was one of the stage announcers at the three major Woodstock music festivals (1969, 1994 and 1999), as well as other related events over the years.

Donavon Frankenreiter wraps up a current island tour with dates through Sunday at the Blue Note in Waikiki. The musician has island ties: he lives on the Garden Island, and released his first album on Jack Johnson's label, Brushfire Records, who he'll open for on the mainland this summer, including at the Hollywood Bowl.

Marc Cohn is in Honolulu thru Saturday performing at the Blue Note Hawaii. The artist, best known for his massive hit Walking in Memphis, recently released Careful What You Dream: Lost Songs and Rarities, a collection of demos and related material from prior to his first album.

courtesy of timothybschmit.com

Timothy B. Schmit recently released a new solo effort, Leap of Faith, his sixth. It's the first new album from the longtime bassist of The Eagles, and previously Poco, since 2009's Expando.

Lazarbear Productions

Judy Collins has made a name for herself over a half century of music and activism. From her role at numerous civil rights marches to testifying during the Chicago Seven court drama, to speaking about mental illness and suicide prevention, she has gone far beyond many others when it comes to standing up for issues that concern her.

Kyle Eastwood is in town for performances with his band in Honolulu. Son of longtime jazz fan Clint Eastwood, the bassist has had a string of successful jazz albums and had his music in a number of his father's films.

Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo are back in the Aloha State for a tour. Frank Vignola sat down with HPR All Things Considered Host Dave Lawrence for a conversation about some of the artists his career has crossed paths with, which includes getting to perform with half of The Beatles, as well as work with Madonna, Wynton Marsalis, Donald Fagen and many other notable artists.