By Lynn Cook
Outside is a crystal clear blue ocean and dazzling blue sky. Inside is also blue with the opening of Blue Note Hawaii at the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort. From the day the doors opened in early 2016, Blue Note Hawaii has become the hottest club in Honolulu.
The former home of the SOS, Society of Seven, the venue has been well known for many years by Hawaiian music lovers and frequent visitors. Barbara Campbell, Outrigger’s vice president of retail leasing and property management for Outrigger Enterprises Group, says “the new club, Blue Note, changes the music landscape in Waikiki. “The jazz and blues line-up equals the Blue Note clubs in New York, Milan, Bejing, Toyko and Nagoya.
As Hawaii’s premier venue for world-renowned artists, Blue Note Hawaii features a wide range of musical entertainment – from local talent to international sensations – for limited engagements. The venue showcases leaders in jazz and blues, as well as musicians of other genres, including top artists from across the state.
Kenny G, Earl Klugh, Chaka Kahn, Christopher Cross and Jake Shimabukuro have each played to a packed house that manages to feel spacious and intimate at the same time. Multi-level individual tables, comfortable booths and an inviting bar area offer seating choices, each with excellent views of the stage.
The completely renovated, 9,000 square-foot venue underwent an extensive, multi-million dollar revitalization, creating the first entirely new music venue in Waikiki. Lighting is dramatic and the sound system is state-of-the-art. The bass line on acoustic guitar can vibrate the seats without any discomfort to the ears. One guest commented, “At Blue Note you don’t listen to the music, you are actually ‘in’ the music.”
Hawaii’s Grammy and Na Hoku Hanohano award winning musicians are effervescent in their comments about the new venue. Singers Henry Kapono on guitar, Robert Cazimero on piano, and Willie K, bassist John Kolivas, and songstress Melveen Leed say the club offers the opportunity to “show our chops” in the jazz format.
Priced in three levels, fans can enjoy dinner and the show or omit the dinner that is packaged and served with enough time to savor the menu before the music begins. Crab Cake Sliders and Caprese Salad can be followed by French Onion Soup under a thick layer of cheese. Top pick for entrees may well be the Braised Harris Ranch Beef Short Ribs. Desserts unique to Hawaii, Banana Lumpia and Alii Poi Batter Andagi with Coconut Haupia Custard and Kona Chocolate Sauce. If those ingredients aren’t familiar, ask the server and they will explain. The drink menu offers fine wines by the bottle or glass, award winning scotch and both Junmai and Junmai Gingo sake. The selection of after dinner drinks rivals a jazz club menu from the speakeasy days, perpetuated by late-night, black and white films.
On Sunday the club is not dark. The Gospel Brunch rocks the rafters with an ample “finger-licken’ good comfort food” breakfast menu at 11 a.m. followed by the 1 p.m. performance by the hard-rocking, amazing voiced Hawaii-based Gospel Choir.
Sean Dee, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Outrigger Enterprises Group says “since the club opened, music lovers from around the world have been delighted to hear a perfect harmony of the best local and international talent, nightly at Blue Note.”
This “standing ovation” of guests generated the “Rhythm and Blue Note” package, now available at the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort. With the package guests receive a voucher for two seats in the elevated second and third tier loge seating area to one performance of their choice during their stay and two standard cocktails. The Rhythm and Blue Note Package can be booked year-round, with rates starting at just $259 USD City View Room, per night plus tax and fees. Guests can book at outrigger.com/bluenote.
Before or after the shows guests can enjoy Duke’s Waikiki legendary beachfront bar. On Sunday afternoon Henry Kapono entertains. On the resort’s second floor Hula Grill is the spot for a Mai Tai and a picture-perfect sunset view of surfers catching the last wave in the last rays of sun. Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort is located in the heart of Waikiki, on a perfect white-sand beach. To learn more or to book a vacation, visit outrigger.com.