Island Festivals: Front Street Jazz & Blues Walk

Bill Burton, owner of Sir Wilfred’s coffee and tobacco shop in Lahaina, has been around the block long enough to know what it takes to pair world-class jazz and blues with fabulous food.

So he and store manager, Ron Metoyer, are presenting the fourth annual Front Street Jazz & Blues Walk in Lahaina as well as in Kaanapali. It’s a fun, self-guided pub crawl, as you choose where to stop.

“Friday and Saturday, we’re bringing in popular jazz and blues artists to six participating establishments, and most will be free to the public,” says Burton, who is also the founding president of Maui Jazz Society.

“The idea is for people to buy drinks and food and enjoy the shows. Have a pupu here, a drink there. Take a stroll down Front Street and enjoy musicians.”

This year’s participants are Pioneer Inn, Hard Rock Cafe, Longhi’s, Captain Jack’s and Kimo’s in Lahaina – all with no cover charge. Royal Lahaina Resort in Kaanapali will be the grand finale Saturday at $20 per person with headliners Mel Martin and Rock Hendricks.

The historic Pioneer Inn will open its courtyard for outdoor seating from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Friday with Melveen Leed. While the Molokai native is known as the queen of country, she also is acclaimed for jazz.

“Melveen played here before in our gazebo, and this year we’ll stage her under the lauhala tree,” says Ed Robinson, food and beverage manager.

“It’s a really nice venue, and we will offer $6 to $8 tapas, or small plates, of dishes such as ceviche, seared ahi with Asian slaw, fresh fish and hula pork tacos, pork sliders with waffle fries, and edamame hummus with chips. We’ll pour our full bar of beer, wine and liquor.”

Also from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday will be Sam Ahia, Marv Blue and Brian Cuomo at Kimo’s. Overhanging the water, Kimo’s is known for fresh fish and prime rib – the latter weighing in at a hefty 32 ounces.

From 8 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Sal Godinez will perform at Longhi’s Lahaina. From 4:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Longhi’s will be graced with Ellen Bellerose, Sam Ahia and Doug White as performers. Longhi’s chefs will steam Manila clams in garlic and white wine paired with Zenato pinot grigio; ahi carpaccio paired with Triennes rose; and lobster cannelloni in bechamel sauce paired with Zardetto prosecco; in addition to its regular menu.

Royal Lahaina Resort will offer a room-and-show package that includes a one-night stay and two tickets to the event for $179. For the complete music lineup and other details, see MauiBeat.