More than 200 residents and visitors were treated to a visual and musical feast when the BYU-Hawaii Salsa Orchestra and Brass Ensemble performed a free concert in Dole Park on March 12 amidst a beautifully lit stage beneath what locals are describing as the “Lanai Shell,” named after the iconic Waikiki Shell in Honolulu.
It was a spicy, flavorful evening that had some people up and dancing in front of the stage to rich servings of salsa, Latin jazz, and pop by two of BYU Hawaii’s most talented performing groups. Salsa is a term that originated in New York City in the 1970s to describe what is essentially Cuban and Puerto Rican popular dance music. In fact, salsa is composed of even more musical genres, including the Dominican merengue and Columbian cumbia. It can also incorporate Latin jazz, rock, R&B, and even funk. The orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Darren Duerden, BYU Hawaii professor of music, did not disappoint.
Of course, no orchestra would get far without the assistance of many. Special thanks go to Dr. Darren Duerden, BYU Hawaii professor of music and the orchestra’s musical director. Jimmy Fernandez, president of Lanai Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and Johnny Seuli, also of the LDSA Church, organized the orchestra’s visit to Lanai. Maui Disposal donated a trash receptacle for the concert and Paradise Lua adjusted their schedule to get the porta-potties to Lanai in time for the concert.
The Pulama Lanai facilities department and Hawaii Stage and Lighting worked hard to get the tent erected. Aloha Event Lighting and Pulama Lanai’s Jayson Medeiros were responsible for the lighting of the tent and stage. The Four Seasons Lodge at Koele engineering department provided electrical equipment. Special thanks also to Pulama Lanai’s team of audio-visual experts and, of course, to the residents of Lanai, who helped make this a special evening.