Aaron Aranita



Aaron Aranita has been a professional working musician for over 25 years. He has worked as a sideman and leader throughout the U.S. and Japan backing up some of the top names in the business, Bob Hope, Andy Williams, Natalie Cole, the Temptations, and Boy Katindig just to name a few. But that is only one aspect of his musicianship.

He started in music young, playing the clarinet then switching to bass in high school, went back to playing woodwinds in college, and then picking up keyboards along the way. He honed his craft in colleges such as Leeward Community College near his hometown of Waipahu, Hawaii and Monterey Peninsula College in Monterey, California, and at dedicated establishments of musical learning such as the Berklee School of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.

The Berklee School of Music was where Aaron decided to reach out even more and really learn from the best teachers available, Joe Viola for saxophone, Greg Hopkins, Phil Wilson and Andy Jaffe for arranging and composition. Evidently, he learned his lessons well because the people at Berklee to nominated him to the Dean's List in 1980.

As a side note, after Berklee, he even found the time to study piano tuning at the San Francisco School of Piano Tuning and Repair while performing with his band, Eastbound, in the Bay Area of California.

Now, as an accomplished musician, he composes both music and lyrics, owns and runs his own commercial studio, Sugartown Records, where he produces and records his own and other artists' albums, and even serves as musical director for the annual Great Hawaiian Jazz Blowout. He is also a well sought after accompanist among Hawaii's finest vocalists.

 Aaron's 1998 release, "Eastbound," was nominated for the Jazz Category of the Hoku Hawaiian Music Awards. This CD continues to receive airplay on jazz radio programs throughout the nation and even across the Pacific in Japan. In fact, in 1996, one of the tunes on that CD, "Sugartown," was aired nationally on Late Night with David Letterman.

Among the awards and accolades he has received are the Billboard Certificate of Achievement for Jazz Composition for his tune, "Gregoria " (1988), and the NAJE Award for Flute and Saxophone Performance (1986).

Presently, Aaron serves as an active member of the Hawaii Recording Academy (HARA) and the National Recording Academy (NARAS). And for the past 12 years, he has been a BMI writer and publisher.

This year, Aaron Aranita and Eastbound will be releasing "One Day," a new CD of 14 of Aaron's original tunes performed by Aaron and some of Hawaii's finest musicians.

Aaron is a person who has never stopped learning, who is always seeking to broaden his horizons, and who has dedicated himself to his craft.

Rogerio Araujo 

was born in Brazil and began live production work in 1982 with the Minas Gerais Symphony Orchestra (Orchestra Sinfonica do Palacio das Artes) as a percussionist. Their work celebrated the distinct rhythms of northeastern Brazil's folklore and the Afro-Brazilian Jazz influence. Composers such as Villa Lobos,Tom Jobim, Hermit Pascoal, Airto Moreira and Toninho Horta are examples of the Brazilian fusion of music. In 1987 Rogerio helped form several Brazilian schools rgentina1994, Rogerio helped represent Brazil in Hawaii with the singer Sandy Tsukiyama at Coconuts Jazz Club in the Ilikal Hotel, in addition to playing drums with Charo in Waikiki. Having maintained his interest in music therapy, he assisted in workshops for children teens and adults. While touring with "Sambrasil & Banda Carioca" in Los Angeles and San Diego CA, he was not only exposed to a greater network of Brazilian-jazz musicians, but he also was able to provide private instruction at "Samba High School" and "Brazilian-Jazz" in community colleges and organizations.

Ace Thomson 

moved to Honolulu in 1968 with a group from Hilo named Kimo & The Royales ", a self contained instrumental and vocal group, featuring 4 part harmonies and instrumentals. Ace worked various clubs in Waikiki including the Royal Lanai, The Queen's Surf, the Beef & Grog, as well as Hotels such as the Waikiki Biltmore, the Reef Hotel, Denny's Imperial Hotel as well as Hotels and Showrooms on all of the other islands. In 1972, Ace moved with the group to California then on to Las Vegas. By 1973 the group had grown to include 2 female singer dancers, a horn section and soon after went east working the Sheraton Hotels, Holiday Inns, Ramada lnns, & Foxfire Inns up and down the East Coast. In 1975 Ace moved to New Orleans and worked regularly at the Marriott Hotel on Canal St. and also worked the many clubs in  " Fat City " which were located outside of New Orleans featuring many showrooms, jazz clubs, dance clubs, and Italian Restaurants. While based here, Ace still did gigs as far north as Chicago, St. Louis, and eastward through the Gulfport states till Florida. Ace did a couple of Stints with the New Orleans Summer Pops and played in many Jazz clubs including " Tipitina's

In 1981, Ace returned to Hawaii, working with Melveen Leed and with a group known as " ABC & CO." In 1984 Ace started working the nightly dinner cruises while still doing occasional gigs with friends just to share in good music, fun, and food too sometimes.



After several years of practice in talent shows and local jazz joints to performances at Japanese concert halls and swank night spots in Turkey, Detroit based jazz Singer Harvey Thompson can be rightfully called a true jazz master of song. His first CD entitled, "Jazz is "anything you want it to be", is still a polished example of his fine tuned vocal skill. With help from some of Detroit's most distinguished jazz musicians such as trumpeter Marcus Belgrave and Straight Ahead's lead singer Cynthia Dewberry, Harvey shines on this CD which receives constant airplay. Moreover, he proves he is indeed "the keeper of the flame" for the voice of the male jazz singer. No doubt his influences from Johnny Hartman to Nat King Cole have to be applauding from heaven above!

"My many years of paying dues (which I am still paying!), learning my craft and improving my jazz technique, and literally singing for my supper have paid off. Today, I am confident in my ability to dignify the jazz idiom with my voice", Thompson said. , I have been blessed to have been Influenced, met and even worked with a sampling of the world's best jazz talent in "helping to strengthen my ongoing salute to some of the world's great composers and to the vocal tradition that makes jazz a powerful international musical force!"


Among his musical achievements are: receiving rave reviews in the Ron Milner musical "Crack Stepping", numerous appearances at the Detroit Montreux Jazz Festival, winner of WEMU Radio's Best Jazz Vocalist competition, Named Detroit NBC affiliate's first annual, "Super Singer"; opening for legendary jazz saxophonist Joe Henderson, singing with the Benny Green Trio in Madrid, Spain, appearing at New York's famed Tavern on the Green with piano great Dorothy Donegan; and a follow-up engagement at Tavern on the Green with acclaimed jazzy cabaret pianist and singer the fabulous MS. Jo Thompson.

The critics also agree that Harvey Thompson is a very special talent: USA, Today said, "Thompson is probably the jazziest of the new crooners. Harvey Thompson shows just how great "Jazz is" in his recording debut. The Detroit Free Press wrote, "Harvey Thompson is Detroit's premier jazz crooner...his eloquent baritone voice is dark. smooth and luxurious, comparable to Joe Williams' and deeper than Billy Eckstine's. His career is poised to skyrocket, And the Chicago Tribune review stated, "The ingenuity of the arrangements, the stylistic breadth of the repertoire and the ebullience of the performance establish Harvey Thompson as a bandleader of unusual sensitivity and musical accomplishment. As for Thompson's vocal work, he sings with as much poetry as virtuosity and stands as a potentially major talent.

The recipient of the 1995 Detroit Music Award for Jazz Artist Meriting Wider Recognition. destined for great stardom, Harvey Thompson is a name to remember!


Peter Factora

Born and raised on the Big Island of Hawaii, Peter learned to play the drums and percussion from his father. At the age of 10, Peter performed for the first time with his own band. He started playing professionally at the age of 14 and at 16 joined the musicians union. He was drafted into the army at age 19 and enlisted for the army band. One of his best experiences was the challenge and level of musicianship while at the School of Music in Norfolk Virginia. He graduated the top in his class and was asked to play and travel with the U.S. Army Band 1 in Washington D.C. but turned it down to come home to Hawaii.

Peter loves to play all styles of music but loves the Latin Jazz and Fusion Jazz styles the most.

He has played with numerous bands such as Music Magic (jazz fusion) and The Bobby Enriques Quartet (Latin jazz) and backed up entertainers such as James Darrin, George Goble, Bobby Vinton, Redd Foxx, Don Ho, Charro, Melveen Leed, Jim Nabors. He also backed up artists such as Hubert Laws, Richie Cole, Vi Redd, Bobby Enriques, Gabe Baltazar, Tennyson Stephens, Azure Mcall and Jimmy Borges. He is currently doing various performances with Rich Crandall, Tennyson Stephens, Miles Jackson, Winston Raval, Aaron Aranita and various Big Band Shows.

With having done numerous recordings, shows and performances in his career, Peter has come to find that he loves to play the live and spontaneous engagements that brings out the Heart, Soul and Musicianship of the players.


John Kolivas

Bassist John Kolivas grew up in Hawaii listening to jazz and classical music played by his musician parents. In 1979, John began his long association with Broadway Musical Director Donald Yap, performing in the orchestra pit at the Diamond Head Theater. At age 19, John was named Musical Director for the Keola and Kapono Beamer show in Waikiki. Relocating to New York City in 1982, John studied with jazz bassist Stafford James (of Dexter Gordon and Woody Shaw) and classical bassist Horner Mensch at The Juilliard School. John performed on Broadway in the musicals "The Tap Dance Kid" and "Big River," and on tour with "The Pirates of Penzance" and "The Gregory Hines Show." Over the years, John has worked with various jazz artists including Herb Ellis, Richie Cole, George Benson, Jimmy Rowles, Bud Shank, Trummy Young, Woody Shaw, Robin Eubanks and Grady Tate. In 1998, John turned over a new leaf musically by successfully auditioning for the Honolulu Symphony where he now performs in the bass section. With the Honolulu Symphony, John has had the opportunity to work with Yo Yo Ma, Monica Mancini, Craig Schulman, and Denyce Graves. Besides the Honolulu Symphony, John Is currently performing to standing room only crowds with his jazz group the Honolulu Jazz Quartet, which includes drummer Richie Pratt, formerly with Lionel Hampton and Michel Legrand. John also performs with the jazz fusion group Nueva Vida, and with Hawaiian music artists Keola Beamer, Kapono Beamer, Kealii Reichel and Na Leo Pilimehana. Recently, John was named Musical Director and Arranger for the new musical by Lee Cataluna and Keola Beamer called "You Somebody," which will open at the Diamond Head Theater in July 2002. John is currently the bass instructor at the Kamehameha Schools, and resides in Honolulu with his wife Deanna and children Kainalu and Kalei.

Kaila Novicki (Gail Mack)

Kaila Novicki the featured singer on five tunes on "One Day" and on the first Eastbound CD is an experienced vocalist and recording artist in Hawaii. Her vocal group "George Street’ have been performing together for more than twenty years with the same personnel., and have been favorite crowd pleasers for the same amount of years with seven CD’s to their credit. Kaila herself has appeared on records with other well known Hawaiian artists such as Peter Moon, Brother Noland, and Jerry Santos.

Kaila is also known for her songwriting abilities. Her latest album featured a tune penned by herself, which is also the title tune of the CD entitled" Pacific Songbird". She has recorded and performed overseas in Japan appearing at the New York Folk Festival in Tokyo appearing on the same stage with Joan Baez and has been a featured artist recording on the NEC Avenue record label.

"George Street" known for their concise but warm three part harmonies plus acoustic guitars have been nominated for "Hoku" awards, which are annual awards given to the best recordings in Hawaiian Music each year. Their recordings, "Living on Daydreams" garnered a " Best New Artist" nomination and "Magic Lady" also received praise in the "Best Contemporary Album" category.

Kaila’s sensitive delivery and warm tone is a precious asset to any songwriter.