Aloha Abe!
1949 - January 29, 2007

It is with great sadness that the Hawaii International Jazz Festival Ohana announces the untimely passing of its founder and director, Abe Weinstein.

“On behalf of the thousands of music lovers, the countless young musicians who were encouraged and nurtured by the life of this man, and the arts community in Hawaii, we bid a fond and loving aloha to Abe Weinstein,” said Dana Fujikake, Co-Producer of the Festival. “While we know nothing can substitute for Abe, his passion will live long and brightly through the creation he was most proud of, the Festival. HIJF honored & perpetuated the history of jazz in our Islands dating back to the early 1920s at the Moana & Royal Hawaiian Hotels when the irresistible influence of Swing partnered with the melodic Hawaiian tunes to create our own indigenous Hawaiian Jazz.

“Abe Weinstein was so dedicated to educating our young artists. It is such a loss for the music world, and for the youth of Hawaii,” said Duane Yee, a member of the Board of Directors. “Abe was such a professional, a perfectionist, and so devoted to our community,” he added. So many thoughts... when I think back 15 years or so - when the Jazz Festival began and when I first met Abe - and I think about how jazz was such a small part of the local entertainment scene at the time, and I look at the huge part that Abe played in the revitalization of jazz to its present state locally, that's Abe. Then when I think personally of how my son Tony and his buddies at Punahou and all the kids that have followed in the succeeding jazz bands there have benefited from all those Sundays that Abe spent teaching without any compensation so that the school would see the worth of having such a program, that's Abe. And when I think about the thousands of hours of incredible musical sounds my family and I have enjoyed at the Festivals over the years - sounds from Freddy Cole's bebop to the Hawaiian jazz strains of Gabe and Noel and Abe himself - that's Abe, too. Aloha and sincere Mahalo for all that he has done to help share his brilliance to Hawaii and our world.” - Duane Yee

“I have worked with Abe since the beginning of the Festival. He was so dedicated to music education, to supporting the performing musicians in Hawaii, and to promoting Jazz as a source of joy and art. Hawaii will miss him. The Jazz world will miss him, and I will miss him,” said Jim Shon, a long-time volunteer with the Festival.

A few words expressed by Musician Jeff Peterson - Abe Weinstein's love for jazz and deep commitment to perpetuating the art form in Hawaii was truly inspirational. He devoted himself completely to the music and has enriched so many lives. I had the honor to perform with him and always would end up smiling after ever song. Whether playing saxophone, clarinet, leading a band, or running the Hawaiian International Jazz Festival, Abe was the consummate gentleman and the perfect advocate for the Music and musicians. He was a great mentor and his incredible passion for music will always be remembered. I feel very fortunate to have known someone like Abe and am grateful for all he has done.”

Personal sentiments of Musician, John Kolivas - “I deeply regret the loss of Abe Weinstein, He was a good friend of mine and of my family. I first played with him in the pit in Chorus Line in 1979. Since then he has been a mentor and friend even during the 8 years I was in New York. He has always set a good example and has been very supportive of me. I owe a lot to Abe. When I formed Honolulu Jazz Quartet, he was instrumental in having us perform at the Jazz Festival. He was a fine musician and could read anything, played all the reeds, and always did a great job. I will miss him.”

Shelly Berg, Director, USC Thorton Jazz Orchestra - Abe was an amazing person, who was undaunted in advancing jazz and jazz education, no matter what the obstacles. I have so much much respect for him, personally and musically. Abe left a great legacy, and an indelible mark on those like me who got to know him.

I heard the sad news about Abe Weinstein on the news this evening. I am almost in a state of shock because while I knew his health wasn't the greatest, he still seemed so "full of life" the last time that we saw him (with my parents) at the Hawaii International "Leeward" Jazz Festival. I had just given him a "shout out" Monday afternoon on KTUH while I was announcing the upcoming February 11th Windward Hawaii International Jazz Festival... Honolulu (and Hawaii) owes Abe Weinstein a huge debt for all of the great things that he did for our community, we will surely miss him! - Steve Stoddard

“At the time of his passing, Abe was completely absorbed in planning for the First Annual Hawaii International Jazz Festival at Windward Community College, scheduled for February 11, from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM on the grounds of Windward Community College. One thing that Abe would have wanted is for this Festival to go on. In his spirit, and in memorial, please come and celebrate Abe’s life work. He lives on through his music & its perpetuation,” said Fujikake.

Arrangements are pending.

Abe Weinstein was born in Miami. He graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music and a Masters Degree in Music from the University of Michigan. Abe performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Oregon Symphony, the Winnipeg Symphony, the Lucerne Switzerland Symphony, and the Honolulu Symphony. He is the former Director of the University Of Hawaii Stage Band, Producer of the Cotton Club Revue, the Mardi Gras Revue, conductor of Dream Girls, and the Honolulu Symphony, on several occasions.

Mr. Weinstein, through his lifelong career as a musician, producer, conductor, educator, and director, created for Honolulu a world class Jazz Festival to further cultural awareness. He was committed to maintaining musical excellence in the field of jazz music and has personally helped many young musicians in Hawaii to develop their art through continuing education. Weinstein was the Executive Director & Founder of the Hawaii International Jazz Festival (now in its 14th consecutive year) and, President of the World Music Association. Abe Weinstein was also an accomplished entertainer and performed regularly on Princess Cruises worldwide. He was also the President of Abe Weinstein Productions, which supplied cruise ship talent for ships around the globe, and also created theme parties and theme shows for conventions. Abe Weinstein was formerly the Personnel Manager for the Honolulu Symphony.

For information on the upcoming Concert dedicated to Abe, visit Hawaii

Dana Fujikake and Abe Weinstein November 12, 2006 at Kapolei Hale

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