Thursday, May 12, 2005

Aaron Aranita - Cool Tropical Jazz Musician

Cool Tropical Jazz

From the website Smooth-Jazz

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.

By John Berger,
Special to the Star-Bulletin
Friday, April 10, 1998 Island Mele

Eastbound: Aaron Aranita (MGC)

THE liner notes don't say who this saxophonist is, but sax and synthetics is the first impression of Aaron Aranita's music. All the songs are originals. Live guitars, bass and percussion pop up in spots to add texture to the drum programming and sequencing; Aranita's MGC label mate Gail Mack is heard on two songs. Her voice adds freshness and warmth to the musical journey.

Bottom line? Fans of the Kenny G school of jazz-flavored instrumental pop will enjoy this. Fans of organic acoustic jazz should look elsewhere.



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