The Maui Ukulele Jazz Trio was comprised of The Hawaiian Serenaders (husband and wife duo of Rich and Mele on vocals, ukulele and u-bass) plus Mele’s master student. The trio performed a variety of pop and jazz songs that Mele does not necessarily teach because of the difficult chord shapes and complex rhythms. The trio performed 16 shows in the community from 2011-2017 with three different students to complete the trio.
The Annual Maui Ukulele Guild Exhibition at Queen Kaahumanu Center was the main recurring venue for trio performances. The trio closed out the entertainment lineup from 2:40 – 3:10 p.m. for seven years from 2011-2017. The first year the trio immediately followed the Maui Ukulele Pops Band. In subsequent years there was a hula halau from Oahu who performed in between our two groups so we had breathing room and time to change attire.
The jazz trio had three different third members: Hinano Kaumeheiwa who did 12 shows from 2011-2014, Cindee Burkitt who did 3 shows from 2014-2016, and Leilani Justice who did 1 show in 2017.
(Photo taken of Cindee Burkitt on 4-string uke, Mele Fong on 6-string uke, and Rich Tom on u-bass at the 8th Annual Maui Ukulele Guild Exhibition at Queen Kaahumanu Center, Saturday 14 November 2015)