Jazz Paradise

January 3, 2014 | By Jason Black

Lewers Lounge is home to the islands’ jazz duo Maggie Herron and Rocky Holmes.

When you cross the hallowed threshold at Lewers Lounge in Halekulani, you step back in time to a simpler, swankier era. You’ll escape the hustle and bustle of the modern Waikiki Strip, slip into a classic cocktail adorned in your best formal attire, and dive headlong into the pages of Casino Royale, Ian Fleming’s 1953 James Bond novel. Striking. Mysterious. Chic. All rolled into a lounge that’s second to none.

Once you’re there, cocooned within its cozy rosewood environs, nothing compliments the pucker-pow-pow of a shaken-not-stirred Vesper Martini than straight-up live jazz. Fortunately, pianist and vocalist Maggie Herron and Rockford “Rocky” Holmes (clarinet, flute and saxophone) are there to deliver the soundtrack to your lovely evening.

Over the past year-and-a-half, this tight jazz duo has been holding it down at the Lounge with a swinging mix of original songs, updated renditions of great American songs, jazz standards and international favorites from the likes of Benny Goodman, Cannonball Adderley, Maceo Parker, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Keith Jarrett, Stan Getz, Aretha Franklin and Ella Fitzgerald, among others. Craft cocktail pressed firmly in hand, catching their nightly show is a real treat.



“Currently, I love playing at the Halekulani,” opines Holmes, 59. “It’s a great venue at a great hotel, and I work with and around great people. Also, I love the clientele—an eclectic mix of tourists and locals—and I love meeting people from all walks of life.”

“I love the constant flow of people from all over the globe,” comments Herron.

This steady flow of kama’aina and visitors makes each night fun and lively. It’s a true adventure night-in and night-out for the musicians.

At the same time, Holmes believes his own personal musical style has evolved over the years. “My ambition is to tell a story when I play. Instead of a lot of fast notes, I try and play fewer notes but the ones I play have more meaning, or feeling, or character. I try and stay out of my head and play from my heart.” Well said.

Herron says: “As both a pianist and vocalist, my style is a real melding of classical, pop, and blues as well as jazz.”

When they’re not playing live, they spend their time touring the mainland US, recording and enjoying the fruits of paradise with their families. But, no matter where they are and what they’re doing during their downtime they always welcome returning to work in Waikiki on Tuesday evening.

“Lewers Lounge is the most enjoyable and rewarding room I have ever performed in,” says Herron. “It has an up-close and personal feel and it’s a wonderful room to sit back, relax, have a drink and something to eat, and enjoy great music.”

Maggie Herron and Rocky Holmes
Lewers Lounge | Halekulani
2199 Kalia Road [D:7 Waikiki Map]
(808) 923-2311

Tuesday-Thursday 8:30 p.m.–midnight Friday-Saturday 8:30 p.m.–12:30 a.m.