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John Kolivas

John Kolivas, a native of Hawaii, was born into a musical family where his mother was a classical piano teacher and his father, a jazz saxophonist. Being exposed at a young age to jazz, classical and Hawaiian music, it's not surprising that John is still playing these styles of music today as the leader of the Honolulu Jazz Quartet, a member of the bass section for the Honolulu Symphony, and touring and recording with slack-key guitar legend Keola Beamer. John moved to New York City in 1982 at the age of 21 and was quickly hired for a five month tour of the Broadway show Pirates of Penzance. After the tour, John became the original bassist for The Tap Dance Kid on Broadway. During his 25 years as a professional bassist in New York and Hawaii, John has had the privilege of working with many jazz luminaries including Larry Coryell, Makoto Ozone, Robin Eubanks, Herb Ellis, Bud Shank, Valery Ponomarev, Arturo Sandoval, John Pizzarelli, Nestor Torres, Lalo Schifrin, Grady Tate, George Benson, Jimmy Rowles, and Richie Cole. During the summer, John teaches a Jazz Combo Workshop at Punahou School in Honolulu. The Honolulu Jazz Quartet's debut CD Sounds of the City was released to critical acclaim and spent seven weeks on the JazzWeek Radio Top 50 Jazz Chart.


Primary Instrument


Willing to teach

Advanced only


Bass instructor at Punahou School, Honolulu, HI.


Sounds of the City

HJQ Records


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