Uma’s Ultimate Kona Konnection is a weekly column covering the music scene of Kailua Kona. This week’s focus is on Ann Hoku Lyn, a local trumpet player, and Big Island Music Academy youth music teacher.
Having been on the Big Island of Hawaii for almost 10 years now, I’ve had the chance to hear Ann (formerly Andrea Lindborg) play trumpet and sing a few times. Most memorable was a few years ago at the Kona Brewer’s Festival on the King Kamehameha stage. Ann Hoku Lyn is a composer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist. She studied Jazz trumpet performance at Oberlin Conservatory and received an MA in arranging from Berklee College of Music.
Ann was a freelance musician in New York City for 10 years and toured and played a variety of genres including jazz, funk, Afrobeat and Brazilian music across NYC, Europe, and Asia. She performed at Madison Square Garden and Jazz at Lincoln Center and has won numerous ASCAP writing awards for her compositions.
She performs with her own band, as well as playing often with Nowelo, Blue Jade, The Jazztones, the Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra, Kona Brass, and the Kona Music Society Orchestra. She is co-director of the Big Island Music Academy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering young people through music education and performance. She inspires so many musicians to do more and more of what they love to do!
Any challenges and/or joys of playing music here on the Big Island?
Having been a freelance trumpet player in NYC for many years, I didn’t know what to expect musically when coming to the Big Island. I was so surprised at the level of musicianship I experienced and continue to experience here, first being invited to play with the legendary Ollie Mitchell’s big band (She’s referring to Olliephonics – the huge, sometimes 12-piece group, which graced the stage at Blue Dragon many years past) whose trumpet playing blew my mind!
The magic of the island-inspired and lifted me to new heights and right away I began writing music again and formed my own group with a tight-knit group of friends. I have been fortunate to play reggae, Hawaiian, funk, jazz, neo-soul, and classical music, and now am excited to be recording an album of my own compositions with some of my dear friends who are incredibly gifted musicians. One of the joys of playing here is the ability to form deep relationships with the musicians you play with, as opposed to freelancing where you show up to a gig and don’t necessarily know anyone. Here everyone becomes like a family.
This island also attracts very talented and creative people. Legends like Russ McKinnon, Ollie Mitchell and Reggie Griffin have all mentored me and helped to create the music on this album. This island has allowed me to slow down and reflect, to get in touch with who I am, to give back to the community by starting the Big Island Music Academy, and now to record my first album of original music to be released in 2020.
What got you started playing music?
Music was always a part of my life. My great grandparents were both jazz musicians and my family always played music or had music playing while I was growing up. I started playing music when I was 4 years old and began studying Suzuki violin. I moved on to start playing the trumpet when I was 10 years old and fell in love with the depth of expression it had.
About how often do you usually play?
I practice trumpet every day.
Your biggest dream music-wise is…
My biggest dream music-wise is to create a body of work I’m proud of and that uplifts and connects with people.
What inspires your music most?
I think my pain inspires my music the most. I first started writing and singing out of heartbreak. It’s always the thing that creates the pressure on my heart to create and express, then to let it go and transform that pain into beauty and understanding.
Your proudest moment in music was…
I think my proudest moment in music will be when I release my album!
Any suggestions for aspiring musicians?
Love what you do, tell your story, learn from the masters but don’t compare or conform to what other people are doing or think you should do. Make music that moves you and heals you.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
I would like to be rich!
What TV show did you last binge-watch?
Ann shares a shoutout to Big Island Music Mag and me for supporting local artists. See more at https://www.facebook.com/annhokulyn/
Read her full bio at www.annhokuly.com
Love Guru Uma sings and performs solo acoustic ukulele – lately at weddings on the beach with Deanna, the Kona Wedding Officiant & sings in the 4-piece UmaZuma Band, which performs rock & soul at Korner Pocket in Kealakekua Nov. 23 from 8-11 p.m. She loves performing any chance she can, including in a duo with her husband, with an upcoming show at Honokaa Public House on Oct. 12 from 8-11 p.m. Uma enjoys staying busy as a substitute teacher, Uber driver, Tour guide and self-published author. She just completed Book 2 in a series of adventure love story and self-help reads entitled Love is Crazy – Lessons in Love: Creating your own Happy Ever After and Love is Crazy Satisfying. More at umaojeda.weebly.com
Photos: Featured image: Steve Roby. Article image: courtesy photo from Ann Hoku Lyn’s Facebook page.