Uma’s Ultimate Kona Konnection is a weekly column covering the music scene of Kailua Kona. This week she spotlights musician, Binti Bailey, who is currently Vocal Director for Aloha Theater’s Peter Pan Jr. which plays the next two weekends: June 21, 22, 23 & June 28, 29 & 30. You can also see Binti sing at Gertrude’s Jazz Bar; check the calendar below for dates in July or August.
Binti Bailey croons jazz and sings world beat and soul music. She has been singing since she was tiny, beginning in church. She has Binti hails from Pennsylvania and arrived on the Kailua Kona music scene in March of 2010. She only considered doing music professionally once she began attending open mics at the Kava Bar and at the old Mix with Tiffany Rose Brown and started performing with Rainbow in Volcano, as they needed a singer to fill in when someone became ill. Binti has performed at Huggo’s, the Volcano Jazz Festival, with Casablanca, at the Kona Jazz Experience at Aloha Theater, and currently assists them as Vocal Director for Peter Pan Jr.
She has been a full-time Physical Therapist, but stepped down to do music full-time this past April. She currently teaches voice at the Big Island Music Academy. One of her hopes is that more music venues become available in Kona, so that musicians can continue to create and inspire. Another dream is to record a new cd, which she’s begun with local artist, Truth Musiq. She began that journey but got side tracked with the arrival of her new baby, almost a year ago. She’s been happily surprised that she could perform so pregnant! In fact, one of her proudest moments was singing on stage 9 months pregnant. Binti never imagined that might happen, or how wonderful it felt.
If Binti could have a super power it would be to heal, but she’s not comfortable playing God or Goddess or whatever you believe in. That would make her question, “How can you choose who to heal?” The repercussions would be too heavy. To fly would be her next option, so she could see what’s happening in the world. The last TV show she binge-watched was ‘She’s Gotta Have it,’ a Spike Lee joint, modeled after his movie of the same title.
She feels blessed to be here on the Big Island, as with such a small population, there’s great access to amazing musicians, artists, singers etc., as so many are attracted to the BI. She’d love to see more success which can come with more opportunities.
One of the challenges in Kona, is that the music scene seems to be losing venues, as far as a variety of styles and places that support full bands. Binti states, “It’s hard to make a living here, unless you can get convention work.” She says the hustle can be daunting.
Check out https://www.gertrudesjazzbar.com/music for specific dates to catch Binti next month on the Gertrude’s Jazz Bar calendar. Gertrude’s is a lovely Kona spot near the pier just a couple blocks south and upstairs from the Shave Ice spot. It’s open air with a sweet little dance floor. Drinks and food are excellent and a wide variety of music is featured, including a lot of jazz. You can also follow what she’s up to at https://bintibailey.bandzoogle.com,or Instagram, as well as on Facebook.
Since I hadn’t ever sang with Binti before, we made a little ditty for you…”Chain of fools” with Binti, Uma and my ukulele!
Love Guru Uma sings this Sunday, June 23 at Gertrude’s with her duo from 5:30-7:30pm. She performs in the 4-piece Uma Zuma Band, duo with her husband and plays solo ukulele, is a substitute teacher, Uber driver, Tour guide and she writes books. 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
Photo credit: Mindi Bachand of Painted Hearts