Jazz Styles and Improvisation Techniques
A selection of songs from the greats throughout the age of jazz presented in a Jazz Duo format.
Dean Taba and Noel Okimoto, master musicians, demonstrate one song in each of the following Jazz styles; the blues, early swing, New Orleans style, be-bop, Latin, and Fusion. They will also give an overview of what musicians are doing when improvising a solo or accompaniment.

Performance of 2-3 songs
Explanation of improvising structure and individual function
Demonstration of various styles of Jazz.
Q&A and demonstrating musical examples if applicable.


Dean Taba
A highly regarded studio and freelance musician, Dean Taba began his musical studies on the piano at the age of 6 and played french horn in the Hawai‘i Youth Symphony. It was a desire to play in the high school jazz band that introduced him to the bass and improvised music. After extensive studies at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and a refinement of his skills on both the acoustic and electric bass, Dean relocated to Los Angeles in 1984 and became one of its most in demand musicians.
Also a respected clinician and educator (Los Angeles Music Academy, Musician’s Institute, Cal-Poly Pomona, Grove School of Music) Dean has recently performed/recorded with Jeff Lorber, David Benoit, Mark Murphy, Jake Shimabukuo, Andy Summers, Sadao Watanabe, The San Francisco Symphony, Hiroshima, Rick Braun, The American Jazz Institute Orchestra, Dave Koz, Jeff Richman, Pauline Wilson, The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, Daniel Ho, Bill Watrous, and many others as well as playing on countless CDs, TV shows, and movie sound tracks.
In spite of his busy schedule, Dean is always sure to devote time to writing music for his own projects, the latest of his three CDs is The Camarillo Waltz. This recording features 10 of Dean’s inovative jazz compositions. Dean emphasizes, “I am grateful for every opportunity to make and share music.”

Noel Okimoto
Born and raised in Honolulu, Noel Okimoto has been playing professionally since the age of ten. Noel’s primary instrument is the drum set, but he is also an accomplished orchestral percussionist, vibraphonist, composer and clinician. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Percussion from the University of Hawai‘i. Noel has played in Hawai‘i, the mainland USA, and internationally with Freddie Hubbard, The Woody Herman Orchestra, Stan Getz, Bobby Hutcherson, Richie Cole, Bill Watrous, Ernie Watts, Bud Shank, Barney Kessel, Lew Tabackin, Sadao Watanabe, Wynton Marsalis, Ronnie Cuber, Makoto Ozone, Jeff Richman, Larry Coryell, Nestor Torres, Gene Harris, Take 6, David Benoit, Henry Mancini, Nelson Riddle, Steve Allen, Natalie Cole, Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald, Bob Hope, Rosemary Clooney, Patti Page, Dionne Warwick, and Jake Shimabukuro, among others. He was a member of the Gabe Baltazar Group for five years, and he is also the percussion section leader of the historic Royal Hawaiian Band.
Okimoto recorded an award- winning jazz CD in 2004, entitled ‘Ohana, that received a 4-Star review in Downbeat magazine and positive reviews in other national and international publications.



For information on booking, email us at csinfo@hawaii.edu