Feast of Films - Movie Fests on Molokai &
Lanai serve film fans on neighbor islands

Published in the STAR BULLETIN - AUGUST 13, 2010
click here for a link to the news story

Feast of films
Movie fests on Molokai and Lanai serve film fans on neighbor islands
By Mike Gordon

Whenever Ken Martinez Burgmaier visits Molokai and Lanai, strangers stop him on the street. On islands without movie theaters, the guy in charge of the annual free film festival is pretty popular.

"People ask when is the next film festival, what are the films," he says. "Everywhere I go, that vibe is there. It gives me chicken skin that our festivals are that loved."

Burgmaier has organized film and music festivals throughout Maui County for seven years, becoming a sort of Pied Piper for film, culture and music in communities off the beaten path.

He's expecting a crowd of 2,000 tonight and tomorrow at the Hotel Molokai in Kaunakakai, where he will screen 14 short indie films, including the world premiere of his "Journey to Kalaupapa" and "Massacre of Kaupoa Beach."

Next weekend, he'll bring the same line up to the Hotel Lanai. Last year, the first time he held a festival on Lanai, 400 people showed up.

"They are all embraced by the community with overwhelming aloha," he says. "They are starving for quality entertainment."

Burgmaier has a Maui-based film and TV production company and an internationally broadcast TV show, "Jazz Alley TV." He also recently started, an online TV Internet network.

Celebrate Hawaiian music and films
at 3rd Annual Lahaina Film Festival

Published in the LAHAINA NEWS- AUGUST 6, 2008
click here for a link to the news story at

Lahaina News
Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Lahaina Scene

Celebrate Hawaiian music and films at Lahaina Film Festival

LAHAINA – The sixth annual MauiFEST Hawai’i festival series will kick off 2008 with the Lahaina Film Festival on Saturday, Aug. 9, from 4 to 11 p.m. in the heart of Lahaina Town at Campbell Park along front Street!

This celebration of Hawaiian music, arts, culture and film will be presented free for the families of Maui and our visitors!

The entertainment lineup includes Multi Na Hoku Hanohano Award winner Brother Noland, Hawaii Music Award winner Bradda Francis, guitar/ukulele master Uncle Benny Uyetake, Ryukyukoku Matsuri Taiko Drummers, Polynesian song and dance by Na Kamali’i O Ke Akua (Children of God), hula with special guests from ’Ulalena, “Maui Superman” Uncle Boy Kana’e and Hawaiian chant by Kaliko Beamer Trapp, and a tribute to a true treasure of Hawaii, Aunty Nona Beamer, presented by Keola and Moanalani Beamer.

Films include Maui and world premieres! Watch “The Turtle and the Shark,” an animated short film; “Requiem,” a shark documentary; “Palm Trees & Proteges” (Hana surfers explode!); “Halau Nalu,” a look at native surfing in a Hawaiian language film; “Ma ka Hana ka ike” (In doing, one learns), exploring life changes for Hana students; “Mai Tai” (two guys looking for paradise in all the wrong places); the animated short films “Guard Dog” and “Hot Dog & Guide Dog;” “Voyages,” a Herb Kane journey of the Hawaiians; “Kekohi,” a Maui-made adventure film set in the time of King Kamehameha; “Children of the Long Canoes,” an incredible story of the first Hawaiians; and “The Punalu’u Experience,” which explores the natural and cultural history of Punalu’u on the Big Island.

The festival will also feature Hawaiian cultural arts and crafts booths and food booths from Waiola Church, Cool Cat Cafe, Amigo’s Mexican Food, Jamba Juice and more. Partial proceeds will go to Maui non-profits.

VIP dining will be offered from Front Street Grill & Bar overlooking the festival. For limited seating, call 662-3003.

A Jazz Alley TV and KITV-4 ABC TV special will be filmed on the event. Hawaii TV will film the festival to share our aloha with the world.

Festival sponsors are Jazz Alley TV, Kuleana Maui Resort, Hawaii TV, Westin Hotels & Resorts, Surf Line Hawaii, Jams World, ’Ohana Makamae, Lahaina Inn, The Wharf Cinema Center, KITV 4-ABC, Jamba Juice, Pacific Dive, Aloha Self Storage, Maui DP-Surf Company, Front Street Grill, Cool Cat Cafe, Waiola Church, Amigo’s, Maui Disposal, Century 21-Sharloma Cleveland, County of Maui, Lahaina Restoration Foundation, Aloha Production Services, Maui Community College, Maui Acupuncture, Jonathan Starr Foundation, Ole Surfboards, Maui Fitness Club, Maui Graphics, Lahaina News, KPOA 93.5 FM, Paragon Sailing,

Rainbow Rental, and friends and ohana!

Volunteers are sought for the festival; call Ken at 573-5530.

Low-back chairs are allowed at the event; coolers are not.



Looking at the Big picture
Director's work brings film fests to Maui County

Published in the ISLAND LIFE SECTION - AUGUST 1, 2008
click here for a link to the news story at Maui Weekly Online

Honolulu Advertiser

Honolulu Advertiser
Friday, August 1, 2008

Island Life

By Mike Gordon
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hana wasn't on the film festival circuit until September 2003 — when Kenneth Martinez Burgmaier set up an outdoor screen on the Hotel Hana-Maui's mini golf course and showed indie films under the stars.

Burgmaier screened "Quattro Noza," "Kiho'alu Keola Beamer" and "Fiji Firewalkers." Grammy winner Paul Horn and Brother Noland performed. Atu, a Fijian, not only gave a warrior dance but also served kava to the audience.

All forFREE.

It was a huge hit — "absolutely gratifying," Burgmaier tells you.

But entertainment was only part of Burgmaier's altruism. Beginning in Hana, he has worked for the past five years to bring similar film and music festivals to Maui County under the umbrella MauiFEST Hawai'i. Burgmaier created free events that featured indie films and Grammy and Hoku-award winning musicians. He's held them in Hana, Lahaina, and on Moloka'i and Lana'i.

The Lahaina Film Festival, which will feature three world premiere screenings, is set for Aug. 9 at Campbell Park.

"He has a great heart," said Kimi Tempo, whose business, Ohana Con-cierge and Tours, helps with the Moloka'i festival. "He loves to work with people and bring happiness."

The 48-year-old Burgmaier, who has a Maui-based film and TV commercial production company, and an internationally broadcast TV show, "Jazz Alley TV," said he started MauiFEST Hawai'i to bring tourist dollars to "economically depressed areas" of Maui County.

A companion goal of the effort is to showcase Hawaiian music and culture while giving local audiences something they wouldn't normally be able to see.

"I have been going under the radar doing all the stuff we have done," he said. "It's a true grass-roots thing. First off, it's free, and it is always, always a struggle to find sponsors to keep it free. That's our main objective."
tourist draw

Right from the start, the festivals have been a draw among tourists. The first Hana festival drew more than 600 people, with an estimated 60 percent coming from outside the community, including Honolulu and the Mainland. Burgmaier is convinced the event was an economic boost to Hana, population 709. The hotel was sold out during the screening. Three days later, he says, it was nearly empty.

Last year, the Hana event — now held next to Hana Bay — drew 2,000 people.

Events on Moloka'i always draw 1,000 people. And as the Lahaina festival prepares for its third screening this month, Burgmaier again expects 10,000 people to watch the world premiere of several documentaries, while seated on lawn chairs or blankets at a local park.

"You go to a film festival, it's $30 to $50 to get in, and a lot of times you don't see local families there," he said. "It is a tragedy to me. We really need to be able to share this with everybody."

In addition to celebrating culture and the arts, the Moloka'i festival, now in its fifth year, seeks to raise cancer awareness. Booths are set up by the Moloka'i Cancer Fund and the Moloka'i Community Health Center.

"They don't have anything like that, outdoor movies or anything," Burgmaier said. "That has been enormously welcomed with open arms. They've asked us, 'Can you do this two or three times a year?' If I had some grant money, I would."

MauiFEST operates largely on business sponsorship and, since last year, with a $30,000 grant from Maui County. Each festival costs roughly $20,000, Burgmaier said.

"We just learn to do it on a shoestring," he said. "We get a lot of in-kind support and volunteers and family helping us. It makes it look like a $100,000 production."

The events have become an all-comers opportunity for fundraising by local nonprofit agencies, high school sports teams and community groups.

Ohana Makamae, an East Maui social services agency for families, raised $5,500 when it joined with other groups for a food booth last year. Everything was gone inside of two hours, said Ray Henderson, executive director of the nonprofit agency.

But it's the entertainment that brings out the crowds. Hana has no movie theater, so the festival is a welcome change to the three-hour drive to Wailuku.

"We hear about it for weeks after it's over," Henderson said. "It's probably the highlight of the community every year. We don't see these types of things. We are in the middle of nowhere."
longtime filmmaker

Burgmaier has been a filmmaker, director and producer on Maui for more than 20 years. Although he grew up in Colorado, his family has roots in the 19th-century paniolo or cowboys who worked on Maui and O'ahu.

"My main enterprise is being a filmmaker," he said. "I get calls from all the networks when they want to do shoots over here. The Discovery Channel. National Geographic. PBS. The History Channel."

Burgmaier is the host and creator of "Jazz Alley TV," which he launched on a UHF channel 17 years ago. It can now be seen on the BET Channel and through Voice of America, which gave the show an 80-country audience starting in 2005.

"It's a jazz, blues, world music magazine show," he said. "We travel all over the world to different music festivals. We do interviews with musicians and do sort of a travelogue."

Burgmaier's partner and festival emcee is Henry "Uncle Boy" Kana'e, a 54-year-old radio disc jockey and minister.

More than anything, Burgmaier said, the festivals are popular because they are simple.

"For me, it's about bringing families out, and they can spend time together," he said. "You can bring your children out, your grandma, your mom and dad. All you need is to put a blanket on the grass and sit down and enjoy the music or the films."

Reach Mike Gordon at


A little something for everyone at the 2007 Hana Film Festival.
click here for a link to the news story at Maui Weekly Online

Maui Weekly

Maui Weekly
Thursday, November 15, 2007

Music & Movies

Mira Allen

A little something for everyone at the annual Hana Film Festival.

The fifth annual Hana Film Festival featured more than just movies. With a lineup of award-winning performers, Hana Town was treated to a free night of music—sprinkled with hula and a bit of comedy—before settling in for some really great films.

The mood was jovial as families gathered at Hana Bay on Saturday, Nov. 3, for the Hana Film Festival, put on by MauiFEST Hawai‘i. The occasional sprinkle-turned-downpour did not discourage the patrons who settled in for a night of Grammy Award-winning music, Emmy Award-winning films and fabulous food, the first two being free of charge.

Maui filmmaker Ken Martinez Burgmaier was inspired to start the festival five years ago in Hana. “I’m a paddler for the Hana Canoe Club and involved in the community down there,” Burgmaier said. “I realized how special it would be to bring this to Hana. I wanted to provide a place for local filmmakers to screen their films.” With the help of Uncle Boy Kanae of KPOA, he started MauiFEST Hawai‘i to make that happen.

Uncle Boy kicked off the night with a few jokes before turning over the stage to Moloka‘i’s own Lono, the Hawai‘i Music Award-winning musician. It took all of a minute for him to draw the crowd in with his melodic voice.

Lono was followed by an equally talented string of musical masters. George and Keoki Kahumoku graced the stage together, and Braddah Francis belted out Elvis as hula dancers swayed to the tunes.

In the distance, ‘Ohana Makamae, Hana Youth Center) and Hale Hulu Mamo, Hana’s senior center, were hard at work bringing food to hungry concertgoers. All proceeds went back to them. Along with pork teriyaki and shoyu chicken, the most popular dish was the seared ahi—sliced atop garlic bread, it seemed to occupy the lap of anyone eating anything.

The air was electrified as the headliners; the Charmaine Neville Band, took the stage. Charmaine Neville, daughter of Charles from the Neville Brothers, clutched the mic and peered out into the audience with an intense gaze. She had a message to share tonight, delivered through her velvety singing voice coupled with some engaging storytelling.

Neville came to Hawai‘i from her home in New Orleans, where she rode out Hurricane Katrina. “I was stuck on the roof of my house for seven days,” she said. She came here to raise awareness about the state of the Gulf Coast today, where her home in the Lower Ninth Ward still does not have reliable electricity, and her neighborhood gets by without the aid of a school or grocery store. The police and fire crews operate from trailers and are forced to live outside of the city. “You have to drive miles and miles to get whatever you need,” she said.

Her set began in earnest and built in intensity. Commentary gave way to song and then back again. Gerald French beat out a rhythm on drums, while Amasa Miller alternated between accordion and keyboard.

Neville continued to lead the audience through her harrowing tale of Katrina. She performed a song she later explained had no name. “How long can you tread that water?” she sang. “People are floating past me on trees. I just watched my house float by. I just watched my neighbor die. The sky is black with helicopters, but none of them are stopping…”

Sweat beaded on her face, and it was easy to tell she was reliving the experience. “That song?” she said later. “It’s different every time. It evolves. I never wrote it down.”

After she shared her story, she opened the door to her home. “If any of you all get down to New Orleans, I am inviting you to my house for a fish fry. I love feeding people!” She and her band left the stage to cheers that reverberated through the bay and quite possibly all over Hana Town that evening.

For more than an hour afterwards, Neville sat on the sidelines as one after another came to praise her performance. She gave them hugs and graciously signed CDs. Proceeds from the sales go back to her hometown and its rebuilding efforts.

Later, the attendees snuggled in for a lineup of movie shorts, including Heart of a Soul Surfer: The Bethany Hamilton Story and the Hawai‘i world premiere of the New Zealand film A Meaningful Life. The food booth put popcorn in many hands, and children dozed off in the balmy air as parents enjoyed the films. The Hana Film Festival had done it again.

Mira Allen is the editor-in-chief of Ho‘oulu, the newspaper of Maui Community College, and an intern for the Hawaii TV Nework.


Honolulu Advertiser

Lineup for Lahaina's film festival worth the wait
Posted on: Friday, August 11, 2006

By Moon Yun Choi

For the past five years, filmmaker Kenneth K. Martinez Burgmaier and his collaborators have put on the MauiFEST Hawaii-Hana and the Molokai Film Festival. With the success of both, and based on requests from Maui's west-side residents, they've decided to bring film, music and cultural performances to Lahaina.

Burgmaier and Uncle Boy Kanae, one of the directors and cultural producers, are principal organizers behind the first MauiFEST Hawaii Lahaina Film Festival, which takes place tomorrow. They plan to make the free festival an annual event.

"Filmmaking is our passion, and (we) create venues to show works of Hawaiian culture," said Burgmaier.

In addition to the nine award-winning Polynesian films that will be screened, musical performances by local musicians, hula, taiko drumming and Fijian dance are on the schedule.

Burgmaier has been quietly collecting awards and accolades without much hoopla. He has produced several Hawaiian documentaries, on subjects including Keola Beamer, Frank DeLima and "Wa'a Ho'olaule'a" ("Festival of Canoes").

The documentary on Beamer, "Ki Ho'alu — Keola Beamer — Loosen the Key" ran nationally on PBS.

"Quattro Noza" (2003), which explores the subculture of street racing, won an award for best cinematography at the Sundance Film Festival. "Quattro Noza" has been shown on national television and been picked up by Lions Gate Entertainment for distribution.

The filmmaker will be showing his films on Beamer and the Festival of Canoes at the Lahaina festival.

The following films have been selected for screening at the festival:

  • "The Land Has Eyes," written and directed by Vilsoni Hereniko. The award-winning film tells the story of a Fijian girl who tries to right a wrong afflicted on her father.
  • "Rolling Down Like Pele," directed by Laura Seaward Margulies, combines animation and live action to focus on hula and chant.
  • "Ipo Le Manu," directed by Daniel Boulos, tells the animated story of Queen Kapi'olani reuniting a prince and princess.
  • "Fish Bowl," directed by Kayo Hatta, is the last film made by the deceased filmmaker. Based on a Lois-Ann Yamanaka story, it's about an adolescent friendship.
  • "Dreams of a Pagan Tattooed Savage," directed by Robert Pennybacker, asks: What do people see when they look at a Hawaiian face? This film attempts to foster a deeper understanding of a Pacific-island cultural identity by attacking stereotypes forced upon Native Hawaiians.
  • "The Red Hibiscus," also directed by Pennybacker, is about the search for a jazz diva and Hawaiian culture in the heart of Honolulu's Chinatown.
  • "Ki Ho'alu — Keola Beamer — Paniolo Version" won best documentary award at the New York International Independent Film Festival, the Temecula International Film Festival and the Houston International World Film Festival. Directed by Burgmaier, the film takes a look at the paniolo through Beamer's eyes and music.
  • "Passing the Gift: Malama Honokowai," directed by Kat Tracy, shines a light on efforts to restore Hawaiian culture in Honokowai Valley on Maui's west side.
  • "Wa'a Ho'olaule'a" puts a spotlight on master canoe carvers and surfboard shapers from New Zealand, Tahiti, Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, the Big Island and Maui. It also features Hawai'i musicians such as Brother Noland, Richard Ho'opi'i and Palani Vaughn. It was filmed in Lahaina at the International Festival of Canoes.


Lahaina News

Festival to showcase diverse ukulele masters

LAHAINA – Ukulele aficionados won’t want to miss the live entertainment lineup at the MauiFEST Hawai’i Lahaina Film Festival on Aug. 12 in Campbell Park, with the young, bold and virtuoso spotlighted on stage for more than two magical hours.

Sixteen-year-old Seabury Hall student Kristen Toda will set the pace with Hawaiian and island-style tunes at 4:30 p.m.

Toda won the 2005 Hula Grill Ukulele Contest in both the solo and group divisions.

The ukulele is an extension of Toda’s personality, with her energy matching her talent.

“I’ve been playing since before I can remember,” she said.

This isn’t her first MauiFest Hawaii performance.

“I got to play at the Hana Film Festival last year,” Toda told the Lahaina News.

MauiFest co-producer and emcee Uncle Boy Kanae explained, “We like to highlight our young people who have excelled, to give them more exposure, to be part of the event and to help them grow in music as well as in themselves.”

Po’okela Wood, 15, a Kamehameha Schools Maui Campus sophomore, will join Toda for this gig.

“He’s versatile. He plays the guitar as well as the ukulele,” Toda said.

“We’re thinking of making a band, and that’s why we’re playing together,” she added.

Los Angeles player Tony Gamble will blast the slippers off ukulele traditionalists when he pumps the stage with his high-octane, heavy rock fusion mix at 5:10 p.m.

The 39-year-old instrumentalist isn’t shy about describing himself on the Internet ( as “the first and only bad boy of ukulele? terrifying ukulele like you have never heard.”

The ukulele is a relatively new instrumental experience for the Rock City Award-winning guitarist: “Rock style (on the ukulele) I’ve been playing for one year, but have played other styles for several years? It’s fun to play, and I want to show people it’s a universal and versatile instrument,” Gamble remarked.

This is Gamble’s first trip to the islands.

Kanae looks forward to the “mind-bending” performance: “We, in Hawaii, like to claim the ukulele as one of our instruments, and it’s unique to have someone outside of our culture showcase the ukulele. This young man has chosen to portray his music in a rock style, and I look forward to see what he can do.”

With 60-plus recording experiences under his belt, the internationally acclaimed “Master of Ukulele,” Herb “Ohta San” Ohta, will take control of the stage at 6:30 p.m., lulling the audience to a slower pace with his smooth jazz styling.

The 72-year-old has been playing the ukulele since he was seven, and his diversity of style ranges from Hawaiian to classical, jazz, rock, pop and Latin.       

Ohta was one of five recipients of the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.

He’s teaming up in Lahaina with accomplished guitarist Nando Suan, a protege of the legendary jazz musician Wes Montgomery, for a set to “tie in to the Jazz Alley TV Show,” according to event co-producer Kenneth K. Martinez Burgmaier.

Ohta is looking forward to his performance in Lahaina. “I haven’t been to Maui in a long time,” he said.

Set for 4 to 11 p.m., the free Lahaina Film Festival will also feature screenings of “The Land Has Eyes,” “Wa’a Ho’olaule’a (Festival of Canoes),” “Rolling Down Like Pele,” “Ipo Le Manu,” “Fish Bowl,” “Dreams of a Pagan Tattooed Warrior,” “The Red Hibiscus,” “Ki ho’alu-Keola Beamer,” and “Passing the Gift: Malama Honokowai.”

There will also be music with George Kahumoku and the Zenshin Daiko Taiko Drummers, hula and Fijian dance, and food booths. Visit

Lahaina News

Lahaina News



Maui News

Maui News - Kris Kristofferson


Keola Beamer musical portrait is captivating, revealing

Review by John Berger

"Kiho'alu (Loosen the Key)"Part of the "Hawaii Panorama" series at the Hawaii International Film Festival.Playing today at noon, University of Hawaii at Hilo; 1 p.m., Kauai Community College; 5 p.m. Maui Community College

Keola Beamer may or may not be the world's greatest slack-key guitarist (it's certain he'd never describe himself as such), but in "Kiho'alu (Loosen the Key)," a feature-length film on Beamer and his music, director Kenneth K. Martinez Burgmaier has quite possibly created the world's best slack-key documentary. It is such an erudite and beautifully produced documentary that the failure of the decision-makers at the Hawai'i International Film Festival to nominate it for a Golden Maile Award in that category is puzzling. Burgmaier adeptly alternates between performance footage, interviews and scenic shots in introducing the history and cultural significance of the music, and establishing Beamer's place as a master musician and teacher. The performance footage -- a Beamer concert featuring wife Moanalani, mother Nona Beamer and bassist John Kolivas -- offers not only familiar musical fare for fans and friends fortunate enough to have caught him in concert recently, but captures his work at much closer range. Although the documentary was not done for strictly educational purposes, sharp-eyed students will find plenty of close-up shots documenting Beamer's fingering, strumming and plucking techniques. Anyone discovering Keola Beamer and his music through this film will be instantly captivated by his storytelling, as well. The interview segments fill in much of the personal side of this musical portrait. Beamer gives his account of the history of slack key and explains in detail his feelings about his Hawaiian heritage and the Beamer family legacy. Interview clips of his wife and his famous mother add insights into his family heritage. The significance of his unusual guitar -- it has two small sound holes instead of a single central one -- is explained as Beamer visits his luthier, Steve Grimes. George Winston -- who co-produced the movie with Burgmaier and fellow Dancing Cat executive Ben Churchill -- provides an overview of slack key's importance within the broader context of American folk styles and speaks of his long friendship with Beamer. (Beamer is one of the mainstays of the well-received "Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Masters," series which Winston has produced for more than a decade.)Interviews with Willie Nelson and Willie K, and several other Dancing Cat artists -- Ledward Kaapana, Cyril Pahinui, Ozzie Kotani and Cindy Combs -- add other viewpoints on slack key's place in modern Hawaii and Beamer's place in the pantheon of slack-key guitar masters.




Thursday, November 3, 2005

Sharing a concert bill with Willie Nelson one night, Kris Kristofferson realized his bullfroggy voice was more hoarse than usual. When Willie took the stage at the end of Kris’ set to share a duet, Kris whispered his relief.
“I’m losing my voice,” he whispered.
“How can you tell?” answered Willie.
Kris told that story in a memorable solo concert last year in Castle Theater. Its self-effacing tone is typical of the charismatic entertainer who will be performing Saturday as part of MauiFEST Hawaii’s third annual “Hana Film Festival.” Gates open at 2:30 p.m. at Hana Ball Park with the live music beginning at 3 and films happening after dark.
In its first two years, this event has tapped into that elusive Hana magic with its blend of live music and outdoor film screenings at a very local-style, laid-back pace. This year, on top of everything else, it’s free. (There’s more on the festival in Jon Woodhouse’s Maui Beat column on Page 3.)
MauiFEST creator and award-winning filmmaker Ken Martinez Burgmaier turned Kris’ Castle Theater concert into a music-documentary subtitled “One Man, One Voice.” Having been there that night, I remember thinking, Hey, this guy only knows about three tunes. On stage by himself with nothing more than guitar and harmonica to hide behind, he would never be mistaken for a great musician. And as for the voice, well ?
But reliving the concert by previewing Burgmaier’s film, I realized, it’s not that all the songs sound similar –it’s more like they’re just different verses of one song.
It’s a song of times and places, of political realities and matters of the heart. It tells of the tenderest moments two people can share, of mistakes and love and personal failings. It’s a song of broken families but unbreakable bonds between parents and kids, of the struggle to make it through the night ? and the courage to get up in the morning and do it all over again.
It’s the song of Kris’ life –a life lived with integrity and courage and as much poetry and joy as he can squeeze in there. Besides being a genuine movie star, the guy has created way more than his share of lines so perfect –like freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose – they have passed the test of time and ensured his place in songwriters’ heaven.
But out in Hana, Kris Kristofferson is just the superstar next door mowing the lawn, who may have slyly summed up his own career – before it even really took off – when he penned the line, “He’s a walking contradiction, partly fact, partly fiction.”
Maui film audiences will have to wait to see Burgmaier’s captivating film that cuts back and forth between the concert and interview footage to illuminate both the artistic and human sides of this unique performer. It has been submitted for consideration to next year’s Sundance Film Festival where Kris has been invited to appear, and Burgmaier is awaiting further news before deciding how to premiere it.
So instead of the film, we’ll have to settle for the real thing.
For free.
Or, to borrow another line from one of Kris’ songs:
Ain’t it just like a human, here comes that rainbow again.
Then again, Mr. Kristofferson can currently be seen on the big screen in the warm, furry, family-friendly “Dreamer.” It stars gifted, young Dakota Fanning and Kurt Russell as her horse-training dad, and tells of their adoption of a racehorse with a broken leg. Kurt’s plan is to breed the champion filly, but the story takes some unexpected turns heading into the back stretch, calling for several hankies before it comes charging for the finish line.

Kris has third billing, as the flinty father/grandfather on this equine rescue mission. The role is like everything else in the production, plenty predictable –like a Hallmark card –but also plenty convincing, powerful and touching, thanks to all the heart the stars bring to their performances and the overall quality of the production, written and directed by John Gatins.



with Jon Berger
Thursday, July 28, 2005

CONGRATULATIONS: To Kenneth K. Martinez Burgmaier , who reports that "Wa'a Ho'olaule'a (Festival of Canoes)," his film about canoes and Hawaiian culture, took top honors in the "Integral Realization" category at the Philadelphia Documentary Film Festival, and "Best Cultural Connection to the Sea" at the Ocean Film Festival on Kauai ... And to Diamond Head Theatre on the success of "Beauty and the Beast." Demand for tickets has been so great that the schedule now includes shows at 8 p.m. Aug 3. and 10 ...


Posted Aug 16th, 2004

Maui Moviemaker

Maui film is selected for California International Film Festival.

Wa'a Ho'olaule'a- Festival of Canoes, directed by award winning Maui filmmaker, Kenneth K. Martinez Burgmaier has been selected to premiere at the 10th Anniversary Temecula Valley International Film Festival set for September 8-12, 2004.

A beautiful Hawaiian film exploring the journey of the canoe with Master Canoe carvers, Hale Builders (Hawaiian shelters), and surf board shapers from New Zealand, Tahiti, Cook Islands, Tonga, Marshall Islands, the Big Island and Maui. Captured at the International Festival of Canoes in Lahaina. Along with some of Hawai'i's greatest musicians, like Brother Noland, Richard Hoopi'i and Palani Vaughn.

Burgmaier has created a visual masterpiece as the transformation of a log turns into a magnificent ocean vessel artifact that reflects to the historic roots of the Polynesian Triangle and to the people who passed this knowledge down from one generation to another.

Directed and Produced by Kenneth and Maui Reflection Films/Jazz Alley TV Production Companies. This year's 10th anniversary celebration plans to be an action-packed event showcasing the best in the film and music from the US and around the world including countries such as Australia, France, India and Italy. This year's film showcases include presentations from The American Film Institute (AFI), Independent Feature Project (IFP), Toronto International Film Festival, San Diego State University and sister festival, Rome Independent Film Festival (RIFF) which will be the highlight supplement to four full general screening days of shorts, documentaries, animation, features and student films.







Thursday, May 27, 2004

MAKING THE SCENE: A Night at the Drive-In
By RICK CHATENEVER, Maui Scene Editor

In the artist's rendering, a row of cherry hotrods and vintage surfmobiles are lined up in the pink twilight, between a neon marquee and a large outdoor movie screen. Corrected for geographical details (in my case, the movie screen was in Oklahoma with no surfmobiles in sight), the image is universal for a certain generation of us, a comforting memory of a collective childhood of kids in pajamas playing on the swing sets until it got dark enough for the movie to begin.

Seeing the image - a poster for the brand new Upcountry Drive-In at Hui No'eau Visual Arts Center- on the cover of last week's Maui Scene, a co-worker said we should make it clear that this was a fanciful artist's rendering.
Whatever was going to happen at the Hui couldn't possibly be like the poster. The "drive-in," slated to happen once a month, was a put-up-and-tear-down concept. As opposed to those giant screens of old, this one was portable, and, I had heard, pretty small. As opposed to those acres of parking lot dotted with speaker posts of the old days, I was trying to figure out where they'd put the cars on the elegant, converted-mansion grounds of the Hui.

My co-worker was right. It wasn't like the old days.

It was better.

The brainchild of island filmmaker Kenneth Martinez Burgmaier, the Upcountry Drive-in was located away from the Hui mansion, down on the property behind the rustic, rambling tin-walled structure housing the Hui pottery studio.

With tiki torches providing illumination in front of the distinctive tin roof, the setting definitely made good on the "Maui style" part of the advertising promotion. And the outdoor screen - small as it was -brought a new dimension to the Hui as a visual arts center.

The natural slope and terracing of the surrounding grounds provided surprisingly good sight lines for 65 vehicles, parked creatively, but amiably around the perimeter. In front of them was a sea of lawn chairs, seating a crowd of around 300. Although I didn't see any in pajamas, there were plenty of kids running around in the heady excitement of getting to stay up late and play outside in the twilight.

The three movies on the bill -the premiere of Burgmaier's "Festival of Canoes," shot last year at the Lahaina event; "Fiji Firewalkers" by Maui video artist Tom Vendetti; and "The Ride," a surfing fantasy about Duke Kahanamoku that played at last year's Hawaii International Film Festival -also contributed to the unique, island vibes of the evening.

A golden crescent moon and sparkling Venus shone in skies free of the rain that had threatened all week. The setting blurred the line between the screen and reality - especially since the movie themes were such reflections of island life. They seemed to launch their stories to the heavens, like an ancient ritual.

A similar "Is it real or is it Memorex?" blurring attended the presence of Brother Noland, who was a featured musical performer in the "Festival of Canoes" movie, but also gave a terrific live performance before and between the movies. Beginning his set, fittingly enough, with "Moondance," there aren't many island musical artists versatile enough to cover Van Morrison, Cat Stevens, Neil Young and Gabby Pahinui with such laid-back style and humor, but Noland does it effortlessly.

While the movies on the bill had a PBS feel to them, seeing them in this setting created synergy. Burgmaier's movie interspersed interviews with master Pacific canoe carvers with music by Brother Noland, Richard Ho'opi'i and Palani Vaughn, adding lots of heart to the anthropological wisdom on screen. A spiritual sensibility permeates Vendetti's documentary as well.

"The Ride," directed by Nathan Kurosawa, was even more ambitious, a tropical Twilight Zone in which a modern surfing star finds himself in 1911, when Waikiki is still an unspoiled beach where the Moana Hotel stands alone in the pristine beauty. Taking a gentle look back at Hawaiian lore and legend, the themes of this film, too, seemed too large for the screen to hold.

"The Ride's" story and acting by a cast of island newcomers get points for heart. The film's wistful sentimentality might look hokey in other contexts -here it adds to the charm. (The Hawaii International Film Festival is showing "The Ride" elsewhere on Maui this weekend. See the calendar page for details.)

Members of the Hana Canoe Club were among the concessionaires manning the very local food booths, directing traffic and turning what could have been a logistical nightmare into a mellow, smooth-running evening. While the soundtracks for the films were broadcast on a low-power FM radio frequency, the sound system installed for Brother Noland's concert turned out to be totally adequate for the movies as well.

Burgmaier plans to bring the drive-in back on a once-a-month basis Upcountry, and is working with MCC to do a 400-car version in Kahului.

Watching documentaries under the stars hearkened back to another time in the islands, as did the vehicles on the lawn. Surf woodies may be things of the past, but SUVs and pick-up beds offer beaucoup possibilities for creative seating arrangements.

Announcing the drive-in earlier in the week on Mana'o Radio, disc jockey Kathy Collins must have tapped into her own childhood memories, including warning people not to try sneaking in in the trunk.

"Oops," I thought, "busted!" Her words triggered a high-school memory, buried for decades. There are universal teenage experiences, apparently -certain things don't change over time, from here to Oklahoma.

There is that side, too - the mischief side - that's part of the cultural legacy of drive-ins. But it was nowhere in sight Friday at this maiden voyage of an entertainment concept that feels like its time may have come Å again.

In their heyday, drive-ins were the place for watching Gozilla or the Creature from the Black Lagoon, whose schlocky thrills somehow felt less threatening under the balmy night sky. Now it costs hundreds of millions of dollars to make B- movies, and the studios take them very, very seriously.

But with its new approach to this old experience, and its heavy reliance on island culture onscreen and off, the Upcountry Drive-In offered a unique alternative.

The movies were fun, the music was great, the food was tasty (the truck still smells like onions). But the Upcountry Drive-In's greatest accomplishment was tapping into the temporary truth of a spring evening -best known by kids in pjs getting to stay up past their bedtime - that all is right with the world.



Sunday, May 30, 2004

By LIZ JANES-BROWN, Staff Writer

Kenneth K. Martinez Burgmaier not only filmed Friday's Kris Kristofferson concert, but his film company has been working on a TV special for New Zealand TV on carver Hector Busby, on Maui for the Festival of Canoes in Lahaina. ... The whole movies-under- the-stars concept is coming back big time with Barry's Celestial Cinema, Kenneth's Drive-In at the Hui last weekend and now the Hawaii International Film Festival getting in on the action by showing films outdoors this weekend in Hana (and indoors on Lanai). It all brings back memories of the old Kahului Drive-In. (Remember when Wednesdays were dollar-a-car night? That may have been how Volkswagen stuffing became all the rage.)

Sunday, February 01, 2004

By LIZ JANES BROWN, Staff Writer

THE RAITT STUFF: The Bonnie Raitt/Robert Cray concert Tuesday night at the MACC's A&B Amphitheater brought out a cross section of mellow Mauians from Willie Nelson and his family to Mayor Alan and Ann Arakawa, Jack and Carolyn Schaefer-Gray and artist Piero Resta to mention a few of the some-3,000 who attended. The weather cooperated and the music washed over the crowd, obliterating any concerns that it was a Tuesday and most folks had to get up early the next morning. What a treat to hear true pros with a lot of heart under a starry sky - doesn't get much better than that. Kenneth K. Martinez Burgmaier's Jazz Alley TV taped portions of the show plus interviews with Robert and Bonnie, who remembers playing at the Pioneer Inn in the old days. By the way, Ken and Keola Beamer will be on the KHON TV 2 morning show with Kirk Matthews Wednesday to talk about "Ki Ho Alu - Keola Beamer," which was released on DVD just before the holidays. ... And speaking of Willie Nelson, he packed Charley's in Paia last Friday night. Some Upcountry folks had to detour to get onto Hana Highway since Baldwin Avenue was still closed while police continued to investigate the scene of that afternoon's shooting. (Rumors that Bonnie would show up turned out to be just that.)


Posted on: Friday, January 23, 2004
Slack-key master's personality adds to his DVD

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Writer

"Ki ho'alu (Loosen the Key)," Keola Beamer's definitive slack-key guitar experience, is instructive and entertaining.
Directed by Kenneth K. Martinez Burgmaier and available on DVD, the disc is a primer of ki ho'alu performance, combining a live Maui concert with interspersed interviews. The result: provocative archival document of a precise art form, enjoyable now and preserved for future generations of slack-key players.

"Best slack key there is on the planet," raves Willie Nelson, in one of several testimonials.

"His forte is creating arrangements," says George Winston, the pianist who's also become an advocate of ki ho'alu.

"This man knows so many tunings I never knew existed," says Willie K.

With the live performance as the focal point, Beamer proceeds to demonstrate, in the concert, his varying tuning styles, offering a palette of emotions through tunes largely associated with his song bag, or his family's. His beloved mom, educator-performer Nona Beamer, and his wife, dancer Moanalani Beamer, also are part of the tapestry of song and hula, sharing the deep, devoted familial roots of Beamer's wondrous style.He says his creativity has no formula, that he takes "the honest approach," expressing his feelings simply through words and music.

Beamer's conversational manner, his ability to talk story like he's in his living room, is a plus; this is not a didactic treatise. There's a high entertainment quotient in his rhapsodic ramblings about growing up in Waimea, riding his horse on Maui, reflecting on elements of nature that have found their way into song ... like his classic "The Beauty of Mauna Kea." Yes, he dusts off "Honolulu City Lights," his most popular composition, retaining that wistful yearning of coming home to a paradise of shimmering nighttime lights.

But Beamer's patter about song origins — his tutukane's composition of "Ku'u Hoa," for his tutuwahine; his homage to the aumakua, "Old Man Pueo" — are stuff of legend. Also, his behind-the-scenes visit to Steve Grimes' Maui guitar shop (which creates the Beamer guitar, with two holes instead of one) provides yet another glimpse into the intricate but telling life of Beamer and why he is intimately connected to his craft and his career.

"We're blessed to be Island born," he sings in the title song of his previous CD and the opening and closing tune on the DVD.

We're all blessed to have a prolific Island son like Beamer.

Reach Wayne Harada at 525-8067 or




Be the host with the most MauiFest today mixes music, dance and films On the Valley Isle, the first Maui-Fest brings music, dance and films to the Hotel Hana-Maui today as a fund-raiser for the Hana Canoe Club. Among the performers are Brother Noland, Grammy-winning flutist Paul Horn (with Christopher Hedge and Julian Smedley), Owana Salazar, slack-key guitarist Donald Kaulia, and Jennifer Kehaulani Oyama, Miss Aloha Hula 2003. Films include "Ki ho'alu," featuring Keola Beamer and directed by Kenneth K. Martinez Burgmaier, organizer of MauiFest; "Quattro Noza," a Sundance film festival winner; and "Fiji Firewalkers," by Maui filmmaker Tom Vendetti and narrated by Paul Horn. Hours are 3-9 p.m. Admission is $5. Information: (808) 665-9910,

Hawaii Dave Donnelly
Wednesday, September 17, 2003
Hana hou THAT huge "MauiFEST" banner hanging from two coconut trees fronting the Hotel Hana Maui was erected by brave hotel employee Bradley Helekahi. The festival referred to is a celebration of music, arts, culture and film which gets underway Friday and features the likes of Brother Noland, Paul Horn, Owana Salazar, Donald Kauila, Atu From Fiji and Miss Aloha Hula 2003, not to forget Christopher Boom Helekahi. Several award-winning films will be screened under the stars, films like "Quatro Noza," "Kiho Alu-Keola Beamer" and "Fiji Firewalkers. ...

Read this article offline (Click here to download .pdf version)



The Maui News

Thursday, September 18, 2003 — Time: 6:48:25 PM EST

MauiFEST happening in Hana

By LIZ JANES-BROWN, Staff Writer

MauiFEST, described as a celebration of music, arts, culture and film, debuts in Hana Saturday.

"I've dreamed of doing this for about three years," said festival organizer Kenneth Martinez Burgmaier. Burgmaier is an award-winning filmmaker whose Jazz Alley TV series is seen throughout the world on Viacom. He says he likes the idea of a small, intimate festival featuring Hawaii filmmakers in outlying communities that miss out on a lot of cultural events. He hopes to produce an event about three times a year in Hana and later expand to other rural areas such as Lanai and Molokai.

"They're left out," Burgmaier said. "They're starving for some culture like this."

The event, scheduled from 3 to 9 p.m. at the Hotel Hana-Maui, will feature an outdoor stage with entertainment including Grammy winner Paul Horn and his trio. One of the founding fathers of New Age music, the flutist will appear fresh from his Friday night concert at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. Also on the bill will be local stars, Brother Noland, Owana Salazar, Don Kaulia, Atu Laqeretabua from Fiji, Miss Aloha Hula 2003 Jennifer Kehaulani Oyama and Christopher "Boom Boom" Helekahi, recent $2,000 winner of the inaugural Hana Hawaiian Song Contest.

Films under the stars are another aspect of the East Maui festival, with three screenings scheduled. Maui Reflection Films' award-winning "Kiho Alu - Keola Beamer," directed and produced by Burgmaier, will be shown at 7 p.m. Keola and his wife, Moanalani, will be on hand to sign CDs as well as copies of Keola's book, "The Shimmering."

"Quattro Noza," a film about street racing that won a cinematography award at the Sundance Film Festival, will be on the big screen at 8 p.m. The Hana audience will also see "Fiji Firewalkers, " a film by Maui's Tom Vendetti and narrated by Paul Horn, before it premieres on public television next year.

Jazz Alley TV will be filming the entire festival as well as Horn's Friday concert for future shows.

The Hana Canoe Club, the beneficiary of the festival, will be selling food throughout the day as well as popcorn during the movies. The hotel dining room will also be open for those who wish a more formal repast. Those attending the festival should bring mats or blankets to sit on. Coolers will not be permitted at the alcohol-free event.

MauiFEST is a benefit for the Hana Canoe Club, with a $5 donation requested. For those who don't relish the winding drive, Mokulele Airlines is offering one-way flights from Kahului to Hana for $49 and return flights on Sunday at the same price. For flight reservations, call (808) 326-7070.

For more information, visit or


Dave Donnelly

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Hana hou THAT huge "MauiFEST" banner hanging from two coconut trees fronting the Hotel Hana Maui was erected by brave hotel employee Bradley Helekahi. The festival referred to is a celebration of music, arts, culture and film which gets underway Friday and features the likes of Brother Noland, Paul Horn, Owana Salazar, Donald Kauila, Atu From Fiji and Miss Aloha Hula 2003, not to forget Christopher Boom Helekahi. Several award-winning films will be screened under the stars, films like "Quatro Noza," "Kiho Alu-Keola Beamer" and "Fiji Firewalkers. ...

  • Maui NEWS
    Lets talk column
    Liz Janes Brown August 3, 2003

    Globe trotting: Kenneth K. Martinez Burgmaier, whose Jazz Alley TV/Maui Reflection Films seems to be everywhere, covered the 36th Summer Festival in Quebec then headed to the Hollywood Bowl for a Santana concert. By the way, Jazz Alley TV is now seen on New Zealand's Triangle Television. …

  • Locally-produced Jazz Series Circles the Globe
    By Hilary Smith, Editor
    Hawai'i Film & Video Magazine 2003

    Kenneth Martinez Burgmaier's love of Jazz sprouted years ago, the seeds planted by his grandmother who spoke very fondly of the music and musicians that filled the taverns she owned in the 1940s and 1950s.

    "She would tell me stories of the live music she would have playing there and about when she went to see Louie Armstrong and Glenn Miller play and her eyes always lit up with wonderful memories. I always thought how beautiful it would have been to have just one camera rolling, documenting these musicians in that special era," Burgmaier said. Although he was unable to put Armstrong and Miller's performances on film, Burgmaier has been spent the last 12 years traveling the globe filming modern-day Jazz greats. His company, Jazz Alley TV/Antiques Made Weekly Films in Lahaina, Maui, produces a TV series dedicated to Jazz, Blues and World music.

    "In 1991, no one was covering these types of music. I thought that there was an audience so I flew to New York City and met with many of the record companies, but they had very few to no videos in the Jazz, Blues and World music categories. I decided that we could go out and produce our own content for Jazz Alley TV," said Burgmaier. He started on a small UHF TV station doing a 30-minute show and within six months the American Family Network saw the show and asked if he could make it an hour. At that point, it went national.

    Over the years the Jazz Alley TV series has been honored at The Billboard Music Awards twice, and has garnered several Telly Awards. The series also led to other producing and directing opportunities for Burgmaier, including the Telluride Bluegrass Special that aired on A&E; a documentary titled "Thelonious Monk Jazz Colony," hosted and narrated by actor/director Michael Douglas, which aired on PBS; and an upcoming "Wynton Marsalis in Oahu" two-hour television special.

    Jazz Alley TV/Antiques Made Weekly Films employs a vast stable of freelance camera operators from around the country and the company's regular cameramen and editors in Hawaii are "as talented as they come," Burgmaier said. Most of the editing is done at the company's studio in Pukalani with Burgmaier's fellow filmmaker/partner Bob Stone. "I … have always had a koko (blood) connection with the islands from my past roots … and what better place to live than on Maui? I felt with all the new technology, we could deliver projects to the networks just as efficiently as a production studio on the mainland." In addition to Jazz Alley TV, Burgmaier has been involved with several feature films as a producer and executive producer, the most recent of which is "Quattro Noza," directed by Joey Curtis. Derek Cianfrance, the film's director of photography, won the Best Cinematography award at this year's Sundance Film Festival. An earlier film titled "Brother Tied" won at six film festivals worldwide.

    "We strive to make films that have real feelings, real loss and real love," Burgmaier said. The company's latest film, "Ki Ho Alu-Keola Beamer," is an exploration of the Hawaiian slack key guitar and master musician Keola Beamer. It has won at four film festivals. Burgmaier and his crew are currently in production on a canoe voyaging documentary and a documentary on the traditional Hawaiian music group, the Makaha Sons. The film company was hired in early May to produce a music video project on Warner Bros.' recording artists, and keeping true to his Jazz roots, Burgmaier also said they are in development on a new cultural series in Hawaii called "MauiFEST." The MauiFEST series will be produced into Jazz Alley TV specials that will air in September on national and international TV. It will include a new film festival called the Maui International Independent Film Festival.

  • Billboard (May 1999)

    Music Video Industry Honors Its Beat At Billboard Conference
    "Jazz Alley TV" (best jazz/AC show)
    Arvada, Colo-based Jazz Alley TV Productions, which produces "Jazz Alley TV" and several other music and commercial productions, has opened a Los Angeles office with director of photography Jeff Wilkins and director Kenneth Burgmaier. The company has been busy with projects for several clients, including BET, BET on Jazz, ABC's "World News Tonight," Air Jamaica, and Qwest Records.

  • Denver Rocky Mountain News (December 1999)
    Jazz Alley leads to BET Network - Jazz Notes by Norman Provizer

    The 24-hour jazz television network BET on Jazz has hit the air in Denver on AT&T digital. Interestly, a number of the programs on theb network (which developed under the unbrella of Black Entertainment Television) have their origin right here in the mile-high city. The reason for that is Denverite Ken Burgmaier, who founded Jazz Alley TV in 1991.

    When Burgmaier launched Jazz Alley TV, many people questioned the young man's sense of reality. After all, jazz and television had never before merged into a completely comfortable and long-lasting mix. But Burgmaier, who is now 39, saw things a little differently.

    "Nobody was doing a jazz and blues television show, and the labels weren't producing many jazz videos," he says. Burgmaier saw an opening and ran for daylight.

    He had done production work and was involved in a video on the Telluride Bluegrass Festival that aired on A&E. So he pitched the idea to a local station and got a 1 a.m. time slot for a 30-minute show. It was a modest beginning, to be sure.

    Today, Burgmaier has Jazz Alley TV displayed across the globe on BET on Jazz and other outlets such as Japan's United Communications. He also is part of other shows on BET on Jazz as well. There's the video mix of the Jazz and Blues show; the World Music magazine mix of Musical Passport, hosted by Jonathan Butler; and Future Waves, hosted by Herbie Hancock. And that's not all. There's also a new program titled Jazz Ed TV. Hosted Willard Jenkins, the venture offers a novel look at jazz education in practice.

    Along with the shows, Burgmaier has done specials on the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, hosted by Michael Douglas; the International Association of Jazz Educators annual meeting; jazz greats Art Farmer, Dave Brubeck and Joe Henderson, for the National Endowment for the Arts; and the Second Annual Jazz Awards, hosted by Paul Shaffer.

    Just in case that's not imposing enough, Burgmaier and his regular crews travel across the globe covering jazz festivals from Montreaux and the North Sea to Juan les Pins and St. Lucia.

    He recently returned from a jaunt through Turkey, Portugal, Spain, Italy and the Azores, capturing Najee on tape at Air Force bases for the USO. And he continues to produce videos for a number of record labels.

    Whatever its specific form, the work Burgmaier generates is of consistency and high quality, which is why he has received added exposure at spots such as CNN, ABC, PBS and Home Box Office. It also helps explain his move as a producer into feature films, including the award-winning "Brother Tied," directed by Derek Cianfrance.

    Antiques Made Weekly films (Jazz Alley's stablemate) is involved with two films in the shooting stage, "Quattro Noza" and "Piano Bar." Burgmaier also received a call recently from the family of legendary singer Bessie Smith, providing him artistic control for both a documentary and a feature film about Smith. He's seeking funding for those highly ambitious projects.

    In jazz as in life, people on a mission make all the difference in the world. And with a lot of hard work, Burgmaier, still working out of Denver, has helped change the visual face of jazz.

  • Billboard - Jazz/Blues Notes (May 1998)

    Visuals: Verve has made a video for the title track to Betty Carter's latest disc, "I'm Yours, You're Mine." It's been sent to BET, Denver's Jazz Alley TV, and other concerns that broadcast jazz. BET shot an interview with Carter as well, partv of a planned profile of the revered singer.

    Jazz Alley TV's show is shown in more than 100 cities. The company has twice taken the prize in the jazz/adult contemporary category for best TV series at the Billboard Music Video Awards. As a production business, Jazz Alley TV has made videos for the Yellowjackets, Rick Braun, and Joe Sample; it's also documented performances at the St. Lucia Jazz fest and the Victoria Jazz fest fopr broadcast. Ken Burgmaier, president of Jazz Alley TV, says, "Contemporary jazz artists seem to sell more product, so they definitely have bigger (video) budgets." A clip by a mainstream artist like Carter is a pleasant surprise, he says. "We'd play that in an instant, absolutely." Jazz Alley, headquartered in Denver, recently opened a Los Angeles office.

  • Alley Cat Clicks on Every Fence (Oct 1998)
    Denver Rocky Mountain News - Jazz Notes by Norman Provizer

    When Ken Burgmaier began Jazz Alley TV in Denver, I'm sure many people told the young man he was on a dead-end street. But it was the naysayers who had it wrong. In just a few short years, the entrepreneurial Burgmaier has carved out a little empire in the Rockies that has enhanced the visability of America's homegrown music.

    Recently, for example, Burgmaier landed actor Michael Douglas to narrate a Jazz Alley documentary on the Thelonious Monk summer jazz colony held in conjunction with Jazz Aspen at Snowmass. That took place after the Alley cats retunred froma 10-city Europeon tour, covering a range of festival activities.

    Jazz Alley also received a cable Telly award for its production of the St. Lucia Jazz Festival, which aired on Black Entertainment 's BET on Jazz. In a few weeks, the Alley crew is off to Jamaica to cover that island's jazz and blues festival as well.

    Burgmaier, who was executive producer for the independent film "Brother Tied," is also getting ready to direct a feature-length documentary on jazz called Piano Bar. The film will look at the stories of five piano players in New York, Chicago, New Orleans, San Francisco and Denver.

  • Rocky Mountain News - Weekend Spotlight (December 1997)

    When the club/restaurant started up at its new location, a crew from Jazz Alley TV was on hand to record the evening. In just a few short years, alley cat Ken Burgmaier has transformed a local TV production into a real player on the global music scene.

    Recently, Burgmaier and company returned from a taping tour of seven European countries. He also completed a special on the St. Lucia Jazz Festival for Black Entertainment's BET on Jazz network and will follow that up on BET with a special on the Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival. A Jazz Alley TV in-flight video on that featival is also part of all Air Jamaica flights.

    Additionally, Burgmaier is scheduled to produce a tw-hour special on Sumfest, the world's largest reggae festival held in Jamaica, for pay per-view TV. He is also producing a video for the Thelonious Monk Institute's summer jazz colony at Jazz Aspen in Snowmass with jazz fan and Aspenite Michael Douglas as a possible narrator.

    The energetic Burgmaier is also one of the executive producers for the movie "Brother Tied" that played to strong reviews at the Edinburgh film festival. The film was also at the Welch International Film Festival and will be shown at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival. The movie, filmed by Burgmaier's Antiques Made Weekly production company in association with Pope Innocent Productions, is the first feature film by a Colorado production group to make the cut at Sundance.

    Thursday, Burgmaier and company will help sponsor the Colorado Film & Video Association's holiday party at Coor Field with New Orleans sounds from the Zukes of Zydeco.

    Meanwhile, Burgmaier continues to turn out music videos and his regular TV show, which airs at 11pm on Wednesdays on KUBD-Channel 59 and assorted cable outlets.