Arts and Culture

Gertrude’s Jazz Bar – An Artsy Destination in Kona Town

Kailua-Kona on the island of Hawaiʻi has no shortage of eateries and cafés with panoramic ocean views. Our bustling beach town also boasts a hip establishment called Gertrude’s Jazz Bar, which opened its doors late last year. Kona creative types and music lovers have rejoiced ever since. The concept for this new addition to Kona Village life was inspired by American novelist, poet, playwright, and art collector Gertrude Stein. She moved to Paris in the early 20th century hosted a Paris salon to encourage and inspire the talents of modern writers and artists. In regular attendance were none other than Henri Matisse, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, and Ernest Hemingway, to name but a few.

Located across from the seawall in downtown Kailua Village, Gertrude’s Jazz Bar is a collaboration between the local mother-daughter duo Marlina Lee and Kira Kamamalu, with musician Greg Shirley. They shared a vision to create a collaborative space where artists, and those who appreciate the arts, could converge for conversation and to celebrate life in general. Their collective ingenuity came to fruition and Gertrude’s quickly became a hotspot in Kailua-Kona.

The owners’ motto for Gertrude’s is to ‘raise the bar on bars,’ which they have successfully accomplished. Customers can sip on wine and listen to live jazz music while learning to paint from a professional instructor. Would be ballroom dancers file in for Latin night with dancing shoes in hand and aspiring singers queue up to perform with a piano player, putting standard karaoke night to shame. Every night is a celebration of life and an eclectic fusion of dance, music, and art.

The culinary arts were not left out of the mix when designing the menu at Gertrude’s. Patrons enjoying an evening of live music and dancing can nosh on a delicious mix of gourmet tapas and craft cocktails while enjoying the view of the beautiful Pacific Ocean and the Kailua Pier. For the more adventurous art and food lovers, Gertrude’s presents a monthly Art Dinner Series that highlights highly sought after artists and a delicious menu. Don’t be surprised to find blind-folded musicians serenading dinner guests at a Salvador Dali-themed foodie event, or real rose petals stuck to your wine glass. Come prepared to be delighted!

Kailua-Kona just got a little livelier with the addition of this unique and exciting with new jazz bar. Locals and visitors alike are thrilled to add more flavor to an already varied and booming arts and entertainment scene on the Big Island. Nightlife is never boring in Kona town, and now it is better than ever! Gertrude’s Jazz Bar is located at 75-5699 Ali’i Drive in Kailua-Kona. They are open daily from 5:00 to10:30 p.m. For more information about their live music schedule, events, and menu, please visit

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Mark Mallory

January 12, 2018

So–The place is named after Gertrude Stein. The Mama of Dada.

Mark Mallory

January 12, 2018

So–Gertrude’s Jazz bar is named after Gertrude Stein. She named the Lost Generation and was the Mama of Dada.

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