Oregon Music Hall of Fame inductees Louis "King Louie" Pain and soulful saxophonist Renato Caranto (Merle Haggard, Esperanza Spalding) have been musical partners for well over two decades now. Whether working in big venues or small, in large groups or as a duo, the chemistry between these two world-class musicians is unmatched. They simply love playing together, and audiences love watching and listening to them!
The two first teamed up as seminal members of the Mel Brown B-3 Organ Group when that band, dubbed “Jimmy Mak’s signature group” by The Oregonian, began its 20-year run on Thursday evenings at Portland, OR's legendary jazz club Jimmy Mak’s in 1997. That Mel Brown unit--still featuring Louis & Renato--continued the Thursday night tradition for another three years at the Jack London Revue, and, following a pandemic hiatus, they'll be resuming the gig on September 16, 2021.
Along the way, Louis and Renato have played countless other gigs together in a variety of line-ups: at Jimmy Mak’s, the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival, and elsewhere throughout the Northwest. They've also performed on ten critically acclaimed CDs together, with the last three--released on Louis' Shoug Records label--being honored by Downbeat magazine as among the "Best Albums of the Year" (for 2016, 2018, and 2019).
In November 2019, Louis & Renato played a series of gigs in Hawaii—on the Big Island and Oahu—including a set at the East Hawaii Jazz and Blues Festival. They were such a hit that they returned to the islands for another mini-tour in March 2020. Update: Louis & Renato are returning to the islands yet again in the fall of 2021! They'll be playing a house party on Maui on 10/28 followed by a series of Big Island gigs beginning on 10/31.
Note: When on the Big Island, Louis & Renato perform with one of the finest drummers in the islands: Steve Bader. Steve was born and raised in Hawaii and currently resides on the Big Island after spending over 20 years as a top drummer in the Seattle, WA area. He has performed throughout the islands and on the mainland with many notable artists, including the legendary Seattle band “Common Cause” and popular Hawaiian artists Brother Noland, Henry Kapono, and Keahi Conjugacion.