king louie & renato caranto

Oregon Music Hall of Fame inductees organist Louis "King Louie" Pain and 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.  

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 other clubs & festivals throughout the Northwest. They've also performed on ten critically acclaimed CDs together, with the last three--released on Louis' Shoug Records label--each being honored by Downbeat magazine as among the "Best Albums of the Year" (for 2016, 2018, and 2019).

The most recent of those CDs, "It's About Time," featured Renato and Louis (as 2/3 of the King Louie Organ Trio) playing all-original instrumentals along with drummers Edwin Coleman III & Mel Brown and guitarists Bruce Conte (Tower of Power) & Dan Faehnle (Diana Krall & Pink Martini).  [To read rave reviews of that CD, click this link.]

In November 2019--following a name change to King Louie & Renato Caranto--the dynamic duo played a series of gigs in Hawaii—on both the Big Island and Oahu—including a set at the East Hawaii Jazz & Blues Festival.  They were such a hit that they returned to the islands for another mini-tour in March 2020 and were invited back for the 2020 East Hawaii Jazz & Blues Festival.

Unfortunately that event was cancelled due to the pandemic.  But the good news is that Louis & Renato were able to come back over to the islands in Fall 2021 for a quick series of three sold-out shows--one on Maui and two on the Big Island.  They then returned in the Fall of 2022: this time following a gig on Maui with a series of five performances on the Big Island--including a main stage set at the East Hawaii Jazz & Blues Festival that brought down the house!  Visit the "Gigs" tab on this website for details on upcoming King Louis & Renato Caranto engagements!

poster by Chanae Evans

poster by Chanae Evans