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. After Jimmy Mak's closed in January 2017, the group--still featuring Louis & Renato--continued the Thursday night tradition for another three years at the Jack London Revue (up until the pandemic began in March 2020).
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 with their favorite drum & guitar collaborators playing all-original instrumentals.
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 & Blues Festival. They were such a hit that they returned to the islands for another mini-tour in March 2020. They were invited back for the 2020 East Hawaii Jazz & Blues Festival, but unfortunately that event was cancelled due to the pandemic. Likewise, a planned Fall, 2021 return of the festival had to be cancelled due to a surge in COVID cases on Maui.
But the good news is that Louis & Renato still were able to come 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. And they've already been invited to return to both islands in the Spring of 2022!
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 Hilo, HI and currently resides there after having spent 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.