Simply the Best: Jazz with Aloha is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting, promoting and improving the quality and appreciation of jazz in Hawaii in loving memory of Oded Stitt.

The Back Story

Dedo and I met in New York and got married in 1970. We first came to Hawaii on our honeymoon and returned twenty times on vacation before moving there in 2004. Living in Hawaii was our dream and we had eleven wonderful years in Paradise before Dedo passed away on 6/2/2015. We both loved music and going out to listen to jazz was a big part of those eleven years. After Dedo’s passing, I founded Simply the Best: Jazz with Aloha in his memory, to help support the work of the local jazz musicians who enriched our experience in Hawaii.

The Album

I commissioned Joshua Kaye to produce an album of jazz standards from The Great American Songbook. I chose songs with beautiful melodies, whose lyrics expressed my deep love and admiration for Dedo, whose intellect, wry wit, kindness and love of adventure graced my life for forty-five years. Josh worked with many of the best local jazz musicians and several musicians from New York. We then went to L.A. to have the album mixed by Mick Guzauski, one of the best mixing engineers in the world. The result of our labor is It Had to be You: Love Songs to Dedo.

-Muriel Stitt