Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Hawaii dancer joins Bieber on European tour

By
September 20th, 2016



CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM Jasmine Perri poses for a photo at Kapiolani Park. The Hawaii-born dancer is currrently on tour in Europe as a backup dancer for pop star Justin Bieber.

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

Jasmine Perri poses for a photo at Kapiolani Park. The Hawaii-born dancer is currrently on tour in Europe as a backup dancer for pop star Justin Bieber.

After a childhood stint on Broadway and a teenage modeling career in Japan, Hawaii-born dancer Jasmine Perri continues to pursue her passion for performance as a backup dancer for Justin Bieber.

“I was doing a lot of one-offs, like music videos, awards shows and TV shows,” Perri explained during an interview last month in Honolulu before departing for last-minute tour prep in Los Angeles. “But in this industry, the job you want is a tour. They don’t come around every month.

“I believe this tour is estimated to be two years or longer. I’ve done two legs so far, so I kind of understand what I need to do. I think it’s really just going with the flow.”

Perri is one of Bieber’s troupe of 12 principal dancers, which also includes two martial arts performers and a pair of breakdancers. Two “swings” also travel with the production, one male and one female, so there is always a replacement dancer available in case of sickness or injury.

“We actually use our swings quite a bit,” said Perri, 23. “We have masseuses and chiropractors at every venue. We’re really lucky with Justin’s camp in that they take such great care of us.”

Perri, who is performing with Beiber at venues in France, Norway and Finland this week, answered a few questions about her dance career and what it’s like to be on tour with an international celebrity.

QUESTION: How did you get hired to be part of Justin Bieber’s dance crew?

ANSWER: I was in South Africa last year when I found out about my first job with Justin. My agent told me I started the next day.

I was, like, kind of confused. Am I auditioning? Normally, you go to an audition and hopefully you get put on hold for the job and just wait with your fingers crossed.

With Justin, it was the first time I was in rehearsal that long. It was like a month in secret and then we did the MTV Video Awards. And then they kept calling me and now I’m on tour.

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

Q: What kind of dance background do you have?

A: I started ballet when I was 3 years old. When I was about 5 or so, I started dancing at the Y, which is where I picked up hip-hop and jazz.

We kind of grew up all over the island, but I spent most of my time in town. I actually got my GED, so technically I guess I’m a McKinley grad. But I was taking online classes at Myron B. Thomspon academy.

I also grew up in New York a little bit, which is where contemporary (dance) came into my life. When I started eighth grade, I went to this school called the Professional Performing Arts School. I would go to school in the morning and then in the afternoon I would go and train.

Q: You landed a role on Broadway while living in New York, right?

A: I played a young Chita Rivera, who is a Broadway icon, in “Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life.” She was in the original “West Side Story.” She’s a legend.

That was hands down the best experience of my childhood. It was the first time I was really exposed to a real career in this industry. I thought I wanted to do Broadway, but I kept finding myself learning something new about my passion (for dance).

Q: What made you want to come back to Hawaii?

A: I couldn’t get work as a little kid anymore, but I wasn’t old enough to work in regular productions. And it was really hard for me to adjust. I got really homesick. But I’m thankful for it because the training I received and the things I learned there totally apply to my life now.

Q: How did you end up dancing in Los Angeles?

A: I was in Hawaii and found out about a scholarship program in Los Angeles at the Edge Performing Arts Center that only takes 20 people per year. So I went and auditioned with maybe 500 other people and got one of the spots. It’s such a great program. There’s so much dancing and I learned so much.

At the end of the one-year program, they have a showcase for every agency in L.A. and offer private auditions with each of the agencies, which is your only opportunity to get something like that. Normally a new dancer will go to L.A., attend an open call and hope for an audition.

Q: How did your career take off once you were picked up by Block Talent Agency?

A: They represent me well. My very first job was Chris Brown. And then my second job was Britney Spears — working with her is how I got my signature bangs (hairstyle). My first tour was with Trey Songz.

Q: What is tour life like with Justin?

A: I’ve already done North America and Canada with him. It was a total of four months; we started in January, were in rehearsals for two months straight and then went out on tour.

We have to have a family atmosphere. We have to hold each other down and be that support system for him. Not only are we dancers, but 90 percent of the job is off stage. That goes for social media and just being in public while we're on tour.

He really is an awesome boss and I'm so thankful for this opportunity. I never thought I would be here. Every time we do "Baby," I remember listening to it on the radio and singing along with my niece. If you told me I would be on tour with one of the biggest pop stars in the world, I would have gotten mad and been like, "Why would you say that? It's not going to happen!" But it did.

COURTESY JASMINE PERRIPerri performs on stage with Bieber during an earlier tour stop.

COURTESY JASMINE PERRI

Perri performs on stage with Bieber during an earlier tour stop.

Q: What’s your favorite part about being on tour?

A: There's so many best parts. It's so amazing. You're getting paid to travel the world. I get to go to South America, to India. We're going all over the world.

Seeing the world and experiencing different audiences in different cities, it's a really crazy job. I've never been on the road this long.

Q: Are you on stage dancing the entire show?

A: I'm on stage for maybe 14 or 15 songs out of the 20 in the set.

The longest break I get is maybe two and a half minutes, and that's at the beginning of the show. Otherwise we're running off stage to change costumes, drink some water and then we're right back out there.

Q: What are Justin Bieber fans like?

A: Let me tell you, there are no fans like Justin Bieber fans. I witness the craziness first-hand. His fans are loyal and they mean it. They love him.

I can't fault them. If it wasn't for his fans, I wouldn't have a job.

Q: Would you trade places with Justin?

A: No. I feel really lucky because I get to stand on stage behind him and feel what he feels from the audience, and let me tell you, there's no greater feeling. It's amazing. It's why I do what I do.

But his life is very scheduled and he has a really heavy responsibility. It's really hard to handle. I commend him for being as strong as he is. As much as people read about him, he's a really solid person. It's not easy to handle the type of fame he has. I'm honored to see that part and be on a human level with someone who can't walk around in public.

Q: Do you have any other passions besides dance?

A: I really want to get into styling and personal styling. I definitely have other passions and I'm learning new things about myself. I think that's what is going to keep me sane.

After being on tour this long, it's rare as a dancer to explore other parts of yourself. When you're not on tour, you're job hunting. And when you're not on a job you're unemployed, so you have to have some money saved up for when the phones aren't ringing.
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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Kaleikinis headline Ahamele Music Series at Royal Hawaiian

By
August 25th, 2016



COURTESY NICHOLAS KALEIKINILongtime local entertainer Danny Kaleikini, left, and his grandson, Nicholas Kaleikini, will headline this weekend's Ahamele Hawaiian Music Series at the Royal Hawaiian Center.

COURTESY NICHOLAS KALEIKINI

Longtime local entertainer Danny Kaleikini, left, and his grandson, Nicholas Kaleikini, will headline this weekend's Ahamele Hawaiian Music Series at the Royal Hawaiian Center.

It will be a family affair at the Royal Hawaiian Center on Saturday night as longtime local entertainer Danny Kaleikini and his grandson, Nicholas Kaleikini, headline the latest installment of the Ahamele Hawaiian Music Series.

A classically trained saxophonist, Nicholas Kaleikini also plays the piano and ukulele and performs on tour with international hip-hop artist Shing02 when not playing solo gigs or serving as director of the Pow! Wow! School of Music. He also released an EP, “Aloooha,” with his grandfather, which was nominated for Best EP at the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards in 2016.

The Kaleikinis will be joined in Waikiki this weekend by Ka Hale and the O Kahala Halau, the Ryan Tang Trio and Sean Tiwanak and Friends. Admission is free, with entertainment getting started around 2 p.m. Saturday.

The Ahamele Hawaiian Music Series launched in 2014 as a monthly showcase of Hawaiian music and culture presented by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Previous concerts have been held at the Hawaii Convention Center, Iolani Palace, Waimea Valley and Queen’s Marketplace in Waikoloa on Hawaii island.

Upcoming events include a Ahamele Music Series stage as part of the upcoming 10th annual Onipaa Celebration at Iolani Palace on Sept. 4, along with a headlining performance by Palani Vaughan at Washington Place on Oct. 22.
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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Travel packages offered for Molokai Humane Society benefit concert

By
July 12th, 2016



STAR-ADVERTISER / 2014Anuhea and the Mobettah Band will headline the Molokai Humane Society's Wings for Wishes fundraiser on Friday.

STAR-ADVERTISER / 2014

Anuhea and the Mobettah Band will headline the Molokai Humane Society's Wings for Wishes fundraiser on Friday.

Mokulele Airlines and the Hotel Molokai have teamed up on a special offer for those who want to support the Molokai Humane Society and catch a concert by Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning recording artist Anuhea in the process.

Ever since the Molokai Humane Society was founded in 1981, the nonprofit has worked to be self-supporting, counting on the generosity of donors and volunteer help to stay in operation. Since 2007, the organization has operated a makeshift clinic out of two repurposed shipping containers near Hoolehua Airport. With no full-time veternarian living on Molokai, pets in need must wait for one to fly in from a neighbor island for care.

To help raise funds for spay/neutering services and medical care, the Molokai Humane Society will welcome Anuhea and the Mobettah Band as the headline act during Wings for Wishes, a benefit concert at the Paddlers Inn, 10 S. Mohala St. in Kaunakakai at 7 p.m. Friday. Tickets for the event are $30 in advance, $35 at the door; $60 VIP tickets, which include prime seating, an autographed poster and a meet-and-greet session with Anuhea.

But in order to attend the concert, you have to get to Molokai — and that’s where Mokulele and the Hotel Molokai come in. Call (808) 495-4188 to reserve an all-inclusive vacation package that includes round trip tickets for two aboard Mokulele, a one-night stay at the Hotel Molokai and a rental car, starting at $349 per couple.

Still can’t make it? You don’t have to attend Wings for Wishes to help support the Molokai Humane Society. Click here to donate online.
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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The Green headlines second annual Greenroom Festival

By
July 3rd, 2016



STAR-ADVERTISER / 2013The Green perform at the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Aloha Bash in 2013.

STAR-ADVERTISER / 2013

The Green perform at the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Aloha Bash in 2013.

Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning reggae group The Green will headline the second annual Greenroom Festival on Sept. 10 at the Waikiki Shell, promoter Tom Moffatt announced.

The Hawaii festival is similar to a Japan-based event with the same named held in Yokohama and supports beach conservation and ocean awareness in the islands. Eco-friendly aspects include recyclable and reusable products along with featured artists and artisans who "strive to preserve our environment for future generations."

The Green will be joined by popular '90s reggae band Big Mountain, Japanese reggae duo Def Tech and Japan-based improv jazz/rock band Special Others.

Along with the music, the Greenroom Festival will feature a Beach Market with local vendors, yoga presentations and more from 3 to 10 p.m. The family-friendly event is open to all ages; tickets are $30 general admission, free for keiki 12 and under. Call (800) 745-3000 or buy online at ticketmaster.com.

The Green are on a brief tour hiatus after spending time in California last month in support of their new single, "Mama Roots" featuring J. Boog. The band reportedly completed recording of a new full-length album in Hawaii earlier this year.
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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Jake Shimabukuro kicks off summer tour at Blue Note Hawaii

By
June 7th, 2016



DENNIS ODA / 2015 Jake Shimabukuro opens his summer 2016 tour with three nights at Blue Note Hawaii.

DENNIS ODA / 2015

Jake Shimabukuro opens his summer 2016 tour with three nights at Blue Note Hawaii.

Hawaii ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro will kick off a summer tour across the United States at Blue Note Hawaii later this month, followed by appearances at the Montreal International Jazz Festival in July and a nine-date jaunt to Japan in October.

The performances will be in support of Shimabukuro’s latest album, “Live in Japan,” a best-of double-disc collection of live performances released in February. Joined by longtime bass player Nolan Verner, he’ll also play songs off “Travels,” his most recent studio project.

“I have a new setup for my electric ukulele that gives me access to new sounds and timbres that I never incorporated before,” Shimabukuro said in a release announcing the concert dates. “A few of my favorite moments in the show include an ukulele and bass duet of Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and George Harrison’s ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps,’ and a 10-minute version of “Dragon,” which utilizes a looper, analog echoes, finger tapping, and heavy metal distortion.

“Every show (will be) a little different, which keeps things fresh and exciting. The most important thing is everyone has a great time and walks away with a smile.”

Shimabukuro is currently in Nashville working on his next album, which is set to be released before the end of the year.

The Blue Note Hawaii shows are scheduled for June 29, June 30 and July 1 with performances at 6:30 and 9 p.m. Doors open at 5 and 8:30 p.m., respectively, with seating available on a first-come-first-served basis. Tickets are priced at $25 for bar seating, $45 for loge tables and $55 for premium tables. Visit bluenotehawaii.com for more information and to purchase tickets online.

Here's the complete schedule:

» June 29: Blue Note Hawaii (Honolulu, HI)
» June 30: Blue Note Hawaii (Honolulu, HI)
» July 1: Blue Note Hawaii (Honolulu, HI)
» July 5: Festival International de Jazz de Montreal (Canada)
» July 8: Arvada Center Outdoor Amphitheatre (Arvada, CO)
» July 26: The Rev Room (Little Rock, AR)
» July 28: W.L. Lyons Brown Theatre (Louisville, KY)
» July 29: Evans Amphitheater (Cleveland Heights, OH)
» July 31: Door Community Auditorium (Fish Creek, WI)
» Aug. 2: Upton-Morely Pavilion (Interlochen, MI)
» Aug. 5: The Palace Theatre (Hilo, HI)
» Sept. 7: Pantages Theater (Tacoma, WA)
» Sept. 9: The Mountain Winery (Saratoga, CA)
» Sept. 10: Humphreys Concerts By the Bay (San Diego, CA)
» Sept. 13: Key West Theater (Key West, FL)
» Sept. 15: Ponte Vedra Concert Hall (Ponte Vedra Beach, FL)
» Sept. 16: Plaza Live Orlando (Orlando, FL)
» Sept. 18: Charleston Music Hall (Charleston, SC)
» Nov. 6: The Pabst Theater (Milwaukee, WI)
» Nov. 7: The Center for the Performing Arts/The Palladium (Carmel, IN)
» Nov. 10: Stone Mountain Arts Center (Brownfield, ME)
» Nov. 17: Kleinhans Music Hall (Buffalo, NY)
» Nov. 19: Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center (York, PA)
» Nov. 20: Music Center at Strathmore (North Bethesda, MD)
» Nov. 21: Tin Pan (Richmond, VA)
» Nov. 29: McCallum Theatre for Performing Arts (Palm Desert, CA)
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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Kevin Jones preps for final Hawaii shows before moving to Portland

By
June 5th, 2016



COURTESY KEVIN JONESKevin Jones, second from left, performs with his band The Desert Sea at Hawaiian Brian's.

COURTESY KEVIN JONES

Kevin Jones, second from left, performs with his band The Desert Sea at Hawaiian Brian's.

Nearly 20 years after first leaving Honolulu to chase his musical dreams in Las Vegas, local radio personality and rock recording artist Kevin Jones is packing up his stuff and saying goodbye to his hometown once again.

This time around he’s heading for Portland, Ore. with his wife, who will pursue her education while Jones explores the city’s blossoming music community. After more than a decade of service at the state’s largest radio station group, the 44-year-old departs Hawaii this month with a handful of job prospects but no firm idea of what the future holds — and he couldn’t be more excited.

#CHLOEPALOOZA2016

Birthday celebration for singer-songwriter Chloe Aquino
» Where: Crossroads at Hawaiian Brian’s, 1680 Kapiolani Blvd.
» When: 6 to 11 p.m. today
» Cost: No cover
» Info: facebook.com

WREKT

» Where: Hard Rock Cafe Honolulu, 280 Beach Walk
» When: 9 to 11 p.m.
» Cost: No cover
» Info: (808) 955-7383

I spoke with Jones after learning he had two last shows to play, one with his band The Desert Sea at Hawaiian Brian’s today and the other with his cover band, Wrekt, at the Hard Rock Cafe on Wednesday. We talked about his need to walk away from a job others would give almost anything to have, the effects of living in Hawaii on his music career and the state of the local music scene.

QUESTION: You had a great job managing a music hall while also being on the radio and playing shows as a working musician. Why walk away from all of that?

ANSWER: I met this really, really wonderful woman a few years ago and she brought back a sense of adventure I haven’t felt in a while. We’ve done a lot of traveling over the years, and one of the places we visited was Portland. So when it came to applying to graduate schools, Oregon Health and Science University was at the top of her list and that’s the one she got accepted to. We’re really excited.

I really felt like I plateaued here a few years ago. After a while, it just kind of felt like there was no higher for me to go. I was working for the largest and most successful radio company in Hawaii. But I’ve always been about striving for more, and this was a really good opportunity to do that.

Q: How has living in Hawaii affected your own music career?

A: I’ve had to sacrifice a lot of creativity. The bands that I’ve had, we’ve ended up learning hundreds and hundreds of other people’s songs, but when it comes to actually creating our own music, I’ve certainly put that second to fostering other people’s original music. Trying to balance being in radio and doing these local shows with trying to be a creative musician, it definitely sapped my creativity somewhat. I’m a little disappointed that I haven’t had as much creative output as I’d like.

What makes me happiest is being a musically creative soul. So I’m looking forward to getting back to that.

Q: What’s the best thing about Hawaii’s music scene?

A: The brightest and best thing I can say is the sheer diversity of it all. There’s a lot here. When we talk about genres and people doing it, there’s just so, so much.

Q: What’s the worst thing about Hawaii’s music scene?

A: The hard thing is getting the word out and getting the public interested in music above and beyond island music and reggae music. There’s hip-hop. There’s bluegrass and jazz. There’s alternative. It’s heartbreaking to watch these incredible bands play and nobody comes to see them. Or these fantastic hip-hop shows and the room is empty.

And then with the artists, there’s a certain amount of complacency. I think one of the strengths of the island and reggae groups is they know how to market themselves. You can’t just sit back and play your guitar and expect people to come and see you.

That’s why I think these island music artists have it down. They hustle. Take a guy like Kuana Torres Kahele. Kuana is on tour all the time and he’s putting records out all the time. And if you look beyond the music, he knows how to market himself. He knows how to integrate his lei-making and all these other things he does into a package he can present to the world. You have to present yourself as a marketable, bankable package.

Q: What does the future hold for local rock in Hawaii?

A: I see the scene contracting again. It goes up and down and up and down. This is like the second, or maybe even the third time I’ve seen it wane. It kinda peaked in the mid-80s and then it went down. Then it peaked again in 1996 or 1997. Most recently, it peaked around 2012 or 2013. I’m seeing venues close and people leaving. And the terrible thing is, there are more bands than ever.

I don’t want to say I’m admitting defeat, but you can only band your head against the wall so many times. Whether it’s the artists or the public, there hasn’t been that magic song or magic artist that has come out. You can say Bruno or Jack, but beyond that I’m just waiting for Kings of Spade or Erin Smith or Third Space or Dustin Pacleb or Amanda Frazier, one of those really gifted acts to make that magic song and somehow it sticks out and gets some traction. But I haven’t seen it yet.

I don’t know what the future holds. I’m a little worried for the scene right now.
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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Hawaii Voice KTV launches summer hip-hop music series

By
June 2nd, 2016



STAR-ADVERTISER / 2015Kaipo Kapua headlines the first installment of DOASC Nights on Friday.

STAR-ADVERTISER / 2015

Kaipo Kapua headlines the first installment of DOASC Nights on Friday.

Hawaii hip-hop artists take over Hawaii Voice KTV Lounge this weekend with the debut of DOASC Nights at 9 p.m. Friday.

Presented by local recording label DOASC Music and clothing company FK Brand, the summer concert series kicks off with performances by Kaipo Kapua and DOASC artist JoeKerr. Rita Davis, Jerxme and DJs Mitch and Mills will open the night; Cadillac Cade will host.

DOASC Nights is a 21-and-over event; Hawaii Voice KTV Lounge is located at 808 Sheridan St. Call (808) 228-0553 for VIP bottle and private room reservations.
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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Station Bar and Lounge closes its doors for good this weekend

By
May 24th, 2016



STAR-ADVERTISER / 2014Station Bar and Lounge closes its doors on Kapiolani Boulevard for good on Saturday after four and a half years in business.

STAR-ADVERTISER / 2014

Station Bar and Lounge will shut down for good on Saturday after four and a half years in business.

Not every local band has the clout to regularly pull gigs opening for mainland headliners at the Republik or the fan base to justify booking a larger room like Crossroads at Hawaiian Brian’s.

Smaller, music-focused venues like Downbeat Lounge, Anna O’Brien’s and Jazz Minds Honolulu have long provided performance opportunities for a number of new and/or up-and-coming acts. But there will be one less place for these bands to play at after Station Bar and Lounge shuts its doors for good at 1726 Kapiolani Boulevard on Saturday.

“We lost our lease after the building was sold at the end of last year,” bar owner Blane Nishizawa explained in a Facebook post announcing the closure. “Station was built with the intentions of providing a comfortable, ‘Cheers’-like atmosphere where musicians and performers could gather and showcase their talents.

“I hope at least some of you over the years have been able to enjoy it while it lasted. Thanks for all the support and love.”

Station opened for business in December 2011. Nishizawa also co-owns Osoyami Bar and Grill, 1820 Algaroba Street, and said while the closure of Station is “a big blow to me personally,” he’ll continue to do his part for the local music scene by continuing to offer an open mic night, acoustic performances and stand-up comedy at his other bar.

Help say goodbye to Station during two final shows on Friday and Saturday. Both feature free admission and are open to those 21-and-over. Friday’s show will start at 7 p.m. and feature performances by Jazzy, Half Step Down, Delta Fleet, Dustin and TF, Above Reproach, Third Space and Backwards Shaka.

Saturday’s The Very Last Show at Station Bar and Lounge will kick off at 6 p.m. with The Bitten, followed by performances featuring the Granite Saints, Statue Illusion, Wulfpak, Yokai Still, A Shot at Sundown, Beware the Bear, Ignite the Red, the Instigators and Shipwrecks.

Stand-up comedy fans should stop by on Thursday, when Aaron Pughes hosts the final Comedy Hospital open mic night. Sign-ups start at 7:30 p.m.
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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More than 400 bands compete in one day during Hard Rock Rising

By
May 24th, 2016



HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER / 2015Streelight Cadence was the Honolulu winner during last year's Hard Rock Rising band competition.

STAR-ADVERTISER / 2015

Streelight Cadence was the Honolulu winner during last year's Hard Rock Rising band competition.

When the annual Hard Rock Rising band competition returns to Hard Rock Cafe Honolulu next week, four local bands will join more than 425 other acts on stage at 107 different Hard Rock Cafe and Hotel locations around the world in an attempt to take home $50,000 and a gig in Ibiza.

More than 10,000 bands registered for a chance to compete in this year’s contest, which rewards one global grand prize winner and four regional finalists with a professionally produced music video, 1,000-disc pressing of their latest album and a prize pack from Fender Instruments. The grand prize winners also earn a $50,000 payday and an all-expenses-paid trip to perform at the Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza in September.

This is also the first time all Hard Rock Rising performances will take place on the same day. The 107 winning bands from each market will then be evaluated by an “expert panel of international artists and music industry professionals,” according to a Hard Rock Cafe press release, which include Echosmith, All Time Low’s Jack Barakat, Tokyo Police Club, Alex “Clemente” Castillo and Strawberry Music Festival founder Shen Lihui, among others. The 12-member panel will be responsible for picking all four regional finalists as well as the overall winner.

The Honolulu regional semifinal kicks off at 6 p.m. June 1, with local bands the Hollow Spheres, Scarlet Cord, the Fresh Preps and Siire Lords of the Rock squaring off in Waikiki. Hard Rock Cafe Honolulu is located at 280 Beach Walk; validated parking is available in the Bank of Hawaii parking lot around the corner from the restaurant. Call 955-7383 for more info and visit the Hard Rock Rising website for more details about all the bands taking part in this year's competition.
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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Izik preps for international tour with 'Obsidian' release

By
May 12th, 2016



COURTESY IZIKIsaac "Izik" Moreno's new album, "Obsidian," is available for purchase on iTunes and other online music stores.

COURTESY IZIK

Isaac "Izik" Moreno's new album, "Obsidian," is available for purchase on iTunes and other online music stores.

When Isaac Moreno started looking for music producers to help craft his solo debut album, the last place he thought he’d end up was in the studio of someone best known for his work with Hawaii-based island contemporary and reggae artists.

“I love all of that music, but I didn’t grow up listening to it, so I felt I would have been doing a disservice to that genre of music if I conformed to do that,” he said Tuesday before a small group of invited guests at The Study inside the Modern Honolulu. “It was really hard to find a studio that would let me do what I wanted to do.”

Moreno, who was born in Utah and raised on Oahu and Molokai, performs as Izik and said he got started with music as a means to get out of his service industry job waiting tables at a local restaurant. He got his first professional gig in 2012 and a year later won first place in the annual Mai Tai Rumble music competition at the Mai Tai Bar Ala Moana. By late 2014 he had started working on “Obsidian,” which was officially released on iTunes and other digital platforms this week.

But the album wouldn’t have been made without Zeo Music’s Imua Garza, the Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning recording artist and producer who decided he wanted to be involved in the project after meeting with Moreno and his manager, Jenn “J-Roq” Wright, despite his track record of working with Jawaiian artists to create the type of sound they were trying to avoid.

“We visited Imua one day ... and right when we were getting up to leave, he said there was one other option and that I could sign to his record label and he would pretty much cover everything,” Moreno said. “I’m super, super, super, super grateful. This guy is super talented. I knew he was capable of doing other types of music, but I wasn’t really aware of how big his talent is.

“I came into the studio with these basic songs. Imua did everything but touch the lyrics, which means everything to me.”

For Garza, the opportunity to work with a talented voice like Moreno’s and create music he doesn’t normally get to work on was an intriguing proposition.

“I felt like these songs could go in a totally different direction and I said, ‘Let’s just do this because it’s your passion,’” he said. “Musically, I wanted to try something a little outside of the box. I wanted to try something more R&B, soul, pop.

“I’m glad to be on this musical journey and excited to see how this album does.”

izik_obsidian

“Obsidian” features 11 original tracks written by Moreno; Garza arranged all the tracks and plays all the instruments heard on the album. During Tuesday’s listening party, Moreno shared insights into some of the tracks off the album. He talked about making the most out of situation on “Faraway Home,” and how “Midnight” turned a depressing subject into an “upbeat, uptempo pop kind of song.”

Moreno will only be in Honolulu for a few more days before heading to Australia and New Zealand for tour dates through the end of May. He’ll play from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. today and 7 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Monkeypod Kitchen Ko Olina, and 7 to 10 p.m. tomorrow with Ekona at the Modern Honolulu.
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

Posted in Music | Comments Off on Izik preps for international tour with 'Obsidian' release

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