Monday, February 24, 2014

Magic Mushroom Reunion Party III at the Manoa Grand Ballroom (11-29-2013)

Once is good, Two is better, Three is a charm! Dennis & Joy Matsukawa did it again! Another successful MAGIC MUSHROOM REUNION PARTY (MMRP) at the Manoa Grand Ballroom in Moiliili.  Radio celebrity host BART DESILVA of 107.9 Kool Gold kicked off evening with AUDISSEY & FRIENDS on stage first, and their UH horn section.  Also joining them were new vocalists Lester Higa and Dean Guzman.  Some of the songs that got the dancers pumped up were: One Fine Morning, Pretty Lady, Vehicle, Make Me Smile, September, Brick House, Dance To The Music, and Together.

Next on stage, POWER POINT JR.  This was their first MMRP.  The Jr. was added as only some of the original members were able to make it.  We were not disappointed.  Talented friends help complete the band and kept the dance floor busy with songs like Brick House, Skin Tight, Disco Inferno, Play That Funky Music, No Parking, The Bird, and an Earth Wind & Fire Medley.  These men were later joined by Joy Waikaloa and a couple of the band member wives (Jason & Bryan's) doing a song called 'Bad Girls' by Donna Summer.  Wait! Good Guys? Bad Girls? LOL! Obviously they were having a blast.

Closing the evening was WHITE LIGHT making their 3rd MMRP appearance.  We loved Arex's 'Love Potion Number 9' by The Clovers; and Don's 'Sweet Caroline'. by Neil Diamond.  Joy sang 'Rhythm Is Gonna Get You'' by one of Sandy's favorite female artists Gloria Estefan.  The dancers kept busy with songs like Smooth, Mony Mony, Long Train Running, and My Old School.  The last song once again was 'We Are Family'.  How fitting for this group of rockers, line dancers and baby boomers!

Dennis Matsukawa - guitar, vocals
Brad Nakanishi - keyboards, vocals
Lester Higa - vocals
Dean Guzman - vocals
Galen Onouye - bass guitar
David Yamada - drums
Isaac Nishimura - sax
Chris Otsuka - sax
Gavin Min - trumpter
Darrem Harada - trombone

* Bryan Aoyagi -guitar, vocals
* Jason Nagashima - keys, vocals
Dayton Arima - bass
Ken Field - drums
Paul Stanley - sax
Eldred Ahlo - trumpet

* Original Power Point Member

Joy Waikoloa - vocals
Tommy Kamisato - trumpet, vocals
Arex Ikehara - bass guitar, vocals
Don Tsuha - trumpet, vocals
Sherman Kang - sax
Gerald Tomosawa - trumpet, drums
Layne Maeoka - drums
Daniel Kurose - guitar
George Mosier - guitar
Larry Isobe - key boards
Howard Nataka - vocals

We're looking forward to Magic Mushroom Reunion Party IV on May 17, 2014 at the Manoa Grand Ballroom.  Call Dennis Matsukawa to get your tickets and reserve your tables early.  This is gonna be another sold out event.

Mahalo to all for a great evening down memory lane.  Till next time...Don't Stop The Music!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Infiniti Pacific Rim Jazz Festival at the Hawaii Convention Center (11-2-2013)

Hana Hou!  We made it to our 2nd Pacific Rim Jazz Festival.  Ran into many friends there too. So proud to see our local talent sharing the stage with some big names.  Check out these golden moments below.

Unable to view the slide show....click on this LINK. You will also be able to "Like" or "Share" your favorite pictures to Facebook.

Local Talent:

The Bentos - A Neo soul jazz band that plays a mixture of classic and modern jazz, R & B, hip hop, and soul. http://the808life.com/music/the-bentos/ The Bentos: Jackson Helm - Vocals; Ethan Capone - Keyboard;; Ian O'Sullivan - Guitar; Mark Tanouye - Bass; Mark Lindberg - Drums; and Ambrose - Sax.

Rene Paulo - Known as Hawaii’s “King of the Keyboard”. A former graduate of the Julliard School of Music.  Rene is great showman and known for his unique piano playing style.  He is Michael's father - Musical talent runs in this family. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rene_Paulo

Ginai Hill - One of our favorite singers.  Ginai is both a talented singer and song writer.  She has CD releases in Japan and Hawaii, has won 3 Hawaiian Music Awards, and 2 Na Hoku Hanohano awards. She performs with Nueva Vida, Honolulu Jazz Quartet, and the Hot Club of Hulaville.  On this night she released her new EP entitled 'Conversations', and was backed up by Riya Davis of Adagio, and NJ of EightOEight. http://ginaimusic.com/artist/jazz/

Michael Paulo - The Festival Producer & Founder of the Kapolei Foundation Michael Paulo Music Scholarship.  Michael is a World renowned saxophonist.   He has played with Al Jarreau, James Inram, Rick Braun, Kenny Loggins, Patti Austin, and Herbie Hancock to name a few. http://www.michaelpaulo.net/ 

Alvin 'Pops" Okami - A former musician from the Waikiki circuit with names like Linda Green, Kui Lee, Ohta-san and the Royal Hawaiian Ban.  The Founder of KoAloha making Ukuleles, who also release his first solo cd "Uke and Me".  Pop's donated a KoAloha Ukulele that sold at the festival's live auction for $1,200.  Proceeds benefited the Kapolei Foundation Michael Paulo Music Scholarship.

International talent:

Spencer Day - A vocalist, songwriter and pianist.  This was his 1st visit to Hawaii.  He sang 'Till You Come To Me', and 'The Mystery of You', (Sandy's favs). http://spencerday.com

Keiko Matsui - Japanese smooth jazz, jazz fusion, new age keyboardist. Keiko celebrates 25 years performing in the USA. http://www.keikomatsui.com/

Gregg Karukas - New age, smooth jazz, keyboardist. Grammy award winner.  http://www.karukas.com/

Mindi Abair - A spirited blonde saxophonist that has sold over a half million records as a solo artist. Mindi was featured on American Idol in 2011 & 2012. http://www.mindiabair.com/

Brian Simpson - A keyboardist that is the music director for Dave Koz.  Brian performed with many of the top smooth jazz artists. http://www.bsimpsonmusic.com/

Bobby Caldwell - Bobby is a R&B, jazz, smooth jazz artist, songwriter.  On this night he was backed up by local vocalist Riya Davis of Adagio. http://www.bobbycaldwell.com/

Sheila E - 'Everyone knows her! "The Glamorous Life" - Another one of our favs.  Sheila is a vocalist, percussionist, songwriter, arranger, producer, and drummer.  She has played for Natalie Cole, George Duke, Gloria Estefan, Diana Ross, to name a few. http://www.sheilae.com/

Again, thank you Michael Paulo for bringing the best local and international smooth jazz talent to Hawaii!   Mahalo to all the hands, musicians and singers that put this great event together.  We'll be back for more in 2014! Till then, Don't Stop The Music!