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February 2009

Kama`aina Lifestyle................Holoholo............

Atta Boy Lana`i….the largest single site, state of the art solar power plant in Hawaii (7,400 photo voltaic panels spread over a 10 acre site) was recently dedicated on my little island home. It will provide 1.2 megawatts of electrical power to Lana`i residents (who must have the highest cost of living situation in Hawaii as virtually everything from fuel to food to fashion has to be imported. Milk and Gasoline go for $5.00 a gallon and cost of electricity has averaged $200-$300 per month for homeowners). It is anticipated that the cost of electricity for Lanaians will be cut by a third because of the solar power plant and even more good news is that the State of Hawaii plans to build a wind farm on Lana`i in the near future which will provide 400 megawatts of electricity to be shared with Moloka`i, Maui and Oahu………

Call him the Good Samaritan Samoan! I have known, played music and shared friendship with Kila Leapaga for many years! In these times when so many of our population are hurting financially, Kila called me and asked if I would mention what he and his wife and their “Ray of Hope Mission” group are doing to help others in the Snohomish County, WA area! They are offering free breakfasts every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday (8:00 a.m.- 12:00 noon) at their Church site (2914 Hewitt Ave, Everett, WA). It’s an open invitation (from Kila and his wife and Pastors Donald and Romy Moody and Director Shirley Thompson) to all who are hungry to join them for some great food and fellowship!

Ran into my old buddy Joe Abad…(Really??? How do Kamehameha and St Louis guys become old buddies??)….well, okay…I ran into old Joe Abad (St Louis ’59) at the newly renovated Angel of the Winds Casino and da man is looking good! He’s retired, looks healthy, feels good (actually he was feeling real goooood when I saw him cause he had just won a few bucks on da penny slots!) and is getting ready to take off on his St Louis HS 50th Class Reunion Cruise! If you want really, really good “Pacific Island kine food” give Joe a call (Honu Catering, 425-876-9129)! He does it all but his specialty is Huli-Huli pig (broke da mouth ono)……

2009 is only a few weeks old but I have already received several inquiries from people wanting entertainment for 2009 Hawaiian themed events. I suspect a lot of you are also starting to plan for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries or maybe just your backyard Luaus. To assist in your planning, following is a listing of some of the best Hawaiian musicians in the Seattle/Everett/Tacoma area. Kaulele (425-353-4962) is the newest group in town with Bernie Simeona on uke and Peter Tabali on bass….nice sound and with Bernie you get a great singer/musician/comedian all wrapped up in one! Rod Lopez Sr (360-613-2850) is a superb ukulele player whose wife Susan sings with him and also dances hula. Kila Leapaga (kilaleapaga@hotmail.com) has a nice voice and plays great guitar; he can also provide some awesome hula dancers if that’s what you want.

Some very good solo entertainers…..Elias Kauhane is a ukulele player/vocalist who loves and is great doing Iz kine music but he can do all types of music (contact elkauhane@comcast.net). Erye Irae (206-398-9604) is a full time professional entertainer who does recurring gigs at Ricky’s Bar & Grill in Shoreline, WA. Al Tringali (206-658-3751) is a solid slack key guitarist with a nice voice who does mostly traditional Hawaiian. The best Hawaiian male falsetto voice around? That’s Gary Medeiros (206-940-1312)!

I’m a bit biased (since she normally sings with my group) but da wahine with one of the best voices in town is none other than Iwalani Kamahele (contact 425-489-9014).Then there is the Na Mele O Hawaii group with Bobbie Ratliff (another really great wahine voice in a nice group…contact rozlowry@hotmail.com) The Bobby Nakihei Trio (425-259-1338) which plays at Bobby’s Hawaiian Style restaurant in Everett, WA does nice traditional and some contemporary music with vocalist Harry Ballesteros on guitar, Ray Peralta on drums and Bobby Nakihei on bass.

For those looking for a more upbeat Hawaiian Reggae/Jawaiian sound, try Rylen Akana (425-269-8836) and his Pookela Street Band (BUT Rylen also does a great job with traditional Hawaiian music)! If you’re looking for Hawaiian music with a Big Band sound, try Gil Cabaccang Sr (contact gilsaxman@yahoo.com) and his Grooveline band! Hoku Award winner Rod Lopez Jr heads the Pacific Warning group (from traditional to contemporary Hawaiian to Vegas stuff, they do it all) Then there is the guy with da beeg voice (Ben Baker) and his Na Leo O Hawaii group; with Maile Baker and Ellery Panui, they’re about the best traditional Hawaiian music group in the Seattle/Tacoma area (call 253-627-2612). The very good Leo Aloha group (206-330-5642) plays at the Pac Island Grill monthly! Auwe, running out of space so I will plan to list other Hawaiian entertainers (Washington, Idaho, Oregon) in future Holoholo columns…….

Stephen Inglis ( Honolulu based Hawaiian slack key artist who has played in Seattle several times in the past few years) and his wife received the greatest of Christmas gifts with the December 9, 2008 arrival of son La`akeamaikalani Inglis…….Congrats to the Inglis Family!!!!

Time to hele on………….a hui hou e malama pono……………Danny

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