Category Archives: Band

Little Albert Maligmat & Eddie Ramirez @ Tapa Bar, Hilton Hawaiian Village

I had a lot of fun watching and listening to this concert.

I arrived just a minute or two before the show began, and the duo really grew on me as the evening went on. Little Albert Maligmat on guitar and vocals, Eddie Ramirez on bass and vocals. At first, they introduced themselves by playing a couple of mellow covers, namely an Eric Clapton, nothing too over the top, just nice laid back ambiance music, ideal for couples cocktail sipping.

Progressively, both brothers began demonstrating some particularly unique skills: Eddie would play the flugelhorn with his mouth, and various other trumpets (not only was this impressive to hear, but also very interesting to watch how he would mimic the instruments), and Little Albert did vocal impersonations. Excellent!

What I found amusing is that I think Little Albert looks very much like Jackie Chan – so not only was he doing impersonations, he also looked like a celebrity. The bar eventually became quite crowded, I suppose because around 9PM/10PM it is a popular time to come and hang out at the bar, but it may also have been that the duo were catching some ears, and people were coming out to have a listen.

The duo animated their audience by getting us to clap, shout out ”Aloooooo-haaaaa!” or sing some lyrics from time to time. They also separated the audience in two and judged which side was singing better. The real cherry on the cake was when they did a cover of ‘We Are the World’, and Little Albert did all the impersonations very well, calling each one out by name before he would do it. ”Diana Ross: We are the world!”, etc. The concert sort of turned into a fun show, and their music became more and more upbeat.

They also played latin American music and Little Albert sang in Portugese. They covered numerous Christmas songs, including one of my current Hawaiian favorites ‘Mele Kaliki Maka’.

I met with Little Albert and his brother Eddie during their break – they were in such good spirits, and were very nice people. Little Albert told me he had just been inducted to the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame, which is great news and so I congratulated him on that. I didn’t know this before having come to the concert, but Little Albert was a previous band member of Society of Seven, a popular Hawaiian group formed in the 60s.

All in all, another surprisingly good concert – this one particularly fun and animated.

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Tahiti Rey & Jason Alan @ Apartm3nt

What an absolute treat this concert was. Situated in the most chic bar I’ve been in Honolulu so far, this duo really captivated me.

Apartm3nt is a very in, trendy and lounge-y bar, where Johnny Depp has been spotted numerous times. It is very inconspicuous, situated on the 3rd floor of a somber building just outside of the city’s center. It is dark, yet cosy –  there was even a fireplace with logs burning, which added a comfortable Christmas touch to the evening. The drinks menu offered an eclectic choice of mouthwatering cocktails, and some extremely tasty wines. Gourmet food is also conveniently served until 12.30AM.

The duo were setting up when I had arrived, and began playing on time at 8PM. Both on electro-acoustic guitars and microphones. Tahiti Rey’s custom made golden glittery guitar strap caught my eye, and suited her style so perfectly. This curly haired attractive lady knows how to sing. She has a spectacular voice, a really magical presence, and covers songs in such a way that honestly gave me goosebumps. I found her voice entrancing, and thought to myself as soon as she started singing that I could stay and listen to her all night. Which is precisely what I did.

Her partner, Jason Alan, was also gifted. His guitar strumming was particularly good, and despite his illness – he admitted to having a cold and flu like symptoms and was sipping tea at the bar before playing the sets – he did a great job at singing and performing. You could hear there was a bit of a blocked nose or something sickness-related going on with his vocal chords, but you could also tell that behind that was true talent.

They were inspiring – they played a few of their own of their compositions, but mainly excellent covers. The Fugees, Bob Marley, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Adele, Coldplay, Louis Armstrong, all sorts – and beautifully each time. They took requests, and played for a couple of girls’ in the bar who were celebrating their birthdays. The time they played really flew by. They took two breaks, played three sets, and it was already 11PM by the time they had finished.

I was lucky enough to get chatting with Jason Alan, who not only is a great musician (with a Bachelor degree in Music Composition might I add), he has also a very kind spirited personality. He was fascinated by my travels, and it seemed it was really him who began interviewing me, and not the other way round! Very flattering. Despite everything, I managed to get quite a few bits of interesting info from him…

Tahiti and himself play as a duo as they share the same producer. They now have a habit of playing together. He gave me their sepia colored business card, which looks fantastic and really suits their laid-back easy-listening style.

They had just come back from the Philippines, where they were invited to play for DJ Vice’s wedding (a well-know DJ from LA). Jason told me they had an absolute blast. And during their performance last night, Tahiti introduced the song they played apparently as the couple were marching down the wedding alley to exchange vows. It was indeed a stunning song.

Tahiti and Jason play on average about 5 to 6 times a week in Waikiki, in many different bars and venues. I was not surprised to hear this, as I can understand their popularity. Jason introduced me to Rob, a friend of his who apparently is also a keen music-scene discoverer, and comes to listen to the duo every Wednesday there at Apartm3nt. He seemed very enthusiastic about me having discovered them too, and also recommend I look out for Yoza, another talented musician who is playing at the Hard Rock Café this Saturday. Great!

What else to say? I’ve summed it up: Tahiti and Jason are absolutely great. I loved their performance, and it was delightful meeting and speaking with Jason.

Their website: http://tahitireyandjasonalan.com/

Apartm3nt’s website: http://apartmentthree.com/

Kailua Bay Buddies @ Jimmy Buffett’s at the Beachcomber

These guys are full of energy and good humor, they really lit up the night at Jimmy Buffett’s. They took requests, played a whole range of songs in a sort of island-rock style, did some interesting covers, got members of staff to come up and sing with them, had guests come up to – they were experienced and truly fun to watch.

The bar next to the stage became instantly more animated once the band played. The band’s drummer, also the lead singer, a rare site to see, joked around a lot with clients of the bar asking them for requests or suggestions for a genre of music. The band encouraged Jimmy Buffett’s clientele to dance, which actually very quickly happened, and a few couples and singles often came up to strut their moves infront of their stage.

It was a very convivial atmosphere – the stage was so close to the bar, the members of the band were very conversational, the bar tender was making excellent drinks and also entertaining us with bottle throwing tricks.

This was a nice laid back fun place to be on Friday night, and the music was just what one wants in that kind of setting – fun loving and upbeat.

Mana’o Trio @ The Shack Waikiki

Another one of my favorite performances. Having read in the Honolulu Weekly that this was going to be a Hawaiian style of music, I was pleasantly surprised to find out it was actually island reggae.

The trio plays at the Shack every Thursday, and do sound like they know what they’re doing. They played all their songs so fluently, smoothly with such ease – they were an absolute pleasure to listen to. I could see some people bopping around and nodding their heads frequently in the restaurant.

The very talented left handed electric guitarist was the band’s solo master, and was playing with good spirit and a smile. You could really tell this thursday evening routine was something this band looked forward to, and enjoyed thoroughly. They waved and winked at a few regulars who came in and out of the bar, which demonstrated their popularity.

This is my number 2 band after Streetlight Cadence. I love reggae, and particularly like this island style reggae that Mana’o Trio concoct so well. I will love to see them again, and why not return to see them next Thursday at the Shack?

Streetlight Cadence @ Waikiki Beach Walk streets

As I mooched around the busy Saturday night Waikiki beach walk street yesterday evening, I heard the familiar sounds of an accordion. I love live accordion music, especially at night time on busy city streets, so I headed towards the sound.

To my surprise, as I approached, it became apparent that this was not only an accordion, but a young quartet. An acoustic guitar, a violinist/vocalist, an accordionist and a cellist. Their sound was so unique that a very large crowd had formed around them, pleasantly surprised by the freshness and talent of their music.

The violinist and cellist were from an orchestra I heard them mention, and certainly did seem to master their instruments like orchestral musicians would. It was also surprising to witness the talent of the accordionist, who was obviously very young (teens or maybe early twenties) – one is used to seeing this instrument played by much older folks. The guitar player was the shyer member of the band, but without his strumming, their songs wouldn’t have sounded the same.

And so I sat down in front of them, and really soaked in the originality and full-bodied music that was coming out of these gifted students. ‘Streetlight Cadence’ – the name of their band, which suited them so well. A talented group of passionate and skilled musicians, performing under the Waikiki streetlights.

 

 

Their Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Streetlight-Cadence/113504642017812

Henry Kapono @ Duke’s Restaurant and Barefoot Bar

At 4pm on Sunday afternoon, a sound check began to resonate from Duke’s Bar. Upon asking some beach goers, it appeared the famous Henry Kapono and his band were going to play their usual Sunday set.

They started it off with an impressive Santana cover, and it married so well with the beautiful beach two steps behind the band and bar. The style of the band was eclectic to say the least: funky, upbeat, rock, reggae, easy-listening, punk, classic, even world. Each song encompassed a different genre, and the switch over was surprisingly smooth.

There was some true experience resonating from this band. After researching into the event, it transpires Henry Kapono plays every Sunday at Duke’s bar from 4 ’til 6, and even has a song called ”Duke’s On Sunday”. Brilliant.

I absolutely and highly recommend anyone on Waikiki beach on a Sunday to lounge back and have this band playing in your ears as you gaze out on to sea front, and progressively witness the sun set. It is a stunning view, and this music really adds a spot of magic to the whole thing.

Also, for those who want to dance it up after lazing around all day, there is ample room to strut one’s stuff on the dance floor, and sun dance.

An excellent show, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and bought me closer to Waikiki.

Henry Kapono’s website: http://www.henrykapono.com/

TTYM @ Five-O bar and lounge

I stumbled upon this band whilst walking through the busy Thanksgiving evening Waikiki streets, in the Royal Hawaiian Center to be precise. I was attracted by a mellow reggae style and a catchy bass line which really stood out. When I arrived, the young duo on stage was covering Bob Marley’s ‘Stir it Up’, and were doing an excellent job. A young girl was filming them with her handheld camcorder, and few passers by were stopping to listen and nodding their heads.

I sat down at the Five-O bar and lounge, got a table closest to the band, ordered a Mai Tai, and listened to their entire set. The bass player, who looked like the younger member, was visibly very talented (quick fingers and natural rhythm) and did a great job at doing backing vocals and harmonics. The main guy on a plugged in ukulele, had an excellent voice, and really demonstrated a natural talent for musicianship. He also changed to an electric guitar later on, which he played just as well.

They covered a lot of 90s hits, some which stood out: ‘Yellow’ by Coldplay and ‘Steal My Kisses’ by Ben Harper. They looked like they were having fun on stage, and exchanged a couple of jokes between songs to one another. After briefly researching into TTYM (Talk to Your Music) online, I discovered that the band is usually a four member scenario, and this was an ‘acoustic show’.

The barman told me they have a song on the radio. The duo definitely had a catchy style, and nailed the reggae ryhtm down to a tee. I would enjoy seeing them as a whole band, and will look out for them. They are certainly a nice introduction to the Honolulu music scene.

Their Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TalkToYouMusic