Blonde Highlights

Rick Hamada
By Roz Makaula
Friday - March 03, 2006

WEDDING BELLS rang out last Saturday for newlyweds Maila Gibson and Keli’i Bandmann. One of our islands’ favorite groups, Ho’okena, performed as Gibson joined them to sing The Prayer for her new husband and guests. Also taking the stage were sister Kanoe Gibson and Anita Hall, Rocky Brown, John Valentine and Raiatea Helm. The presence of sweet and lovely Helm was a surprise gift to the bride and groom from Ho’okena. I caught up with wedding guest Kimo Kockelman. He’s personal trainer to the Gibson sisters and worked with Kanoe as she prepared for the Miss America title. Check him out at ... Another client of Kockelman’s is hairstylist Paul Tamaoka of Bottega Antoine salon, who toured the universal pageant circuit with Brook Lee.

When not at the salon, you can find Tamaoka in the art world. Earlier this month, his paintings made a successful gallery appearance at Louis Pohl on Nuuanu Avenue. Keep an eye out for his next showing, where you can pick up one of his beautiful watercolor pieces ... In the music scene are Kama Hopkins, Kekoa Kaluhiwa and Kanai’a Nakamura of Holunape.

Raiatea Helm was a ‘sweet and lovely’ wedding gift for Maila Gibson and Keli‘i Bandmann
Raiatea Helm was a ‘sweet and
lovely’ wedding gift for Maila
Gibson and Keli‘i Bandmann

Their harmony is reminiscent of an older time in Hawaii with a contemporary flair that can soothe, comfort and satisfy listeners of all ages. The group’s debut album, He’olu, is the winner of the Hawaii Music Awards Traditional Hawaiian Album of the year. It’s no surprise then that this 14-track creation is from the production company of ukulele master Roy Sakuma ... Playing tunes of another genre is the nine-member-strong Ooklah the Moc. This roots dub reggae band just released its newest album, Koko Meets Ooklah the Moc: Struggling Soldier. The album combines the vocal sound of Maui native Koko and the familiar style of the Moc family that fans are crazy about. Members include Ryan Murakami, John Davis, Asher Philippart, Gary Nakano, Tony Bush, Brad Watanabe, Nick Navales, Jimbo LaPierre and Micky Huihui. Catch Ooklah at Next Door in Chinatown later this month before they leave the islands for a tour to Cali and Arizona ... The music of Jake Shimabukuro can be found on iTunes USA and internationally on iTunes Canada. Preview and select songs from all four of his solo albums ... Good food is the perfect complement to good music. Serving up some of the best the West Side has to offer are chef Elmer Guzman and his wife Samantha of the Poke Stop. In case you missed the op to try their Mardi Gras menu before Fat Tuesday, don’t worry, they’re keeping the jambalaya and more until next Sunday.

This menu is oh, oh, ono! And, if you have a special someone you want to impress - take advantage of the Chef Elmer’s three-course dinners, prepped or fully prepared for a cozy couple’s meal at home. Stop by and order up, find them in the Waipahu Town Center ...Cooking fish on another grill are the folks of Wahoo’s Fish Tacos on Ward. Trying out the spot for the first time were HPD’s Rani Hanohano and Z Cabudol, Radford High counselor Malia Park and Queen’s pharmaceutical tech Kimo Shaw. I joined the group (all Kamehameha class of ‘91 grads minus Cabudol) and had to try the dish with the same name of the restaurant. For just a little over 5 bucks, it’s worth it. But if you’re a carb watcher, stay away from their ahee rice bowls - you’ll get enough white stuff for two ... The producers of the hit show Jeopardy held auditions here recently. Under the category of Hawaii contestants making the cut, you’ll find federal firefighter. Answer: Who is Matthew Sojot? He could be on his way to Hollywood in the next 16 months ...

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