Hawaiian, Reggae And ‘80s, Oh My!

Melissa Moniz
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Friday - September 30, 2009
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Nesian N.I.N.E. celebrates its debut CD release at Pipeline on Oct. 9

Jeff Peterson, Raiatea Helm, Keola Beamer, Chino Montero, Steve Jones and Capella Williams hope their three-series gig in China next month will be the beginning of a lasting international friendship.

“Hainan Airlines is going to start doing a charter flight to Hawaii, and they’ll be among the invited guests, so they’ll get a taste of Hawaii’s music and culture,” says Peterson. “And that’s what we’re trying to do, find a connection and hopefully they’ll want to have more involvement with the Hawaiian community and doing business in Hawaii.”

The Hawaiian music ambassadors will be performing at Shangri-La Hotels in Beijing, Shanghai, and Fuzhou in a new series called Hawaii Night at the Shangri-La.

“Our concept is not to present a tourist show, but authentic Hawaiian music,” adds Peterson. “I was in charge of putting together the group, and I thought it would be great to have a mix of the past, present and future, and that’s how the group was formed. We also wanted to have hula, and Capella Williams is in my opinion one of the finest hula dancers I’ve known. She is really amazing. She has studied for many years and is very versatile so we’re very excited to have her be a part of the group.”

But before they pack their bags for a trip nearly halfway around the world, the talented musicians are doing a preview concert at The Willows Oct. 9.

The concert, “Hawaii Night,” will offer locals the chance to experience the precisely crafted China show. Tickets are $75 per person. The evening begins at 6 p.m. with cocktails and dinner. The concert begins at 7 p.m. Reservations can be made at 941-8039 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

“We’re featuring each artist in the group in different ways and we’re playing together in new ways too,” adds Peterson. “Chino does beautiful duets with Raiatea. I’ll debut music from a new recording of mine called Maui On My Mind, and also a new piece that I wrote for the trip and the people of China called Pikake.”

Their China tour begins in Beijing on Oct. 19, continues to Fuzhou on Oct. 21 and concludes in Shanghai on Oct. 24 ...

Here on the Island, Nesian N.I.N.E. is brewing up its very own concert to celebrate the release of its debut album Press Play. Their all-out party presented by KCCN FM 100 and Heineken is happening Oct. 9 at Pipeline Café with performances by Fiji, Ilona Irvine, Rebel Souljahs, Off Tomorrow, The Ko Ketem Kuys and of course, Nesian N.I.N.E.

En Vogue reunites for a 20th anniversary tour

“We got a great lineup for the CD release party,” says group member Lau Togafau. “We got an upand-coming band from Maui (Off Tomorrow) that’s in the same genre as Nesian N.I.N.E. and we got veterans like Fiji to close the show.”

The group has nine members, Togafau (vocals), Janoe Kalawa (vocals), Ziggy Maika (vocals),

Mako Malepeai (bass), Lagi Clarke (keyboard), Travis “Buja” Alcos (keyboard), Eddie Lafaele (guitar/bass) and Junior Lafaele (drums). But that isn’t where the N.I.N.E. in their name comes from, it’s actually an acronym for Natives Inna New Era.

Aportion of the proceeds from the concert will be donated to the Lokahi Giving Project. The charity was chosen based on its philosophy of giving back, which Togafau says is what Nesian N.I.N.E is all about.

Their recently released album Press Play is packed with a respectable 15 songs, and 13 are originals. One of their originals, Show Me, has already been a huge presence on KCCN’s airwaves.

“The album is called Press Play and the reason is because we feel that it’s one of those albums that people can just let play all the way through and enjoy,” adds Togafau.

The group, which is comprised of family and friends, says they have been blessed to have made it so far in just this year that they’ve been together, crediting their live shows.

“When we do our shows we like to do not only originals from our album, but also covers,” adds Togafau. “We can do everything from recent R&B hits to old school favorites ...

Old school favorites will also be taking over the Blaisdell Arena for the Mega ‘80s-‘90s Music Festival Oct. 10.

The original ladies of En Vogue are headlining the concert as they reunite for their 20th anniversary world tour. The Funky Divas who gave us hits such as My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It) and Free Your Mind will be joined on stage with The Jets, Ready for the World and The Cover Girls.

The original members of the Jets will perform hits such as Make It Real, Crush on You and You Got It All. And Ready for the World will revisit their hit list, which includes Oh Sheila and Love You Down. And what’s an ‘80s concert without The Cover Girls? Catch them performing songs Because of You, Promise Me and Show Me.

The one-night show, produced by Galmiche Entertainment and Preis Carpenter Ventures, is from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. And ticket prices are $50, $65, $85 and $125. Tickets are on sale now at Blaisdell Box Office, Macy’s Ala Moana and Pearlridge or at www.ticketmaster.com.

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