New Age With An Attention To Rhythm

Melissa Moniz
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Friday - May 27, 2009
Von Baron

Von Baron‘s journey through music has been more than a reflection of his own reality. He’s explored and experienced everything from classical to hip-hop to jazz to Brazilian to new age, and now - new age on steroids.

New age on steroids is just what it sounds like it would be, new age with an added kick. To hear what that sounds like, check out Baron’s brand-new album, Souljourner , which released last week at and Down To Earth Pearlridge.

“When I grew up I listened to a lot of new age music, and the primary difference from what I do and what I hear even in the new age market today is the drums,” explains Baron, who also drums for the Honolulu Jazz Quartet. “The drums and the attention to rhythm in the smooth context. But it’s not a drummer’s album. In fact, one of the goals was not to make this sound like a drummer’s album.”


Souljourner is a musical journey in itself that Baron says evokes a deep sense of peace. But more than that, he explains he “captured new age music in terms of the attention to melody and spacial elements, but then added that sense of movement and rhythm.”

This album is No. 2 for Baron, having broken into the new age scene in 2007 with his debut album, Pangea.

Comparing the two, Baron says, “The second album is spicier than the first one. The first album was really when I started getting my voice out through music. This album really hit the nail on the head as far as what I was really trying to say. It’s my own drums on every single song, so that really made a difference.”

Album decribed as ‘new age on steroids’

For this album, Baron is excited that he was able to put everything together to the scope that he desired. To accomplish this, he hired some of his buddies, who also happen to be some of the best in the business: Jeff Peterson, Nolet Quiason, Dan Del Negro, Tim Tsukiyama and Jimmy Funai.

With his musical attention focused on this album, Baron understands that other areas of his musical ambition may be put on hold for a while, including jazz. But ultimately, he says, “I’ll always have a place for jazz, I just love it too much.”

And when he’s not banging away on his drums, Baron has his full-time job at the state Department of Health and his wife and two sons to keep him occupied.

‘Keep Rising’ releases this week

For more on von Baron, visit

This week also marks a long-awaited Hawaii debut release Keep Rising from House of Shem, a reggae group hailing from our Polynesian neighbor island, New Zealand.

Front and center of the group is a veteran in the music business with more than 30 years of experience, Carl Perkins. Joining him are his two sons Te Omeka and Isaiah, who provide vocals, keyboards and even lend their songwriting skills to this album. And backing up the Perkins ohana are Kaya Webster, Francis Harawira and Roy Venkataraman.

The album combines traditional roots reggae vibe with everything from dance-hall to rock, and features 12 tracks: Keep Rising, Thinking About You, Cries Of The Youth, Move As One, Jah Bless, Dreams, New Day, Need To Know, Jah Reggae, What About The Reggae, Holy Mount Zion and Without You.

For more on this up-and-coming group, visit or ...

This summer there will be more than just fish and coral reefs at the Waikiki Aquarium - its annual Ke Kani O Ke Kai summer concert series returns with top-notch local musicians.

The five oceanside concerts are happening on various Thursdays throughout the summer beginning June 18 with The Brothers Cazimero. On July 2 is Hoku Zuttermeister, July 16 is Kaumakahiwa Kanakaole, July 30 is Maunalua and Aug. 13 is Willie K.

“Ke Kani O Ke Kai is a wonderful opportunity to visit our extraordinary and award-winning aquarium, then settle on the great lawn to enjoy live entertainment and a beautiful sunset,” said director Andrew Rossiter. “Concert nights are truly special and unique, as each year kamaaina and visitors return to enjoy the experience of being at the Waikiki Aquarium under a star-lit sky.”

Aquarium doors open at 5:30 p.m., with the concerts beginning at 7. Aquarium galleries and exhibits will remain open throughout the evening. Each concert costs $25 for adults, $10 for children ages 7 to 12, and free for children age 6 and under. Special series pricing for all five concerts is $90 for adults. Discounts are available for Friends of Waikiki Aquarium members.

For tickets, call 550-8847. Food from restaurants such as Hula Grill Waikiki, Yama’s Fish Market and BluWater Grill will be sold separately at a nominal fee. Funds raised through Ke Kani O Ke Kai will support a new Hawaiian Streams exhibit at the aquarium ...

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