The musical trio Na Leo is happy to be home for the holidays after a nationwide tour - to Anaheim, Sacramento, Phoenix, Chicago and New York - for a special show Feel The Spirit of Christmas. The concert happens on Dec. 22 at the Blaisdell Concert Hall - hosted by Michael W. Perry and Larry Price.
Since Nalani Choy, Lehua Heine and Angela Morales were on the cover of MidWeek in 1996, they’ve produced 12 more albums and won a total of 21 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards. They’ve also played with the Honolulu Symphony during the holidays for several years in a row.
Choy, a Haleiwa resident, says the new era in Na Leo’s career can bes attributed to their producer Keith Olsen, who has given them a Mainland pop-oriented sound. He has worked with artists such as Santana and Fleetwood Mac - and sound-tracks for the movies Top Gun and Footloose. That’s what you’ll hear in their 15th and latest album, Feel The Spirit.
Morales, a Waianae resident, says their independent record label NLP has been successful, and that they’ve been pushed forward vocally.
“We’re a lead vocalist now, not necessarily the three-part harmony people are used to hearing,” Morales explains. “All of us have a lead part. I love our new sound, and 99.9 percent of our fans like it as well.”
Guest star Kealii Reichel will sing a few songs in the upcoming Christmas show.
“We are a good fit together,” explains Choy.
The three Kamehameha Schools Class of ‘84 grads are signing a European record deal and for the first time ever will be traveling to Europe. They’ve also changed their Japan record companies - to JVC.
And there have been some personal changes since the group was on the cover of MidWeek.
For Choy, daughter Aulani was born in 1998. And Choy is thankful to her husband, Shelton, who watches Aulani, Kahai, 15, and Pono, 12, while she’s on tour.
Morales’ husband, Ricardo, passed away in July 2004 after battling heart disease since he was 10 years old. Angela is also adding to her family by adopting a foster child, 5-year-old Kaimana. Kaimana joins her three children Solomon, 19, Sasha, 17, and Sheldeen, 15.
Heine and her husband, Kalama, have had two children, Malie, 5, and Kalamaku, 3, and she’s pregnant with their third child (a boy) due in May.
Tickets cost $28-$68. For tickets, log onto ticketmaster.com, call 1-877-750-4400, or visit Ticketmaster outlets including the Blaisdell box office. For more information, visit www.ksskradio.com
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