Rolando Sanchez

Wednesday - June 27, 2007
By Kerry Miller | Share

Rolando Sanchez
Rolando Sanchez

“Mr. Salsa Hawaii,” Rolando Sanchez, is busy - preparing for a special reunion concert at the upcoming Flavors of Honolulu, working on a new album and making plans to get back to his roots later this year.

Sanchez and his Salsa Hawaii band are performing at Flavors of Honolulu (formerly Taste of Honolulu) June 29 at Honolulu Hale from 9 p.m. until closing (the evening’s entertainment begins at 5 p.m.). Two former group members are returning for the show. Also, Pedro Haro, Salsa Hawaii’s newest member, sings for fans.

“Two of the guys I used to play with, Judi Palmeira and George Demesillo, we haven’t played together for a couple of years.

“We’re going to be featuring songs from the last CD and some new songs featuring Pedro,” says the September 1995 MidWeek cover subject.

Salsa Hawaii, which also includes Aaron Hill, Lyndi Patterson, Clarice Benauro and Ray Williams, recently released a new compilation CD, Honolulu Tropical, which will be for sale at Flavors of Honolulu. It features the song Ella, (translated from Spanish to English, it literally means “she”) which will appear on a future album Sanchez says is currently in the works.

The band also keeps busy performing at various venues around Oahu and the Neighbor Islands. On Aug. 1, Salsa Hawaii performs at Starbucks Coffee’s “The Wildest Show in Town” at the Honolulu Zoo. The event kicked off June 13 and continues with different performers each Wednesday evening through August. For more information on the shows, visit

In addition to the band, Sanchez writes songs and promotes events, like the May 19 Latin Music Festival at the Ala Moana Hotel. When he’s not doing anything related to music, Sanchez enjoys spending time with family.

In fact, he’s planning on traveling to his home country of Nicaragua in the fall. A couple of weeks ago Sanchez was on the cover of the popular Nicaraguan entertainment publication, La Presa (The Press).

“I’ll probably go down there in September. I haven’t gone back since I left in 1966. It’s going to be a return to my land of birth,” says the 55-year-old Honolulu resident with a laugh.

Sanchez adds that recently he “went to San Francisco, I finally met some of my grandchildren.”

While in San Francisco, he “got to do some live radio interviews from San Francisco to Latin America, (I) talked about what we’ve been doing in Hawaii as far as representing Latin music.”

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