Rob Yamanoha

Melissa Moniz
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Friday - June 06, 2008
Rob Yamanoha
Rob Yamanoha

Hometown: I grew up in Haleiwa. I still have much love for the North Shore, but I’ve since made Hilo my home. It reminds me of what the slow life was like on the North Shore back in da hanabata days.

High school graduated from: Waialua

Family life: I am happily married with four kids (yes, four!). My wife, Karla, has been so supportive of my career.

Musical occupation: I’ve been performing for about 10 years, solo for about three, so most of my income comes from entertaining. I do a lot of solo acoustic gigs, where I can just show up, plug in and sing my songs. One of my good friends and longtime musical partner Spencer Ahuna (son of Darlene and JJ) occasionally accompanies me on electric guitar. There’s also a very talented ukulele player by the name of Kalei Gamiao who joins me whenever he’s not out performing his solo ukulele gigs. I also have a full band to back me up for the larger club or concert venues. I’ve played coffee shops, bars, clubs, parties, weddings, webcasts, large concerts.

Then I own the record label Red Moon Entertainment LLC, which so far has only released my music, but soon will be looking for other local talent. I also have a recording studio in Hilo in conjunction with Pacific Music Connection (musical instrument store) and Angel7studio (graphic design company). We do full recording sessions and demos as well.

What has been your biggest musical accomplishment?

I guess being able to be so musically and professionally independent. There are plenty of musicians who think they must play a certain type of music to gain respect and popularity, when in reality it should be that you do what you want and do it well with all your heart and soul poured into it, and everything else should follow. I’ve spent the majority of my life studying music, whether it’s jazz or blues, classical or pop, mainstream or Island - it all boils down to two things: the artist who creates the music and the fan who loves the music. I love doing the kind of music I do, and because of that, I know there are others who love it as well.

How would you describe your music?

My music comes from a very personal singer-songwriter perspective, through the lens of soul and classic Island music - I am still, of course, an Island boy. What I love doing is my version of smooth jazz, soul and light acoustic rock. I’d like to think it’s worldly, more for the discerning ear, while appealing to the masses.

What’s the latest with your music?

Well, I released my first solo CD titled Better late in 2007, and it’s available in all Borders retail outlets and online at or iTunes. It’s since gotten some great reviews and won a Hawaii Music Award in the adult contemporary category. So right now I’m out and about promoting that disc. I’m planning to start recording the next CD in the fall. And it’s not like I’m short of material. I’ve got tons of songs and a great songwriting partner. It’s all about managing time.

Contact info:


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