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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                           Contact Patti Kimoto, 527-6060   

DECEMBER 4, 2002



Organizers of the 18th Annual Honolulu City Lights are encouraging people to arrive early to avoid the heavy traffic and parking crunch around Honolulu Hale on Opening Night, Saturday, December 7.    A variety of food booths and live entertainment have been arranged to put early arrivals in a festive mood.

Starting at 3 p.m., food booths offering everything from delectable entrees and plate lunches to satisfying snacks and desserts will be served.  A mat or lawn chair is suggested to enjoy the excellent entertainment from 3 to 5:30 p.m. on the civic center grounds provided by radio stations KCCN FM-100, Krater 96, Hawaiian 105 KINE, 104.3 XME, Oldies 107.9, 1420 KKEA and Pizza Hut.   Talented local artists “Native Blend” will be joined by “Sani,” a contemporary solo artist who also performs with the band Ho’onua, and “Keahiwai,” whose young, fresh new Hawaiian sound won them this year’s Na Hoku Hanohano award. 

Following the 6 p.m. Tree Lighting Ceremony with Mayor Jeremy Harris, the Honolulu Boy Choir, a special guest and the electrifying Electric Light Parade, venerable Hawaii promoter Tom Moffatt presents a star-studded two hour concert on the big stage next to the Municipal Building.   The spectacular concert begins at 7:30 p.m. and is expected to end at about 9:45 p.m.  

             Audiences will be treated to special holiday performances featuring new singing sensation Jennifer, and headliners Dita Holifield, ‘Ale’a, Forte, Jake Shimabukuro, Sistah Robi and Fiji.

            Rising star Jennifer Perri is only 15 years old, but has already made a name for herself as the “OKC girl,” a television program she co-hosted with Tiny Tadani for Oceanic Cable.  At the tender age of 10, Jennifer entered Oceanic Cable’s “Kiddioke Talent Search Contest” and walked away with the top prize. 

            The Mid Pacific High School student has since springboarded into a successful singing career in both Hawaii and Japan, recently signing with Victor Entertainment, Inc., in Japan.  She has since cut her first album, released in Hawaii this past summer and debuted in Japan last month.  Jennifer has performed for audiences since she was nine years old, appearing in various local musical productions such as Ala Moana Center’s “Santa’s Light parade,” “Imagination,” and Diamond Head Theatre’s “Oliver.”

             Forté has been performing for eight years and has earned the reputation of being good role models for students everywhere.  Their recently released CD, entitled “Montage,” quickly achieved number one status.  One of the songs on this new CD is an original composition written in honor of the heroes of September 11th who unselfishly put their lives in harm’s way to save others.  The song is appropriately entitled “Remember the Heroes.”

            ‘Ale’a means “sweet-voiced” in Hawaiian and is an appropriate moniker for this four-piece band, whose musical renditions include Tracy Chapman’s “Baby Can I Hold You,” and Sam Cooke’s “Cupid.”  The group began playing together since 197 for tourists but individually, ‘Ale’a has been playing music all of their lives.  The group gathered national recognition with their release “Take Me Home” which prompted a West Coast tour.  Now back in the islands, residents and visitors will be treated to the harmonious musical blending of ‘Ale’a at Honolulu City Lights.

             Fiji’s popularity and presence in the local music industry was confirmed when he took the Hawaii Academy of Record Arts’ Na Hoku Hanohano Award for Male Vocalist of the Year and won the public balloting for Favorite Entertainer of the Year in 1998.  Born George Veikoso in Fiji on October 10, 1970, at the time of the restoration of Native Fijian sovereignty from English rule, he speaks both Fijian and English.  This native son of Fiji takes his heritage and culture very seriously, as evidenced by his debut album “Evolution” and “Born and Raised.”  He has been a Hawaii resident since the age of 14.  Overcoming almost insurmountable odds, Fiji has emerged to become one of our brightest and most “evolutionary” stars.

             Jake Shimabukuro was born November 3, 1976 in Honolulu, Hawaii.  He played the ukulele from the tender age of four and launched his professional debut in 1998 a few years after graduating from high school, as a member of the popular group, “Pure Heart.”  His technique – dramatically different from the traditional ukulele stylings of the past --  is credited with influencing Hawaii’s music scene, mixing contemporary Hawaiian with classical music, jazz, rock, blues and funk.  While a member of Pure Heart, the band garnered two Na Hoku Hanohano Awards with their albums “Pure Heart” and “Pure Heart 2.”  After forming a new band, Colon, “The Groove Machine” received a Na Hoku Hanohano award in 2001.

             In January of this year, Jake embarked on his career as a solo artist.  In addition to his many local gigs, he serves as spokesperson for “Music is Good Medicine” for Queen’s Physicians Group, visits schools and nursing homes, using music to educate people on the benefits of a healthy mind and body, and advocating for the importance of art in school education.

             Robi Kahakalau, known simply as “Sistah Robi,” is considered one of Hawaii’s most popular entertainers and versatile female vocalists.  She has won multiple Na Hoku Hanohano Awards and her distinctive voice, creative energy, and mastery of seven languages at least partially explains her phenomenal success.  Although she is a third generation Hawaiian, she was born and raised in Germany and first moved to Hawaii in 1980.  She began as a lead singer for the Hawaiian Style Band in 1990 and moved into solo performance in 1995.  Since then, she has released three CDs, which have all been well received throughout Hawaii, the mainland and Japan. 








Friday, December 06, 2002

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