Grammy Award winning artist, Boz Scaggs, and his band will hit the road in 2008, performing the best known songs of his career, hits that are constantly requested like “Lido Shuffle,” “Look What You’ve Done To Me,” “Miss Sun,” “Jo Jo,” “Heart Of Mine,” “Lowdown,” “Harbor Lights,” “We’re All Alone” and many others will be showcased throughout the tour. Born in Texas and raised with an abiding respect for a wide spectrum of American roots music, Scaggs has combined rock, jazz, R&B and blues to create a trademark sound. With an extensive and distinctive career that has spanned 30 years and many accolades, Scaggs continues to prove himself as one of music’s most creative and original artists. Boz will be releasing a new studio record in April, 2008.
Possessing one of the most instantly recognizable and loved voices in popular music, Gladys Knight is a Grammy Award winning songstress. Singing professionally since the age of four, her first big break came after winning first place in the children’s competition in Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour with her group The Pips. The quartet was one of Motown Records’ mainstays during the 1970s with hits like “I Heard It Through The Grapevine,” “If I Were Your Woman,” and “I Don’t Want To Do Wrong.” Gladys recorded her first solo album, Miss Gladys Knight: One and Only, in 1978, which was not followed up until 1989 when she kicked off a solo career in earnest, singing the soul-shattering theme from the James Bond film License to Kill, leading to the acclaimed albums Good Woman (1991), Just for You (1994), and Next Time (1995). She won the Grammy for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Album in 2001 for At Last and the gospel album One Voice with her Saints Unified Voice choir garnered another Grammy in 2005. In her latest album, Before Me, Gladys shifts her focus to gems from the golden era of song.
Smokey Robinson’s career spans over four decades of hits. While still in high school, he founded The Miracles, one of Motown Records first groups and best selling artists. Their single of Robinson’s “Shop Around” became Motown’s first #1 hit on the R&B singles chart. He wrote many hits for The Miracles, as well as other Motown greats including The Temptations, Mary Wells, Marvin Gaye and others. Smokey also enjoyed a success solo career with songs like “Just to See Her,” “Cruisin’,” and “Being With You.” In 2006, he released “Timeless Love,” a new album of standards. Smokey has received numerous awards, including the Kennedy Center Honor, Grammy Living Legend Award, NARAS Lifetime Achievement Award, Honorary Doctorate (Howard University), and the National Medal of Arts Award from the President of the United States. He has also been inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fames and the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame.
Aaron Neville has enjoyed a long and distinguished career, both as a solo artist and as one of the Neville Brothers of New Orleans. Throughout the 1960s he recorded for local Louisiana labels before breaking onto the national scene in 1966 with “Tell It Like It Is,” which hit #1 on the pop charts. The Neville Brothers began their string of successful albums in 1997, beginning at Capitol and moving to A&M. The high point came in 1989 with “Yellow Moon, written and sung by Aaron. Aaron has won four Grammys: in 1989 Best Pop Duo with Linda Ronstadt for “Don’t Know Much”; also in 1989, Best Pop Instrumental Performance with the Neville Brothers for “Healing Chant”; in 1990 for Best Pop Duo with Linda Ronstadt for “All My Life”; and for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals with Trisha Yearwood for “I Fall to Pieces” in 1994. He was named “Best Male Singer” two straight years in the Rolling Stone critics’ poll and has recorded a dozen solo albums ranging in genre from gospel to country. In Aaron’s latest album, “Nature Boy,” he reinvents the Great American Songbook with a sure, soft touch.
Sergio Mendes formed the Sexteto Bossa Rio and recorded Dance Moderno in 1961. Touring Europe and the United States, Mendes recorded albums with Cannonball Adderley and Herbie Mann and played Carnegie Hall. Sergio moved to the U.S. in 1964 and cut two albums under the Brasil '65 group name with Capitol Records and Atlantic Records. When sales were tepid, he replaced his Brazilian born vocalist Wanda de Sa with the distinctive voice of Chicago native Lani Hall, switched to Herb Alpert’s A&M label, and released Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66, an album that went platinum based largely on the success of the single “Mas Que Nada” and the personal support of Alpert, with whom Mendes toured regularly.
Brian Stokes Mitchell
Dubbed “The Last Leading Man” by The New York Times, Brian Stokes Mitchell is the quintessential musical theatre performer, yet his work on the big and small screens as well as in concert halls around the country has been equally acclaimed. Critics nationwide have praised his performances as a solo vocalist with sold-out evenings at the Hollywood Bowl, Disney Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Symphony Hall. His musical versatility and thrilling voice has kept him in demand by some of the country’s finest conductors and orchestras, performing Broadway tunes, jazz standards and contemporary pieces under the batons of Leonard Slatkin, Marvin Hamlisch, and John Williams. Most recently, Brian took to the famed stage at Carnegie Hall for his solo debut, a sold out evening with a 42 piece orchestra conducted by Paul Gemignani. He has received much adulation for his work on the Broadway stage, including a Tony Award for his roles as Fred Graham and Petruchio in Kiss Me, Kate, as well as nominations for this roles in Man of La Mancha, Ragtime, and King Hedley II. Last year, Brian released his self-titled CD as the inaugural artist on the newly-formed Playbill Records label to rave reviews from fans and critics alike.
From Gallatin, TN native to TV and music star via the hit series “American Idol,” Kimberley Locke quickly rose to fame when she became the second runner-up on season two of the Fox-TV competition. In addition to being featured on two cast albums, landing in third would find the Last-Girl-Standing taking part in the national Idol concert tour. Shortly after the tour ended, Kimberley released her Curb Records debut album "One Love," which features the #1 Billboard Single Sales hit “8th World Wonder,” as well as “Wrong,” “Over the Rainbow,” and the top 10 AC smash, “I Could.” Kimberley has lent her time and talents to various charities including Elizabeth Glaser AIDS Foundation, Youth AIDS, Camp Heartland, the Human Rights Campaign, Help Is On The Way (AIDS), GLAAD, Leeza’s Place (Alzheimer’s), What A Pair/Revlon/UCLA (Breast Cancer) and many more.
Nick & Nina Clooney
The hosts for this year’s Hawaii Romance Festival’s “The Most Romantic Songs Ever Written…Part 2” are husband and wife of 48 years, Nick and Nina Clooney. Nick, an Emmy Award winning commentator, has won “The Best in the Business Award” for television news by Washington Review of Journalism, and was inducted into the Ohio Television Hall of Fame in 2005. Nina is an accomplished television host, inventor and writer. As luck would have it, the duo met during a Miss Kentucky beauty pageant, in which Nina was first runner-up and Nick was the emcee. They have two children, Ada and George, the latter being the international director and movie star. Nick’s sister was the late singer and actress Rosemary Clooney.
Kim Bum Soo
Kim Bum Soo is a South Korean R&B and soul singer famous for his smooth vocals and emotive ballads. Particularly, he is noted for the song “Bo Go Ship Da,” which means 'I want to see you' or 'I miss you' in English. This song became the theme song of Korean drama Stairway to Heaven. Kim Bum Soo is the first Korean artist to make a mark on the North American music charts, with his song “Hello Goodbye Hello” making the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 2003.
Martin Ramon Nievera was born on February 5, 1962, in Manila, Philippines together with twin sister, Vicky, to Bert Nievera & Conchita Razon. Martin spent most of his childhood in Hawaii together with his father who sang for the group S.O.S. (Society of Seven). Inspired by his father's talent and success, he returned to the Philippines in 1982 to begin his own singing career and by June 1982 he released his first LP, Martin...Take One, with the album reaching platinum in just five months. Martin is now temporarily based in Las Vegas, Nevada together with Katrina Ojeda with whom he has a son named Santino. He had his 25th Anniversary concert on September 14 and 15, 2007 at the Captain’s Bar of the Mandarin Hotel in Makati.
Jimmy Borges has been a fixture for over 40 years entertaining Hawaii with his pop and jazz renditions. The Sinatraesque crooner is best known for his smooth vocals, witty phrasing and unpretentious personality that have made him a favorite with the locals and visitors alike. Jimmy was honored in 2006 by the Hawaii Music Foundation with their Lifetime Achievement Legacy Award and will also be honored on March 15, 2008 by the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts (the HOKU people) with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Jimmy is the first to be honored by both organizations with these awards.
Robert Cazimero has been influential in the resurgence of Hawaiian music and culture for almost thirty years through his work as musician, composer and kumu hula. Individually, and with his brother Roland as The Brothers Cazimero, he has released thirty albums in as many years. As a composer, Robert has produced hits such as “Pane Mai,” “My Sweet Pikake Lei,” and “E Ku‘u Lei.” He has appeared on national television programs such as the Today Show, Good Morning America, Jim Nabors Special from Hawaii and the Miss America Pageant.
Cecilio & Kapono
Cecilio & Kapono combine folk rock, contemporary rock and their individualistic styles to create a uniquely Hawaiian sound that is solely their own. Joining together in 1973, Cecilio & Kapono quickly sold out concerts, released eight consecutive top-selling albums, and have earned the same number of the prestigious Na Hoku Hanohano Awards. The two have sold out shows at the Waikiki Shell, Aloha Stadium and throughout the United States, making them household names well beyond their native Hawaii.
Cathy Foy is one of Hawaii’s most versatile entertainers. A recording artist and concert performer, Cathy’s career has taken her to the New York stage as well as Hawaii, Japan and Europe. In New York, she was an original cast member of the hit musical “Song of Singapore” and has performed as a guest artist at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.
Eric is an accomplished performer with a long list of television, film, and stage credits that speak to his versatility. Raised on Maui with roots in Molokai, Eric is charting new territory as one half of the Barefoot Natives. As a solo artist he has opened up for such legends as Al Jarreau, Earl Klugh and Bobby Caldwell, among others. Eric is also a gifted comedian and was hand picked by Jamie Foxx in 2003 to appear as a featured writer/performer for the variety show of the same name, The Jamie Foxx Show.
Anita Hall’s hauntingly beautiful expression of loss and solace has given her the reputation of one of Hawaii’s most celebrated singers. Her all-around talent and vocal range ability in her songs is apparent to all. Anita has shared the stage with notable artists such as Smokey Robinson, The Pointer Sisters, Sting, Craig Schulman, Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter. As the only child of parents both born with Cerebral Palsy, Anita learned the meaning of the word “Handi-capable” and her sense of compassion made her future involvement with many non-profits a natural fit. Anita has shared her gift of music with Ronald Mc Donald House, American Lupus Foundation Hawaii Chapter, The Hawaiian Humane Society, Blood Bank of Hawaii, The Alzheimer’s Association Aloha Chapter and The American Heart Associations “Heart Ball” with the Matt Catingub Orchestra. Her greatest production, however, are her 17-year-old twin sons, Matthew and Joshua.
Amy Hanaiali‘i Gilliom
Amy Hanaiali‘i Gilliom is a Grammy-nominated Hawaiian artist who has won numerous Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, including Female Vocalist of the Year, Song of the Year, Hawaiian Album of the Year and Group of the Year. “Hawaiian Tradition,” Amy’s groundbreaking, exclusively Hawaiian language debut, placed her on the World Billboard Charts. Additionally, she has garnered critical acclaim for bringing the past to present with her hai vocals (female falsetto). Amy is a classically trained artist with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theater.
Including Barry Flanagan & Nathan Aweau, HAPA’s Pan-Polynesian music is an amalgam of influences ranging from ancient genealogical chants to the strummed ballads of Portuguese fisherman, Spanish cowboys, and the inspired melodies and harmonies of the traditional church choirs of the early missionaries. Add to this a dose of American acoustic folk/rock, and you have what has been described as the “most exciting and beautiful contemporary Hawaiian music the world knows!”… (Maui Times).
Kaukahi is the journey of four diverse Hawaiian men on different paths, all destined to meet. Barrett Awai, Kawika Kahiapo, Walt Keale and Dean Wilhelm joined in 2004 for one purpose: to live and share aloha wherever they go. This journey continues as their friendship deepens. The vision becomes clearer as they become more comfortable with who they were created to be, tapping into deep inner resources while at the same time connected by the Spirit.
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Afatia released his first solo album in 2006 simply titled Afatia 5:54. The time referencing the emergence of a truly unique flava that satisfies the listening palate with a fresh and smooth taste. Urban R&B/Soul sounds mixed with a hint of Polynesian roots assembles this album like no other. His music like his fine looks are sophisticated, yet native, innovative, yet traditional, bold yet gentle. In 2007 Afatia won the Na Hoku Hanohano award and Hawaii Music award for best R&B/Hip-Hop album of the year! Ready or not, he’s breaking through the music scene with an unprecedented sound.
Glenn Medeiros was born and raised on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. He spent his younger years singing at home with his mother and occasionally performing on his dad’s tour bus to visitors from all over the world. The first song Glenn professionally recorded was a tune called “Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love for You.” The song soon became a huge hit throughout the world, selling over seven million singles and placing number one on the pops single charts of England, France, Canada, Spain, Holland, Norway, Sweden and more. For the next eight years, Glenn traveled to and performed in thirty-six countries. Glenn currently works at Maryknoll High School as a U.S. History teacher. He has been married for over 11 years and has two children named Chord and Lyric. Glenn also works for St. Joseph School as their curriculum coordinator.
Jake Shimabukuro is becoming recognized as one of the world’s top ukulele musicians. His virtuosity defies label or category. Playing jazz, blues, funk, classical, bluegrass, folk, flamenco, and rock, Jake’s mission is to show everyone that the ukulele is capable of so much more than only the traditional Hawaiian music with which many associate it. A true showman, his performance captivates audiences with intricate strumming and plucking, electrifying high-energy grooves and smooth, melodic ballads. Jake toured with Bela Fleck & the Flecktones (2002, 2005, 2006) and recorded on the band’s Little Worlds (2003) album. Jake is also featured on Ziggy Marley’s Grammy Award winning Love is My Religion (2006) and contributed to the soundtrack of the Jimmy Buffett-produced film, Hoot. This was a priceless experience for Jake and gave him the confidence to score the recently released Japanese independent film HULA GIRLS, just released on Hitchhike Records. Jake has had the opportunity to perform with and/or open for numerous top musicians, including Diana Krall, Fiona Apple, Bobby McFerrin, John Hiatt, Les Paul, Blues Traveler, Stephen Bishop, Hot Buttered Rum, and the Honolulu Symphony.
Mihana has been singing, dancing and playing bass, guitar and ukelele and performing for over 30 years as a member of Puamana, a family musical group started by her mother, beloved island composer and musician Irmgard Farden Aluli. Although her mother passed away several years ago, Mihana, along with her sister, Aima McManus and aunt Iwalani Kahalewai, continue to perform as Puamana. They find great pleasure and success sharing sweet Hawaiian music throughout the islands and aboard. In 2001, Mihana released her first solo and Hoku Award winning CD, Rust On the Moon, as her musical circle widens to include jazz, rock and country as well as Hawaiian, and as she aspired to do what her mother directed “to write what you know and share what you feel. Through music, (of these islands and of my family) I get to pass on those blessings that have been passed to me, the blessings of a place that I love, a God I adore, and a people I cherish.” Happily her family legacy of great music and dance continues.
Kanoe was born and raised in Hawaii, is a graduate of Kamehemeha Schools and earned her BA in English Literature at the University of Hawaii. She is a member of one of Hawaii’s most prolific entertainment families and sister to the Brothers Cazimero – whose musical styling is now a benchmark in Traditional and Contemporary Hawaiian Music. Trained in hula from the age of five, she and Brothers Roland and Robert performed professionally with their parents until branching out on their own, individually and collectively. Throughout her entertainment career, Kanoe has graced the stages as both a line and solo dancer. As a soloist, she is considered among her peers to be one of Hawaii’s premiere icons of Hula, in the Auwana style.