Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Elephant, Heart & Soul, and Five-0 [VIDEOS]

November 23, 2010

These Tuesday posts are getting later and later yeah? Before you know it, da buggah goin’ run into our Where In Hawaii Wednesday post. Oh well, better late than never ah?

So I guess it’s obvious that I nevah watched Hawaii Five-0 live last night – hence the lack of a Five-0 post – but feel free to use the comment area below to chat up about the show with your fellow peeps anyway. I heard rap singer Nas made an appearance. Hah?

This weekend, I attended two events that had some killah live music and I wanted to post some videos I took to showcase the local talent we have here in Hawaii.

The first one is of a rock band called Elephant (who performs every Saturday from 9pm-2am at the Irish Rose Saloon in Waikiki). Lead man Kevin Jones is a talented DJ for Star 101.9FM, a better singer/rock star, and an even better friend. Check out Elephant performing a cover of Prince’s “When Doves Cry” below.


Elephant – “When Doves Cry”

The second band is called Heart & Soul, comprising of two talented ukulele players: Chris Salvador and my buddy Jody Kamisato. I recently featured Jody (and other fellow Kaiser High grads) in my November AroundHawaii article: “Cougar Pride – Three Kaiser High Grads Making a Difference“). Jody is the owner and head instructor at Ukulele Hale, and Chris is a young, but talented player with sick vocal skills. Below is a short clip of them covering Pure Heart’s “How Can I Get Over?” at their recent CD ReleaseΒ Celebration PartyΒ at Gordon Biersch at the Aloha Tower Marketplace.


Heart & Soul – “How Can I Get Over?”

Here’s a little bonus cut from one of my favorite Youtube singers, an obvious ode to John Tyner’s experience with the TSA. OMG Hilarious!


David Choi – “Please Don’t Touch My Junk”

Kay, das all. Have a good Tuesday yo! πŸ™‚

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Cougar Pride – Three Kaiser High Grads Making a Difference

November 1, 2010

When it comes to careers, they have an old saying… “Do what you love and you never have to work a day in your life.” Most of us chug along through the day to day of life, wondering if there’s a better way. Personally, though I love my job, I often wonder if the folks in Major League Baseball are still out there looking for a mediocre-ly built, over-the-hill, talented (in-his-own-mind) right arm to be the next best thing in the bigs. And then I wake up.

A lucky few, however, are fortunate enough to find something they fall in love with and follow that path towards something they can make a career of. Below is the story of three such men.

Jody Kamisato – `Ukulele Hale

Jody Kamisato is the owner of Ukulele Hale, an ukulele school in Kaimuki that teaches students – from small kid time all the way up to our senior citizens – the art of our beautiful 4-stringed instrument.

Though we both knew of each other from our Kaiser High School/Hawaii Kai days, I think I actually first met Jody when I asked him to perform at an event I was putting together back in September (the inaugural Rice Fest). Not only was I impressed by the talent he showcased during his performance on stage (through his group Heart & Soul), but I was also taken aback by the way he mentored and encouraged his students before their performances.

Here’s an interview I had recently with Jody:


An Interview with Ukulele Hale’s Jody Kamisato

[Edward Sugimoto] When did you first pick up the `ukulele and how long was it before you fell in love?

[Jody Kamisato] Geez, I first picked it up in elementary school. So I went to Kamiloiki Elementary and in their Hawaiiana class, they offered ukulele. So that was my first time, and started taking lessons, and actually it wasn’t until high school that I got really into ukulele.

[Edward Sugimoto] Kaiser right?

[Jody Kamisato] Kaiser. *winks*

[Edward Sugimoto] That’s right!

[Jody Kamisato] Kaiser! *laughs*

[Edward Sugimoto] Kaiser baby! *laughs* At what point did you know it was the path for you?

[Jody Kamisato] Um, well actually Jake Shimabukuro from Pure Heart had come to do one of our assemblies at Kaiser, and he was in a group called Pure Heart along with Jon Yamasato who’s another Kaiser graduate… Um, but after that, I just you know, I saw what he did and I was just amazed at what the ukulele, you know, the possibilities of the ukulele. And just the way he played and the style that he played in really caught my attention, so I just called him up and I was like “Hey, can I sign up for lessons?” and so I did and a few years later he asked me to teach. He opened a school called Ukulele Academy in Hawaii Kai and so that’s where I kinda got my start from… was teaching at his studio.

[Edward Sugimoto] Do you draw from any positive experiences from some of your mentors from your past and apply them to your teaching methods today?

[Jody Kamisato] Absolutely. You know, I think one of the greatest gifts with music is the ability to share it. And so, some of my mentors, which included Peter Moon, Jake Shimabukuro, Troy Fernandez…You know these guys have really done so much with music and really taken it to, not just Hawaii, but outside of Hawaii so, they’ve gone international. And especially with Jake, and so, just from that, he’s really opened a lot of doors with music and with ukulele. So that’s what I want to try to do with our music… it’s to take it on another level and share it with people not just from Hawaii but around the world.

[Edward Sugimoto] And you have a business: Ukulele Hale. Talk to me about your keiki.

[Jody Kamisato] Alright, well, we have a school called Ukulele Hale in Kaimuki and I’d say a majority is students, is the keiki. You know we actually teach students of all ages and skill levels. So we start them… Our youngest is 3 and a half years old, and we also have senior classes as well. Right now we have about 170 students.


Kody Kiyokawa and Jody Kamisato jammin’ on the uke

NOTE: Kody Kiyokawa recently represented Ukulele Hale at the Duke’s Ukes contest and came home with a brand new Kamaka Ukulele after winning the Best Showmanship award.

[Edward Sugimoto] On top of being a teacher, you also have a group with Chris Salvador called Heart & Soul? Tell me a little bit about that.

[Jody Kamisato] I partnered up with a friend of mine, his name is Chris Salvador, and we call ourselves Heart & Soul, and we are actually in the recording studio now working on our debut album. We’re hoping to have it out, gee, in the next few weeks and actually have our CD release party in November. It’s set for November 21st. Chris and I just got back from touring Japan as well as New York. We participated in the New York Ukulele Festival, and also Japan has this event called the Ukulele Picnic which draws 10,000 ukulele fans. So it was an amazing experience and we just feel very blessed to follow our passion and play music.

Poster for Heart & Soul Debut CD Release Celebration (click to enlarge)
Poster for Heart & Soul Debut CD Release Celebration (click to enlarge)

[Edward Sugimoto] Where can we pick up the album when it’s ready?

[Jody Kamisato] It’ll be available on iTunes and definitely in music stores and book stores throughout Hawaii. Yeah, so go out and support local music. *laughs*

[Edward Sugimoto] You were mentioning that you guys tour a lot, you were in New York and you go all over the place. You were at the Rice Festival of course…

[Jody Kamisato] Rice Festival, yeah!

[Edward Sugimoto] … Where else can we find you guys going forward?

[Jody Kamisato] We’re definitely going to be performing more. Right now we’re focusing on the recording. Once that’s finished, we plan to do more steady gigs for the public. And definitely we’re actually planning a Japan tour this coming December. We’re going up for about a week and a half. It’s a Heart & Soul CD Japan Release Tour.

[Edward Sugimoto] That’s awesome.

[Jody Kamisato] Yeah, we’re excited.

[Edward Sugimoto] You’re all over social media. You wanna give some plugs out there to your various locations?

[Jody Kamisato] *laughs* Sure. Alright well you can come check us out on Facebook. Um, I just set it up recently. It’s uh facebook…

[Edward Sugimoto] *shows Jody his notes*

[Jody Kamisato] *laughs* facebook.com/jody.kamisato. Or you can visit us on Youtube. Just type in “Jody Kamisato”, “Ukulele Hale”, or “Heart & Soul”. And Twitter. I’m ukulele…

[Edward Sugimoto] jody

[Jody Kamisato] jody *laughs* Thanks Ed! @ukulelejody

[Edward Sugimoto] Cool. Good stuff.

[Jody Kamisato] Thanks a lot. Take care. Keep jammin’ the uke and live aloha. *shaka*

Ukulele Hale
Kaimuki Professional Building
1109 12th Avenue Suite 203
Honolulu, Hawaii 96816 (map)
(808) 258-7237
ukulelehale@gmail.com

George Kotaka – IKF Hawaii

George Kotaka is legend in karate. He is a 4th degree black belt with 30 years of training under that belt. He is the son of Chuzo Kotaka (a legend in his own right), the man responsible for bringing IKF (International Karate Federation) Karate to Hawaii. George is one of the main instructors for IKF Hawaii teaching students at dojos in Kamiloiki, Kailua, Kaneohe, Kapolei and the University areas.

My first memory of George was seeing him grow through the karate ranks right alongside of the rest of us. Under Sensei Kotaka (Chuzo), I was fortunate enough to earn my brown belt, and I remember little (at the time) George showing up at our dojo to train periodically. Eventually our paths crossed again while attending Kaiser High School.

George sat down with me during this recent interview:


An Interview with IKF Hawaii’s George Kotaka

[Edward Sugimoto] First of all, please introduce yourself George.

[George Kotaka] My name is George Kotaka, I’m 33 years old and I’ve been taking karate since I was 3 years old.

[Edward Sugimoto] Back in the day, your father (Chuzo Kotaka) was my sensei at IKF in Kahala. Is this where your interest in karate first came from?

[George Kotaka] My interest in karate began, like I said, when I was 3 years old, and my father actually didn’t really force me to take karate. He was just bringing me by the dojo and kinda like just like anything else, you know, where you’re introduced to it so often, after a while you just start to pick it up. I just was really kinda just drawn to karate. Never forced to start it.

[Edward Sugimoto] As the sensei’s son, did you feel any extra pressure to be better and perform well because your dad was the sensei?

[George Kotaka] Being the sensei’s son, I really didn’t feel any pressure at all. I always just went to practice, worked really hard, always had goals in mind that I wanted to achieve since I was young. Just, you know, just like short term goals in the beginning and then later on, fulfilling my long term goals, but never had the pressure because I always just knew that if I just relied on my training and my skill, you know, good things would come about.

[Edward Sugimoto] Lyoto Machida of the UFC, he became the Light Heavyweight Champion a while ago (UFC 98 on May 23rd, 2009) and probably burst karate into the mainstream. Did you kinda feel that karate/”Lyoto Effect” in your studios/dojos?

[George Kotaka] I would say there was a little bit of an affect from the UFC fight where Lyoto won the UFC title. We saw a little bit of an influx of students inquiring about karate, interested in martial arts, especially the traditional martial arts. He comes from a traditional Japanese background, his style is called Shotokan, and it’s a very very popular, I would say one of the four major styles of karate in Japan. So I would say there was a little bit of an influx of students when that happened.


George Kotaka knocks out opponent (from shotokan68’s channel)

NOTE: George does not endorse this clip (a popular video on Youtube with over 29,851 views) and was frankly quite embarrassed of it when I brought it up. I snuck it in here just to give you a glimpse at what George’s karate is capable of.

[Edward Sugimoto] What inspired you to take the next step and become an instructor?

[George Kotaka] I always was intrigued and motivated to be an instructor, to be a teacher. Ever since I was about 14 or 15 years old, I began helping my sister at one of the local karate classes and being kind of like a junior assistant or junior leader and from since that time on, I was really just drawn to teaching, I always liked working with other people. So even after the competition aspect, I could always rely on going back to teaching and falling back to that background.

[Edward Sugimoto] You mentioned your competition background. You’re pretty much a karate legend here and around the country. What do you have in store going forward?

[George Kotaka] Most importantly right now, after retiring from competition in 2008, is just to really work on my students and giving back to the dojo and going back to that teaching. Whether it’s producing the next state champion, national champion, Pan-American PKF Champion or even world champion, that would just be great. I just want to produce quality students most importantly. They don’t have to be champions. If that comes along that would be great but overall I just want my students to be good mannered students, have good morals and ethics and really go by the karate way.


George Kotaka Highlights (from CHAMPOFFICIAL’s channel)

NOTE: This clip I found on Youtube is probably a better representation of what George is all about (as opposed to the previous one). Check it.

[Edward Sugimoto] Cool, thank you very much.

[George Kotaka] OK, thanks.

IKF Hawaii – Main Office
7231 Nuulolo Street
Honolulu, HI 96825
(Click here for individual dojo locations/information)
(808) 395-1774
ikfkotaka@yahoo.com

Todd Tanaka – Team HK

Todd Tanaka holds a black belt under the prestigious Relson Gracie Jiu Jitsu system. He is the owner and head instructor of the Relson Gracie Jiu Jitsu Team HK team, with locations in the University area, Kaimuki and Lutherville-Timonium in Maryland. He teaches the art of jiu jitsu and self defense to keiki (ages 5-13) and adults of all ages. He (along with George above) also just started a women’s cardio kickboxing class on Sunday nights (5:30pm-6:30pm).

Of the three, I probably knew Todd the best during high school. We ran in similar groups and hung out at some of the same places. Todd helped me land my first “celebrity” interview with his good friend Jason “Mayhem” Miller and even let me train at his dojo for a little while.

Here’s Todd and I catching up in this recent interview:


An Interview with Relson Gracie Jiu Jitsu Team HK’s Todd Tanaka

[Edward Sugimoto] Please introduce yourself.

[Todd Tanaka] Hi I’m Todd Tanaka and I’m the head instructor and owner of Relson Gracie Jiu Jitsu Team HK.

[Edward Sugimoto] Long before the MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)/Jiu Jitsu explosion, you were training with Relson Gracie before anyone knew what it was. How long ago did you start training in the art of jiu jitsu and why did you first start?

[Todd Tanaka] I started in 1990 and I was in, I believe, 8th grade. That’s when (Jean Claude) Van Damme and Steven Seagal was all popular, and me and my friends John and Jared wanted to take a martial art because of the popularity of the martial arts. We were thinking about taking like kickboxing, aikido and stuff and Jared’s father suggested that we go with him to this jiu jitsu class, Brazilian jiu jitsu classes, and we were like, “What is that?” We had no idea. And the dad was like just come down and see if you like it. So we went down, met Relson, started taking the classes from there, and we fell in love with it from day 1.

[Edward Sugimoto] What inspired you to take the next step and become an instructor?

[Todd Tanaka] Well after the UFC started (1993), a lot of my friends wanted to learn and they’d always see me at the weight room and ask me to teach them and I was like “Man, sounds like a good deal.” You know, I could use the side cash so I asked Relson “Eh, can I start teaching?” and he said, “Well I want you to take an instructor program from my brother.” So he flew me up to his brother Rorion’s school in Torrance California, which Royce Gracie was there at the time and the dad (Helio)… And I stayed there, I took their instructor program, and I came back and I helped Relson open his new school in Kaimuki. And that’s pretty much how it all started for me in teaching.

[Edward Sugimoto] Talk to me about your kids. What brings you the most joy when you teach them?

[Todd Tanaka] The most joy is probably just seeing the smiles on their face and seeing how they really like it when they actually do the move correctly.

Todd Tanaka watching over his students
Todd Tanaka watching over his students

[Edward Sugimoto] Do you have an opinion or any comments to those who feel jiu jitsu is dangerous for young kids?

[Todd Tanaka] Yes. You take a risk in any sport… You do… but they have to understand that jiu jitsu and MMA is totally different things. I don’t teach my students to fight. I teach them to defend themselves, self defense, you know. And, you know, if you go in there and you think that jiu jitsu is all about fighting, then yeah, you’re gonna have that perception, but I’m gonna let you guys know that the Relson Gracie jiu jitsu system is about self defense and not fighting.

[Edward Sugimoto] What about personal goals? You received your black belt in July of last year? Anything else in store?

[Todd Tanaka] Um, well, I’m just gonna keep training. I currently just opened two other schools this past year. I have a branch in Kaimuki, and I opened one with another Kaiser classmate/alumni Stuart Ramos. He opened a school under me in (Lutherville-) Timonium, Maryland. Hopefully I dunno, maybe my schools can start growing.


Relson Gracie Promotes Todd Tanaka to Black Belt (from GracieTeamHK’s channel)

[Edward Sugimoto] How about any professional fighting for you at some point?

[Todd Tanaka] *laughs* No, I’m too small and old for that.

[Edward Sugimoto] Finally, you’re big into social media. Do you find that it helps a lot?

[Todd Tanaka] Yes. I can’t remember where I heard this, and I’ve always been using this for years… It’s not who you know, it’s about who knows you. So I’ve always put myself out there. You know, they say there’s no such thing as bad publicity right? Everything’s good publicity, so whatever I do, I put myself out there, I’m easy to find. *smiles*

[Edward Sugimoto] Why don’t we do some plugging of some of those web sites?

[Todd Tanaka] Alright, I got my web site: ToddTanaka.com, and I have my jiu jitsu web site: TeamHK.net, I have my Facebook: facebook.com/toddktanaka, I have Twitter: twitter.com/toddtanaka, Youtube: youtube.com/gracieteamhk, and, man, I got a couple others but I can’t remember all of them right now. *laughs*

[Edward Sugimoto] Alright cool, thanks a bunch Todd!

[Todd Tanaka] Thank you!

Team HK
(Click here for individual dojo locations/information)
(808) 277-1128
todd@teamhk.net

Three great individuals doing great things in their respective communities… who, oh-by-the-way, all happen to be graduates from my proud Alma mater of Henry J. Kaiser High School. They have found a way to follow their passion and find a career doing something that they absolutely love.

I guess you can say they never have to work a day in their lives…

News Day Tuesday: Elect Bruno Five-0

September 21, 2010

Wow, lots of big Hawaii news as of late. From the election results, to Bruno Mars getting busted for cocaine, to the premiere of Hawaii Five-0. Thought it might be time to dust off “News Day Tuesday” for all y’all to sound off on some of these topics. Holla!

* Election Results?
– Pretty much went how I thought it would.

* Bruno Mars?
– Pretty disappointing. I was interesting in trying to line him up for an interview, but not so much anymore…

* Hawaii Five-0?
– I unfortunately had plans last night and missed it, but hope it does well for the sake of the state. Will definitely try to catch the next one.

* Top Chef?
– I know, I know, it’s not really Hawaii related and the season is already pau, but you guys always seem to wanna talk about it so hear ya go! LOL!

P.S. In case you missed it: Scenes from the Rice Fest! πŸ˜‰
P.P.S. Here’s Mars’ latest single: Just the Way You Are. Good shtuff nonetheless. πŸ˜›


Bruno Mars – “Just the Way You Are”

Scenes from the Rice Fest

September 20, 2010

(Warning: *CHOKE* Photos)

Yeah, I know. Dis post is more than a week overdue, but bruddah ova hea had to sift through 635 photos from all ova da creation (Twitter/Twitpic, flickr, Facebook, etc.) from like 20 different peeps. Finally whittled it down to a little over a hunny in the hopes of giving you a little glimpse into the event that absolutely consumed my life for the last year or so.

For those who don’t know, I am the co-founder of an event called Rice Fest , an event that I am very passionate about, and one that I can honestly say Hawaii wants/needs. Let’s face it. We love our rice here in Hawaii. The plan is to put the Rice Fest on every September (in line with National Rice Month), which we started at our inaugural event last week Saturday (September 11, 2010) at the Waterfront at Aloha Tower Marketplace. Below are the scenes from that day. Mahalo to everyone for the support!

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Our Rice Fest sign on the morning of… Exciting!

Scenes from the Rice Fest
The line waits in anticipation (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Scenic shot of Aloha Tower (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Our Sponsor Diamond G Rice (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

(A big mahaloz to our sponsors/partners: Diamond G Rice, Oceanic Time Warner Cable, Lanakila Pacific, Vacations Hawaii, HPE Live, and the Waterfront at Aloha Tower Marketplace!)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Diamond G Rice gave away free rice to patrons every half hour! (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

Stephen aka @PHOTOluluTV won free rice and quickly donated it to our non-profit partner Lanakila Pacific. So thoughtful!

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Stephen donating his rice to Lanakila Pacific. (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

Still early in the day, I had some down time to visit each booth to capture the sights.

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Bruddah Kalani Miller and his niece(?) at their Mobile Gamer Guys’ booth.

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Some keiki having fun playing video games inside the posh Mobile Gamer Guys’ van. (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Valen Ahlo posing with the 58th Cherry Blossom Festival Court (Princess Kimberly Fujinaka, Princess Cori Hanagami, Queen Marissa Machida, and Miss Congeniality Andrea Hiura). (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

Due to a tent mix-up, the ladies of the 58th Cherry Blossom Festival Court were out in the hot sun for part of the day. A big mahalo to all of them for being such troopers!

Also in the Keiki Zone, University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Department of Human Nutrition, Food, and Animal Science educator Dr. Maria Stewart shared her current research in an interactive and educational display entitled “Nutrition for Everybody: Learn How Rice Promotes a Healthy Body”.

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Dr. Maria Stewart’s Rice Education booth. (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
The fellas from the Snow F|A|C|T|O|R|Y (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Russ aka @ParkRat enjoying his treat from Snow F|A|C|T|O|R|Y. (Photo Courtesy @Melissa808)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
The early scene from above. (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Pacific Soul’s Sean Priester and his staff. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Pacific Soul’s offerings at the Rice Fest. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Pelekunu’s booth. They won the Most Creative Booth Award! (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Grilled Teri Chicken plate from Pelekunu’s. (Photo Courtesy @Melissa808)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
The Thai Kitchen booth

Scenes from the Rice Fest
The Mixed Plate from Thai Kitchen

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Slowly starting to pick up (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Don Ho’s Island Grill booth

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Kats Sushi booth. They won the “Best of Show” award as voted on by the visitors. (Photo Courtesy @bitachu)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Spicy Tuna temaki (handroll) from Kats Sushi. (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Himalayan Kitchen’s booth.

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Eastern Food Center’s booth.

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Various rice offerings (including jung, mochi and SPAM musubis) from Eastern Food Center. (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Primo Sushi’s booth. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Big City Diner’s booth. (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Island Taste’s booth. (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Arturo’s Hot Sauce booth. (Photo Courtesy @LanakilaPacific)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Julia, Chimaine, Umma and Mai at the Scrip booth. (Photo Courtesy Umma Kayvalyam)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Sweet Charlotte’s booth.

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Sweet Charlotte’s offerings. (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Hawaiian Kine Seasonings’ booth.

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Offerings from Hawaiian Kine Seasonings. (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Yelp booth. (Photo Courtesy @Melissa808)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Leonard Jr.’s malasada van. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Our friends at the Lanakila Pacific booth. (Photo Courtesy @Melissa808)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
One of @LanakilaPacific’s tweets during the day. (Photo Courtesy @LanakilaPacific)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
The guys from Oishi-Genmai GIC Japan. Look for their products next year!

Scenes from the Rice Fest
The Admission/Volunteer Check-In/Twitter #RICEHUNT booth. (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Goodie bags for all Twitter #RICEHUNT participants. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

And then the #RICEHUNT Twitter Scavenger hunt began! Here are the list of items the participants had to find and Twitpic out in order to win:

  • A member of the 58th Cherry Blossom Festival Court
  • A pair of chopsticks
  • A picture of Bruddah Bryan from 102.7 Da Bomb
  • A picture of both Chef Barry “Cutty” Cutler and Hawaii News Now’s Stephanie Lum at the Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo at 1PM
  • A scenic picture of Aloha Tower
  • A food dish with rice
  • A food booth at Rice Fest
  • Maribel with the new IntelliGo (at the Oceanic sponsor booth)
  • A close-up of The Mobile Gamer Guys’ Bus
  • A Rice Fest volunteer / staff – They must be wearing the Rice Fest shirt

Below are some of the images from the #RICEHUNT.

Scenes from the Rice Fest
“A member of the 58th Cherry Blossom Festival Court” (Photo Courtesy @biznaz)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
“A pair of chopsticks” (Photo Courtesy @princesstara459)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
“A picture of Bruddah Bryan from 102.7 Da Bomb” (Photo Courtesy @bitachu)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
“A picture of both Chef Barry “Cutty” Cutler and Hawaii News Now’s Stephanie Lum at the Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo at 1PM” (Photo Courtesy @tweetpea)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
“A scenic picture of Aloha Tower” (Photo Courtesy @bitachu)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
“A food dish with rice” (Photo Courtesy @princesstara459)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
“A food booth at Rice Fest” (Photo Courtesy @emichan58)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
“Maribel with the new IntelliGo (at the Oceanic sponsor booth)” (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
“A close-up of The Mobile Gamer Guys’ Bus” (Photo Courtesy @bitachu)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
“A Rice Fest volunteer / staff – They must be wearing the Rice Fest shirt” (Photo Courtesy @LaurieCicotello)

Mahaloz to all of our #RICEHUNT participants: @amisan34 (and friend), @bitachu (and friend), @biznaz, @photolulutv, @princesstara459 (and friend), @emichan58 (and friend), and @lauriecicotello, and congratulations to @bitachu for winning the grand prize that included gifts from VG Addict, OhanaPCS, TNBLive, and Oceanic Time Warner Cable. Special thanks to @octobersoldier for coordinating the game and prizes! Awesome job!

And then, it was time for the Rice Fest to officially begin! 102.7 Da Bomb’s Bruddah Bryan gets us started…

Scenes from the Rice Fest
102.7 Da Bomb’s Bruddah Bryan giving away a skateboard from Oceanic Time Warner Cable (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Cookin’ With Cutty’s Barry “Cutty” Cutler and Hawaii News Now’s Stephanie Lum put on their Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Cutty and Stephanie’s “Healthy Fried Rice” dish. (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

Ingredients for Cutty and Stephanie’s “Healthy Fried Rice”:

  • Brown Rice
  • Olive/Grapeseed Oil
  • Turkey Bacon/Turkey Sausage
  • Organic Eggs (whites only)
  • Carrots
  • Maui Onion
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Seasonings
  • Lettuce Leaves
  • Cilantro
  • Braggs Liquid Aminos

Serve on a fresh butter lettuce leaf

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Stephen (@PhotoluluTV), Sara (@sarakata) and Melissa (@Melissa808) enjoying themselves at the Rice Fest (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Russ (@ParkRat), Melissa (@Melissa808), and Rick (@RickNakama) take time to pose at the Rice Fest (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

And before you knew it, it was time for the 2nd Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo, featuring Kai Market’s Chef Darren Demaya and KITV4’s Lara Yamada.

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Kai Market’s Chef Darren Demaya cooking with KITV4’s Lara Yamada

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Chef Darren and Lara’s dish (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Soon it was time for the Lung Kong Physical Culture Club to bless our event with good luck via a traditional lion dance. I was told to stand in front while the lions start on me. Love love LOVE this cool shot from @PhotoluluTV that totally captured the moment!

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Getting blessed from the Lung Kong Physical Culture Club Lion Dancers (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
The drummers from the Lung Kong Physical Culture Club (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Up close on one of the lions. (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
The lion dances through the crowd and all over the premises for good luck. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Next up: The Ukulele Hale keiki and Jody Kamisato & Chris Salvador, aka Heart and Soul!

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Jody Kamisato introducing his band Heart & Soul (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Heart & Soul with their special guest Kalei Gamiao (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

I gotta say, I was REALLY impressed with young Chris Salvador’s voice. Wow!

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Kalei Gamiao, Heart & Soul, and the Ukulele Hale keiki jammin’ it up! (Photo Courtesy Jody Kamisato)

One of my favorite events of the day was the “Riceipe” Cooking contest that pitted 5 professional chefs against each other to see who could make the best dish that incorporated rice. Fun, adrenaline pumpin’, exciting stuffs!

The participating chefs were Chef Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi from Tokkuri-Tei, Chef Kendall Uyehara from HMSHost, Chef Robert Denis from Don Ho’s Island Grill, Chef Matthew Naula from RumFire, and Chef Colin Hazama from Kauai Grill.

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Chef Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi, Chef Kendall Uyehara, Chef Robert Denis, Chef Matthew Naula, and Chef Colin Hazama line up as Bruddah Bryan introduces them. (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

3-2-1… Go!

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Kauai Grill’s Chef Colin Hazama goes at it. (Photo Courtesy @Mel808)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Chef Colin’s Hanalei Squid Luau Risotto (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
RumFire’s Chef Matthew Naula tosses rice in his pan. (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Chef Matt’s dish. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
The crowd gathers as the chefs hurry to complete their dish. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Don Ho’s Island Grill’s Chef Robert Denis preps his dish.

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Chef Robert’s Lomilomi Salmon Risotto Lollipops w/ Sweet Chili Glaze dish. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
HMSHost’s Chef Kendall Uyehara works on his gravy. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Chef Kendall’s Loco Moco a la Francaise dish. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Tokkuri-Tei’s Chef Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi just cruisin’. (Photo Courtesy @Mel808)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Chef Santa kicks it into high gear. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Chef Santa’s Seafood Risotto. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

I’m still trying to convince him that “Sugimoto Risotto” has a much better ring to it. πŸ˜‰

Meanwhile the judges took their places on stage and prepared to feast on some ono kine (rice) grindz! Our judges were Star-Advertiser Food Critic Nadine Kam, Twitter Goddess and all around foodie Melissa Chang (@Melissa808), Professional Baker Ed Morita (@NctrnlBst), and Diamond G Rice’s Harrison Wong.

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Harrison, Ed, Nadine, and Melissa get interviewed by Bruddah Bryan. (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Melissa taking a shot of Chef Matthew Naula’s dish. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

And then it was time to announce the winner… I’ll just let the next four photos tell the (funny) story.

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Chef Santa asks, “Who me!?” (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Chef Santa in shock. (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Chef Santa finally cracks a smile. (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Chef Santa still in shock. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Chef Santa’s Seafood Risotto as seen from Nadine Kam’s perspective. (Photo Courtesy @fashiontribe)

Congratulations Santa-san!

Next up was an amazing Taiko Drum performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii under the direction of Sensei Akemi Martin.

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Taiko Drum performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Taiko Drum performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)


@NctrnlBst’s Youtube video (for Nonstop Honolulu) with footage/images from the Rice Fest

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Crowd shot. (Photo Courtesy Tyson Yamada)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Mel (@Mel808), Chris (@ChrisHall78) and Randi (@randi808) pose during the Rice Fest. (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Hawaii News Now’s Minna Sugimoto and Kauai Grill’s Chef Colin Hazama put on their Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo

I was unfortunately running around so I was unable to capture the dish, but FYI, it was “Slow cooked New Zealand King Salmon” with miso yuzu broth, young ginger, soft tofu, and crispy jasmine rice… A dish Chef Colin serves at his Kauai Grill restaurant.

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Now that’s a good lookin’ couple! πŸ˜› Ron and Sherry pose during the Rice Fest. (Photo Courtesy Tyson Yamada)

And then Kapena takes the stage!

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Kapena / De Lima `Ohana serenading the audience at Rice Fest. (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Kelly Boy, Kalena, and Lilo!

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Scenic shot of Aloha Tower as nightfall sets in. (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
The crowd enjoys the music of Kapena. (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Kelly Boy spontaneously calls on a girl from the Pelekunu booth to dance hula during a song. (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Walter and Lincoln hanging out at the Vacations Hawaii booth. (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Maude and Travis working the Oceanic Time Warner Cable booth. (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Harrison holding things down at the Diamond G Rice booth. (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

And then came the hilarious and entertaining SPAM Musubi eating contest. The contestants had 3 minutes to eat as many SPAM Musubis as possible!

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Bruddah Bryan counts down to the start of the SPAM Musubi Eating Contest.

Scenes from the Rice Fest
And… they’re off! (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
The look of pain (or concentration)! One of the two. πŸ˜‰ (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Still going! … As the audience captures footage. (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Keep it going! (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Time’s running out! (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
And Rodney’s the winnah! He ate an amazing 8 out of 10 SPAM musubis within the 3 minute period! (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
“Uncle Rodney” gets mobbed by his adoring fans/family! (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

Why do I call him “Uncle Rodney”? Check out the video! LOL!


SPAM Musubi Eating Contest at the 2010 Rice Fest

And then it was a wrap!

Scenes from the Rice Fest
The 2010 Rice Fest is in the books! See you next year!

A big mahalo to everyone who came out to support our first event. Thank you to our hard working staff and volunteers (especially Lincoln Jacobe and my day-to-day partners in crime: Umma Kayvalyam, Harold Su and my wife Mai). Thank you to the media for all of your coverage, including Oceanic Time Warner Cable, Hawaii News Now’s Sunrise, KITV4 This Morning, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, The Nikkan Sun, KUMU, Nonstop Honolulu and all those who talked/blogged about us in Hawaii’s Social Media space (@Melissa808, @ParkRat, @Mel808, @RickNakama, @sarakata, @PhotoluluTV, @fashiontribe, @octobersoldier, @LanakilaPacific, @randi808, @pacificsoul, @Nctrnlbst, @amisan34, @bitachu, @biznaz, @princesstara459, @emichan58, @lauriecicotello, @tweetpea, @haboolani, @HawaiiIRL, @hnlmark, @strobie, @SSquire, @MikeSumida, @ChrisHall78, @JKuroiwa, @atmarketing, @Living2Shop, @theodene, and more! Sorry, I know I’m missing a lot!). Mahaloz to @PhotoluluTV, @ParkRat, Kiman Wong, Todd Masui, Tyson Yamada, and more, for taking photos and letting me “borrow” some for this blog. πŸ˜›

Mahalo to our sponsors and partners Diamond G Rice, Oceanic Time Warner Cable, Lanakila Pacific, Vacations Hawaii, HPE Live, the Waterfront at Aloha Tower Marketplace, and Rob Yunich and the rest of the USA Rice Federation team. Thank you to all of our vendors: Arturo’s Hot Sauce in Hawaii, Big City Diner, Don Ho’s Island Grill, Dr. Maria Stewart (University of Hawaii at Manoa Professor of Nutrition), Eastern Food Center, Hawaiian Kine Seasonings, Himalayan Kitchen, Island Taste, KATS SUSHI, Lanakila Pacific, Leonard’s Malasadas, Mobile Gamer Guys, OISHI-GENMAI – GIC JAPAN, Pelekunu’s Teri Sauces, Primo Sushi, Thai Kitchen, Soul Patrol, SNOW |F|A|C|T|O|R|Y|, and Sweet Charlotte, and our entertainers: 102.7 Da Bomb’s Bruddah Bryan, Cookin’ With Cutty’s Chef Barry “Cutty” Cutler, Hawaii News Now’s Stephanie Lum, Kai Market’s Darren Demaya, KITV4’s Lara Yamada, Kauai Grill’s Chef Colin Hazama, Hawaii News Now’s Minna Sugimoto, Ernie Loo and the Lung Kong Physical Culture Club, Heart & Soul (and Kalei Gamiao), the Ukulele Hale Keiki, Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii under the direction of Sensei Akemi Martin, Kapena (Kelly Boy, Kalena, and Lilo De Lima), Jonathan Murai and the 58th Cherry Blossom Festival Court, and Bubbles Duh Clown.

Thank you to our SPAM musubi eating contestants and our “Riceipe” Cooking contestants: Don Ho’s Island Grill’s Chef Robert Denis, Kauai Grill’s Chef Colin Hazama (again!), Tokkuri-Tei’s Chef Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi, RumFire’s Chef Matthew Naula, and HMSHost’s Chef Kendall Uyehara. Mahalo also to our Starwood contacts: Candice Lee Kraughto, Jocelyn Elfstrom, Joanie Matsumoto, and Chaunce Lovett, among others. Mahaloz to the “World Wide Ed” community for reading this far and always showing your support in whatever I do. I know I’m forgetting a lot more, so thank you to anyone and everyone who helped make the inaugural Rice Fest a reality. See you guys next year! πŸ™‚


Video highlights from the 2010 Hawaii Rice Fest

Fave Friday: Rice Fest Tomorrow!

September 10, 2010

Lookin’ for something to do this weekend? How about a fun, food, family festival on Saturday called… wait for it…

1st Annual Hawaii Rice Fest
The Rice Fest???

I know, I know, I’ve been pimpin’ this event out for the last month or so, and you’re probably tired of hearing about it, but for those who haven’t heard about it yet (or for those who ignored my last uku million or so notices), I figgah one last push wouldn’t hurt right? Hehe!

Anyway, rather than doing something standard like simply asking you to come and support a brutha and check it out, I thought that giving you the details of the event (with photos!) might be an easier sell. LOL! So without further ado… Here ya go!

12:00pm – Rice Fest (at the Waterfront at Aloha Tower Marketplace) starts, hosted by 102.7 Da Bomb’s Bruddah Bryan

Bruddah Bryan
102.7 Da Bomb’s Bruddah Bryan

1:00pm-1:30pm – 1st Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo (with Cookin’ With Cutty’s Chef Barry “Cutty” Cutler and Hawaii News Now’s Stephanie Lum)

Barry 'Cutty' CutlerStephanie Lum
Barry “Cutty” Cutler (Cookin’ With Cutty) & Stephanie Lum (Hawaii News Now)

2:00pm-2:30pm – 2nd Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo (with Kai Market’s Chef Darren Demaya and KITV4’s Lara Yamada)

Chef Darren DemayaLara Yamada
Chef Darren Demaya (Kai Market) & Lara Yamada (KITV4)

2:30pm-3:00pm – Lion Dance Performance by Lung Kong Physical Culture Club

Bruddah Bryan
Lion Dance Performance by Lung Kong Physical Culture Club

3:00pm-3:30pm – Live Entertainment by Heart & Soul, and the Ukulele Hale Keiki

Heart & Soul
Heart & Soul, and the Ukulele Hale Keiki

3:00pm-4:00pm – “Riceipe” Cooking Competition – Professional Division (including Don Ho’s Island Grill’s Robert Denis, Kauai Grill’s Colin Hazama, Tokkuri-Tei’s Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi, RumFire’s Matthew Naula, and HMS Host’s Kendall Uyehara).

Chef Robert DenisChef Colin HazamaChef Hideaki 'Santa' MiyoshiChef Matthew NaulaChef Kendall Uyehara
Chef Robert Denis (Don Ho’s Island Grill), Chef Colin Hazama (Kauai Grill), Chef Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi (Tokkuri-Tei), Chef Matthew Naula (RumFire) & Chef Kendall Uyehara (HMS Host)

4:30pm-5:00pm – Taiko Drum Performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii under the direction of Sensei Akemi Martin

Taiko Drum Performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii under the direction of Sensei Akemi Martin
Taiko Drum Performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii under the direction of Sensei Akemi Martin

5:00pm-5:30pm – 3rd Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo (with Kauai Grill’s Chef Colin Hazama and Hawaii News Now’s Minna Sugimoto)

Chef Colin HazamaMinna Sugimoto
Chef Colin Hazama (Kauai Grill) & Minna Sugimoto (Hawaii News Now)

6:00pm-6:20pm – SPAM Musubi Eating Contest

6:30pm-7:30pm – Live Entertainment by Kapena / De Lima Ohana

Kapena / De Lima Ohana
Kapena / De Lima Ohana

7:30pm-8:00pm – Contest Winner Announcements

8:00pm – Rice Fest Concludes

All Day (12pm-8pm)
* Live Tweetup/Scavenger Hunt – Compete in this Tweetup/Scavenger Hunt for a chance to win great prizes!
* Rice Passport Game – Complete the Rice Fest Passport for your chance to Win a trip to Vegas!
* Rice Education Booth – Learn all about Rice in our educational booth
* Rice Donation Center – Donate your rice to Lanakila Pacific’s Meals on Wheels program and
* The Keiki Zone – coloring contest hosted by members of the 58th Cherry Blossom Festival Court from 12pm-4pm, balloons and fun from Bubbles Duh Clown, and games from the Mobile Gamer Guys!

58th Cherry Blossom Festival Court
58th Cherry Blossom Festival Court

And let’s not forget about all of the participating vendors:

  • Arturo’s Hot Sauce in Hawaii
  • Big City Diner
  • Bubbles Duh Clown
  • Don Ho’s Island Grill
  • Dr. Maria Stewart (University of Hawaii at Manoa Professor of Nutrition)
  • Eastern Food Center
  • Hawaiian Kine Seasonings
  • Himalayan Kitchen
  • KATS SUSHI
  • Lanakila Pacific
  • Leonard’s Malasadas
  • Mobile Gamer Guys
  • OISHI-GENMAI
    GIC JAPAN
  • Pelekunu’s Teri Sauces
  • Primo Sushi
  • Thai Kitchen
  • Soul Patrol
  • SNOW |F|A|C|T|O|R|Y|
  • Sweet Charlotte

So wot? Sold? Come on down gang! Hope to see y’all there!

Scenes from the IntelliGo Launch Party!

August 3, 2010

Late yesterday afternoon, my homey at the Star-Advertiser asked me if I had a blog ready to go for today as they were planning on posting my mug in the print version of the paper again. Apparently, the demand to see my face again was that overwhelming.

CHEEYEAHRIGHT!

I wish. But yeah, a fella can dream right?

Regardless, bruddah ovah hea had to be ready with a blog, so I did what any red-blooded American would do in a crisis situation. Cry.

After wiping away my tears, I was able to regroup and figure out what I was going to blog about…

Last week Thursday, Oceanic Time Warner Cable and Road Runner Mobile held their Official IntelliGo Launch Party – at the Road Runner Music Hall – to introduce their newest wireless product to the public: The IntelliGo. The IntelliGo is their shiny/sparkly wireless device that acts as a personal mobile hotspot, providing a WiFi signal for up to 5 of your friends. (Click here for more info about the IntelliGo).

Various members of the media (both traditional and social media), current customers, contest winners, etc. were invited to this exclusive event which included free giveaways, ono kine grindz, and live entertainment from two killer local bands: Busekrus and Elephant! Check out the scenes and commentary below!

Sixty bags of goodies went just like that! Apologies to the late comers who weren’t able to score one! 😦

60 bags of goodies to be given away to everyone who attended
60 bags of goodies to be given away to everyone who attended

And here’s a shot of the bags (with the IntelliGo poster in the background) from one of @ParkRat‘s tweets!

Photo from @ParkRat's tweet
Photo from @ParkRat’s tweet

What kinda goodies were inside? Check it!

Goodie Bag Contents
Goodie Bag Contents

The calm before the storm. Busekrus doing sound check before the Road Runner Music Hall gets packed!

Busekrus doing sound check
Busekrus doing sound check

What we were all there for: the IntelliGo (and Road Runner Mobile) signage.

IntelliGo and Road Runner Mobile signage
IntelliGo and Road Runner Mobile signage

The Road Runner Mobile logo getting some air-time on the big screen.

Road Runner Mobile logo on the big screen
Road Runner Mobile logo on the big screen

The scene from the other side of the Hall: Two staffers relaxing before show time.

Two staffers relaxing before show time
Two staffers relaxing before show time

@HawaiiRealty tweets a shot of her VIP pass!

Photo from @HawaiiRealty's tweet
Photo from @HawaiiRealty’s tweet

Big Mahalo to Lanakila Pacific’s Xpress Chefs for doing an amazing job with the eats! Based on what I was hearing, the Stuffed Mushroom Caps were probably the biggest hit of the night. πŸ™‚

Catered food from Xpress Chefs
Catered food from Xpress Chefs

@johngarcia snaps a twitpic of the stage just before showtime. The anticipation mounts!

Photo from @johngarcia's tweet
Photo from @johngarcia’s tweet

With the room packed, we were ready to go! Oceanic Time Warner Cable’s VP of Marketing Alan Pollock kicks off the show!

VP of Marketing Alan Pollock with some introductory statements
VP of Marketing Alan Pollock with some introductory statements

Standing room only! Busekrus starts the night with some acoustic sounds.

Busekrus on stage
Busekrus on stage

Here’s @johngarcia‘s shot of Busekrus from the front. Yep, that’s @Mel808 tweeting away on her iPad.

Photo from @johngarcia's tweet
Photo from @johngarcia’s tweet

@OceanicCable gets in on the (Tweeting) act with this crowd shot.

Photo from @OceanicCable's tweet
Photo from @OceanicCable’s tweet

Just outside, the media conducted one on one interviews with some of our guests. Here’s Maribel getting ready for her interview.

Maribel before her interview
Maribel before her interview

Recognize her? Yep, she’s the one from the Road Runner Mobile “And Here” commercial! πŸ™‚

Maribel the actress
Maribel the actress

Back inside, @ParkRat and @maliachu get their hands on the IntelliGo!

Photo from @HawaiiIRL's Facebook
Photo from @HawaiiIRL’s Facebook

Then it was time for the second band to take the stage: Elephant. Wow! Lead singer Kevin Jones (who, oh-by-the-way, is also a Star 101.9 personality) has gots some serious pipes!

Elephant's front man Kevin Jones belting away
Elephant’s front man Kevin Jones belting away

All too soon, it was over! Check out @HawaiiIRL‘s hilarious cartoon about the long hallways from the Road Runner Music Hall (featuring @Melissa808, @Mel808, and @johngarcia)! LOL!

Photo from @HawaiiIRL's tweet
Photo from @HawaiiIRL’s tweet

A big Mahalo to Oceanic Time Warner Cable’s VP of Marketing Alan Pollock and Road Runner Mobile’s Wireless Director Kiman Wong for helping to make this event a possibility. Also to the Marketing department (both locally and at the corporate level) for donating all of the great gifts and giveaways. Big ups to James Avis and Kevin Jones of Clear Channel Communications for the support, as always, and to Caroline Witherspoon and Malia Chung (and Marichris Diga) of Becker Communications for your media support as well. A special thanks to all of our guests spanning the local community… from our current Road Runner Mobile customers, to Hawaii’s social media leaders like @Bytemarks @DigitalSignGuy @HawaiiRealty @johngarcia @ktpoy @Mel808 @Melissa808 @ParkRat @peterkay and @ryankanno. Much love everyone!

* For more information about Road Runner Mobile, please see rrmobile.oceanic.com or AndHere.com.
* Tune in to thehall.tv in a few days to watch the encoded version of the event in its entirety.
* Check out the 3:11 mark of the following video to see @Melissa808 reveal the swag that was given away that night.


Mix It Up – Episode 13

=============================================================

– Ed
1st Annual Hawaii Rice Fest
1st Annual Hawaii Rice Fest

Waterfront at Aloha Tower Marketplace
September 11, 2010 @ 12pm-8pm
For more Info: RiceFest.com / Twitter / Facebook
To RSVP: Twtvite / Facebook Event

=============================================================

P.S. Don’t forget to check out my latest article on AroundHawaii.com too:


Great Catch! Izakaya Tairyo Reels Hawaii In

WOWZAS! That was a lonnng one! Thanks for hanging in there and reading it all. Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming…

Visit Us at the 1st Annual Hawaii Rice Festival!

August 1, 2010

Save the date for September 11th, 2010, a day when rice takes center stage. Diamond G Rice presents the 1st Annual Hawaii Rice Festival which will celebrate with the rest of the country the joy that is rice. This unique, one day event will be held at the Waterfront at Aloha Tower from 12PM to 8PM and will be packed with family fun, entertainment, food booths, educational activities, rice products, and much more!

Diamond G Rice Presents the 1st Annual Hawaii Rice Festival
Diamond G Rice Presents the 1st Annual Hawaii Rice Festival

The Rice Festival will be an opportunity for people from different cultures to come together and celebrate one of the unique elements that unite them. From celebrity chef cooking demonstrations, to entertainment to contests like the “Riceipe” contest and the SPAM Musubi eating contest, this festival will celebrate the world’s melting pot, Hawaii and its diversity. The otherwise ordinary grain that is consumed in Hawaii on a daily basis will be transformed and infused with new and fantastic flavors that will tantalize everyone’s taste buds. This one-day event will explore the many different uses for rice, as well as the cultures who use it, and will provide attendees with a deeper appreciation for rice and its many functions.

Rice Fest

Of course, what would a day of fun be without giving back to those who are less fortunate? Part of the proceeds from the Diamond G Rice presents the 1st Annual Rice Fest will go to Lanakila Pacific, who will also be collecting donations of brown rice at the event.

This 8-hour, one-day event will expect to draw in thousands of people, filled with both appetites and a curiosity of all the different vendors available related to rice and great tasting food in general.

Visit the Oceanic Time Warner Cable booth at the Rice Fest!
Visit the Oceanic Time Warner Cable booth at the Rice Fest!


Watch the Rice Fest Commercial

Road Runner customers, check your August newsletter (or click here) for a link to download a coupon for FREE admission to the event. Don’t forget to also visit the Oceanic Time Warner Cable booth for free giveaways and show only specials! Come on down and join in on what will indeed be a very RICE day!

Download the Rice Fest Poster!
Download the Rice Fest Poster!

Rice Fest

Diamond G Rice presents the 1st Annual Hawaii Rice Festival
Waterfront at Aloha Tower Marketplace
September 11, 2010 from 12PM-8PM
For more info: Ricefest.com / Twitter / Facebook
To RSVP: Twtvite / Facebook Event

Happy 15th Koaloha Ukulele!

July 20, 2010

Last night, bruddah Alan Okami and Koaloha Ukulele Company celebrated their 15th year anniversary at the Willows Restaurant. I was one of the fortunate ones to get an invite to this special event that included live entertainment by Jon Yamasato, David Kamakahi, Herb Ohta, Jr., James Hill, Pali Ka`aihue, and others, and some ono kine grindz.

Happy 15th Koaloha Ukulele!

Happy 15th Koaloha Ukulele!

Happy 15th Koaloha Ukulele!

Happy 15th Koaloha Ukulele!

Happy 15th Koaloha Ukulele!

Happy 15th Koaloha Ukulele!

Happy 15th Koaloha Ukulele!

Be on the lookout for professional coverage of this event in the form of a real blog from sistah Melissa Chang. πŸ˜› From what I hear, it will even include videos too! Dayum Melissa! Always makin’ me look bad. πŸ˜›

Big ups and congratulations to Bruddah Alan and the rest of the Koaloha Ukulele Company ohana! See you in another 15! πŸ˜‰

Fave Friday – Teenage Crushes

May 14, 2010

Playboy Magazine in 3DSo supposedly, some magazine by the name of “Playboy” is jumping on the 3D bandwagon and coming out with a 3D edition of its own some time today. Playboy? I’ve never heard of it. What’s it all about? *grin*

In honor of this magazine I’ve never heard of, I was gonna ask you guys for your fave mags of all time, but we kinda-sorta did that one already. So instead, let’s focus on what every snotty-nosed teenager does what he reads this type of magazine: falls in love. In this case, it’s with Hope Dworaczyk.

Crushes. We’ve all had ’em. Not with Playboy models per se, but growing up with our raging hormones (yeah, I’m talking to you ladies too! πŸ˜› ), we’ve all secretly (or not so secretly) had our eye on that cute girl/guy in our 5th period history class. (Dear lord, I’m dating myself!) Or perhaps we fell in love with that kid actor on the cover of Tiger Beat magazine, or that cool singer on MTV.

Whoevahz!

Just share your list and share your list good with the rest of the WWE `ohana. We promise not to judge… much! 8)

In no particular order, here are some of mine that I can remember, off the top of my head…

* Alicia Silverstonewhat ever happened to her anyway? Guess this site answers our questions.
* Patricia FordI was actually almost signed on to help her do her official web site, but things kinda fell through. That might’ve been fun eh?
* Pamela Anderson (NSFW) – at least until she got all crazy. Hehe!
* Danica McKellar“Wonder Years”! I always wanted to be “Kevin”! She’s actually a math nerd now!
* Christina ApplegateDem years on “Married with Children”… ’nuff said!
* Girl in my 7th grade math class! – Shhh! LOL!
* Girl in my college history class! – too bad she didn’t know I existed! LOL!

I know, lots yeah!? Da worst part is I know I’m missing some. Bahahaha! Nah, not dat bad… I think!

BTW, do you guys know what a “unicorn” is? My co-worker says that a “unicorn” is someone that you’ll always have feelings for, no matter how long it has been. Is it true that we all have that one “unicorn” in life???

Talk to me!
* What are your thoughts of Playboy Magazine going 3D?
* Post your list of crushes (during your teenage years) in the comment area below! Can be celebs or peeps you know IRL.
* What do you think of the “unicorn” theory? Do you have your own unicorn?

Hijack This!
* Surprised that Cleveland lost to Boston yesterday? What do you think of Bron Bron’s future in Cleveland? How do you think Boston stacks up against my boys in blue (Orlando)?
* Thoughts on Michael Lynche’s departure from American Idol? Think he has a future in music?
* Big weekend planned?

Have a happy VH07v Friday (and weekend) y’all! Shooooooots! πŸ™‚

Fun Day Monday – Name That Band

May 10, 2010

So last week, a friend of mine posted something on his Facebook status that got me pretty excited. He said:

“What!?! Color Me Badd and Shai are coming to Honolulu?? Time to buss out the ol’ Z Cavaricci’s.”

I know, sounds kinda da kine to get excited over something like that, but sheez, that be some flashback memories right there (for a guy like me at least).


Color Me Badd – I Wanna Sex You Up

And when I say a “guy like me” I’m talkin’ about a:

* first-CD-I-ever-owned-was-C.M.B.
* grew-up-on-these-bands-and-used-to-make-“Love-Jams”-mixes-with-these-songs-to-impress-the-ladies…
* listened-to-these-songs-on-my-Walkman-(while-the-teammates-listened-to-n.w.a.-and-nirvana)-on-the-bus-on-the-way-to-a-game…
* put-it-on-repeat-in-the-car-as-well-as-in-the-shower-so-I-could-memorize-every-intricate-detail-of-the-song…
* sang-in-groups-who-used-to-harmonize-(or-at-least-try!)-like-these-bands…

… kinda guy.

So yeah, as you can tell, I was a fan! Hearing that they will be reuniting and doing a show here in Hawaii is of particular interest.


Shai – If I Ever Fall In Love

I’m curious to know what bands excite you. We’re of varying ages, races and sexes up in hurr, so I’m sure we’ve all got our interesting tastes in music. (And yes, though it does sound familiar, we’ve never had this as a topic before (I think). I checked. Feel free to include your favorite fashion stylings of those times as well!

Holla!
* Who were some of your favorite bands growing up?
* What memories do you have of those times?
* Do you remember the fashion then? What were they?

Post um in the comment area below!

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