Archive for April, 2016

Shari Lynn does it all at the Blue Note

By
April 28th, 2016



Shari Lynn hits all the right notes at the Blue Note.

Shari Lynn hits all the right notes at the Blue Note.

 

Shari Lynn is an entertainment hyphenate —a singer, an actress, an educator, a writer of theatrical tributes to iconic composers, and a producer.

Her first Blue Note Hawaii performance this month surely won’t be her last. She tapped her multi-pronged roots — scoping the All American songbook, her background as a club singer and a theater performer— to produce a well-rounded package of everything she is.

Oldies, movie tunes, stage tidbits, personal favorites — her vision and versatility are bountiful and broad. And Shari hits all the right notes, figuratively and literally; with her insights derived from her meticulous research, she mines songs that tell a story or hit a personal emotion. And she had all throttles rolling, with rich and robust rewards.

With pianist Jim Howard, bassist Bruce Hamada and drummer Darryl Pelligrini,  Shari becomes an instrument of communication, opening her heart and her songbook, with a jazz thrust to suit the Blue Note environs.

It all works. She does, too.

She opened her set with “It’s Today,” from “Mame,” and quickly put her imprint on it. And when she delivered this line, “I know that this very minute has history in it, we’re here,” it’s seemed that her hidden secret of gigging at the Blue Note was an unforgettable personal milestone.

Thus, the rollout of such familiar titles — “The Best Is Yet to come,” “Control Yourself,” “I’ve Got Rhythm”— seemed to be a personal shout-out of her imminent future, her style, and her soul.

When she was not chirping, she was declaring her posture as an active figure in music and stage: “My mission is to keep them (the old standards) alive.

She routinely mentioned names like Johnny Mercer and George and Ira Gershwin, crediting the sources of “Something’s Gotta Give” and “An American Paris,” delivering fresh renderings of these classics. And when she shared “Little Jazz Bird,” a George Gershwin novelty, she did a bit of scat singing to create the sounds of a chirping bird.

Shari had fun with snippets from “The Wizard of Oz,” singing a segment of “Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead,” which included a warm and earnest surprise: bassist Hamada vocalized on “If I Only Had a Brain,” earning roaring applause from the audience.

One of her sensuous signatures, Stephen Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns” from “A Little Night Music,” enabled her to subtly and delicately showcase her vocal control and delivery, with stellar keyboard support from Howard. But she preceded the vocal by honestly recalling a little bright memory; early on, she innocently mispronounced the composer’s surname. Score points here for her transparency.

Clearly, Shari’s show was somewhat of a textbook primer — entertaining, educational, enlightening, endearing. As a daytime classroom teacher, she doesn’t preach; in her role as a club singer, she engages and takes her listeners along on her musical journey.

There was an instance of sentiment and tears, when she dedicated her performance to her very-often singing partner, Jimmy Borges; she said “the universe had other plans” for him at the moment (he’s battling lung cancer), with a footnote that he should rightfully been tapped to launch the Blue Note.

Teary-eyed, she sang one of his favorite tunes, Artie Butler and Phyllis Molinary's “Here’s to Life,” which spoke volumes with these take-away words:

“Here's to life, here's to love, here's to you.
“May all your storms be weathered
“And all that's good get better
“Here's to life, here's to love, here's to you.” 

That said it all.

 

 

 

 

Robert Cazimero: Three dates in Waikiki

By
April 27th, 2016



Robert Cazimero: Three showcase gigs in Waikiki

Robert Cazimero: Three showcase gigs in Waikiki

Robert Cazimero is on a roll, with three showcase appearances coming up in Waikiki this week and next.

Cazimero, award-winning kumu hula of Halau Na Kamalei O Lillilehua and a member of The Brothers Cazimero, will serenade guests and fans in two venues a stone’s throw apart along Kalakaua Avenue. He’s also part of an awardsfest.

Here’s when and where:

>> Mele at the Moana, performing two 45-minute sets, between 7 and 9 p.m. Friday (April 29), at the open-air stage of the Westin Moana Surfrider Hotel. Preferred seating may be reserved by calling Mason Waugh at 923-2811 weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. or by email at Mason.Waugh@westin.com. Diners at the hotel’s Beachhouse or patrons of the wine bar Vintage 1901 may take in the performance from nearby tables.

>> Blue Note Hawaii, at 6:30 and 9 p.m. May 6, at the Outrigger Waikiki Hotel. Doors open at 5 and 8:30 p.m. He will front a trio also featuring Halehaku Seabury on guitar and Nich Lum on bass. Reservations: 518-6240.

>> Na Hoku Hanohano Awards Lifetime Achievement luncheon, from 10 a.m. Saturday (April 30), at the Ala Moana Hotel’s Hibiscus Ballroom. Cazimero will serenade, along with Hawaiian music and dance by Kimo Alama Keaulana and Lei Hulu; vocalists Aaron J. Sala and Les Ceballos; ukulele wizard Jake Shimabukuro, with new talent Nick Acosta, vocalist Elaine Ako Spencer, and steel guitar master Hiram Olsen. Tickets: $75. Visit www.nahokuhanohano.org.

 

 

 

 

 

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