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Isle entertainers continue aid for devastated Japan

By Wayne Harada

LAST UPDATED: 10:26 a.m. HST, Apr 21, 2011

With earthquake, tsunami and radiation uncertainty still very much a part of Japan's present and future, island musicians who make frequent pilgrimages continue to juggle plans to promote Hawaiiana there.

"My trip at the end of March was canceled, but I'm to go again in July," said Robert Cazimero, who regularly shares his hula savvy with Japanese enthusiasts. "I'm missing being there; at the same time, I'm concerned about our friends there."

Also in transit: Manoa DNA, the family trio comprising dad Lloyd Kawakami and sons Nick and Alex Kawakami, leaves for Japan in a week or so. "Nick and I are going to Sendai and Miyagi prefecture with Hawaii Tourist Japan," said Lloyd Kawakami. "The plan is to bring a load of food and water donated by Hawaii companies up to the evacuation shelters. While there, I'm hoping we can bring some smiles to people's faces with a little Hawaiian-style entertainment." Alex is delaying his trip to finish up his University of Hawaii classes but will join Manoa DNA in Tokyo April 28 to start a Golden Week tour.

Robert and brother Roland, who make up the Brothers Cazimero, performed (as did Manoa DNA) in last week's "Kokua for Japan" telethon benefit, with DNA collecting clothes through the family's Iolani Sportswear company and at various fundraisers.

The Japan disaster and aftershocks continue to haunt Robert. "I was in such deep depression and still get very emotional watching (TV coverage)," he said. "'Aftershocks' is a nice way of saying 'earthquake hell.'" ...

TALK ABOUT PEOPLE: Fashion designer Takeo Kobayashi had open-heart surgery at the Queen's Medical Center following a mild stroke -- and wound up with a flood of floral bouquets that spilled out of his hospital room. His longtime pal and former client, actor-model Jason Momoa ("Game of Thrones," "Conan"), came for a day's visit, and well-wishers included many names (and faces) from the fashion and beauty pageant worlds. Best Rx for Kobayashi now: rest, less stress -- coupled with kind thoughts and prayers for a full recovery. ...

THE LOCAL ANGLE: Kevin Iwamoto, one-time entertainer who now is vice president of enterprise strategy at StarCite Inc., is among three UH Travel Industry Management grads (1977) speaking at an event Wednesday on campus. Others: Marta Hayden ('69), chief business architect with the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau, and David Kong ('71), CEO and president of Best Western International. Ted Sakai ('82), general manager of the Miramar Hotel in Waikiki, will moderate. TIM also salutes Mark Dunkerley, CEO and president of Hawaiian Airlines, Thursday at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. ...

Albert Maligmat, still remembered as Little Albert during his stint with the Society of Seven, was inducted into the Sioux City (S.D.) Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (not to be confused with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland) last night ... as part of a group called The Mob, with whom he rocked from 1974 to '80. ...

HOT TICKET: Gov. Neil Abercrombie and wife Nancie Caraway took in Manoa Valley Theatre's "Avenue Q," and he offered high praise ("good or better" than what he has seen on Broadway) at a Cabinet meeting. The musical is MVT's hottest ticket ever, grossing more than $192,000 in 37 performances over seven weeks. It closes today. ...

And that's "Show Biz." ...

Wayne Harada is a veteran entertainment columnist; reach him at 266-0926 or; read his Show and Tell Hawaii blog at

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