Release party for Aiko’s new CD is ‘Unforgettable”
By John Berger
Nov. 11, 2012
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JOHN BERGER / JBERGER@STARADVERTISER.COM Black was the color of choice Nov. 1 when Gary Aiko, center, celebrated the release of his new album, “Poina ‘Ole ‘Ia (Unforgettable),” and the 94th anniversary of the birth of his mother, the late Genoa Leilani Adolpho Keawe-Aiko (known professionally as Genoa Keawe), with an unforgettable backyard-style party at the Waikiki Beach Marriott that included performances by his brother, Eric Keawe, left, Eric’s daughter, Pomaika‘i Keawe Lyman, Momi Bee Kahawaiolaa and Alan Akaka. Aiko sang several selections from the album, including the title song. Keawe, a featured guest on the album, sang “Lately,” one of their mother’s favorite pop songs.
JOHN BERGER / JBERGER@STARADVERTISER.COM Beamer ohana cousins Mahi Beamer, seated left, Gaye Beamer, standing left, Marmionette Kaaihue and Sunbeam Beamer had a front-row table and stayed on to talk when the show was over. Gaye shared her aloha for the Keawe ohana with a hula, and Sunbeam sang two beautiful duets with Keali‘iwahamana.
JOHN BERGER / JBERGER@STARADVERTISER.COM Raiatea Helm got a welcoming hug from Melveen Leed. When Leed joined the musicians on stage, she joked that she wasn’t wearing black because she “never got the memo.” She dedicated “Moloka‘i Nui A Hina” to her home island of Molokai and followed it with a hapa-haole standard, “I Wish They Didn’t Mean Goodbye.”
JOHN BERGER / JBERGER@STARADVERTISER.COM Marlene Sai, left, greeted Gordon Rapozo and his wife, Nina Keali‘iwahamana. Sai sang her signature hit, “Kainoa,” and provided a hana hou with “Not Pau.” Keali‘iwahamana joined Aiko for a romantic duet and then thrilled the crowd with her zesty rendition of “‘A‘oia.”
JOHN BERGER / JBERGER@STARADVERTISER.COM Hula dancer Pikake Enos, third from left, sought out emcee Kimo Kahoano and his guests, Nicole Hoku Adres, left, and her mother, Leilani Kupahu-Marino, as they relaxed at a table overlooking the beach. Enos and Kupahu-Marino entertained the crowd by dancing to “Kealoha.” Kahoano was called up much later in the evening to do his longtime show-stopper, an energetic masculine hula to “The Boy from Laupahoehoe,” followed by an update of his big local hit, “Aloha Friday.”