Author: Steve Roby

Steven Roby is a respected music historian, journalist, and best-selling author. He has written feature articles and reviews for Guitar World, and has been featured in Rolling Stone, the New York Times, and Billboard magazine. Roby is also the Managing Editor of Big Island Music Magazine.

Last Friday night, Streetlight Cadence returned to the Kahilu Theatre for an outstanding performance. Twelve years strong now, the former Waikīkī street buskers have morphed into a tight trio that delivers an electrifying evening filled with banjo, violin, cello, percussion, and rich vocals. The last time the pop-rock group played the Kahilu was in 2019. Jesse Shiroma (accordion/percussion) was with them, but during the pandemic, he left wanting more stability and is now pursuing an advanced degree in library sciences. Drummer Ben Chai now plays acoustic guitar, banjo, sings, and hits the bass drum with a foot pedal. Classically trained…

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“Stars of American Ballet” was created by dance visionary and renowned principal dancer with New York City Ballet, Daniel Ulbricht, a principal dancer with New York City Ballet since 2007. As director and choreographer, Ulbricht blends his fellow New York City Ballet dancers with other top soloist talents from major ballet and dance companies throughout the United States and abroad. This fast-paced performance pairs premier choreography with commanding athleticism. After a two-year COVID hiatus, Ballet Hawaii brought world-class dance back to the Kahilu Theatre with a performance of “Stars of American Ballet” on March 15, 2022. This is an interview…

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Last Saturday night, Hawaiian Style Band returned to the Kahilu Theatre after a two-year pandemic pause while the venue reinvented itself with a livestream network called Kahilu TV. With a packed house, as much as the mayor will allow, HSB thrilled their Big Island fans with a solid show of classic hits and hula. This was my third HSB concert, and I never grow tired of their signature three-way harmonies on the Crosby, Stills, & Nash classic “Helplessly Hoping,” or the emotionally rich “Heiau.” HSB brought their regular backing band, Shawn Pimental on bass, Garin Poliahu (from Hawi) on drums, and…

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Local songwriters spotlighted in unique music series If you ever wanted to sample a taste of the island’s diverse musical talent in an intimate setting, then the Kahilu’s Song Circle series of concerts is a great opportunity. Last April, the series kicked off with an intimate livestream-only show featuring Higgs, Blayne Asing, and series creator Don May. Texan-born May says the origins of this type of show can be traced back to Nashville’s Bluebird Café when a cluster of songwriters sat in a circle, passed around a guitar, and sang songs. Last Friday’s show at the Kahilu Theatre was the…

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Make some noise! There’s no shame. We’re here to have fun. It’s Jazz! Like a coach prepping his players before they hit the field, Honokaʻa High’s Gary Washburn offered these inspirational words to his jazz band moments before their concert at the Kahilu Theatre. “I want them to get past being nervous and somewhat shy and hope they realize it’s all in fun,” noted Washburn in our pre-show interview. It’s been a busy weekend for the Waimea venue with award-winning musicians Henry Kapono and Kimié Miner appearing and the Honokaʻa Jazz Band capped it off with a Sunday matinee. Washburn…

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Award-winning singer Kimié Miner made her long-awaited Kahilu Theatre debut last Saturday. The venue was packed with loyal fans who were not afraid to shout their appreciation – Chee Hoo!! The two-hour and 15-minute concert, breaking Henry Kapono’s marathon show from the night before, was filled with hula dancers, a top-notch band, a surprise guest singer, and Miner’s three children making their theatre debut too. Born in Kona and a student at Kamehameha Schools, Miner began singing and writing original music at 14. After attending college in San Diego, she toured with Barrington Levy, a famous Jamaican reggae and dancehall artist.…

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