Music: College band shares Jawaiian sound
BY NADENE LeCHEMINANT / Special to the Star-Advertiser
A group of students from Honolulu who coincidentally met up at a small college just outside of Portland, Ore., are bringing their island reggae to campuses and luaus up and down the West Coast.
Four brawny band members met on the football field and two met in the choir, and when the six-member band took their jam session to the Linfield College coffeehouse on a dare, their Jawaiian rhythms brought the house down.
Now Na Hemo (http://www.facebook.com/NaHemoMusic) plays throughout the region on stages bordered by grass skirts. Music is the common ground that pulls them together, and even the football players aren’t too macho to wail away to the strains of a ukulele.
“We’re just a bunch of local boys trying to spread the Aloha spirit, one song at a time,” the Linfield students say. “We are out to show the world that Hawaiians know how to jam.”
“Our music is influenced by our grandfathers, fathers and uncles back home who have passed down the music and culture to us,” said Na Hemo member Kala’e Parish of Ewa Beach and Kapolei High School (2008).
The native Hawaiian students say they want to return to the islands. “It’s paradise, what can we say?” they explain, adding it has been good to leave so they can appreciate what they have back home.
Na Hemo consists of senior Cheyne Kaninau (Kamehameha Schools ’07) on bass guitar, and juniors Logan Freitas (Kamehameha Schools ’08) on vocals and keyboard, Sparky Gonzalez (Saint Louis School ’08) on vocals and percussion, Chris Kamaka (Saint Louis ’08) on guitar, Parish on vocals and guitar, and California native Jeremy Moll on drums.
Nadene LeCheminant is director of media relations at Linfield College, http://www.linfield.edu/.