Do It! Waimanalo Carnival, Ilona Irvine

Aug. 1, 2014 | 0 Comments In the Star-Advertiser Friday Print Edition

(Courtesy EK Fernandez)

(Courtesy EK Fernandez)


Check out rides, music and more in Waimanalo

For the last hurrah of the summer, Oahu residents have one more chance to get on E.K. Fernandez’s Area 51 thrill ride at the Waimanalo Community Carnival this weekend.

The flying-saucer ride, which E.K. brought over from the mainland for this year’s 50th State Fair, is similar to the Gravitron, in which riders stand against a wall inside while spinning at high speed.

The event is E.K.’s last Oahu gig of the summer before heading to neighbor island fairs.

The carnival at Waimanalo Beach Park offers plenty of rides, games, food and free entertainment.

Live local acts lined up for the evenings include Conscious Roots, performers from “Brown Bags to Stardom,” Irie Love, Mana’o Company and Kapena.

A 10-ride wristband will be available for $25 on Saturday. Friday is standard ride pricing, which can cost up to four coupons ($1.50 per coupon or $15 for a 10-ride sheet). On Sunday, rides will be two to three coupons apiece. Parking is free.

Proceeds go toward a Waimanalo-based charity group called Dynamic Compassion in Action.

— Nina Wu

» Where: Waimanalo Beach Park
» When: 6-11 p.m., Friday, noon-11 p.m. Saturday, noon-8 p.m. Sunday
» Cost: Admission is free; rides $2.50 and up
» Info:


Benefit concert to help Irvine battle cancer

Three months ago, Ilona Irvine, who performs as Princess Ilona, caught a bad cold. The local R&B singer and vocal coach soon started to feel symptoms that were all too familiar.

(Honolulu Pulse)

(Honolulu Pulse)

“I just knew already,” she said. She knew the throat cancer she was originally diagnosed with two years ago — and beat — was back.

Not wanting to ask for help, she initially told no one about the cancer’s return, not even her family. In secret, she sought treatment through the Utah-based company doTerra, which touts the therapeutic use of essential oils.

But her treatment isn’t covered by health insurance. As bills started to mount, she finally decided to make her fight public a month and a half ago.

“I didn’t want no pity party, I’ve always done everything on my own,” said the 45-year-old single mother of three kids and one hanai son.

“But it just came to a point where I’m like, ‘OK, I really need (help).'”

Through her use of oils, she said she’s “almost 100 percent better.”

To help with the cost of treatment, Princess Ilona’s friends in the local music community are joining her for a benefit concert Saturday at Hawaiian Brian’s.

The concert features Princess Ilona, a two-time Na Hoku Hanohano finalist, as well as California’s Tenelle, New Zealand’s Sammy J, up-and-coming female trio Isle Five and DJ LuceScrewz. The 18-and-over show starts at 7 p.m.

And while the benefit is for her, Princess Ilona said she hopes to give back as well.

“Knowing that I’ll get a chance to just hopefully make a difference to someone out there who’s going through something even worse than me is what I’m looking forward to,” she said. “It’s mainly to educate people that there is a better way of living and that you can make it. Just because you have this so-called disease, it shouldn’t stop you.”

— Stefanie Nakasone

» Where: Hawaiian Brian’s, 1680 Kapiolani Blvd.
» When: 7 p.m. Saturday
» Cost: $25 presale, $35 at the door
» Info: (855) 235-2867,


Comedy pros take the stage at Kroc Center

Comedy comes to the west side on Saturday night, as a quintet of top Hawaii stand-up comedians performs at the Kroc Center Hawaii Worship and Performing Arts Center.

(Courtesy James Mane)

(Courtesy James Mane)

Jose Dynamite, head of the weekly Honolulu comedy shows Comedy U and Jose Dynamite & Friends, and James Mane of Mars Comedy and the Guys With Issues podcast join Fernando the Love Machine, Anthony Silano and Peter Austin for the family-friendly event, which starts at 7 p.m. with doors opening at 6:30.

» Where: Kroc Center Hawaii, 91-3257 Kualakai Parkway, Ewa Beach
» When: 7 p.m. Saturday
» Cost: $10
» Info: (808) 682-5505,
» Note: Preshow meals and snacks will be offered at the Kroc Cafe from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.


Acclaimed jazz pianist joins isle group for Ellington tribute

Jazz pianist Tommy James moved out to Hawaii at his wife’s suggestion — and with the physical shift came a move into uncharted territory.

(Courtesy Tommy James)

(Courtesy Tommy James)

Belying his reputation in the world of jazz, he said he wasn’t sure how much performing he would be doing. “It’s a smaller market and when you’re the new guy in town. …”

Fortunately, James brings a ton of credibility to the keyboard.

He’s been the leader of the Duke Ellington Orchestra for nearly a decade and has been with the band since 1987. He took six trips last year to travel with the band and still is passionate about the music. “I get paid for traveling and all that stuff,” he said. “The playing part, that’s free.”

On Monday, James will be playing the music he knows best when he joins members of the Honolulu Jazz Quartet — John Kolivas on bass, Tim Tsukiyama on sax and guest drummer Noel Okimoto — in a tribute to Ellington at the Kahala Hotel and Resort.

“We’ll probably do some things that folks don’t know as well,” he said. “If you do anything Ellington, you always got to play ‘A Train’ and ‘Satin Doll,’ but there are some other things, like from the suites, that are suitable for a small group.”

Fans will get the authentic Ellington style if not an exact replication. Being the expert that he is, James knows all the subtleties of the Duke’s music.

“There were different degrees and different styles of swing. In the earlier stuff, the swing wasn’t as pronounced as it was later on. So when we do something like the ‘Cotton Club Stomp,’ which was done in maybe 1928, the eighth notes are almost straight. It’s a very brittle kind of swing, if anything. And then if you go 10 years later, and you go to ‘A Train,’ that’s more the swing we’re familiar with. This guy named Fletcher Henderson (a pianist), who played with Benny Goodman, he had a lot to do with that.”

James will also be performing with violinist Duane Padilla and Kolivas at Medici’s at the Manoa Marketplace on Aug. 29. James praised Padilla’s talent, calling him “a great player” with “great imagination.”

— Steven Mark

» Where: Kahala Hotel and Resort
» When: 7:30 p.m. Monday
» Cost: Free
» Info: (808) 739-8888,


Hawaii Public Radio’s benefit concert features Jeff Peterson and friends at Paliku Theatre, 4 p.m. Sunday; get $30 rush tickets for the sold-out show from 3 p.m.

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