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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, November 12, 2001

Thousands make way to 'Iz Fest'

By Karen Blakeman
Advertiser Staff Writer

Vaihi and Kutmaster Spaz opened last night's "Iz Fest" concert in a Kapolei cornfield. More than 20 acts were scheduled to perform.

Gregory Yamamoto • The Honolulu Advertiser

The "Iz Fest" concert in Kapolei attracted more than 1,000 people to a cornfield off Farrington Highway by 6:30 p.m. yesterday, with many more lining up to join them as the evening progressed.

"We're fans, and we're excited," Maxine Nagamine said. Her husband, Dan, fumbled for $35 to cover their admission tickets as she stood by a pumpkin patch near the entrance to the concert. "And it is a beautiful night, and we thought we would come and listen to music under the stars."

Alan Arato of Tom Moffat Productions, one of the organizers of the event, said he expected several thousand people to attend the musical tribute to Israel Kamakawiwo'ole before the night was done. More than 20 acts were scheduled to perform.

Most of those who came seemed drawn by a devotion to Kamakawiwo'ole, the big man whose Island-style music and angelic voice won fans worldwide. He died in 1997.

"I'm here because I like Iz," said Ivan Graham, a fan who stopped by the Native music.com table, where Iz T-shirts, stickers and CDs were sold. "No," he corrected himself. "I'm here because I love Iz, and what he has done for the people with his music."

Thousands of fans of all ages came out to the concert yesterday, a musical tribute to Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, the Island entertainer who died in 1997.

Gregory Yamamoto • The Honolulu Advertiser

"Everybody who comes by wants to talk about Iz," said Amador Joaquin, one of the Nativemusic owners. "Everybody has an Iz story."

Sales were brisk at Joaquin's table and at the nearby Creations in Catering booth, where a "Bruddah Iz" plate was among the offerings. Creations vice president Brian Ladeira said the Iz plate had four pounds of food, and was purchased only by the most serious eaters — and a few families.

Moffat Productions was joined in promoting the concert by Impact Events, which carved a cornfield maze in the image of Kamakawiwo'ole across the street from the concert, and by Aloun Farms, owner of the cornfields and pumpkin patch.

Arato said part of the proceeds went to benefit Hawaii's Future Farmers of America.