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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, October 18, 2002

An early Christmas gift for Sean Na'auao

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Writer

 •  Sean Na'auao

Part of the Hana Hou Hawaiian music series

8 p.m. today

Hawai'i Theatre

$30; discounts for students, seniors, military


Coming up:

• Kalapana, Nov. 15
• The Makaha Sons, Jan. 17
• The Brothers Cazimero, March 17
• Olomana, April 4
• Uluwehi Guerrero, May 16

Sean Na'auao has been in Christmas mode for the past few months, recording his first yuletide CD, "A Kanaka Christmas," which was released Tuesday.

The collection will be available, too, at the Hawai'i Theatre tonight, when Na'auao launches the 2002-2003 Hana Hou series of Hawaiian music programs. He's the early bird for Christmas 2002, but no, he's not planning to perform holiday music — not yet, anyway.

"It's too early," said Na'auao, a versatile singer who can perform traditional Hawaiian music, as he will for the Hana Hou agenda, as well as contemporary stuff, including the reggae, Jawaiian and rock he frequently serves up in Waikiki Shell gigs.

"For the Hawai'i Theatre, I'll do a lot of Hawaiian music, all basically traditional Hawaiian," he said of his headlining debut at the downtown venue.

And there will be hula on some numbers, performed by Frank Kawaikapuokalani Hewett's Kuhai Halau O Kawaikapuokalani Pa 'Olapa Kahiko and Aloha Dalire's Keolaulani Halau Olapa 'O Laka.

"It's exciting to be doing my own show for the first time at the Hawai'i Theatre," Na'auao said. "I've been a special guest doing a segment, but my own ... it's a thrill."

He'll use a modest back-up crew of two guitars, a bass, percussion and steel guitar, suitable for his Hawaiian song bag.

Rehearsals with halau dancers have been under way, but the first on-stage-at-the-Hawai'i experience won't come till a few hours before tonight's curtain.

Na'auao has been devoting his full energy to the Hawaiian show, which he hopes will lure some of his Jawaiian fans as well.

As for the holiday disc, he's testing the waters to see if a Christmastime engagement would evolve.

"Basically, it's a medium-tempo CD, with some traditional Christmas music and four of my originals," he said. The fare includes "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!," "Winter Wonderland" and other remakes. Plus an in-Hawaiian "Silent Night."

Dave Tucciarone mixed and mastered the release, on Na'auao's Poi Pounder label, and the session dwells on four-part harmonies with the singer overdubbing his voice for all parts.