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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, February 7, 2010

Prayers helping Sakuma recover from heart surgery


By Wayne Harada

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser
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Roy Sakuma, of Roy Sakuma Ukulele Studio fame, is recuperating at home following open-heart surgery at The Queen's Medical Center. "I had a hole in my heart," said Sakuma, who anticipated a slow recovery process. "I was told that it may take weeks before I would be able to walk without difficulty. So I was expecting the worse, but prayers helped," he said.

Sakuma was managing a 10-yard stroll within three days, so he was released from the hospital last Sunday. His first public appearance with student strummers and his repaired heart will be March 21 at Pearlridge Center. ...

REUNITED: Jake Shimabukuro reunited with Bette Midler on her closing night at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas last Sunday. The boogie woogie 'ukulele boy strummed The Beatles' "In My Life" while she sang the first time together since their London gig for Queen Elizabeth. Jake-san also shared his stirring "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" for the Divine Miss M's audience. ...

NAMES 'N' PLACES: If you blinked, you might have missed Amy Hānaiali'i and brother Eric Gilliom in operatic guise to support pal Jamie Foxx on the Grammy Awards. See and hear Hānaiali'i and fellow nominees Manu Boyd and Glen Smith of Ho'okena and Jeff Peterson of the Hawaiian Grammy Award-winning "Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key, Vol. 2," at an Aloha Friday luncheon show, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 12, at Kani Ka Pila Grille at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach. The show will be live on AM 940 from noon to 1 p.m., with Billy V emceeing. Tickets: $25, includes a Hawaiian buffet. Call 924-4990. ...

Don Tiki, exotica exponents, will perform with the Don Tiki Dancers at a Passion Party from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Mu'umu'u Heaven, 767 Kailua Road. Call 263-3366. On Valentine's Day, Don Tiki will celebrate Aloha Tower of Love at 7:30 p.m. at The Waterfront at Aloha Tower Marketplace. Tickets: $35; call 550-8457. ...

ITEMIZATIONS: Bethany Hamilton's "Soul Surfer" biopic, filming on the North Shore, features Anna Sophia Robb as the surfer who loses her arm to a shark. The cast assembles Carrie Underwood as a pastor, Lorraine Nicholson (daughter of Jack Nicholson) as Hamilton's surfing pal, and Sean Brosnan (son of Pierce Brosnan) as her brother Noah, according to industry reports. And with Helen Hunt as her mother and Dennis Quaid as her dad, it certainly bumps up interest. ...

Jack Thompson, of Tihati Productions and South Seas Christian Mission, oversaw a group of 20 architects, plumbers, carpenters from Kaimuki Christian Church and spent a week in Saleamua village in Sāmoa to help rebuild lives following last year's earthquake. They built a five-star comfort station with four toilets and two showers for 50 kids who earlier shared a single toilet. A second wave, from Island Family Christian Church (Pearl Harbor), will rebuild a preschool in Lalomanu next August. ...

TROPICAL TOPICS: The Throwdowns, Maui's up-and-coming group, has signed a national distribution deal with ADA/Warner, meaning the "Don't Slow Down" CD with an extra track added now is available at national stores. The Throwdowns open up for Matisyahu's Hawai'i tour (Feb. 25 at the Pipeline Caf , Feb. 27 at the Kuhio Lounge in Līhu'e, Feb. 28 at the Lahaina Civic Center), and hold a CD release party April 30 at Pipeline. ...

And that's Show Biz. ...