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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, June 6, 2010

Happily engaged Shimabukuro credits matchmaking


By Wayne Harada

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Jake Shimabukuro

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Loretta Ables Sayre

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Jake Shimabukuro, who earned Nā Hōkū awards for Best Instrumental CD and Favorite Entertainer of the Year last week, is engaged to Dr. Kelly Yamasato, an OBGYN at The Queen's Medical Center and he credits his stepsister Lisa for her matchmaking persistence. The wedding date is not yet set.

"I was supposed to have a blind date four years ago but canceled it because I got sick," said Shimabukuro. While on his Europe tour last year, he arrived in Helsinki the same day Yamasato coincidentally stepped off a family ship cruise. "We spent some time together in Finland ... and that was before our first date in Honolulu Thai food at Chiang Mai."

The proposal was unsettling. "I was down on one knee, ring in hand," he said, popping the question after dinner in her apartment about a month and a half ago. "She took a long time to answer. I was worried, my knee was sore. But it's nice to have someone to share your life with. She's the sweetest!" ...

DATEBOOK: Mānoa DNA (dad Lloyd Kawakami and sons Nick and Alex) will kick off the summertime Wildest Show in Town June 9 at the Honolulu Zoo. The twilight series, running through Aug. 11, will also feature Roy Sakuma's Super Keiki & Friends, Ten Feet, John Cruz, Pali, Herb "Ohta-san" Ohta, The Surfaris, Holunape, Frank DeLima, and Jimmy Borges and his Jazz All-Stars. Admission: $3. ...

SIGHT 'EMS: Loretta Ables Sayre, ID'd in the end credits as Singer No. 2, sings in the audience as Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte wail Helen Reddy's "I Am Woman" in the Abu Dhabi karaoke scene of "Sex & the City 2." The club was recreated in New York, and Ables has two quick full-screen closeups, so you can't miss her. If you're New York-bound to catch her as Bloody Mary in "South Pacific," the musical winds up Aug. 22 at Lincoln Center. ...

Audience folks went bananas at the Smooth Jazz nights concert May 29 at The Waterfront at Aloha Tower Marketplace when Kenny Loggins and Mick Fleetwood, in town for last week's Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards festivities, joined the hana hou with Lee Ritenour, David Pack, Melvin Leed Davis and Michael Paulo. Loggins plucked guitar and Fleetwood thumped the drums on Loggins & Messina's "Your Mama Don't Dance" a smooth jam. ...

ABOUT PEOPLE: Kika Matsumoto still is trying to place Liat (Tonkinese) and Harry (Siamese), the inseparable cats of her late pal, publicist Elissa Josephsohn, in a home. "It would be great if we could get someone who knew Lisa," she said. Call Matsumoto at 735-2088 or on her cell at 386-7266. ...

Rylie Sugimoto turned 2 recently and parents Eileen and Ryan corraled magician Mike Ching to entertain kids and elders alike with wizardry and an aerial balloon shoot-off finale at the Ala Moana hotel. ...

And that's Show Biz. ...