Category Archives: Music

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SLACK KEY FESTIVAL ~ 2023

(HOLLYWOOD PRESS COPRS) — The 16th Annual Slack Key fest was Sunday, January 15th, at the Redondo Beach Performance Art Center. The South Bay is lucky to have both the Performing Arts Center and The Slack Key Fest. It was such a great lineup. Fans of the soundtrack of the Decendants movie with George Clooney were in for a treat as this concert featured the top master players in Hawaiian music. This concert is the number one slack key guitar event outside of Hawaii.

Amazing line up at the Southern California Slack Key

From the smooth playing of Jeff Peterson to the harmonies of Makaha Sons, this was a great day for Hawaiian music. Slack Key guitar is named because the strings are tuned differently than standard running. Sonny Lim explained that he thought it would be easier to strum the guitar tuned open but soon found out that it’s actually much more complicated. Sonny went on to play in a style that sounded like four guitars playing at once while he sang in Hawaiian.

The Island Market Place was able to set up outside between the rain storms. Lots of cool mementos and aloha shirts, ukulele and tiki vendors. It’s been raining for the last couple of weeks. Like Kimo West said, “No rain, no rainbows” 

Bryan Tolentino (L) with George Kuo (R) Photo by Dustin Brown for thew Hollywood Press Corps 2023

The concert started with all the musicians on stage. So many legendary players on stage like a big Ohana (family) get together.  A professional set designer has fashioned an amazing set. With all the Grammy nominated and legendary players, there’s no way to rank them.

Kamuela bringing on Makaha Sons
Kamuela  Kimono at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center for the 16th Annual Slack Key Festival. Photo by Dustin Brown for the Hollywood Press Corps 2023

The event was emceed by Kamuela  Kimono. He was accompanied by his son little Ka’ihi Kimono. Kamuela is from the Grammy nominated band Hoku. He sang a number at the festival that featured Hawaiian yodelling which is very rare and hard to do. It sounded amazing and was full of aloha spirit. Kampala is a teacher at Windward University on Oahu and teaches a variety of music classes there. He has a very fun, Hawaiian personality on stage.  He pulls off the sort of corny but the style the people love in Hawaiian music. His son Ka’ihi represents the future of Slack Key guitar and he is a fine player and singer.

From left to right, Sonny Lim, Kimo West, Bryan Tolentino and Jeff Peterson

 Kimo West is know as one of the all time greats of Slack Key. Also called Ki ho’alu in Hawaiian, Kimo has all kinds of stories and songs that make you feel the aloha. Sunny Lim was on the stage quite a bit playing electric bass, and of course guitar. Sonny is from the Big Island and is sort of a living legend.

Sonny’s dad was a Paniolo or cowboy back in the day and his dad was also a well known  musician. Sonny worked on Parker Ranch on the Big Island which was a cattle farm started by John Parker in 1788. I’ve seen Sonny play in Maui in Napilikai and he always plays soulful rich tones. He can really play guitar so masterfully. He also sings in Hawaiian which is like upper level slack key. 

George Kuo(L)

The amazing and extremely talented George Kuo played a real nice set with Sonny on bass and the legendary ukulele player Bryan Tolentino. George Kuo is considered one of Hawaii’s premier slack key players. He plays naheahe style which is sweet and soothing.

George has a real upbeat way of working with other musicians. It’s really amazing to watch him play his double neck guitar. He was so happy and carefree. Everyone was having such a good time. 

Kainani Kahaunaele is a mele or a Hawaiian song enthusiast. She is such a positive force for Hawaiian history and education. Her most recent recording is called “Waipunalei” won seven awards. Jeff Peterson gave an amazing performance. I was lucky enough to see Jeff play in Maui and I always play his music when Im driving around Maui so it always takes me back. Makaha Sons are such a strong musical force for Slack Key music and Hawaiian music. Their melodies come from an era and an ancient way that has existed on Hawaii for hundreds of years.

Mitch Chang from Kala Koa

Mitch Chang, the festival producer and and creator said a few words on stage. It’s just really so amazing to have a Slack Key festival right here in the South Bay of Los Angeles. Mitch also organises the Los Angeles Guitar festival and the Los Angeles International Ukulele Festival Visits www.kalakoa.com for upcoming event Information. The Hollywood Press Corps Looks forward to next years festival!

Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

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The 16th Annual Southern California 
Slack Key Festival 

Sunday, January 15, 2023 at the
Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center

(HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS)  Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center — Friday, January 13th, 2023 — Kala Koa Entertainment celebrates 16 years of bringing the biggest and brightest names in Hawaiian music to the mainland with the 2023 Southern California Slack Key Festival returning to the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center on Sunday, January 15, 2023.

One of the most acclaimed Hawaiian concerts to ever leave the islands, the Southern California Slack Key Festival takes fans on a Hawaiian musical journey showcasing GRAMMY-winning slack key guitarists, the best hula dancers in the world, special guest performers and a free to the public Island Marketplace.

Since 2008, the Southern California Slack Key Festival has been the biggest Hawaiian music concert event in the mainland U.S. and features the most respected names in Hawaiian guitar music and hula today. Taking its name from a finger-picking style of guitar playing indigenous to Hawaii (as heard on the Grammy-nominated soundtrack for “The Descendants”), the Slack Key Festival brings the art of ki ho’alu guitar to Redondo Beach.

George Kuo

This year’s Southern California Slack Key Festival’s line-up includes George Kuo, one of Hawaii’s premier Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar artists; Makaha Sons, one of Hawaii’s leading Hawaiian musical groups; Sonny Lim, a member of Hawaii’s famous musical Lim family; Jeff Peterson, contributed to two Grammy Award-winning recordings and a winner of eight Na Hōkū Hanohano Awards; Jim “Kimo” West, 2021 Grammy Award-winner and multiple Na Hōkū Hanohano Awards; Kainani Kahaunaele, won seven Na Hōkū Hanohano Awards in 2021; Kamuela Kimokeo, a member of the Na Hōkū Hanohano award winning group Hi’ikua; Ka’ihi Kimokeo, and Bryan Tolentino, popular ukulele player who can be heard on scores of recordings for other artists as well as his own Grammy nominated CD’s.

What is Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Music?
Played from the heart and soul through the fingers and flowing with vivid tropical images, Hawaiian ki ho’alu (slack key) is truly one of the great acoustic guitar traditions of the world. In slack key, some of the strings are “slacked” from the standard guitar tuning, with the thumb playing the bass notes while the other fingers play the melody and improvise in a finger-picked style.

How does the distinctive sound of slack key music fit into the fabric of Hawaiian music and culture? Watch this video and learn more about this beautiful generations-old art form – https://vimeo.com/155399448.

About the Artists

George Kuo is known as one of Hawaii’s premier Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar artists playing in the traditional nahenahe (sweet, soothing) style, bridging today’s generation with the older generations. George has been twice recognized with excellence in recording achievement by the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts, Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, for Instrumental Album of the year in 1995 for Hawaiian Touch and 1996 for “Aloha No Na Kupuna – Love for the Elders.” In 1986 Eddie Kamae asked George to join his group THE SONS OF HAWAII and in 2000 performed and recorded with Dennis & David Kamakahi & Martin Pahinui as the HUI ALOHA group. Highlights of George’s performing career are playing on the Garrison Keillor Prairie Home Companion Show with Chet Atkins and Johnny Gimble in 1993 and performing at the Hollywood Bowl with the Honolulu Symphony in 1997. 

For 40 years, the Makaha Sons have committed themselves to perpetuating traditional Hawaiian music throughout Hawaiʻi and around the globe, considered to be one of Hawai’i’s premiere Hawaiian musical groups. They continue to perpetuate that vibrant sound, full and rich, with harmonies that only they can create. Their incomparable vocal arrangements and delightful stage presence is filled with comical antics which have won the hearts of thousands of fans worldwide. Their performances have taken them to such prestigious places as Carnegie Hall in New York City, Washington, D.C., and have performed for both the President and Vice-President of the United States.

Makaha Sons

A member of Hawai`i’s famous musical Lim family, Sonny Lim was born and raised in the heart of Hawaiian cowboy country on Hawai`i Island. Sonny was introduced to ki ho`alu as a child watching Gabby Pahinui perform at a lu`au in Kohala, his professional career began as a teenager when he commuted to Oahu from Hawai`i Island to perform with the Makaha Sons of Ni`ihau. Sonny’s first solo album in 2006, Slack Key Guitar: The Artistry of Sonny Lim, was a 48th GRAMMY® nominee in the Hawaiian Music category. One year prior to this nomination, he performed with 6 other solo artists on Hawai`i’s first GRAMMY® award-winning CD, Slack Key Guitar Volume 2. Sonny helped accept this inaugural Hawaiian GRAMMY® award on stage and his speech marked the first time the Hawaiian language had ever been spoken on the GRAMMY® stage.

Jeff Peterson was born on the Island of Maui and grew up on the slopes of Haleakala where he was introduced to the rich heritage of Hawaiian music by his father, a “paniolo” (Hawaiian cowboy), on the Haleakala Ranch. Recognized as one of Hawaii’s most versatile musicians, Jeff Peterson is at the heart of the Hawaiian music scene today, having contributed to two Grammy Award-winning recordings and winner of eight Na Hōkū Hanohano Awards in Hawaii including Slack Key Album of the Year for “Maui on My Mind” in 2010, “Slack Key Travels” in 2014 and “O’ahu” in 2016 which also earned him Instrumental Song of the Year for the song “Old Pali”. His latest release “Wahi Pana” is a full-length performance and documentary film and CD soundtrack.

Dr. Kamuela Kimokeo is a member of the Nā Hōku Hanohano award winning group Hiʻikua and is the head of the Music Department at Windward Community College where he teaches a variety of classes from ‘ukulele to music theory and history. He is also the driving force behind the Hawaiian Music Certificate Kaohekani. He started playing music professionally with his Dad in Waikiki when he was 14 years old and has toured with the likes of Hawaiian music Hall-of-Famer, Jerry Santos, five time Grammy Nominee, Amy Hanaiali’i, and Raiatea Helm. As a recording artist, Kamuela was part of the Grammy Nominated and Hōkū award winning guitar album Slack Key Kings Vol. II where he played a solo original composition “Holumoana” and also recorded as part of the group Pilioha which was nominated for multiple awards. In addition, Dr. Kimokeo’s son Ka’ihi Kimokeo will make his Southern California Slack Key Festival debut.

Jim “Kimo” West is recognized as one of the world’s top “slack key” guitarists and brings his own unique musical perspective to this great acoustic guitar tradition. He is a 2021 Grammy® Award winner for his CD, “More Guitar Stories” and a 2019 Grammy® nominee for “Moku Maluhia-Peaceful Island”. He is also a winner of the 2008 Hawaii Music Awards, a three-time Na Hoku Hanohano (the Hawaiian “Grammy”) nominee and a two-time winner of the LA Treasures Award for his contributions toward the perpetuation of ki ho’alu. Kimo’s film and TV credits include work for 20th Century Fox, Nickelodeon, The Disney Channel and Marvel. 

Jim “Kimo” West

Kainani Kahaunaele is a mele (Hawaiian song) enthusiast, singer, songwriter, teacher, and musician. She was born and raised in Anahola, Kauaʻi and has lived in Hilo, Hawaiʻi for 27 years as an advocate for Hawaiian language revitalization and the perpetuation of Hawaiian music through education and performance. Her third and most recent recording, “Waipunalei,” won seven awards in six categories at the 2021 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, including album of the year, female vocalist, Hawaiian music album, song of the year, haku mele and Hawaiian language performance. https://www.staradvertiser.com/2021/10/07/features/kainani-kahaunaele-wins-big-at-2021-na-hoku-hanohano-awards-view-the-list-of-winners/

Ukulele player Bryan Tolentino has been known for the past forty plus years as an accompanist for some of Hawaiʻi’s most well-known and accomplished Hawaiian music artists and hula hālau. Bryan’s unique “fairy dusting” (as he calls it) can be heard on scores of recordings for other artists as well as his own Nā Hōkū Hanohano and Grammy nominated CD’s.

In addition to the concert, an Island Marketplace – free and open to the public – takes place from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. outside of the venue. Browse a variety of island themed gifts, home décor, accessories, apparel, Hawaiian food, authentic island-style shave ice and outdoor entertainment.

When:  Sunday, January 15, 2023;
Concert 2:00 p.m.; Free Island Marketplace 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

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METAL HALL OF FAME INDUCTS TWISTED SISTER, LOU GRAMM, RAVEN & CHRIS IMPELLITTERI

(HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS) LOS ANGELES, C.A. ~ The Metal Hall of Fame today announced the induction of 4 Hard Rock and Heavy Metal legends into the Metal Hall of Fame: Twisted SisterLou GrammChris Impellitteri, and Raven. Celebrated guitarist Steve Vai (Whitesnake /David Lee Roth) and legendary drummer Mike Portnoy, (Winery Dogs) will induct Twisted Sister.

Steve Vai ~ Photo by Alex Kluft

The event will include numerous performancessurprise artist appearances, a Meet & Greet, and All Star Jams. It will be hosted by radio/television music Icon Eddie Trunk, with entertainment personality Cathy Rankin. The 6th Annual Metal Hall of Fame Gala, “The most important night in Hard Rock and Heavy Metal“will take place January 26, 2023, at the Canyon Club, Agoura Hills, C.A

Purchase tickets here: 

35.00 Advance / 45.00 At Door 

https://www.axs.com/events/461909/6th-annual-metal-hall-of-fame-gala-tickets

“The 6th Annual Metal Hall of Fame Charity Gala is going to be an amazing event as always,” says Metal Hall of Fame CEO Pat Gesualdo. “There will be numerous Legendary Hard Rock and Heavy Metal artist Inductions, and many exciting surprises and performances!!” 

Twisted Sister is honored to be recognized by the Metal Hall of Fame and have our names alongside many of our peers,” says Jay Jay French. The 6th Annual Metal Hall of Fame Gala is presented by ROCAVAKA – The Vaka That Rocks! 

The Metal Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization that enshrines forever, those Iconic musicians, artists, music industry executives who are responsible for making Hard Rock and Heavy Metal music what it is today. Their contribution to the genre is invaluable, and they keep inspiring fans throughout the world, from generation to generation. 

The Annual Metal Hall of Fame Charity Gala has included many historical hard rock and heavy metal moments. Like when Metallica inducted Megaforce Records founders Jon and Marsha Zazula. Inducting Judas Priest at Wacken Open Air. Inducting members of KISSIron Maiden, and Triumph among others for our 5 Year Anniversary Bash. Having Don Airey’s surprise Induction for Black Sabbath cofounding member Bill Ward, (especially after not seeing each other since  recording Black Sabbath’s 1978 “Never Say Day” album). Inducting Anthrax at Heavy Montreal. Having Kathy and KelleRhoads Induct their brother Randy Rhoads. HavingSlayer’s Kerri King’s surprise Induction for Brian Slagel and Metal Blade Record’s 35th Anniversary. Having Steve VaiJoe SatrianiGeoff TateChris Poland, and Bjorn Englen perform in the most historic metal performance of all time. Having Paul Stanley Induct Doc McGhee. Having Brian May of Queen Induct Joe Satriani. These are just some of the Legendary memories that we are honored to have shared with Rock and Heavy Metal fans throughout the world.

Sebastian Bach ~ Photo by Alex Kluft

100% of the proceeds from our events goes to helping preserve Hard Rock and Heavy Metal for future generations, and our events also bring free music programs to help special needs children in hospitals and community centers. For more information, please contact 973-263-0420. 

The event will be hosted will be radio/television music Icon Eddie Trunk and co-hosted by entertainment personality Cathy Rankin. Celebrated guitarist Steve Vai (Whitesnake /David Lee Roth) and legendary drummer Mike Portnoy, will induct Twisted Sister. 

Lou Gramm ~ Photo by Alex Kluft

Former Black Sabbath/Ronnie James Dio drummer Vinny Appice will also have the world debut of his new band “Scream Taker,” at the event, which features Jim Crean (Appice Brothers), and Tony Franklin (Jimmy Page, David Gilmour).

The Metal Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization that enshrines forever, those Iconic musicians, artists, music industry executives who are responsible for making Hard Rock and Heavy Metal music what it is today. 

The list of new inductees include:

Twisted Sister – Legendary band Twisted Sister have been at the forefront of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal for several decades. Both of their Albums “Under The Blade” and “You Can’t Kill Rock ‘n’ Roll” created huge underground attention, leading them to mainstream success. Over the last 30 years, their hit songs “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “l Wanna Rock,” are considered to be two of the most influential videos in the history of Heavy Metal and MTV, and are the most licensed anthems in the history of Heavy Metal.

Twisted Sister

Lou Gramm –One of the biggest selling Hard Rock artists of all time. His hits with the band “Foreigner” include:”Feels Like The First Time” (Billboard #4, Hot 100) “Cold as Ice” (Billboard #6, Hot 100), “Double Vision” (Billboard #2, Hot 100),”Hot Blooded” (Billboard #3, Hot 100), “Urgent” (Billboard #1 Rock, #4 Hot 100), “Head Games” (Billboard #14, Hot 100), “Juke Box Hero” (Billboard #3, Mainstream, #26, Hot 100). 

Chris Impellitteri – Guitar World and Guitar One magazines officially named Renowned guitarist Chris Impellitteri one of the fastest guitarists of all time. The 1988 Impellitteri Album “Stand In Line” charted on Billboard’s Top 100 for over 5 months. The namesake video of the song was often played on MTV and VH-I. Chris won Burn! Magazine’s Readers Poll Award for “Best Rock Guitarist,” in 1996. He was also a member of “Animetal USA,” where their Album peaked at #18 on Japan’s Oricon weekly album chart, and remained there for nine weeks. Chris Impellitteri was also a host on MTV’S Headbangers Ball

RAVEN –  One of the seminal forces in the creation of speed/thrash metal. Many major artists such as Metallicaand Anthrax, launched their careers as their opening act. Raven had an MTV hit with “On and On.” They were recently Metallica’s special guests for their tribute concert for Late Megaforce Records founders and Metal Hall of Fame Inductees Jon and Marsha Zazula, at the Hard Rock, in Ft. Lauderdale. Raven still keep up a gruellingworldwide touring schedule. 

SEBASTIAN BACH – Sebastian Bach quickly became an Iconic Hard Rock / Heavy Metal vocalist with Skid Row. His first album titled ‘Skid Row’ was certified 5xPlatinum by the RIAA. His major hits include “l Remember You” (#6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, #23 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart), “18 and Life” (#4 on the Billboard Hot chart, #1 on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart), and “Youth Gone Wild” (#27 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart). His second album “Slave to the Grind” is the first Heavy Metal album to hit #1 on the Billboard 200 chart in the Nielsen SoundScan era, and was certified 2X Platinum by the RIAA. The album featured the songs “Wasted Time,” “Slave to the Grind,” “In a Darkend Room,” and “Monkey Business. Sebastian also made his Broadway debut in the “Rocky Horror Show,” and “Jekyll & Hyde.”Additionally, he performed in the touring version of the hit show “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Sebastion starred in the VH-I series “Supergroup” with Ted Nugent, Metal Hall of Fame Inductee Scott Ian, Jason Bonham, and Evan Seinfeld, and was the winner of the CMT reality show “Gone Country.”

The Annual Metal Hall of Fame Gala has included some of the most important events in Hard Rock and Heavy Metal history. For example, having Metallica induct MegaforceRecords founders Jon and Marsha Zazula. Having Brian May of Queen induct Joe Satriani, Having Paul Stanleyof Kissinduct manager Doc McGhee. Inducting Judas Priest in front of 80,000 fans at Wacken Open Air. Inducting members of Iron Maiden, and Triumph. Inducting Black Sabbath co-founding drummer Bill Ward. Inducting Anthraxin front of 40,000 fans at Heavy Montreal. Inducting guitar Icon Randy Rhoads. Having Slayer’s Kerri King’s surprise Induction for Metal Blade Record’s 35th Anniversary. Having Steve Vai, (Whitesnake, David Lee Roth), Joe Satriani (Deep Purple), Geoff Tate (Formerly Queensryche) and Chris Poland (Formerly Megadeth) join in one of the most historic metal performance of all time. These are just some of the Legendary moments that the Metal Hall of Fame has shared with Hard Rock and Heavy Metal fans throughout the world.

Sponsors for the 6TH Annual Metal Hall of Fame Gale include Drums and Disabilities, andROCAVAKA – The VakaThat Rocks!

Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

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L.A. COMIC CON AFTER PARTY 2022

(HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS) — Los Angeles — Saturday, December 3rd, 2022 — Following the second day of LACC which took place at the L.A. Convention Center. Almost a mile down the road at the Mayan, an historic after party took place.

The after party titled Raiders of the Hidden Temple takes its name from the legendary Nickelodeon game show Legends of the Hidden Temple and the iconic first Indiana Jones film Raiders of the Lost Ark. The Mayan itself was already perfectly fit for this theme, but there was extra decor added in including an Indiana Jones idol replica. There were two featured acts with the first being the voice of everyone’s favorite character that “lives in a pineapple under the sea,” Spongebob Squarepants.

Tom Kenny & The Hi-Seas performs throughout L.A. and earlier in the day, Kenny was the second panelist on the main stage at the convention following the 20th anniversary reunion of Jimmy Neutron: Buy Genius.

Kenny and his band performs covers of Motown Classics and other great R&B/ Soul songs of the 60s. At one point Kenny was out singing in the audience. This performance wouldn’t be complete without “The Best Day Ever” and “Don’t Be a Jerk (It’s Christmas),” both coming from Spongebob Squarepants. Due to time constraints a few songs were cut from the performance. The Hi-Seas include are a 11-piece band with three backing vocalists, a guitarist, bassist, drummer, keyboards, and horns. 

Sarah Wayne Callies singing at the after party. Photo by Alex Kluft
Tom Kennny ~ Photo by Alex Kluft

The next performance came from supergroup The Action Figures made up of actors Scott Grimes (American Dad), Greg Grunberg (Star Wars), childhood actor Brad Savage, and Dynasty’s Jack Coleman, and artist Nick Marzock. Their guests included The Walking Dead’s Sarah Wayne Callies, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D’s, and everybody’s favorite Pink Ranger Amy Jo Johnson (Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers). The Action Figures played a number of incredible covers like Marc Cohn’s “Walking in Memphis,” Tom Petty & The Heartbreaker’s “American Girl,” Jim Croce’s “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.” The Action figures have performed at not only various comic conventions but also American Idol, The Tonight Show, and Nascar.

Jack Coleman on guitar. Photo by Alex Kluft
Bassist Brad Savage ~ Photo by Alex Kluft
Tom Kenny ~ Photo by Alex Kluft
Tom Kenny from Spongebob Squarepants~ Photo by Alex Kluft

Greg Grunberg from Star Wars the Force Awakens. Photos by Alex Kluft

Actor Adrain Pasdar (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) on guitar at the After Party. Photo by Alex Kluft

Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

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BARBIECORE ON THE SUNSET STRIP

(HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS ~ THE VIPER ROOM) Pinktastic Plastixx made their debut at the world famous Viper Room on the Sunset Strip. They performed an amazing  set of pop punk and rock tunes. This is one of the last performances at the Viper Room as it’s closing permanently at the end of the year.  The show was full of energy and a lot of fun. Staff photographer, Ellen Zuckerman, from the Hollywood Press Corps was at the concert. Check out her pictures here. 

Pinktastic Plastixx backstage. All photos by Ellen Zuckerman

The band wanted to say a last goodbye to a landmark. Pinktastic Plastixx are a fun band who’s image is over the top as their sound. Reminiscent of bands of the 1990’s. Lead singer Kitten performs with a pink hair dryer microphone that was designed especially for her. Think BARBIE 2022 and you have Pinktastic Plastixx. Kitten said “I have been Barbiecore for 40 years and I wanted a microphone that goes with my all pink aesthetic and I got it!” 

Lead singer Kitten performs with a pink hair dryer microphone that was designed especially for her
Pinktastic Plastixx in front of the world famous Viper Room on the Sunset Strip. Photo by Ellen Zuckerman

Pinktastic Plastixx are an all girl band formed and fronted by Pink Icon, Kitten Kay Sera and features her extravagant bandmates: Alexa Rae on drums, Rocky Rose on keytar, & Celinda Chang on guitar. Kitten says, “We are all stages of ages and proud to be out there doing what we love & just having fun! Dreams don’t expire”  

Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

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iViva Maestro DOCUMENTARY On GUSTAVO DUDAMEL AND THE LAPHIL

(HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS) — Worldwide — Thursday, April 24th, 2022 ~ Conductor Gustavo Dudamel’s international tour is disrupted by protests in Venezuela. ¡VIVA MAESTRO!, the inspiring documentary from acclaimed director Ted Braun(Betting on ZeroDarfur Now), follows Dudamel around the world. ¡Viva Maestro! takes one on a cinematic journey inside the imagination of Gustavo Dudamel. In the doc, Gustavo has to respond to violent protests in his homeland of Venezuela. It’s beautifully shot and edited. 

Producing the film was Steve Tisch, Dean Schramm, Howard Bragman, Nicolas Paine and Ted Braun with Participant Media’s  Jeff Skoll and Diane Weyermann as executive producers. Greenwich Entertainment is in charge of distribution in theaters across the U.S.

The film opened this past weekend in LA at the Landmark on Pico, and in New York City at the Film Forum. There were rave reviews. You can view the Trailer here: https://bit.ly/VivaMaestroTrailer.  

Check out iViva Maestro!!  You’ll really enjoy it!!

Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

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Brandino’s New Single the Gumbo Man Drops Friday

(HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS) — Worldwide — Monday, March 21st, 2022 — Kevin Brandon, AKA Brandino, has dropped a new track on N’House Records LLC. Brandino turns up on this track with his signature 5 string Warwick Fretless Bass. Rappers Novalist and California based WildChild, who is a member of the Lootpack, do a funny rap about Brandino and his love of gumbo. At one point, WildChild asks “what’s there to do in Louisiana?” and the response is ~ Jazz! They go on to describe spicy food and Gumbo which, as everybody knows, can change your life. Mmm gumbo is so good. This song is a lot of fun. Gumbo Man ~ available for purchase;

The Gumbo Man is available for purchase :
https://music.apple.com/us/album/the-gumbo-man-single/1611008498

The Gumbo Man – Single by Brandino Bass & Emcee N.I.C.E.

Proceeds go to the nonprofit. “You Can Do It If You Try” foundation educating the youth of tomorrow.

For more information: THE GUMBO MAN

Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

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GLOBAL SUPERSTAR KYGO’S PALM TREE RECORDS PERFORM FIRST-EVER LABEL SHOWCASE ON GLOBAL LIVE STREAMING APP, LIVIT’S LIVE LOUNGE CONCERT SERIES

(HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS) — Los Angeles, CA — Friday, August 27th, 2021 —On August 27, Live Lounge presented by 17LIVE hosted the first-ever label showcase for global superstar, Kygo’s Palm Tree Records, a joint venture with Sony Music Entertainment. With over 15 billion cumulative global audio and video streams, the Norwegian artist is best known for chart-topping hits like the multiplatinum “It Ain’t Me” [with Selena Gomez], “Higher Love” [with Whitney Houston], “Like It Is” [with Zara Larsson & Tyga], and “Lose Somebody” [with OneRepublic]. Among the attendees were influencers and celebrities alike such as model/TV personality Camille Kostek, Football player Chase DeMoor from the hit Netflix show “Too Hot To Handle” with Billboard’s on-camera host Chelsea Briggs on the mic doing hosting duties, and much more.

“I’m excited for my artists to have the opportunity to show the world what they’re capable of.” – Kygo

Kygo’s Palm Tree Records showcase featured performances by Palm Tree Records artists Frank WalkerForester,Haywood, andPetey Martin. Toronto-based DJ/Producer Frank Walker has captivated fans across the globe with his club-ready collaborations such as “Like Gold” with Loud Luxury and Stephen Puth, along with solo releases like “Dancing In The Dark” which was recently nominated for a Juno award. Los Angeles-based indie electronic duoForester has already shown his impact on the scene, blending acoustic instrumentation with electronic elements that transport the listener to wide open spaces earning them over 20 million total streams across their catalog.

Football player Chase DeMoor from Netflix’s “ Too Hot To Handle” looked hot at Kygo’s first-ever Palm Tree Records label showcase at CreatetheLab in Los Angeles presented by17LIVE

Songwriter/producer Haywood has penned hits for everyone from Katy Perry and Kygo to BLACKPINK and Selena Gomez and is now a featured solo artist with a glorious and glossy sound of her own on a series of 2021 singles for Palm Tree Records. Nashville-based Petey Martin wrote/produced “Ashes” by Celine Dion for the Deadpool 2 Motion Picture Soundtrack, “Bigger Than” by Justin Jesso & Seeb, and five songs on Kygo’s ‘Golden Hour’ album, including the lead single “Like It Is.” He made his debut as an artist collaborating with Matoma on “Keep It Simple” and released his introductory single “Come Back Home” on Palm Tree Records featuring two-time Grammy winner Lauren Daigle.

Manager Myles Shear, Superstar Kygo, Model Camille Kostek at the first-ever Palm Tree Records label showcase at CreatetheLab in Los Angeles presented by17LIVE
Superstar Kygo, his artist Petey Martin, Manager Myles Shear at the first-ever Palm Tree Records label showcase at CreatetheLab in Los Angeles presented by17LIVE
 

“I’m excited to partner with 17LIVE to host our first-ever Palm Tree Records showcase and be able to live stream it to millions of people around the world while interacting with users of the platform.” – David Rishty, President of Palm Tree Records

Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

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The New Experience at the Long Beach Uptown Jazz Festival 2021


(Hollywood Press Corps) — LONG BEACH, CA — (AUG 21ST, 2021) At this year’s #UptownJazzFestival, Vice Mayor Rex Richardson was frontband center joining Wells Fargo and the New Experience with Robby Krieger. A giant check for $50,000 check was presented to the Long Beach Center for Economic Inclusion.

This was an event to highlight the importance of business ownership and bring the local community together. Everybody had a really good time and the Vice Mayor got a chance to talk to everybody about getting vaccinated. He said, “I know about Tuskegee, but I think this is different and we all really need to get vaccinated.” It was a great day with the sun shining and everyone enjoying the music. I estimate there were about 5,000 people in attendance with lots of kids and families. There was a dance floor in front of the stage that could be accessed with vaccine proof or a negative covid test. It could be completed in 15 minutes.

The New Experience is a Los Angeles based blues, 1960s rock and jazz four piece. On guitar is Robby Krieger of the Doors. Robby is a founding member of the Doors and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His guitar licks are iconic and his blues playing comes from the heart. Kevin “Brandino” Brandon on bass is known for being Aretha Franklin’s bass player for more than a decade.

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Ed Roth on keybards. Photo by Chris Minkel

Brandino is a nine-time Grammy winner and recorded Grammy winning music with Justin Timberlake, Outkast, and James Brown just to name a few. Franklin Vanderbilt III plays drums for the New Experience. Frankie is Lenny Kravitz’s drummer. Ed Roth plays keyboards and organ. Ed has a heavy jazz influence on the New Experience. Annie Lennox and Ronnie Montrose are just a couple of the legends Ed plays with. When the New Experience performs, there is a festive feeling like the 1960s have returned.

Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

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The New Experience Rocks Seven Grand 2021

(HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS) — Los Angeles, CA — Wednesday, July 7th, 2021 — The New Experience made an appearance at the downtown LA hotspot ~ Seven Grand this last Thursday night on July 1st. The New Experience is a crowd pleaser at the Seven Grand and Thursday night was no exception. 

The Seven Grand in downtown Los Angeles

Franklin Vanderbilt III plays drums for the New Experience. Frankie was on fire laying down the beat of downtown LA. Ed Roth plays keyboards and organ. Ed has a heavy jazz influence on the New Experience. Ed has played with many legends over the years.

The band was tight and the crowd was digging the music. Brandino played an amazing evening of blues, rock and jazz on the bass. On guitar for the New Experience is the amazing Robby Krieger from the Doors. Robby seemed relaxed and played a great two sets of music.

The ladies were literally lining up to see Ed Roth. Photo by Dustin Brown

The New Experience really seems to be gaining from their time together as a band. It was a great night of music. The Hollywood Press Corps had Ellen Zuckerman and Jay Ross shooting photos at the event. All photos are by Ellen Zuckerman unless indicated.

Photos by Jay Ross

Downtown Los Angeles residents couldn’t wait to get out and see live music after being locked down for 16 months due to the pandemic. Seven Grand is a super cool whiskey bar in downtown LA that has a space for shooting pool and live music. The NEW experience got in a few of the classics like Booker T and the MG’s Green Onions and the jazz standard ~ Valdez.

Frankie and Brandino layed down a nice groove and Robby Krieger was playing so nice. The late night downtown crowd had a great time and really enjoyed the band. We really look forward to the next concert from the new Experience. Stayed tuned to the Hollywood Press Corps for future concerts!

A rare appearance by legendary sound engineer Big Mike who is seen here setting up the audio for the New Experience. Mike was a friend of Roy Orbison’s and recorded the Traveling Wilburys, Paul McCartney and many more. Photo by Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

More Posts - Website