REVIEW BY JOHN BERGER / jberger@staradvertiser.com 

Review: Bruno Mars brings Moonshine Jungle to Blaisdell Arena
Bruno Mars’ return to Honolulu on Friday for the first of three sold-out shows at Blaisdell Arena was like Christmas for his fans — a day eagerly anticipated for months before it actually arrived...(click "StarAdvertiser Pulse" link below for full story)
Hawaii also got something special with Friday’s two opening acts. Mars’ father, Pete “Dr. Doo Wop” Hernandez, whose group, the Love Notes, opened the 2010 Bruno Mars concert here, did it again this year, but in a bigger way. 
This time, Hernandez and Love Notes were reenforced with a full Latin band for a first-time blending of traditional doo-wop with Latin rhythms. Hawaii has known Hernandez for years as an uncompromising advocate of classic doo-wop, but he showed on Friday that he is also a charismatic Latin percussionist who can give Sheila E. a run for her money. 
Old-time Love Notes members Felix Almestica Bonet and Mike Baker — who were part of the group during its heyday at the Esprit Lounge in the Sheraton Waikiki — distinguished themselves as vocalists. 
Local reggae band The Green got a longer set as the second opener and showed they’re on track to becoming arena headliners as well.———John Berger has been a mainstay in the local entertainment scene for more than 40 years. Contact him via email at jberger@staradvertiser.com.
John Berger "Staradvertiser "Pulse"

 

                                                              REVIEW BY JOHN BERGER / jberger@staradvertiser.com 

Lucas. John, Bruno, Peter, Felix and Mike before Concert at Blaisdell Arena 
Everyone loves a hometown hero and last week, Hawaii welcomed home one of its own: Grammy-nominated singer Bruno Mars. Playing a lengthy set decked out in the full regalia of his Doo Wops and Hooligans spectacular, Bruno had no problem wowing his fellow Hawaiians, according to a review of the show from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser
The best part? Bruno let his dad Peter Hernandez and his band The Love Notes play as the opening act. 
It was also a triumph long coming for Bruno’s proud father, Pete “Dr. Doo Wop” Hernandez, who opened the first half of the show with his vocal group, the Love Notes — John Valentine, Felix Almestica Bonet, Mike Baker and Lucas Clemente. Some of them had worked with Bruno and his father at the Esprit Lounge 20 years ago. Hernandez went all out for the evening. The quintet performed doo wop classics with a live band behind them and a squad of dancers joining in around them on several numbers. Valentine was featured on “Lonely Boy” — a signature song for him since the mid-80s. Almestica Bonet took the lead on some of the others. 
Like father, like son. Bruno got his start with music as a pint-sized Elvis impersonator as a part of his dad's shows, and now he gets to return the favor. It's the circle of life.

Bark and Bite Blog 

REVIEW BY JOHN BERGER / jberger@staradvertiser.com 

         Bruno Mars homecoming Concert at Blaisdell Arena. No one can say that Bruno Mars doesn’t have an impeccable sense of musical history. Bruno broke into show business more than two decades ago as “the world’s youngest Elvis,” and so there was a definite sense of deja vu in the Blaisdell Arena last night as he opened his sold-out homecoming show with “Also sprach Zarathustra,” the same theme music Elvis used to open his “Aloha From Hawaii” concert in the Arena in 1973.  (click "StarAdvertiser" link below for full story)

It was also a triumph long coming for Bruno’s proud father, Pete “Dr. Doo Wop” Hernandez, who opened the first half of the show with his vocal group, the Love Notes — John Valentine, Felix Almestica Bonet, Mike Baker and Lucas Clemente. Some of them had worked with Bruno and his father at the Esprit Lounge 20 years ago. 

Hernandez went all out for the evening. The quintet performed doo wop classics with a live band behind them and a squad of dancers joining in around them on several numbers. Valentine was featured on “Lonely Boy” — a signature song for him since the mid-80s. Almestica Bonet took the lead on some of the others. 

Hernandez capped the Love Notes’ set with surprise appearances by a pair of long-time friends and professional celebrity impersonators — Gerry Moore/Little Richard and Bobby Brooks/Jackie Wilson. Moore got the crowd rocking with “Good Golly Miss Molly” and Brooks took it home with “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher.” 

It’s been too long since Moore and Brooks have had a steady showroom gig here, and props to Hernandez for adding them to the Love Notes’ “Welcome Home, Bruno” set on Sunday. 

As for Bruno and everyone who welcomed him home, it was a show to remember from the opening notes of “Also sprach Zarathustra” through his final farewells after “I’ll Remember You.” 

And, it seems certain it will be the first of many sold-out shows for Bruno at the Blaisdell. 

StarAdvertiser  

 

By John Bergerjberger@starbulletin.com 
The Tradewinds (in red) hung out with Rolando Sanchez, left, Ruth Lin, seated, Dagmar Bonet and emcee Irwin Santos after they performed at the premiere party for “Entertain Me!” Saturday at Hawaiian Brian’s. 
The show airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. on KHON. The Tradewinds — Booker T, Lonz, Mike Pajil and Felix Bonet. 
http://www.tradewinds.bizland.com/

The Bravo Bull with the Dulcet Tones 
Following our time in Vietnam some of us chose to make a career out of the army, while others went on to work in law enforcement, education, technology the trades and many other life callings. Felix Almestica of B/2/503d, however, along with his bride Dagmar chose a shared life in music; and once you hear their work you'll agree, it was a good choice. Ed read more

Blast from the past 
Press Tidbits  Felix Bonet 
Felix has performed in Dance, Cabaret and Lounge acts and has recorded with Henry Kopono, of Cecilio and Kopono, Richard Natto of Society of Seven while in Toma Natto, Wade Cambern of Hawaiian Style Band while in Jetstream, Nueva Vida and The Lovenotes,. Here are some Local Newspaper tidbits. 

Jetstream, the band performing at Nicholas Nicholas, had a career break, too, performing a set that displays elements of rock, jazz, fusion and soul. A wingding finale, involving a cast of 11, could only be staged in a venue like the Arena, and the act was flying on this one. And Kauai singer Glen Medeiros, whose "Nothing's Gonna Change My Love for You" recording is a bit hit on KIKI/94 Radio, drew hearty applause for his lone vocal, played by Jetstream, which opened the Jermaine Jackson Concert." 
      Honolulu Advertiser, Wayne Harada 

"All that jazz....Felix Bonet of the musical group Nueva Vida provides the beat for jazz lovers at the 5th annual Windward Jazz Festival held Sunday at Hawaii Loa College. Listeners show their appreciation. 
                                                                                             Sun Press, David Dinell 

"When band Jetstream began playing the other night at Nicholas Nickolas, three fellows asked to be moved closer to the bandstand in the middle of their meal. And when the band played "Night Shift," one of them said: "That's the second best version of that song we've heard behind ours." Quite a compliment-trio turned out to be J.D Nichols, Walter Orange and Milan Williams, a.k.a. the Commodores. 
                                                                                          Star Bulletin, Don Chapman 

 "Princeville Patter: Jetstream, who left Nick's Fishmarket in Honolulu to take on a gig at the Ukiyo Lounge in Kauai, has been extended three times at the club, according to spokesman Felix Bonet . And guitarist Brian Kessler is quite excited about a musical collaboration with Graham Nash, of Crosby, Stills and Nash. Nash intends to include the song on an upcoming solo album"... 
                                                                                       Honolulu Advertiser, Wayne Harada 

"Terrific break for the band Jetstream. TV producer Don Ohlmeyer heard the band-Wade "Che" Cambern, Tony Gillis, Bill Grannis, Brian Kessler, Felix Bonet during dinner at Nicholas Nickolas and was so impressed he invited them on the spot to perform for 5,000 top people in the recording industry before the annual MTV awards gala in L.A.". 
                                                                                       Honolulu Advertiser, Wayne Harada

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