Wood Craft

Ben Wood

Saturday, December 27, 2003

Jazz, isle stars break
loose at On Jin’s Cafe

On Jin's Cafe was transformed into a swinging, jumping jazz club and a kanikapila paradise Sunday by some of Hawaii's finest singers, musicians and hula dancers. The occasion was my holiday party for more than 100 guests. Pianist Kit Samson and Miles Jackson's Milestone Trio -- Miles on bass, drummer Peter Factora and guitarist James Kraft -- provided excellent support for singers and dancers such as: Jimmy Borges, Melveen Leed, Mary Gutzi, Jim Nabors, Mihana Souza, Boyce Rodrigues, Kimo Kahoano, Rodney Cazimero, Cathy Foy, Stuart Gasston, Alice Clay, Conne  Sutherland, Alice Lombardo, Amelia Bailey, Glenn Pinho and Kanoe Cazimero. Borges emceed at the start and got everyone in the holiday spirit with "The Christmas Song" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" as Kanoe did interpretive hula. Borges asked Nabors up and Jim sang a strong version of "Silent Night." Gutzi brought the house down, singing "Memory" from "Cats." Borges got things swinging with "Fly Me to the Moon" then had Melveen sing "The Blues" and "When I Fall in Love" with him. They were great and so was the band. Melveen also played piano and Byron Yasui sat in on bass. Cheering guests included symphony board chair Carolyn Berry, Jim and Cherye Pierce, Dave and Nery Heenan, Cookie Isaacs, David and Wendy Nagaishi, Paul Brown, Laurie and David Callies, Laurie Tom, Judy Murata, Ram and Pat Pedersen, Kaina Awaa and famed classical guitarist Antonio Carlos Barboza-Lima. The Real Estate community was well represented by Myra Brandt, Andrea Kia, Margaret Murchie, Carole Brooks, Lombardo and Clay. Taking photos and filming were Dean Sensui, Nora Meijide and Robert and Cyd Asakura. Everyone raved about On Jin's food and hard-working staff ...

Kona Carmack weds

Kona Carmack and E News correspondent Andrew Yani were married last weekend at the Royal Hawaiian. Kona was more beautiful than ever, wearing a champagne-blush colored '40s style wedding dress and custom veil from Milan. Yani is a UH grad, a former city lifeguard and Crazy Shirts model. Kona was graduated Dec. 15 in cinematography from USC. Singer Rocky Brown sang "At Last" for the first dance ...

Marking their 30th wedding anniversary at Alan Wong's were Herb Alpert and Lani Hall. Carl and Jim Smigielski were in the party ... Don't miss "The Last Samurai," a terrific picture starring Tom Cruise, and fun-filled "Something's Gotta Give," with Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson ...

Gregory and Monique

Gregory Li and Monique Viengkhou were married by Judge James Burns Nov. 30 at the Royal Hawaiian. Jeffrey and Justin Li, Gregory's brothers, were groom's men. The newlyweds both have MBAs and met in Hong Kong, where they are based. Gregory's parents are Victor Hao Li and Arlene Lum. Monique's parents are Tony and Etta Viengkhou ... Congrats to the UH Warriors for their 54-48 Hawaii Bowl win over Houston ... No column next Saturday as I will be on vacation until Jan. 5 ...

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Ben Wood, who sold the Star-Bulletin in the streets
of downtown Honolulu during World War II, writes of
people, places and things every Saturday.
E-mail him at


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