By Dave Donnelly

Tuesday, September 29, 1998

The right keys for kindness

Mug shot YOU may not be aware of it, but pianist Awadagin Pratt was once caught using the wrong keys. Oh, not on his piano. But piano teacher Ernie Chang says when Pratt was using Chang's studios to rehearse for his Honolulu Symphony debut, he'd been given two sets of keys. One was for the studio and the other for the restrooms. Well, just before his debut, Pratt realized he'd left his special seat at Chang's studio, one that enables him to sit low when he plays. And, you guessed it, he brought the wrong keys with him when he went to the Concert Hall. Somehow, Chang was found in the audience and he had to flaunt red lights, stop signs and whatever to get the chair and return just mo-ments before Pratt was to play. Since then, Pratt has become a staple in Hawaii, soloing with the symphony and playing two SRO recitals at the Honolulu Academy of Arts theater. He even did two master classes at Chang's studio, donating all the proceeds, nearly $3,000, to the symphony. Now Pratt is back to help Chang celebrate the 35th anniversary of his studio with a recital at the Academy Theatre, Sunday at 4 p.m. This time he promises to use the right keys...

THE name "Barry-Wary Restaurants" might send the wrong message, so partners Ed Wary and Barry Silverman, who operate Dixie Grill and Rodeo Cantina plus do the catering at the Elks Club, call their company "Silverware." Sure beats "Flatware."... So why do the females behind the Professional Women's Network Trade Show Oct. 26 at the Ilikai feel it's necessary to have a man be the emcee? Kimo Kahoano does the honors, as he seems to just about everywhere these days...

Truth Contest Hilton

Surprise winner

LOCAL falsetto singers and storytellers must have been taken aback when the winner of first prize in the seventh annual Clyde Kindy Sproat falsetto singing and storytelling contest was from San Francisco. Walking off with the top honor and a recording contract with Hula Records was Saichi Kawahara, leader of the Kapalakiko Hawaiian Band, which I used to hear when they played at Mike Sweetow's now shuttered Hawaiian Barbecue and Luau Food showroom. The winning song was John Pi'ilani Watkins' "Kaloaloa," about the Damon Tract area swallowed up to make way for the airport and H-1 freeway. At one point in their lives, all three -- Watkins, Sproat and Kawahara -- lived in the Kaloaloa area...

THOSE attending the pre-show party at the opening of "Oliver" at Diamond Head Theatre might well have anticipated gruel on the menu, but it was not to be. Ray Suiter Jr. of Cafe Vienna catered the affair, and was arm in arm with former isle newswoman Julie Ogata, who now works in TV in Seattle. "We get to see each other about two days every six weeks," said the forlorn looking cafe owner. The musical runs Thursdays through Sundays until Oct. 18...

Hamakua 'Get Together'

AN eclectic array of musicians will be featured at the fifth Hamakua Music Festival two weekends in October. Singer Nikki Harris (choreographer and singer with Madonna) will kick things off with her dad, jazz pianist Gene Harris on Oct. 9. The next night Jesse Colin Young will perform in a two-part concert, half acoustic and half blues/rock. Forte will open a Filipino Cultural Revue on Oct. 11... The following weekend will feature the likes of Keali'i Reichel on Oct. 17 and concert pianist Lorrin Hollander closing the festival on Sunday the 18th. All events are at the Honokaa People's Theater...

Dave Donnelly has been writing on happenings
in Hawaii for the Star-Bulletin since 1968.
His columns run Monday through Friday.

Contact Dave by e-mail: donnelly@kestrok.com.

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