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Isle teens get another crack at hitting the big time


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POSTED: Friday, May 01, 2009

Hawaii's teenage musicians are getting plenty of opportunities to shine in 2009.

First it was “;Brown Bags to Stardom”; at Blaisdell Arena, followed shortly thereafter by the first “;Band Champ”; competition. Now a national recording artist and producer will be in town to evaluate our local talent.

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All the '80s babies out there will recognize Michael Bivins as a founding member of the groups New Edition and Bell Biv DeVoe. In more recent years he's worked as a music producer and artist manager. He's also been involved with Sean “;Diddy”; Combs' MTV series, “;Making the Band.”;

Later this month, Bivins will be in Honolulu to host the “;Michael Bivins Talent Search”; at Ala Moana CenterStage. Teens 13 to 18 years old are invited to attend from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. May 15 and noon to 2 p.m. May 16. Solo, duo and group acts are all invited to participate.

Approximately 10 to 12 finalists will be chosen to advance to the state finals on May 17 at LEVEL4 Nightclub. A single winner will be selected—with audience response being a key factor in the decision—to travel to Washington, D.C., later this year for a shot at a record deal with Sporty Rich Enterprises.

Call 833-8860 or visit www.sportyrich.com for more ...

ONE WAY to determine how respected a local promoter is by his (or her) peers is to count how many other industry types show up at their birthday party.

Former O Lounge manager Hanson Nguyen appears to have burned few bridges during his time in Clubland. His Level H Promotions family celebrated at the Lotus at Diamond Head on Saturday with a special performance by rapper Roscoe Umali and a few hundred of Nguyen's closest friends.

Among those in attendance: Furious Styles Productions' Bryan Simpson, Zanzabar's DJ G-Man, Aiea Bowl's Cy “;Urusai”; Shimabukuro, Fitted Hawaii's Bobby Filipino, DJ Kee and rappers Krystilez and Mic3 ...

WEEKEND PICKS: Los Angeles drum-n-bass DJ-producer Jo-S headlines the latest “;Subphonix”; tonight at the Mercury Bar. He'll be joined by local DJs Billy Zane and Monkey; MC Enemy will host. As always, cover is just $5 for some of the best underground sounds to be found in Honolulu ... Bermuda-based rapper Collie Buddz will appear on Oahu before playing Kauai's Kilohana Plantation on Sunday. He'll sign autographs and perform a few tracks off his latest CD, “;Collie Buddz,”; at 4 p.m. Saturday at Borders Ward Centre ... Precision Sound's Janell Araki needs your help this weekend. She's been diagnosed with calciphylaxis, a rare kidney-related disease, and mounting medical bills have forced her family to ask for the public's assistance. Na Leo, Weldon Kekauoha, Maunalua, Vaihi, Kapena, Natural Vibrations and others will donate their time from 2 to 10 p.m. Sunday at the Waterfront at Aloha Tower Marketplace to help raise money for Araki. The suggested donation is $20 at the door; call 864-1638 or 479-0606 ...

COMING UP: DJ Nocturna and Universal Art return for a second week of “;Do It Til You're Satisfied”; at Indigo on Tuesday. The hana hou features disco, funk, soul and '80s music from DJs Lana Deejay, Sniper Wells and Rhombus, plus a dance contest, drink specials and no cover all night ... If you don't want to take part in the Cinco de Mayo festivities in Chinatown, head to Hawaii Theatre for “;Lei of Stars,”; a tribute to the 2009 Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame inductees. Palani Vaughn, Kaupena Wong and the Leo Nahe Nahe Singers are among the inductees who will also perform that night. Call 528-0506 for ticket info and to purchase by phone ... And Soljah Clothing is back with a revived “;5 Dolla Pitchas and Rubba Slippas”; weekly at Pipeline Cafe on Tuesdays. Not only is there no dress code and no cover charge, but just as Soljah did at Brew Moon and the Hard Rock Cafe in years past, club kids 18 and over are welcome at this party ...