A Tribute to Michael


POSTED: Friday, October 23, 2009

When E'Casanova arrives in Honolulu next week to host a pair of Halloween parties, he won't have to do much to prepare his costume. All he has to do is slip on a sequined glove and fedora, or a leather jacket covered in zippers, and it's obvious—he's nearly a mirror image of the late Michael Jackson.

“;I think I'm one of the only guys out there who resembles him without any makeup on,”; he said last week by phone from Los Angeles. “;And I've never had any type of cosmetic alterations done on myself. I was born like this.”;

The last few months have been tough on E'Casanova, who not only performed in his likeness, but was a personal friend of Jackson's as well. Next week's appearances at Pipeline Cafe and LEVEL4 Nightclub will mark the first time since the King of Pop's death that he has performed in front of an audience.

“;It's been very difficult for me to even find the spirit and the will to continue,”; he said. “;More than just a part of myself died—it felt like a part of the world died.

“;He was the soundtrack to my life, and he was also a friend.”;





        with E'Casanova, Hypersquad and the United DJs

» Where: Pipeline Cafe, 805 Pohukaina St.


» When: 7 p.m. to midnight Thursday


» Cost: $20; all ages welcome


» Info: 589-1999 or www.groovetickets.com





        with E'Casanova, Rick Rock, Hypersquad, Funkanomestry and DJs Paul Brandon and Kutmaster Spaz

» Where: LEVEL4 Nightclub, Royal Hawaiian Center


» When: 10 p.m. Oct. 31


» Cost: $15 ($10 presale tickets available); 21+


» Info: 926-4441 or www.l4waikiki.com




E'CASANOVA WAS born Exavier Casanova Evans and can't remember a time when he wasn't a Jackson fan. His mother loved the music of the Jackson 5 and played their albums regularly, encouraging a young E'Casanova to get up and dance.

“;Everybody has a certain music that's the soundtrack of their life,”; he said. “;This was it for me. It's a part of my DNA.”;

As he grew older, more and more people began to make the connection. During the “;Bad”; era, E'Casanova began to dress like Jackson and entered dance contests that showcased the similarities between the two.

In the late '90s, he traveled to Hawaii to perform in Waikiki as part of “;Legends in Concert,”; spending about eight months on Oahu before returning to California. Over the next decade, he got better acquainted with Jackson and eventually earned entree into the entertainer's inner circle.

“;How many people can say they've actually had a chance to be friends, to work for (their idol),”; he asked. “;I got a chance to see his world from the inside looking out. It's just a whole different perspective.

“;It was priceless, those experiences.”;

After meeting Jackson for the first time while he was shooting the music video for “;Smooth Criminal,”; E'Casanova went on to serve as a photo double for the entertainer and presented him with the key to the city of Las Vegas in 2003. In recent years, he portrayed Jackson on the TV show “;Punk'd”; and won $10,000 from the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in a global Michael Jackson look-alike contest.

WHEN JACKSON died in June, E'Casanova wasn't far away. He was also in Los Angeles at the time, and received “;blow-by-blow”; updates from a Jackson family friend as events developed.

“;About a week before that, I had seen Michael in just a T-shirt,”; he said. “;You could almost see his ribs ... he looked really skinny.”;

As news about his struggles with prescription drugs began to surface, rumors also began to circulate that it wasn't really Jackson who died. Instead, some fans took to the Internet to suggest that it was actually E'Casanova in photos that surfaced shortly after Jackson's death and there was some sort of conspiracy at work.

“;Well, you know, you're talking to me, so you know that that's not true,”; E'Casanova said. “;Now we're in the realm where people don't want to let him go.

“;I think the more on point, the closer you are to the legend ... the more passionate that some of these fans will become. They don't want Michael to go.”;

While he doesn't see himself carrying on where Jackson left off—“;Every time I perform, it's for Michael, to make him proud, not for the fans or nothing like that,”; he said, “;and I always felt those fans were his and not mine”;—E'Casanova would like to do one more thing before he hangs up his own glove for good.

“;I want to mount the biggest Michael Jackson experience the world has ever seen,”; he said. “;Michael Jackson is the last of the great song and dance men, in my opinion, and arguably, he's the greatest entertainer of all time.

“;We're looking to some of the biggest minds in the business to mount a $5 million production to span the world—something Michael himself would be proud of.”;

E'Casanova will also host a private screening of the Michael Jackson movie, “;This is It,”; at Dole Cannery on Tuesday. Listen to radio stations 93.1 KQMQ, 94.7 KUMU and 102.7 Da Bomb to win tickets.