By Dave Donnelly

Friday, February 12, 1999

Rocky Brown
steals the show

Mug shot YOU'VE got to hand it to singer Nani Fernandez. She was at her usual Wednesday night bandstand in the lounge of Nick's Fishmarket and sounding just fine. But when she saw Rocky Brown come in, she couldn't resist calling up her fellow vocalist and while it was a treat for the crowd, Nani must have realized that while she's vivacious and more than comfortable behind a mike, Rocky simply can't be matched for pipes. The best part of the evening was when Rocky sang lead, and Nani sang background. But when they took turns doing the lead line, Nani's voice simply couldn't match that of Brown, who has a Broadway background ... Brown will be guest vocalist with the DeShannon Higa Quintet Feb. 19 at the Alan T Restaurant at the Honolulu Club, part of the "Hawaii Jazz Stars in Concert Series." ...

PHOTOGRAPHER George Lee and the Star-Bulletin got a national credit and massive exposure in a major national magazine this week, but chances are few people who pick up the mag will even notice it. You see, the photo appeared in the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated. That annual edition is always the biggest seller SI puts out, but this year promises to be even bigger than usual with the stunning Rebecca Romiyn-Stamos on the cover and many other soon-to-be supermodels. Some of the "swimsuits" aren't real -- they're simply painted on the models' naked bodies. But back to George -- his photo is one of the rescue by the Coast Guard of Richard Branson, after the billionaire's attempt to circumnavigate the globe in a hot air balloon came up short in Hawaii. It would appear that the only reason SI ran that story is some of the photo shoot took place on Necker Island, which Branson owns ...

Chan-ese New Year

CHINESE New Year is about to get under way, and promises to send traffic spinning off in all directions as people find they can't navigate on closed-off downtown streets in Chinatown. And Feb. 20 will be a busy one for martial arts actor Jackie Chan. For one thing, that's the day keiki martial art students can show off their moves in a contest at Sea Life Park, performing to the music of "Kung Fu Fighting." Chan will sign certificates for all contestants and award trophies to the winners ... And that same day, Chan will appear at 3:30 p.m. on Center Stage of the Kahala Mall. There will be martial arts demonstrations there, along with musical entertainment by the Makaha Sons and Forte ...

MARKET City Shopping Center is also holding a celebration Feb. 20 to welcome "The Year of the Rabbit." The owners of Market City, the Fong, Chun and Chang families, will light three 20,000-firecracker strings, plus there'll be a traditional lion dance and fortune cookie giveaways ...

Black Friday

IT would hardly be seemly for Sacred Hearts Academy to salute lovers to mark Valentine's Day weekend, so they're saluting grandparents instead. The youngsters have chosen one who's had a full life to share with them. Guest speaker will be Cobey Black, whose experience includes one husband, six children, seven grandchildren, 23 homes, 11 jobs, four books, two plays and 2,500 articles while four wars took place under the 12 presidents she's been around for. Cobey's granddaughter, Pualani Black, is a first grader at the school ... Don't forget the 2 to 8 p.m. jazzfest Sunday on the grounds of the Downtown Post Office, earmarked to become a complex to be called the Galleria shopping center. With Dixieland to swing, ballads to Brazilian and jazz funk, the concert is $18 for regular seating, free on the lawn ...

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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