Every third Friday night you can catch The Starlighters big band sound at the Kukui Grove Mall center stage for Aloha Friday. Their next appearance at the mall will be the evening of May18. This current grouping of big band artists have been together since 1998 and have their sound perfected to” get ‘em up and dancing.” The band originated in the 50s under the direction of Dickie Hamada, and little brother Danny, the saxophonist joined the band around 60 years ago. Danny is now the bandleader. Band members range in age from 17 to 90 and are from all walks of life.
The Starlighters began playing at the Kukui Grove Mall over twenty years ago, but vocalist and M/C Ray Domingo has seen the interest in the old sound grow, and the audience has tripled as people became aware of their performances there. In fact, Ray states that when he is there early to help with stage set up he sees people coming in to get a “good” table around 4:30 p.m. for the show, which starts at 7 p.m.
Even though the band has been together for almost 20 years they still practice regularly to add to and change their repertoire so that each show is different than the last. Their sound ranges from the big band favorites up to the dance band sounds of the 1970s.
The Starlighters play private functions as well and are available for birthday parties, anniversaries and special functions.
The Starlighters are the only Big Band left on the island and they are determined to keep the sound alive. They made it through the Rock and Roll times are glad that resurgence in their style of music has come full circle. They recently played the State Lions Club convention on May 2 in Waimea and have played the Dancing with the Stars at Wilcox Memorial Hospital, and the Relay for Life.
There are four members of the original band still with us on Kaua‘i, and they regularly come out to hear the band play, one of the original members, Robert Romeo is 3rd Alto Sax!
For a good time come on out to hear the smooth sounds of the Big Band era as delivered by the