$5 @ the door


'Alohi, born and raised on the Big Island, began classical piano training at eight or nine years old. After that, he was trained in voice. When he was in high school in New Mexico, Alohi says that he stopped singing, but was introduced to musical theater by a very “chance situation.”

In English class, they were studying the classic tragic romance genre, such as Romeo and Juliet. Alohi says he was doing badly in class, so he really needed the extra credit (to boost his grade). At the time, they were watching was West Side Story, and here’s how Alohi put it, “I really needed extra credit, so I volunteered to sing the Maria song, for the class.” Alohi describes the chain reaction, “I sang it, and my English teacher went and made me sing it to my counselor, who went and made me sing it to the musical theater teacher, who promised me the lead for the next musical on the spot!”

From there, Alohi played the lead in his high school’s musicals for the next three years, during which he also played keyboards for a dub band having the honor of performing for the Governor of New Mexico.


Fast forward, beyond that deep ocean of time, and there’s been a recent CD release, and now Alohi has a band of talented musicians who he just met. They practice rigorously and this fledgling ensemble calls itself, “Alohi, and The Free Life:” There’s Daniel C. Wagner, who we mentioned earlier; he’s the virtuoso on guitar. There’s Craig Rusert; he shreds on bass. And Montana Djembe, who drums steady. And of course, there’s Alohi, the singer-songwriter on guitar.

Alohi, when asked what kind of music the ensemble plays, says it’s, “acoustic-island- folk-hop; It’s got all those elements in it.” You just got to come out and see them and hear them play. Really.'

- Big Island Weekly