>Cache Creek embracing the sweet island sounds of Na Leo

Posted: September 23, 2009 in Entertainment

BROOKS, Calif. – Cool breezes, fresh island air, and warm sun come to mind when listening to the unique sounds of the music from our neighbor state to the west – Hawaii. One practitioner of this unique brand of musical entertainment is Na Leo Pilimehana, which in Hawaiian means “the voices blending together in warmth.” This three woman singing group, coming to Cache Creek Casino Resort on Oct. 24 at 8 p.m., is the most popular, most award-winning and biggest selling female Hawaiian group in the world. Known as Na Leo for short, the trio consists of childhood friends, Nalani Choy, Lehua Kalima Heine and Angela Morales.

Angela and Nalani met in the first grade and six years later both met Lehua in the seventh grade. They found that all three shared a love of music and became members of the concert glee club. Their first hit came as high school seniors when they entered Hawaii’s youth talent contest, “Brown Bags to Stardom” in 1984 with their original song, “Local Boys.” The tune, “an ode to the bronzed and buffed,” as local writer David Choo says, blasted onto the charts and ruled at #1 for months. Stoked by the favorable response, they put out their first hit album, also entitled “Local Boys,” which included three other original compositions. The next year, the hit single “Local Boys” won the prestigious Hoku Music Award (Hawaii’s version of the Grammys) and became the best selling single in Hawaii’s history — a record that still stands today.

Despite the mega success of that first album, the trio didn’t make a dime. Discouraged about music as a way to make a living, they decided to get on with other things, like college, jobs and marriage. That all changed about eight years later when a producer dangled the idea of making another album. The girls missed performing together, so in 1993, they released “Friends,” another Hoku-award winner and a huge hit — so much of a hit that Attorney General Janet Reno had to weigh in when the Hawaii Department of Education tried to ban students from playing the tune at their proms and graduations because it made reference to “God.”

Since 1982, they’ve released 18 CDs, won 22 Hoku Awards, been in the top 20 Adult Contemporary charts nationally, and made music that’s become an important part of the lives of their many fans. In 2005, Na Leo celebrated their landmark 20th anniversary with their first DVD release, titled “I Miss You My Hawaii” and a new studio album produced by legendary record producer Keith Olsen entitled “Feel the Spirit.” Their latest project “Where I Live, There Are Rainbows,” is enjoying successful sales.

Tickets are available for $69/$59/$49 through Tickets.com on the web: http://www.Tickets.com, phone: (800) 225-2277 or at http://www.CacheCreek.com and Cache Creek Casino Resort guest services.

Contact: Cean Burgeson, Communications Manager: (530) 796-5333; cburgeson@cachecreek.com

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