Mentors, Music and Misc…

Aloha! I hope you are enjoying the summer and getting some rest and relaxation. I wanted to share some more pictures from my recent life and some very special moments I happened to be fortunate enough to capture.  Have a great August! –Von


July 4th at Magic Island – Ala Moana Beach Park. Hawaii is definitely Kendama crazy!
Had the wonderful opportunity to play with Treysara from Kauai. This picture is of Trey Thompson the bassist! Thanks guys for the super fun gig! Click on the picture to hear this wonderful group!
With my drum students Matt and Yoko Egashira! So happy to see them again and can’t wait for our next lessons!
My students Nelson Huynh (Left) and Cameron Kuwada (Right). I’m so proud of you guys! Not only very fine drummers but also superb young men!
My drum student Gabriel Miyashiro sitting in at one of my gigs! Go Gabe and looking forward to your drumming future!
Found this in an old snare drum book my student Ian Wacksman and I were looking through it. Oh my goodness how far we have come in the world of teaching. If I ever looked and sounded like this, I would know it’s time to do something new….
Trying on my new shoes and enjoying my box of chocolates 🙂
Went to see the reunion concert for the Hawaii Jazz Fusion Band Topaz and they honored legendary saxophonist Gabe Baltazar for his mentorship of every member in the band. I snapped this picture when legendary Jazz pianist Betty Loo Taylor and Gabe were reuniting. What a heartwarming moment to see two of my mentors so happy to see each other. Click on the picture to watch a video of them performing together! (Thanks Michi Moore for posting on YouTube!)
With super bassist Mark Tanouye (Right) and monster drummer Noel Okimoto at the Topaz show. I have known Noel since I was 19 and he is one of my most important mentors and all-time favorite drummers. I still remember the first time I saw/heard him play. I couldn’t pick my chin up off of the floor for 3 hours!!! Click on the picture to hear more of Noel’s music!
My mentor and Jazz grandma, Betty Loo Taylor! Love you Betty!
With one of my Berklee College of Music teacher and mentor trumpeter Roy Okutani and his wife Åsa Okutani who was also a classmate of mine. Click on the picture to hear his music!
Need I say more?
Set up for the Danny Carvalho Concert and what fun to play drums with slack key guitar!
This is a post concert shot with wonderful bassist Wil Tafolo (Right) and guitarist Danny Carvalho (Center). Click on the picture to learn more about Danny’s music.  The concert was recorded and will be rebroadcast on Hawaii Pubic Radio in the future. Way to go Jason Taglianetti for a great job engineering the show!
Cute little pineapple at the Dole Plantation near North Shore Oahu.