Down Home with Kalapana

From left: Kalapana members D.J. Pratt, Malani Bilyeu, Kenji Sano and Gaylord Holomalia. The group will perform May 27 in Temecula, along with a host featured performers.

By GWEN MURANAKA Rafu Senior Editor

There will be wine, merriment and an aloha spirit at the 2018 Temecula Wine & Music Festival on Sunday, May 27, with legendary Hawaiian band Kalapana headlining the event.

The festival, which benefits the Boys and Girls Club, Southwest County, is the vision of smooth jazz saxophonist Michael Paulo, who has shared the stage with the likes of Al Jarreau, Kenny Loggins and Johnny Mathis.

Bringing musicians together for a good cause has been Paulo’s passion, seen in his work in recent years producing the Asian American Music Festival at the Aratani Theatre in Little Tokyo. The highlight was seeing so many talented Asian American artists performing together before an appreciative audience.

This year, Paulo is bringing his musical ohana to Hawk Ranch in Murrieta, where he will be jamming alongside Kalapana. Last year, Paulo joined Kalapana onstage at the benefit for the Asian American Drug Abuse Program (AADAP). He was the original sax man for the popular band, once dubbed “the Beatles of Hawaii,” and can be heard on the first four Kalapana albums.