Artist

Roland Cazimero, Almost 3 Years After Onstage Illness

Robert Cazimero, musician and entertainer.

 

Roland Cazimero, who was hospitalized after falling ill in 2014 during The Brothers Cazimero’s Maui May Day concert, and who has since performed only rarely, speaks with me about his health challenges, personal life and career in a Long Story Short episode debuting Tuesday, April 25 at 7:30 pm on PBS Hawai‘i.

 

Roland, whose nickname is Bozo or Boz, still hadn’t discussed the state of his health with his older brother and longtime music partner, Robert Cazimero: “We just don’t.” But he believes Robert knows that the sun has set on their iconic performances.

 

A virtuoso of the 12-string guitar, Roland would let Robert, on bass, handle the artful and upbeat onstage oratory and the smooth segues between songs. Roland injected teasing; he also was a master of short, flippant remarks. Together, the Brothers drew crowds and created enduring fans with their beautiful, soaring music and their entertaining banter.

 

In our conversation, Roland speaks comfortably and at length about picking up music easily as a kid in a musical family, but never getting formal piano lessons like his brother Robert and his twin sister Tootsie, because he was “kolohe” (a rascal). Also as a keiki, he met the legendary singer/guitarist Gabby Pahinui, and was entrusted with buffing up Pahinui’s guitar. He laughs that Gabby never got his name right; Roland was always Ronald.

 

As an adult, he was a “rebel” and a “player,” or womanizer. He said Robert and their hula dancer, the late Leina‘ala Heine, would take care of devoted fans and “high makamakas,” and Roland would “hang with the hoodlums.” They were his friends, and he says almost all of them have died, some in prison.

 

Appearing at PBS Hawai‘i with his loyal wife and caregiver Lauwa‘e, Roland explains matter-of-factly that his partying lifestyle was bad for his health, which is still touch-and-go. The couple reveals that he’s been diagnosed with congestive heart failure, diabetes and carpal tunnel syndrome.

 

Now more of a homebody, Roland still writes songs and plays guitar, adjusting for his carpal tunnel condition. Lauwa‘e, who holds down an admin job when she’s not taking care of him, is his “best friend in the world,” he says – next to God, who’s “the best, period.”

 

One doctor told him plainly that he should make peace with his maker. “Done,” says Roland. While he’s still not always compliant with what the doctor says, he’s become a follower of Christ. When people ask about his health, Lauwa‘e likes to keep the answer short and sweet: “He’s alive.”

 

For any of us, that’s a gift.

 

Aloha a hui hou,
Leslie signature

 

Kaneko’s Monumental Risk

 

This documentary explores the life and work of Japanese-American sculptor and artist Jun Kaneko. Kaneko is known for building the largest ceramic art pieces in the world, with some towering more than 13 feet without any interior support. Over the course of his 50-year career, Kaneko has created massive public art installations in plazas, gardens, airports, city parks and convention centers. The film follows Kaneko working around the world in places like San Francisco, Kyoto, New York, Nagoya, Chicago, Puerto Vallarta and his adopted hometown of Omaha. It also looks at the evolution of his work from painting in a realistic style to his abstract sculptures to his risky opera design with the San Francisco Opera’s production of The Magic Flute.

 

The profile culminates with a look at the multi-million dollar creativity center he built in Omaha to encourage people to unleash our risk-taking and creative sides.

 

David Bowie:
Five Years

DAVID BOWIE: Five Years

 

Trace five pivotal years in the late pop icon’s career: 1971 and the creation of Ziggy Stardust; 1975 with Young Americans and the Thin White Duke persona; 1977 and the release of Low and Heroes; 1980 with “Ashes to Ashes;” and 1983 with the huge commercial success of Let’s Dance.

 

A Tribute to Toussaint

A Tribute to Toussaint

 

The late performer and songwriter Allen Toussaint worked with Dr. John, B.J. Thomas, Boz Scaggs, Paul McCartney, Patti LaBelle, Fats Domino and many others. As a philanthropist, he helped raise more than $1 million for the hungry and homeless in his native New Orleans. To show their deep appreciation for his music and charitable acts, New Orleans Artists Against Hunger & Homelessness honored Toussaint on his 75th birthday with this concert, recorded in 2013.

 

GREAT PERFORMANCES
Annie Lennox: Nostalgia Live in Concert

 

Throughout her four-decade career, music superstar Annie Lennox has defied categorization, diving into blues, soul, folk and pop to create songs that captivate and transcend boundaries. On her latest album, Nostalgia, Lennox reveals yet another dimension to her formidable talent. Although jazz is not the genre for which she is known, she couldn’t resist the magnetic pull of some of the most memorable melodies and lyrics from the Great American Songbook – songs like “Summertime,” “Georgia on My Mind,” “You Belong to Me,” “I Cover the Waterfront” and “God Bless the Child.”