Page 5 - MidWeek Kauai - May 18, 2022
P. 5

nd e? to ile a- ca- to ha he an ed m- by on
we’ ve
The Good Vibes Continue With Eddie Ortiz And Son Caribe
Featured vocalist Cynthia Romero often sings in not one, but five different languages.
Son Caribe means “rhythm of the Caribbean” in Spanish, according to Ortiz, and is a nod to the type of music (con- temporary, top 40 and jazz) that the band creates. Its goal is to make people feel good and to engage with all audi- ences. He adds that his goal as a songwriter is to compose songs about people who are in love.
(Left) Performing on stage for Eddie Ortiz and Son Caribe are (from left) Daniel Sananikone, Joseph Nakamoto, Jeremy Killeen, Reid Ishikawa and Guy Lum. (Above) The band’s horn section includes (from left) Sananikone, Nakamoto and Killeen.
“Our hope is that when people leave our perfor- mances, they feel better than when they came,” he says. “If people leave the night feeling better than when they arrived,
The current group consists of Cynthia Romero, featured vocalist and auxiliary per- cussion; Clayton “CJ” Silva, congas; Guy Lum, timbales; Joseph Nakamoto, Jeremy Killeen and Josue Rodri- guez, trombones; Daniel
When the band first stepped out on the scene, the members had a hard time
Despite the challenges the band has faced, Ortiz be- lieves that all the work that the group has put into the
Whether it be with tourists who remember the band from a previous trip to Hawai‘i, or with college students looking to dance the night away, the band has maintained a strong following. In fact, fans eager- ly await the band’s return to performing live at Ilikai Hotel & Luxury Suites’ courtyard — that is, once the finishing touches are put on the album.
“It’s a good mix because you’ve got a lot of experience with the older musicians, and you’ve got a lot of energy and vigor from the younger musi- cians,” he explains.
While each member plays an important role, Ortiz cred- its Romero for her versatili- ty and ability to sing in five different languages: English, Japanese, Tagalog, Korean and Spanish. Interestingly enough, while Romero can sing in Spanish, she’s actually not fluent in the language and learns the lyrics phonetically.
“That was one of the big- gest obstacles — just getting our foot in the door,” Ortiz re- calls. “It was very difficult in the beginning until we proved ourselves that we could not only draw an audience, but maintain an audience, and thankfully, continue to grow audiences.”
“We were able to establish ourselves in Asia from Ha- wai‘i, and now we’ re starting to get attention from Latin America, which is something that I’ve always wanted to be able to do,” Ortiz beams.
     set out to do.”
Besides Ortiz, the band
Sananikone, trumpet; Hitomi Davis, piano/keyboard; Reid Ishikawa, bass; Shaun Torres, bongos and auxiliary percus- sion; Daniel Weber, guitar; Ray Lafoon, drums; and Luis Santos, vocalist and auxiliary percussion.
Prospective members don’t necessarily need to be expe- rienced in Latin music to be a part of the band, he adds.
getting booked at venues. The band was told that Latin music was “a niche market” and that “it’s not really mar- ketable.”
ensemble has paid off. From initially struggling to book appearances to performing internationally, Eddie Ortiz and Son Caribe has come a long way.
boasts members of various ages ranging from their 20s to their 50s.
“As long as they’re willing to learn and listen so that I can teach them — I’m good,” explains Ortiz, adding that he’s employed around 500 musicians in the band since its formation. “It’s been fun because I enjoy teaching. It’s fun to bring somebody along and watch them develop skills in a different genre of music that they didn’t have before.”
   Eddie Ortiz and Son Caribe members continue to share their passion for Latin music and are excited about their upcoming album. Members include (from left) Daniel Sananikone, Joseph Nakamoto, Eddie Ortiz, Cynthia Romero, Jeremy Killeen, Daniel Weber, Clayton “CJ” Silva, Guy Lum and Reid Ishikawa.
“I’m so grateful to the people in Hawai‘i for the way they received us,” Ortiz says. “It’s something that I would’ve never imagined before I started the band. It’s been such a blessing, really.”
Ortiz says that “every guest is important” and that the band will always strive to put its best foot forward at each performance because the members know they wouldn’t be where they are today if it weren’t for the community.
          a b d
h M
s o
e r

   3   4   5   6   7