Winter Island Music Festival draws hundreds

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HUNDREDS of local residents gathered on Sunday at the Garapan Fishing Base for the Winter Island Music Festival, which featured the Hawaiian band Kapena and other island artists.

Organizer Jay Aldan said the turnout was beyond what they expected. “We sold approximately 1,500 tickets and we are very happy,” he added.

He said he was also glad to see families and children enjoying the concert.

“We donated more than 50 tickets, on behalf of the Saipan mayor's office, to seven schools,” Aldan said.

Besides Kapena, the performers included Parker Yobei, Ka’ikena Scanlan, DJ Hapa Boy, Francis Peter, Marianas Project, Young Goddhy, Dagu Diggers, Sensei United, and Studio 29:11.

Kapena band leader Kelly Boy De Lima said they were excited to be back on Saipan, adding that the last time they played here was in 2008.

De Lima said he and the other band members appreciate the love and support they have received from the people of Saipan through the years.

“There are a lot of Saipanese, Guamanians, and people from the other islands who say they grew up listening to our music and that’s very sentimental for us. So whenever we come here, it’s like coming home,” he added.

Vocalist and bass player Lilo De Lima said that it was her first time to perform on Saipan.

“The island is beautiful and the people here are very loving and giving — it feels great to be here,” she added.

Kelly Boy De Lima told the audience: “For so many years Kapena has been the playlist in the lives of our people in Saipan. We love you and thank you so much for all of the years of your support and continued support.”

Aside from Kapena classics such as “Masese” and “Baby Blue,” the band also played a new song titled “We Are a Voice,” which they dedicated to the people of Saipan who experienced and survived Super Typhoon Yutu last year.

“We came from an island, too, and we know exactly how it is,” Kelly Boy De Lima said.

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