Paul Shimomoto
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Paul Shimomoto

Band Jazz Adult Contemporary


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""Sentimental Alibi" Reviewed"

Paul Shimomoto won a singing contest in 2003 and made his debut as a recording artist the following year. His first album, "Magic Beside the Sea," was (as I wrote then) "a fine salute to Hawaii's hapa-haole music heritage." Shimomoto builds on that promising first album with his second collection of romantic hapa-haole standards -- plus a few American pop classics that fit perfectly.

It's clear by the end of the first verse of the first song, "Beautiful Kanani," that Shimomoto is picking up where he left off in 2004. His rendition is simultaneously retro and contemporary, respectful of the past but not an attempt to mimic it. "Lovely Hula Girl," "Honolulu (I Fell in Love With)" and a medley that combines "Dancing Under the Stars" with "I'll Weave a Lei of Stars for You" all reaffirm his love of hapa-haole music, while his take on "Let's Fall in Love" serves notice that he can also swing.

Shimomoto evokes memories of Territorial Era hapa-haole and pop music by having a pianist as his primary accompanist on these beautiful arrangements. Add a little guitar here, drum and bass there, and a live string section as well, and his "alibi" lives up to expectations and then some.
- John Berger - HNL Star Bulletin

"Go down memory lane with these gems"

This is a continuation of that early journey to times past, when folks like Harry Owens, R. Alex Anderson, Herb Ohta Sr. and Neil McKay scribbled tunes about romantic Island nights under the stars and sun-kissed days on the beach.

Singer Shimomoto won the first Hapa Haole Music Festival, and he offers nostalgic vocals again, composing a few originals along the way.

The track that typifies his mana'o is a medley of "Dancing Under the Stars/I'll Weave a Lei for You," which sounds perfect for a Monarch Room show, the ideal setting for this kind of music.
More stroll-down-memory- lane highlights abound: "Honolulu (I Fell in Love With You)," "Somewhere in Hawai'i," "Waikoloa," "place" songs that pinpoint an Island memory; plus Shimomoto's "My Heart Belongs to You" (he wrote lyrics, John Starr Alexander composed music), a love ballad that transcends our shores.

Shimomoto has splendid instrumental support, with Alexander at the dominant piano backup; but the roster of musicians reads like a who's who — Wendell Ching, Dan Del Negro, Weldon Kekauoha, Jeff Peterson included. The session sounds like a command performance in a chic club.

• Our take: Nice to know someone finds riches and resources in the past to share with contemporary audiences.
- Wayne Harada - HNL Advertiser

"Paul's Interview in MidWeek"

Hometown: Born in Honolulu; mostly grew up in Kahalu’u

High School: Iolani

Musical occupation? Vocalist. But I am a corporate attorney by day - my real day job.

How did you get into the music business? In 2003, I entered and won the vocal competition of the first annual Hapa Haole Music Festival. The prize for winning that competition was an opportunity to record on the Hula Records label. In August, 2004, I released my first CD, Magic Beside the Sea, under the Hula Records label. With that recording came many performance opportunities, most of which were (and still are) private party-type engagements. As more and more people heard my first CD and heard my performances, I was encouraged by many notable names in local entertainment such as Robert Cazimero, Weldon Kekauoha, Nina Keali’iwahamana, Mahi Beamer, Gary Aiko and Danny Kaleikini to pursue my musical talents. In February 2007, I embarked on the recording of Sentimental Alibi, which was just released in December. For this project, I formed my own record label, Leo Hano Records, and produced the CD under that label. It’s funny, but with the first CD I wouldn’t say I was “in the music business” at all. But I think I definitely am with this new release.

How would you describe the sound/style of Sentimental Alibi? I would describe the sound/style as easy-listening, contemporary island music featuring sophisticated and orchestrated arrangements reminiscent of an era that featured the likes of Alfred Apaka, Nat King Cole and Dean Martin.

Any ongoing or upcoming gigs? I am not playing anywhere on a regular basis right now, though I am interested in doing so. Mostly my performances are for private engagements. I also am actively pursuing opportunities to perform on the Mainland and in Japan.

What are your goals musically? In many ways, I am still surprised to find myself where I am with my music. I really fell into it by luck and chance. With the first CD, I always said that if it were the only CD I ever did, well, that was more than a lot of people could say they’ve done. So I really just felt fortunate and would have been content to let that be the end of it. I don’t think a lot has changed, even though I’ve now produced and recorded Sentimental Alibi. I still feel extremely fortunate for what I’ve accomplished in four very short years. This industry is extremely challenging and it changes so quickly, so I really try not to look too far ahead. If anything, I guess I just want to better myself as a vocalist and musician.

Contact info?

Find this article at:
- MidWeek Magazine


"Magic Beside the Sea" - released August, 2004
"Sentimental Alibi" - released December, 2007



Paul Shimomoto is a partner and corporate attorney by day and an apsiring vocalist on the side.

Paul's first professional recording came on the heels of winning a local vocal competition in 2003 - in August of 2004, he released his first commerical recording, "Magic Beside the Sea", under the Hula Records label. In December, 2007, Paul released his second professional recording, "Sentimental Alibi", which was produced under Paul's own recording label, Leo Hano Records.

Paul's vocal styling are reminiscent of the legendary island crooner, Alfred Apaka. His musical influences include Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Michael Buble and Diana Krall. Paul's music successfully infuses contemporary Hawaiian music with light jazz arrangements to produce a soothing and relaxing feel for his audience.