Island Crooners: From ‘Somewhere Beyond the Sea’ to Southern California

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From left: Albert Maligmat, Gerald Ishibashi, Angelo Pagan, Richard Natto

Somewhere beyond the sea

Somewhere waiting for me

My lover stands on golden sands

And watches the ships

that go sailing.

–From Bobby Darin’s hit “Beyond the Sea”

Inside the Mauna Kea Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii, longtime friends Gerald Ishibashi and Richard Nat­to, veterans of the enter­tainment industry, joined onstage for an impromptu jam session.

It had been a while since they had last performed with each other, but they soon fell into their com­fortable banter. With the gentle trade winds blow­ing and the tropical drinks flowing, the atmosphere was magical.

After a dreamy rendi­tion of crooner favorite “Beyond the Sea,” the im­promptu jam session soon turned into a full-fledged party. At the end of the night, after two encores – and a standing ovation – Ishibashi and Natto knew they had something special on their hands.

Though the two musi­cians had a great dynamic together, they felt that add­ing another person to the mix would round out the group and give the project that extra “something” to raise it to the next level.

The trick would be finding the right voice to fit the “island crooner” vibe. They soon found that missing link in their own backyard.

L.A.-based singer/actor/ producer Angelo Pagan (“The King of Queens,” “Leah Remini: It’s All Relative”) was recruited for the project, turning the talented duet into a powerhouse trio.

Originally dubbed “The Three Crooners,” Ishibashi rechristened the project as “The Island Croon­ers,” a much more fitting moniker for the ultra-cool, multiethnic vocal group.

After a few years of well-received shows, another longtime friend joined the crew. “Little Albert” Maligmat, of Rocky Fellers and Society of Seven fame, reconnected with Ishibashi during the inaugural 2017 Stonebridge Rhythm and Blues Fest. His camaraderie with Ishibashi, Natto, and Pa­gan, both onstage and off, led The Island Crooners to welcome another talented member into the fold.

Musical director Don Randi of the Wrecking Crew has worked with the Sinatras, Elvis, the Beach Boys, the Righteous Broth­ers, Sonny and Cher, the Monkees and more.

“Imagine if Bobby Darin and Don Ho met the Rat Pack” was one descrip­tion of the stage show.

More reviews have sung the praises of the production:

“The Big Band music with the Modernaires were great, great, great, but The Island Crooners were hot, hot, hot!” (Margie K.)

“Great sound. I’d like to see you guys perform at the Blue Note.” (For­mer Hawaii Governor Ben Cayetano)

“Wow, very very cool!” (Carole Kai)

“You guys look and sound terrific!” (Ronee Martin, “America’s Got Talent” finalist)

“Nice concept. Love it!” (Rena P., Newport Beach)

The Island Crooners and the Mighty Stonebridge Band will perform dreamy favorites and hits from the Great American Songbook, Saturday, Jan. 4, at the La Mirada Theatre, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. Tickets for the 9 p.m. show start at $10.

For more information, visit www.IslandCrooners.com.

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