Entertainment Management & Public Relations
While talented children of famous parents are born with a particularly heavy burden, fortunately for us the very special musical talents of Jeffrey Apaka (son of Alfred) have consistently overcome. At Hawaii’s Punahou School, young Jeffrey first studied violin and `ukulele. Later while attending the Beverly Hills High School, Jeff found his voice. The study of drama and musical comedy followed, with classmates and friends Richard Dreyfus, Rob Reiner, Albert Brooks, and Danny DeVito.
After two years at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City, Jeff’s plans to go on to London’s Royal Academy changed overnight when he signed a two-album recording deal. Jeff later learned that a savvy Capitol Records talent scout had attended the debut of his two-year run at the famed Monarch Room at The Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Honolulu.
A major tour followed; one that would take Jeff & Co. around the world — playing first the Huntington-Sheraton Hotel in Pasadena, the Imperial Gardens in LA, and then Disneyland. In Florida, Jeff appeared at the Palm Beach Everglades and Voison Clubs, and soon moved north to hit the Big Apple at the now legendary Up-Stairs At The Down Stairs. Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh and dates at the Moana Loa and the Rockefeller Inn soon followed.
Jeff played Las Vegas, appearing at the Convention Center and at Cleopatra’s Barge. After a date in Canada at the Vancouver Hotel, Jeff sailed to Hong Kong to play the Giraffe Room at the Kowloon Sheraton, and flew on to fulfill a successful run at the New Otani Hotel in Akasaka, Japan.
Returning to Honolulu, Jeff Apaka was featured on the fabled Hawai‘i Calls radio show from The Moana Hotel, while continuing to perform at virtually every premier showroom on Waikiki’s “Golden Mile” and a three-year gig at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel Garden Bar. But, the best was yet to come.
1980 saw Jeff co-starred with Audrey Meyers in the fantasy production Here Is Hawai`i at the Maui Surf Resort, now the Maui Weston. Produced by Tom Moffatt and written by Keola Beamer, the show was “the stuff of magic.” As the rave international reviews and thousands returning attest, the four-year SRO record-breaking run enjoyed “perhaps the greatest popularity of any Polynesian review ever mounted in Hawai‘i.”
Jeff’s enviable show business career continued to flourish and diversify during a two-year stint as Cruise Director aboard the S.S Constitution and Independence, where he produced and packaged Polynesian reviews for the two revered cruise liners.
In 1992, Jeff returned to public performance in a successful six-week run at the Ala Moana Hotel. Jeff worked with a variety of legendary local performers as he began to refine and evolve his repertoire for a very special new show.
Lydia Ka`onohiponiponiokalani Aholo, the first adopted child (hanai daughter) of Queen Lydia Lili`uokalani taught Jeff’s Grandfather Alfred Sr. to sing. One day, 15-year old son Alfred burst into song, and the legend began. Sadly, Alfred Apaka died in 1960 — far too young (40) to have ever heard his brilliant son’s mature singing voice.
In tribute to his father, Jeff is preparing material for an album of “father & son” duets. Utilizing one rare recording of Jeff’s father and grandfather Alfred Sr, we will soon be able to hear three generations of the Apaka legend together. Once again, the best is yet to come.
All in all, it’s easy to expect that “Jeff Apaka’s glorious romantic baritone voice and his ability to keep the audience amused, entertained, and hating to leave” will again manifest. Because of his heritage and the fact that he was reared “On both sides of the pond,” Jeff has gained a most special understanding of the diverse audience who travel to Hawai‘i.
In Jeff’s words, “To see an audience truly understanding these wonderful songs, the new ones and the very best ones from yesterday, makes me very happy. My wish is for people today, the many who were cheated from not being able to hear my father Alfred, to experience and understand some of what he passed on to me.”
In the meantime, appearances with the Honolulu Symphony have continued, along with performances at numerous local venues and charitable events. Jeff Apaka remains a major celebrity fundraiser and honored guest performer at galas and notable civic events.
As a past President of the Variety Club and as the current Director of Community Relations for the Waikiki Community Center — working to further expand the Center’s child-care program — Jeff notes, “We are providing a much-needed program for the more than 30,000 employees in Waikiki who work on three shifts. Waikiki never sleeps.”
See About Alfred Aholu Apaka HERE