Thirty-five years ago, in the town of Ha‘iku, Maui, Neal Yamamura, only son of Danny (pineapple farmer) and Ellen (teacher), was born. Neal, only male grandchild on his maternal side, celebrated his first BOYS’ DAY with 27 carp kites, gifts for his maternal grandfather in celebration of his first boy.
At the age of 4, he developed an interest in playing the piano, thus beginning his formal music education. By the 5th grade, he learned to play his elementary school’s entire spring musical just through listening! As a senior independent project, Neal composed and conducted a piece for his high school’s Spring Band Concert. In addition to piano, he is also skilled in playing the bells, baritone, and ukulele.
While in college, Neal discovered his passion and talent for singing karaoke, particularly the Hawaiian falsetto songs. He and several of his karaoke-singing buddies formed the group, Five by 5. Together they recorded 2 albums and performed at various local venues. Neal has studied with vocal coaches including Lani Starr and Melveen Leed. During breaks from practicing and recording, he also sang with his church’s worship team. There were two worship team members, in particular, Jay Moore and Carl Kamikawa who really encouraged him to continue singing.
When Five by 5 disbanded, he asked his folks to help finance a solo recording of Hawaiian and pop songs that he has always loved. The result is this album, “My Serenity.”
Neal’s passions range from coaching gymnastics, teaching swimming, playing volleyball, and lifeguarding. However, music remains his true passion, so he hopes his love for singing will be shared by his audiences. His quiet, shy personality can be experienced through his singing…the result was his first solo cd, “MY SERENITY.” Neal is 35 years old now and his new cd, “REFLECTION” is a totally different sound and reflects different phases of Neal's personality and his love of all kinds of music. There is something that should appeal to every person in each track.
*The caricature of Neal viewed above was created by his cousin, Kathleen Yamamura Uno